Hormone Imbalances Impact Men and Women’s Bodies
What are Hormones?
The complex nature of the body’s functioning is tied to many aspects of the body’s ability to communicate and function cohesively as a whole. Hormones are the body’s “chemical messengers.” The endocrine glands make these chemical messengers. The most significant glands in this group are the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal, and pancreas. (Men produce hormones in their testes, and women in their ovaries.)
- Hypothalamus: part of the central part of the brain. It links the endocrine system and the nervous system. The hypothalamus makes chemicals that control the release of hormones secreted from the pituitary gland.
- Pituitary: at the base of the brain, and while small, it performs hormones that regulate other endocrine glands.
- Growth hormones. For the growth of bone and other body tissues
- Prolactin: activates milk production in women who are breastfeeding
- Thyrotropin: stimulates the thyroid to antiduimake thyroid hormones
- Corticotropin: stimulates the adrenal gland to produce hormones
- Antidiuretic: helps regulate water balance through the kidneys.
- Oxytocin: triggers contractions during labor
- Secretes endorphins that help reduce feelings of pain
- Controls ovulation and menstruation in women
- Thyroid: makes thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These control the rate at which cells burn fuel from food for energy.
- Parathyroids: attaches to the thyroid and controls calcium levels in the blood.
- Adrenals: 2 parts sit on the kidney.
- Produces hormones called corticosteroids that control salt and water balance, and helps regulate stress, metabolism, the immune system, and sexual development and function
- Makes catecholamines: adrenaline, epinephrine which increase blood pressure
- Pineal: helps secrete melatonin that helps regulate your sleep and your waking ability in the morning.
- Pancreas: makes insulin and glucagon, which help control the level of sugar in the blood, and insulin, which helps supply the body with energy.
“Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)”
Sadly, today, many substances in our environment negatively impact our endocrine system by interfering with the healthy functioning of that system. These include chemicals in the water, air, and soil, but also the chemicals found in everyday products, including our food, personal care products, cleaning products, pesticides, plastic wrappings, non-stick products, and more.
“EDCs are chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that interfere with the way the body’s hormones work. Some EDCs act like “hormone mimics” and trick our bodies into thinking that they are hormones, while other EDCs block natural hormones from doing their job. Other EDCs can increase or decrease the levels of hormones in our blood by affecting how they are made, broken down, or stored in our bodies. Finally, other EDCs can change how sensitive our bodies are to different hormones.”
According to Niehs.NIH (National Institute of Health), research has found in studies over the last 20 years that girls and boys experiencing puberty at progressively younger ages is linked with “increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer in girls, testicular cancer in boys, and mental illness.” These results are linked to EDCs in our bodies.
Disorders Known to be Associated with Hormone Imbalances and EDCs
The chemicals present, as stated above, in the air, water, soil, and a large array of products used by both men and women daily, can cause disruptions to the endocrine system and become the underlying reason for specific disorders. EDCs “have been linked to human health issues related to sperm quality, fertility, abnormalities in sex organs, endometriosis, early puberty, nervous system function, immune function, cancers, breathing problems, metabolic issues, obesity, heart health, growth, neurological and learning disabilities, and more.
In the case of men, hormone deficiencies related to environmental substances can cause problems with the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. It can cause low thyroid function, including obesity and low testosterone levels.
Symptoms of hormone imbalances in males may include:
- Low sex drive
- Problems having an erection
- Low sperm count
- Sleep problems such as insomnia
- Decrease in muscle size and strength
- Bone loss
- Increase in body fat
- Trouble concentrating
- Thinning hair and reduced hair growth
- Prostate cancer
- Diabetes types I and 2
For women, endocrine hormone imbalances can create dozens of conditions.
These conditions include:
- Irregular menstruation
- Hormonal acne (adult acne)
- Thyroid disease
- Vaginal atrophy
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Certain cancers
For men and women, thyroid cancer, tumors on glands that produce hormones, and other disorders like Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, and goiters result from endocrine problems. A series of tests can diagnose hormone imbalances. The first and easiest is a glucose tolerance test. It may require various tests as hormone levels change throughout the day. Additionally, urine tests, and imaging, such as ultrasound, can identify cysts and tumors. For example, growth on the thyroid.
Ways of preventing hormonal imbalances
- Maintain healthy weight
- Eat a balanced healthy diet
- Manage stress
- Quality sleep
- Quit smoking and/or using tobacco products
- Reduce sugar intake
- Reduce microwaving foods in plastic containers
- Buy pesticide-free fruits and vegetables
- Reduce using home products (cleaning products) and home personal care products with EDCs
Feeling unwell and ignoring the symptoms only worsens the condition(s). There are other conditions discussed above that are a result of hormone imbalances. Ignoring hormone imbalance can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Never ignore the messages your body is sending you. The solution may be simpler than you think. If you are not feeling well, speak with one of our highly trained staff and find out what tests you can do immediately. Call now and get back to good health
*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.