Summary: This article discusses the importance of maintaining hormone balance for overall health and well-being. It explains that lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, and exposure to toxins, can impact hormone levels, and lists various symptoms that may indicate a hormonal imbalance. The article also emphasizes the importance of comprehensive hormone testing, which can reveal imbalances and help healthcare providers create individualized treatment plans. Menopause in women and andropause in men are also discussed, including common symptoms and how hormone testing can aid in finding appropriate solutions for symptom relief. The article concludes by noting that through hormone testing and healthcare provider support, individuals can maintain hormone wellness and improve their quality of life.
A Delicate Balancing Act
Hormones exist in harmony with each other-partners in a delicate balancing act. When levels are in balance, body systems are stable. When levels fall out of balance, normal function is disrupted, leading to chronic symptoms, disorders and disease.
Everyday Decisions Have Impact
Hormone balance starts with the everyday decisions you make. Lifestyle, nutrition and supplementation impact that balance as well as vour overall health.
Symptoms that may signify an imbalance include:
- Hot flashes
- Foggy thinking
- Sleep disturbances
- Loss of libido
- Night sweats
- Thinning hair
- Irregular cycles
- Decreased urinary flow/increased urge
- Weight gain
- Mood swings or irritability
Finding Your Balance
Active in cells throughout the body, hormones govern key facets of your health such as moods, memory, energy, sleep, libido and fertility. They not only regulate your immune system and response to stress, but help maintain bone and muscle mass, too.
Factors such as stress, diet, exercise and environmental toxins impact your overall hormone wellness.
This is particularly true at midlife, when reproductive functions diminish and significant hormone production is taken over by the adrenal glands.
Symptoms resulting from hormonal shifts in your body can be felt strongly leading you to feel physically or mentally out of balance.
Lifestyle tips for keeping your hormones and health in balance:
- Get adequate sleep
- Drink plenty of water
- Limit alcohol and don’t smoke
- Be active daily
- Keep a healthy diet
- Limit exposure to chemicals
The Importance of Testing your Hormone Balance
Comprehensive baseline testing gives you and your health care provider an in-depth picture of your hormone levels.
Testing reveals your individual level of hormone production and pinpoints imbalances, and also shows where you stand in comparison to healthy averages for your age group and gender.
These test results, combined with an assessment of any additional symptoms you may be experiencing (like hot flashes or low libido), provide a detailed picture of how hormone imbalance is affecting your life and well-being.
From there, you and your Hope Health & Wellness healthcare provider will be able to create an individualized treatment program.
Testing takes the guesswork out of treatment-making it possible for your provider to tailor a program just for you.
Menopause in Women
When hormone levels begin dropping in menopause, a deficiency of one hormone can actually appear as a relative excess of another, resulting in symptoms of hormone imbalance.
The start of menopause typically occurs around the age of 50, but it’s not uncommon to see symptoms much sooner- even as early as mid to late 30s depending on stress levels, diet and exercise. Menopause can also be surgically induced through oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries), radiation or chemotherapy.
A woman’s first symptoms may include:
- Irregular cycles
- Heavy or light periods
- Changes to menstrual cycle length
Testing and monitoring hormone levels enable women and health care providers to work together to find appropriate solutions that alleviate menopause symptoms and lead to hormonal wellness.
Andropause in Men
The natural decline of testosterone in men contributes to weight gain, muscle weakness, lean muscle loss, depression, bone loss, sexual dysfunction and other symptoms associated with andropause also called male menopause.
In contrast to the “roller coaster” effect so common to women in menopause, the symptoms of andropause appear gradually and can be much less obvious.
Some of the first signs that a man may be experiencing this change include:
- A subtle downward shift in strength and energy
- Loss of enthusiasm for the challenge of work, competition, and sexual activity
Along with natural aging, factors such as excessive stress, weight gain and lack of exercise can further lower testosterone impacting stamina, drive and virility.
Through hormone testing and the aid of a qualified healthcare provider from Hope Health & Wellness, men can diminish the effects of andropause and return to youthful vigor.