Hormone Imbalance

 woman wondering about hormone imbalance

What You Need to Know About Hormone Imbalance

What are the Signs or Symptoms of a Hormone Imbalance?

There are many signs or symptoms of a hormonal imbalance. They depend on the gender of the person and the particular hormone imbalance.

Hormone Imbalance Symptoms

Hormone ImbalanceSigns in WomenSigns in Men
High TestosteroneHirsutism, amenorrhoea, acne, hair loss, genital abnormalities, depression, deeper voice, infertilityAcne or oily skin, prostate enlargement, worsening of sleep apnea, hypogonadism, increase in red blood cells, hair loss, infertility
Low TestosteroneDepression, low libido, low muscle mass, low energy/drive or motivationDepression, erectile dysfunction, low energy, low muscle mass, low libido
High DHTHirsutism, amenorrhoea, acne, hair loss, genital abnormalities, depression, deeper voiceProstate cancer, male pattern baldness, aggression, acne
Low DHTDepression, low libido, low muscle mass, low energy/drive or motivationDepression, irritability, low libido, lethargy, low muscle mass, increase in body fat
High DHEAsHirsutism, amenorrhoea, acne, hair loss, genital abnormalities, depression, deeper voice, infertilityUsually asymptomatic, but may result in estrogen excess
Low DHEAsFatigue, depression, anxiety, hypersensitivity to noise, loss of libido, dry eyes, skin, and hair, loss of head hair, axilla (armpit) hair & pubic hairFatigue, depression, anxiety, hypersensitivity to noise, loss of libido, dry eyes, skin, and hair, loss of head hair, axilla (armpit) hair & pubic hair
High EstrogenHeavy periods, acne, clots in menstrual flow, breast tenderness, depression, highly emotional, endometriosis, PMS migraines, fibroidsProstate cancer, male pattern baldness, aggression, acne
Low EstrogenVaginal dryness, UTI’s, irreg periods, hot flashes, h/a or migraines, irritability, mood swings, depression, cognitive declineLow bone density, low libido, erectile dysfunction, increase in abdominal fat, low sperm count
High ProgesteroneLow libido, depression, anxiety, mood swings, weight gain, UTIs, fatigue, muscle weakness, fibroids, stomach upset, edema, hivesProstate cancer, BPH, heart disease, depression, gynecomastia, low libido, low muscle mass
Low ProgesteroneAnxiety, waking at night, endometriosis, hot flashes, dysmenorrhea, fibrocystic breasts, PMS, bone loss, low libido, infertilityDepression, low bone density, low libido, increased abdominal fat
High ProlactinIrregular periods, vaginal dryness, nipple discharge, acne, hirsutism, decreased estrogen, depression, anxiety, hostility, memory deficit, psychosisErectile dysfunction, gynecomastia, low body hair, low libido, decreased testosterone, retrograde orgasm, depression, anxiety, hostility, memory deficit, psychosis
Low ProlactinFatigue, loss of pubic and underarm hair, and inability to produce breast milk (alactogenesis)Unknown

What are the Causes of a Hormonal Imbalance?

The causes of hormone imbalance also depend on the particular gender of the person and the hormonal imbalance that they are dealing with.  Common factors that contribute to hormone imbalance include:

Poor Diet

Diets that are heavy in processed grains and sugars increase the body’s need for insulin.  Insulin has a significant hormone-disrupting effect.  Low intake of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for healthy function of the reproductive organs can also lead to hormone imbalance.

Xenoestrogens

These are chemicals that can act like estrogen.  They are found in pesticides, herbicides and chemical products like plastic.  Eating organic food and avoiding having your food and water in contact with plastic can help reduce the intake of these hormone imbalancing chemicals.

Lack of exercise

Exercise has a hormone balancing effect.  It helps reduce stress which can also contribute to hormone imbalance.

Stress

Under stress, a woman will divert her progesterone into the production of stress hormones like cortisol.  Thus, stress can have a progesterone depleting effect.  Under stress, reproduction is not a priority and very intense stress can even temporarily shut down the reproductive organs as they are not key to survival and other organs are.  Stress can also increase the demand for certain vitamins and minerals that are necessary to cope with stress, thereby depleting them and causing a deficiency. These same vitamins and minerals help your body balance your hormones.  Stress can also increase prolactin levels that interfere with ovulation.

Poor Liver Detoxification

In order to remove chemicals, pollution and pesiticides that may disrupt hormones the liver requires certain vitamins and minerals.  These include pyridoxal-5-phosphate, magnesium, vitamin B12, 5-MTHF, indole-3-carbinol and calcium-d-glucarate.  There are genetic mutations, such as the relatively common MTHFR mutation, that will negatively impact the liver’s ability to remove waste.  The same process is used to remove excess hormones such as DHT and estrogen.

Hormone Research

Randolph JF Jr, Kipersztok S, Ayers JW, Ansbacher R, Peegel H, Menon KM. The effect of insulin on aromatase activity in isolated human endometrial glands and stroma. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1987 Dec;157(6):1534-9.

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