The hormones in your body have a large impact on your general health. Throughout our lives, our hormone levels can change, which can sometimes involve hormone imbalances and declines. Maintaining proper hormonal levels can help maintain our energy, vitality, and cognitive function and help us feel more like ourselves.
What Is Hormonal Therapy?
Your hormones are part of your endocrine system and play the part of chemical messengers that help your body control its functions. Insulin, for instance, is a hormone that regulates the body's metabolism and how it uses food for energy. Hormone therapy corrects hormone levels by either increasing or decreasing them. You may receive hormones that help increase hormone levels that are too low. Or, you may receive medications that block hormones or hormone production when they are too high.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalances
The symptoms associated with a hormone imbalance will depend on which hormone is not at normal levels and whether you are producing more or less of it than necessary.
An overactive thyroid, for instance, can lead to symptoms that include weight loss, tremors, anxiety, heat intolerance, and heart palpitations. Left unchecked, the heart issues associated with hyperthyroidism can become dangerous to your cardiac health. Hypothyroidism, where your thyroid is not active enough, can lead to weight gain, constipation, muscle weakness, dry skin, depression, and pain or stiffness in your joints.
Imbalances in other hormones can lead to symptoms that include:
- Missed or irregular periods (in women).
- Sleep irregularities - Some people may find that their desire for sleep increases. Others may battle insomnia.
- Acne and other skin problems.
- Memory and attention problems.
- Digestive issues - Diarrhea, bloating, nausea, and stomach pain can all occur.
- Fatigue - Both excess progesterone and a thyroid that is either over or under active can lead to ongoing issues with fatigue.
- Mood swings - You may find that you are irritable, depressed, or anxious when suffering from a hormone imbalance.
- Weight gain or loss.
- Changes in libido - While many people consider testosterone a male hormone, it occurs in both men and woman and is closely linked with your sex drive. Testosterone levels that are too low can leave you with lower sexual appetite.
Other hormone issues can lead to different hormone balance levels. Testing of your hormone levels can reveal any potential imbalances.
Conditions That May Require Hormone Therapy
Your doctor may recommend hormone therapy if you have any of the following conditions:
- Hyper or hypothyroidism.
- Addison's disease - This disease causes decreased production of adrenal hormones. These hormones regulate your body's blood pressure, stress response and salt/water balance.
- Hyper or hypopituitarism - The pituitary hormones regulate growth, reproduction, and blood pressure.
- Menopause - If you are suffering from uncomfortable side effects such as hot flashes or vaginal dryness, hormone replacement can help.
Types of Hormonal Therapy
The type of hormone therapy you receive will depend on the condition you currently are dealing with. The type of therapy you receive may include:
- Hormone replacement. This treatment involves adding hormones to your body if your levels are too low. Options for hormone replacement include synthetic and bio-identical hormones. Some hormones are delivered in pill form. Others can be delivered through a gel or patch.
- Hormone blocking. If you are producing too much of any one hormone, hormone blocking can block its action.
- Hormone source removal. When hormone blocking is ineffective, your doctor may recommend hormone source removal, which can include the removal of an entire gland through surgery. After hormone source removal, you will need hormone replacement to keep your levels normal.
Your doctor will discuss your hormone issues with you, as well as the treatment options to help you feel like yourself again.
Request a Consultation
Is there a chance that symptoms you are experiencing are related to a hormone imbalance? We can help determine what is going on and the best way to balance and, if necessary, replace your hormones. Get in touch today for an appointment.