One thing everyone knows for sure is that men and women are very different. And they are different in every aspect of their lives, from looks to how they handle stress to how they express emotions. They are even different when it comes to hormones.
For men, three main hormones are testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol. Testosterone contributes to a man’s sex drive, fat distribution, bone density and even muscle mass. Human growth hormone is associated with proper metabolism, regulating body composition, muscle and bone growth.
Cortisol can help the body regulate blood pressure, blood sugar levels, metabolism and inflammation.
For women, the main hormones are estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Estrogen is the hormone most associated with sex for women. This may be because it is an important part of puberty and proper development of the reproductive organs and functions.
Testosterone, typically associated with males, is also found in females in small amounts. The same is true with estrogen, which can also be found in males in small amounts. They have the same duties in both males and females, but to a much lesser degree.
Progesterone is very important in preparing the reproductive organs during conception through delivery. Progesterone starts to wane in women in their forties or later. Low progesterone can cause estrogen to become the dominant hormone. This can create negative reactions in the body.
In fact, both men and women can experience changes in their hormones that can lead to hormone imbalances. If not treated, imbalances can become severe and hinder proper functioning of the body.
What Are Hormone Imbalances?
Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone in your bloodstream. Even if the changes in hormones is small, it can still create noticeable problems or side effects.
The endocrine glands produce, store and release hormones that help the body function properly. If these glands are not working as they should, a hormonal imbalance will occur. Sometimes a medical condition, like stress or diabetes can be a reason the endocrine glands do not work properly. Other conditions, like obesity or poor diet, can be a cause that leads to hormonal imbalance.
These are just a few examples of why your hormones can become imbalanced. Below are more specific causes for hormonal imbalances in both men and women.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
Throughout a woman’s life, there will be times where hormonal imbalances occur just because it is a part of the natural growth process. For instance, women go through puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. All of these can create negative side effects in the body.
Men, on the other hand, go through puberty, which causes an imbalance, as well as having a different endocrine system than women.
Medical conditions that can lead to hormonal imbalances in women include certain ovary syndromes and cancers, as well as early menopause. Even taking birth control medicine can cause an imbalance.
Medical conditions leading to hormone imbalances in men include prostrate cancer and low testosterone levels.
The symptoms each experience can seem like both males and females, but there are still some symptoms that are gender specific.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance in Men
Sex drive is one of the most noticeable side effects of hormonal imbalances in men. Mainly, low sex drive or erectile dysfunction. Other symptoms include low sperm count, lower muscle mass and growth of body hair.
A man’s breast can also be affected. Some men report breast tenderness while others have reported developing too much tissue in the breast area.
The negative symptoms reported by women shows a list that is much longer than that of men.
Hormone Imbalance Symptoms in Women
When a woman’s hormones are out of balance, many organs and body parts take notice. Some women find it harder to digest foods properly, leading to either constipation or diarrhea, or sometimes alternating between the two.
Menstruation is one process that can truly be affected by an imbalance. Periods may become extremely heavy and bring about severe pain. They can also become irregular.
Similar to men, women can notice a decrease in sex drive or libido, partly due to vaginal dryness that can feel painful and uncomfortable during sex.
Other symptoms noticed by some women include: weak bones; skin problems like skin tags, rashes or acne; hot flashes; sweating during sleep; weight gain even when eating right and exercising; infertility; and hair growth that is excessive and in places that can be embarrassing for women.
The good news for both men and women, there are treatments available to help rebalance hormones.
Hormonal Imbalance Treatment
The most important part of treating a hormone imbalance is to find a doctor who specializes in hormone therapy. Too often, family physicians will overlook hormone issues if your lab tests show that you are within normal limits.
But even though you are within normal limits, you may still have an imbalance that needs treatment.
Hormone specialists will investigate your symptoms using more than a simple blood test. They can also research you and your body to determine any underlying causes for a hormone imbalance. Finally, they will explore all options for helping you overcome the imbalance and not just put you on a medicine.
There are both traditional and alternative forms of treatment of hormonal imbalances.
Natural hormone replacement therapy is a popular, with bioidentical hormones are showing to have great results in many women. This means you can receive compounded hormones that are exactly like the hormones your body already produces. It’s like cloning your own hormones so you can receive the ultimate restoration results.
Other treatments include pills and creams containing estrogen (for women), testosterone (for men), or any other hormone that is out of balance.
A good hormone doctor will also treat any underlying problems that could be leading to the imbalance. They will also introduce you to lifestyle changes and activities that can help you overcome hormonal imbalances.
Reach out to your treatment provider today to begin seeing improvements with your hormones.