Millions of people deal with hormonal imbalances, whether as a result of natural causes or medical conditions. Symptoms range from mild to severe, depending on the nature and severity of the condition. Many of these imbalances are treatable with natural remedies, though some may require specialized therapy such as BHRT services.
Natural Causes of Hormonal Imbalances
Natural causes are those that don’t occur as a result of a medical condition. Rather, they’re part of the body’s aging and/or reproduction process.
In both men and women, puberty and aging can throw hormones out of whack. Women have more natural causes including pregnancy, subsequent birth and breastfeeding. Additionally, menstruation, as well as the stages of menopause, including peri- and post-menopause often lead to imbalances that cause an onset of symptoms.
Medical Conditions That Cause Imbalances
In addition to natural causes, there are a myriad of medical conditions responsible for either over or underproduction of various hormones in the body. These include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, growth, steroid, adrenaline and insulin.
Alternate causes for men include prostate cancer and low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism.
Women are more susceptible to imbalances due to conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), birth control, ovarian cancer and early-onset menopause, to name a few.
Everybody’s body is different, so the symptoms may vary depending on the individual. They also differ between men and women, though both may suffer from a reduced sex drive, osteoporosis and breast tenderness.
As a result of low testosterone issues, men may experience low sperm count or even erectile dysfunction. Reduced muscle mass is also a symptom that warrants investigation.
Women who have hormonal imbalances due to menstruation or menopause may experience either heavy or irregular periods along with night sweats or hot flashes. Other symptoms of imbalances may include, but are not limited to:
- Weight gain
- Voice deepening
- Constipation or diarrhea, or both
- Increased growth of hair on the face, chest, back and neck
Most symptoms can be alleviated with either natural remedies or in severe cases, with medication.
Natural Remedies to Try
For most people, it’s not necessary to run to the doctor at the first indication of a hormone imbalance. There are many natural remedies that men and women alike can try to address specific symptoms.
One of the best things to do is to implement a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding foods high in sugar and those that come pre-packed or processed is a good start. They often lead to weight gain and ingesting an overload of sodium, neither of which is beneficial when it comes to long-term health.
Exercise can help with maintaining a healthy weight, which in turn can help reduce the symptoms caused by obesity or Type 2 diabetes. Yoga or meditative exercises help with reducing high stress levels, which can trigger an overabundance of adrenaline or steroid production.
One popular supplement that can help regulate symptoms associated with menopause or erectile dysfunction is ginseng. It helps with irritability, sleep disturbances and anxiety.
As with any natural remedy, particularly supplements, it’s a good idea to clear them with your doctor if you’re currently taking prescription medication. If the remedies do not help alleviate symptoms, it may be time to seek out your physician and consider hormone therapy measures.
If natural remedies fail or your physician decides that medication needs to be part of your care because of an underlying medical condition, you’ll likely use one of the following:
- Birth or hormone control
- Hormone replacement meds (including BHRT as a potential therapy)
Other types of medications, supplements or therapies may be recommended at the doctor’s discretion. The important thing to note is that you have a say in your medical care, so be proactive in doing research and discussing options with your healthcare provider.
While hormonal imbalances can be frustrating, they’re mostly treatable, so rest assured that there is comfort ahead. In many cases, particularly when it comes to menopause, the symptoms aren’t a life sentence and typically resolve with time. Knowing which ones are cause for concern and which ones are normal can help you navigate these issues with ease and proper care.