Hormonal imbalance

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Overview

There are various types of hormones produced by the body, mainly from the endocrine glands. Any diseases that cause impairment to these glands can cause derangement of hormone production.

There can be either an increase or decrease in hormones produced. 

Causes of hormonal imbalance

In women, the causes of hormonal imbalance are typically due to the derangement of Thyroid hormones, Estrogen, Progesterone, FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone), Androgen, Prolactin, Cortisol,https://www.starhealth.in/blog/what-is-cortisol-and-its-types Aldosterone, ACTH, to name a few.

In men, the causes can be mainly due to Testosterone hormone, Thyroid hormones, Cortisol, Aldosterone or ACTH.

These hormonal changes are typically brought about by the 

  • Changes in diet 
  • Lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle 
  • PCOS in women 
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Cancers or tumours
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune 
  • Chemotherapy and medications

Symptoms in women

Common symptoms in women are

  • Weight gain or loss of weight
  • Feeling excessive tiredness, weakness or lethargy
  • Alopecia
  • Hirsutism
  • Acne
  • Disturbances in menstruation
  • Intolerance to hot or cold temperatures
  • Dry skin
  • Mood disturbances
  • Ovarian cysts 

Symptoms in men

Symptoms differ in men and usually present as

  • Loss of libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of facial hair or body hair
  • Thinning of hair
  • Male gynecomastia
  • Weight gain or weight loss

PCOS

PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder, causing hormonal imbalance in women.

It occurs due to excessive androgen production in females, which in turn causes alteration in the metabolism, which in turn affects ovulation. Metabolic syndrome, which consists of Hypertension, high cholesterol levels and central obesity, is closely associated with PCOS.

Type-2 Diabetes, Fatty liver and cardiovascular diseases can also develop as associated comorbidities. 

Investigations

  • Blood and urine investigations
  • Thyroid tests
  • Sex hormones
  • Cortisol
  • ACTH
  • FSH and LH
  • 24 hours urine test
  • Imaging
  • Ultrasound scans
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Iodine scan

Biopsy of the affected tissue or glands is only done in case of suspected tumours.

Treatment

The treatment of hormonal imbalance depends on which endocrine glands are affected.

Medical treatment can be in the form of supplemental therapy such as thyroid medications, oral contraceptives for PCOS etc. These medicines, however, are started only when necessary and recommended by the Specialist doctor.

Rarely, in case of hormonal imbalance caused by tumours or the presence of a surgical condition, then surgical removal of that gland or tumour is suggested.

Food and lifestyle modification

  • To avoid dairy and dairy products.
  • To avoid processed foods, especially limit the intake of flour and refined sugar.
  • To limit alcohol intake.
  • To avoid excessive caffeine intake.
  • Daily walking and exercise will help to regulate hormone production.
  • Having regular sleep and wake cycles and a minimum of 8 hours of sleep are required for the proper functioning of the hormones.

Meditation, mindfulness and yoga can help in reducing stress levels and promote a healthy mind.

Conclusion

There are multiple factors that can cause and trigger a change in the normal hormonal balance in adults. The most common factors are obesity, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and sleep. 

FAQs

What are the symptoms of hormonal changes?

The symptoms differ in women and men. In women, the symptoms are usually disturbance in menstrual cycles, hirsutism and weight gain. In men, thinning of hair, weight gain and loss of libido.

Are hormonal changes normal?

Yes, your body’s hormones can change on a day-to-day basis but do not necessarily have to cause any symptoms. In case the symptoms are present, it would be best advised to visit a doctor.

How do you fix hormonal imbalance?

There are no quick fixes for hormonal imbalance. In case of symptoms, the patient should be evaluated by a doctor and put on appropriate medicines if needed.
Daily walking, lifestyle modification and maintaining weight with a balanced healthy diet can help aid in regulating the secretion of the hormone.

What causes hormonal changes in adults?

Poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, Obesity and PCOS can cause hormonal changes in adults. Genetic factors can also affect hormonal balance.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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