Hormonal imbalance is a common and often overlooked phenomenon. If left unchecked, it can have far-reaching health effects. Dr. Adarsh Jha, an experienced endocrinologist, says this condition can affect how you feel and interact with the world.
Hormones influence how you respond to stress, think, and act. When they become imbalanced, it can lead to many physical and mental health problems. Because of this, you experience fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other symptoms.
Long-term effects can include infertility, anxiety, depression, and an increased risk of certain cancers. Hormonal imbalance can also affect the endocrine system, the body’s network of glands, hormones, and organs that work together to regulate metabolism, growth, development, and sexual function.
It’s possible for hormonal imbalances to affect mental and physical health. This condition can lead to weight gain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and digestive problems. As well as affecting fertility and libido, it increases your risk for cardiovascular complications, diabetes, and osteoporosis. In addition, it could cause a weakened immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
On the upside, Dr. Jha noted that lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, and prescription medications could alleviate the symptoms.
Hormonal imbalance by gender
Here’s how it affects men of various ages.
Low testosterone levels can occur in men of any age but are most common in men over 40. This state can lead to low energy, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and mood changes. Another potential complication is pituitary gland disorders.
The pituitary gland helps regulate some hormones, including sex hormones. Disorders of this gland result in a significant hormonal imbalance that may trigger infertility, fatigue, and depression.
Adrenal gland disorders – the adrenal glands produce various hormones, including cortisol, adrenaline, and sex hormones. These glands’ disorders can result in fatigue, weight gain, and low sex drive. With hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, resulting in fatigue, weight gain, and depression.
As for women, here are the causes Dr. Adarsh Jha talked about.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a symptom that causes ovaries to produce excessive levels of testosterone, triggering an imbalance. Symptoms of PCOS include irregular menstrual cycles, weight gain, acne, and infertility.
Meanwhile, menopause is a natural process marking the end of a woman’s reproductive years. During menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels decline, causing hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms. Thyroid disorders can affect women of all ages and can lead to an imbalance. Symptoms of this disorder can include weight gain, fatigue, and depression. Stress can also cause an imbalance, resulting in anxiety, insomnia, and weight gain.
Jha explained that treatment for this condition depends on the severity of the imbalance. These interventions may include lifestyle modifications, medications, or alternative treatments.
Making certain lifestyle changes helps reduce the effects of a hormonal imbalance. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, and reducing stress are practical ways to maintain a delicate balance and overall good health.
On the other hand, common medications include oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, thyroid medications, and medications to reduce testosterone levels.
Dr. Adarsh Jha operates an endocrinology practice in Hartford, Connecticut. The experienced physician has been practicing for over two decades.