Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. Produced in the endocrine glands, these powerful chemicals travel around your bloodstream telling tissues and organs what to do. They help control many of your body’s major processes, including metabolism and reproduction.
When you have a hormonal imbalance, you have too much or too little of a certain hormone. Even tiny changes can have serious effects throughout your whole body.
Hormones are important for regulating most major bodily processes, so a hormonal imbalance can affect a wide range of bodily functions. Hormones help to regulate:
metabolism and appetite
reproductive cycles and sexual function
general growth and development
mood and stress levels
Men and women alike can be affected by imbalances in insulin, steroids, growth hormones, and adrenaline.
Women may also experience imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels, while men are more likely to experience imbalances in testosterone levels.
Symptoms of a hormones imbalance
Your hormones play an integral role in your overall health. Because of that, there’s a broad range of symptoms that could signal a hormonal imbalance. Your symptoms will depend on which hormones or glands aren’t working properly.
Common hormonal conditions affecting both men and women could cause any of the following symptoms:
increased sensitivity to cold or heat
constipation or more frequent bowel movements
unexplained weight loss (sometimes sudden)
increased or decreased heart rate
Everyone will experience natural periods of hormonal imbalance or fluctuations at particular points in their life.
But hormonal imbalances can also occur when the endocrine glands are not functioning properly.
Certain lifestyle habits and environmental factors may also play a role in hormonal imbalances.
Causes of hormonal imbalances include:
chronic or extreme stress
type 1 and type 2 diabetes
hyperglycemia (overproduction of glucagon)
hypoglycemia (more insulin produced than there is glucose in the blood)
underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
over- or underproduction of the parathyroid hormone
poor diet and nutrition
hormonal replacement or birth control medications
People have used natural supplements to treat hormonal imbalances for thousands of years.
However, there are no natural remedies that have been consistently proven in clinical studies to treat hormonal imbalances and their causes, aside from lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes that may help reduce the likelihood and symptoms of hormonal imbalances include:
maintaining a healthy body weight
eating a nutritious and balanced diet
practicing good personal hygiene, focusing on washing areas with a lot of natural oils, such as the face, neck, back, and chest
using over-the-counter acne washes, rinses, and medicated creams or gels for minor to moderate acne
avoiding triggers that cause hot flashes, such as warm weather and spicy, rich, or hot foods and drinks
reducing and managing stress
practicing yoga, meditation, or guided visualization
limiting sugary foods and refined carbohydrates
avoiding packaged foods
Hormones are responsible for many of your body’s major processes. When hormones get out of balance, the symptoms can be extremely varied. Hormonal imbalance can cause a variety of serious complications, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.