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Hormone Imbalance

picture of a woman sitting on the ground with her legs crossed thinking about how to check for hormone imbalance, hormone testing for hormone imbalance
Do you have signs of hormone imbalance?

What You Need to Know About Hormone Imbalance

What are the Signs and 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, carbs, and sugars increase your body’s need for insulin.  Insulin has a significant hormone-disrupting effect.  Low intake of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the healthy function of the reproductive organs also leads 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 im-balancing chemicals.

Lack of exercise

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

Stress

Under stress, the ovaries may not work well, if at all.  Thus, stress can have a hormone-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 like your heart and lungs are.  Stress also increases 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 also increases prolactin levels that interfere with the normal function of the ovaries.

Poor Liver Detoxification

In order to remove chemicals, pollution, and pesticides that may disrupt hormones your 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 your liver’s ability to remove waste.  The same process is used to remove excess hormones such as DHT and estrogen.

Your Endocrine System Isn’t Working Normally

There are several influences on your endocrine (or hormone-producing) system. Stress, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, menstrual cycles, menopause/perimenopause, post-partum hormone changes, pollutants that disrupt hormones, and insulin levels to name several. Appropriate testing to identify the specific systems that aren’t working correctly helps to guide us to the correct treatment. Any of these hormone-disrupting situations can be corrected through natural treatments like diet, exercise, stress reductions, vitamins, minerals, and herbs.

For help with this or any other health problem, book an appointment here or call the office for more information at 416-481-0222.

Authored by Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

Picture of Toronto Naturopath Doctor Dr. Pamela Frank, Best Naturopath in Toronto many times over
Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Pamela has been in practice as a naturopathic doctor in Toronto since 1999. She has been the recipient of numerous “Best Naturopath in Toronto” awards. She is registered with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.

Dr. Pamela Frank uses a natural treatment approach that may include acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, diet, vitamins, supplements, and other natural remedies to restore balance and provide long-term resolution of almost any health problem.

Hormone Balance 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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