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There are many things to think about when looking after your health and wellbeing. Some of these things are quite obvious, while others can remain hidden and untouched for some time. There’s one element of your health that often gets overlooked the most: your hormones. We’ve all got hormones in our bodies, but some of us have different amounts and levels of specific ones. When this happens, it can trigger hormonal imbalances, which can have life-changing effects on your health and wellbeing. As a result, it’s crucial to understand hormonal imbalances and why they must be addressed.
This sponsored post helps you understand what hormones are, how imbalances can affect you, and how you can treat them. The opinions are the author’s own.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals that exist throughout your body and are created within specific cells. Usually, they’re generated within certain glands in the body, then dispersed throughout your body via the bloodstream. Their purpose? To send messages to different organs and parts of your body. It’s like having a team of personal assistants rushing around inside of you, delivering messages from one point to another. In essence, this has a vital role in how our body’s function.
What are hormonal imbalances?
A healthy human being will have balanced quantities of different hormones. This means that you have the right amount of one hormone, and the right amount of others. A hormonal imbalance occurs when you either don’t produce or produce too much of some hormones.
Now, defining an ‘imbalance’ can depend on different factors – mainly your gender. For example, women will produce way more oestrogen than men, while men produce far more testosterone. These are the main reproductive hormones, but you wouldn’t say a man has a hormonal imbalance because they make too much testosterone, and vice versa.
However, you would say there’s an imbalance if a man is making far less testosterone than is normal for that gender – and the same with oestrogen for women. Do you get the idea? Men and women have certain hormonal levels that they’re expected to meet, and a deviation from them can cause an imbalance that affects your body.
Why do hormonal imbalances matter?
Why do you need to do something about a hormonal imbalance? To put it simply, imbalances can throw so many different bodily processes into disarray. There are too many points to discuss, but here are the main things that go wrong when your hormones aren’t balanced:
Unwanted physical changes
Creating too much or too little of a specific hormone can lead to unwanted physical changes. As it states here, hair loss is often caused by hormonal issues. Some people see changes in hormones at different stages in their life, which can lead to hair loss and baldness. Similarly, men that produce too much oestrogen may start developing extra tissue around their breast area, creating the ‘man boobs’ effect.
Another extremely common example is someone suffering from an underactive thyroid. The thyroid gland produces lots of hormones, including two that regulate your metabolism. Very briefly, your metabolism is the process where you turn food into energy – effectively, burning calories to lose weight. When you don’t produce the hormones that regulate this, your body struggles to burn calories efficiently. In turn, this can lead to excessive weight gain.
Changes in your mood
Hormones are almost solely responsible for the way we feel. Throughout the body, different glands produce hormones that make us feel happy, sad, nervous, etc. If you suffer from hormonal imbalances, you may suffer from terrible mood swings. Indeed, depression has been strongly linked to chemical imbalances in your body. You aren’t producing the hormones that make you feel happy, which could be why you’re constantly in a depressed state.
Changes in your energy levels
Following on from this, you could see dramatic changes in your energy levels with a hormonal imbalance. Again, this can often come from an underactive thyroid.
One of the main symptoms of this problem is that you’re constantly fatigued. However, it can also go the other way and you may feel in a constant state of alertness. So many people feel energised and jittery – to the point where you’re on-edge at all times. This happens when your body produces too much adrenaline throughout the day. In essence, you’re constantly in the fight or flight mode! Addressing this problem can help you mellow out and feel more relaxed.
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Issues with your sleep
This kind of plays into the energy levels point, but it’s slightly different. Did you know that hormones control our ability to feel tired and sleepy? At night, you’re supposed to produce a lot of melatonin, which helps you feel drowsy. Thus, some people suffer from an imbalance where they don’t produce enough of this. As a result, you struggle to fall asleep each night, usually staying up to the early hours of the morning. This has a knock-on effect on the rest of your day as a lack of sleep can cause all sorts of health issues!
Remember, these are just a few examples of how hormonal imbalances wreak havoc on your health and wellbeing. If you do some additional research, you’ll soon find many other ways in which they can be damaging.
How do you treat hormonal imbalances?
Firstly, you need to see if you have any. The easiest way to do this is through a blood test. From here, a doctor may prescribe a special medication to help block some hormones or encourage the production of others. Alternatively, changing your lifestyle habits could also have an impact on hormone levels.
Overall, you can see why hormonal imbalances need to be addressed! Many of your health issues might stem from hormonal problems, so it’s worth getting it checked out. Particularly if you suffer from a lack of energy, unexplained weight gain, hair loss, or any other problems that seem to come out of nowhere.
Have you been diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance? How did it affect you?