Hormones play an essential role in all of our bodies, whether we are male or female. Since they play such a huge role, having just a small imbalance can create big problems. There are many people who resort to hormone testing in Peoria when symptoms arise.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals that are produced by glands in your endocrine system. Hormones can travel through your bloodstream and end up in tissues and organs. They deliver messages that tell these organs what to do and when they should do it.
Hormones are very important for things like regulating most of your bodily processes like your body’s growth, metabolism, sleep cycles, mood, stress levels, body temperature, sexual development and function.
Certain hormones can cause side effects when there is an imbalance. For example, both men and women can be affected by an imbalance in insulin, steroids, growth hormones and adrenaline. Women can also be affected by imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels. Men can be affected by an imbalance in testosterone levels.
What are the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance?
The symptoms you might experience due to a hormonal imbalance will depend on which gland is affected.
The following are some of the most common symptoms associated with the causes of hormonal imbalances:
- weight gain or weight loss without explanation
- excessive sweating
- difficulty sleeping
- changes in sensitivity to cold and heat
- very dry skin, skin rashes
- changes in blood pressure
- changes in heart rate
- brittle or weak bones
- changes in blood sugar concentration
- Irritability, anxiety
- Unexplained, long-term fatigue
- Increase in thirst
- Urge to go to the bathroom increase or decrease
- changes in appetite
- reduced sex drive
- thinning, brittle hair
- blurred vision
- a bulge in your neck
- breast tenderness
- deepening of the voice in females
What is the cause of a hormonal imbalance?
The million dollar question is what causes the imbalance and side effects of your hormones not being in balance? While almost everyone will experience natural periods of hormonal fluctuations at some point, a true hormonal imbalance occurs when your endocrine glands are not functioning properly.
Your endocrine glands are specialized cells that work to produce, store and release your hormones into your bloodstream. Your body is home to several endocrine glands that control different organs. These glands include:
- adrenal glands
- gonads (testis and ovaries)
- pineal gland
- pituitary gland
- hypothalamus gland
- thyroid and parathyroid glands
- pancreatic islets
There are several reasons why these endocrine glands can start to function improperly. These reasons can include, but are not limited to:
- chronic and/or extreme stress
- Diabetes, type 1 and type 2
- over or underproduction of the parathyroid hormone
- poor diet
- hormonal replacement or birth control medications
- abuse of anabolic steroid medications
- solitary thyroid nodules
- pituitary tumors
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Addison’s disease
- benign tumors and cysts
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- endocrine gland injury
- severe allergic reactions
- cancers that involve endocrine glands
- chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- iodine deficiency (goiters)
- hereditary pancreatitis
- Turner syndrome
- Prader-Willi syndrome
- phytoestrogens, naturally-occurring plant estrogens found in soy products
- exposure to toxins, pollutants, and endocrine disrupting chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides
How do I get hormone testing in Peoria?
The good news is that Summa Health Care in Peoria can provide you with proper hormone testing and an amazing treatment plan. We will make sure to gather a proper history of symptoms and consider your body as a whole. We will leave no stone unturned.
If you qualify for hormone replacement therapy, you will likely be offered bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. This type of therapy basically replaces your hormones with the exact molecular structure of the hormones your body naturally produces. The best part is that you will have less side effects than with most traditional medications, and you will notice much improved energy.
Are there other treatment options for hormonal imbalances?
The short answer is yes, but the long answer is maybe. Not all additional treatments are successful or will give you absolute or consistent results. Two additional things you can try are:
1. Natural Remedies
Many people believe going all natural is the only way to go. However, there are no research studies to suggest there is any consistency in natural remedies providing hormonal balance. However, you can still try the following to see if makes any difference in your case (with the approval from your doctor):
- black cohosh, dong quai, red clover, and evening primrose oil for hot flashes caused by menopause
- ginseng for irritability, anxiousness, and sleep disturbances caused by menopause
- ginseng, and maca for ED
2. Lifestyle Changes
Sometimes, changes in your lifestyle can somewhat improve your hormonal balance. Try the following ideas to take charge of your imbalances:
- Maintain a proper body weight
- eat a balanced diet
- exercise regularly
- practice good personal hygiene
- wash your face with over-the-counter acne washes
- reduce and manage stress
- practice yoga, meditation, or guided visualization
- limit sugary foods and refined carbohydrates
- replace older non-stick pans with ceramic pans
- use glass containers to store and heat foods and drinks
- restrict the use of cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals, such as bleach
- buy fruits and vegetables that have not been sprayed with pesticides
If you find yourself experiencing symptoms of a hormonal balance, you should seek treatment and hormone testing in Peoria from your doctor right away. There are a few things you can try to do yourself, but the proper treatment plan will always come from a doctor. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy will likely be your best bet at combating the side effects of a hormonal imbalance.