The Whispering Clues of Hormonal Imbalance: Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore
How many times have you felt exhausted or had fluctuations in your mood or weight and attributed it to your hectic work schedule, lack of sleep, or dietary changes? You’re not alone.
Many of us have various symptoms that randomly occur when we’re experiencing life changes, but these same symptoms may also be a sign of an underlying hormone imbalance.
Did you know we all have over 50 hormones coursing through our bodies at any age? Hormones are chemicals that relay vital messages across every system in your body and when they’re off balance, it can create a slew of different symptoms.
We’re going to cover the most common hormones found in your body, their roles, and symptoms that can occur when they’re imbalanced. We’ll also discuss the lab tests your doctor can use to assess any abnormalities.
The Mystery of TSH: Understanding Weight Changes, Energy Levels, & More
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in your brain. It regulates the production of hormones your thyroid makes.
An imbalanced TSH may manifest in various ways, depending on whether it’s too high or too low. Symptoms might include:
- Weight changes
- Decreased energy level
- Dry skin or hair / hair loss
Several factors can cause abnormal TSH levels, including hypo- or hyper-thyroidism, pituitary gland issues, genetic conditions, specific medications, and stress. A blood test can easily assess your TSH levels, and your doctor will diagnose and address any irregularities.
Making Sense of Your Reproductive Hormones: Estradiol, FSH, LH, and Testosterone
Estradiol, primarily produced in the ovaries of females and the testes of males, is crucial to everyone. It’s also noteworthy that both genders produce small amounts of estradiol in the adrenal glands and fat cells.
For females, estradiol is critical for menstrual cycles, affects weight, supports bone health, and navigates transitions like perimenopause and menopause. In males, it’s vital for sperm production, sex drive, and bone health.
An imbalance in estradiol can lead to various symptoms. For females, these might include:
- Weight changes
- Mood swings
- Weakened bones
- Early menopausal symptoms
Males with abnormal estradiol levels might experience:
- Decreased sex drive
- Changes in sexual function
Factors like age, medication, stress, or underlying conditions can wreak havoc on estradiol levels. Everyone should pay attention to symptoms of an imbalance; a simple blood test, ordered by your doctor, can monitor your levels.
FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) are vital to reproductive health in males and females. In females, they regulate menstrual cycles, ensure fertility, and assist in managing transitions like perimenopause. In males, FSH is important for healthy sperm production, while LH is responsible for testosterone production.
An imbalance in these hormones can manifest as:
- Irregular periods (in females)
- Reduced fertility and low testosterone levels (in males)
Monitoring these hormones is essential. A urine or blood test, prescribed by a doctor, can evaluate FSH and LH levels.
Testosterone, essential for everyone, influences energy, libido, and muscle health. An imbalance might manifest as:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Muscle loss
Multiple factors, including aging, testicular failure, pituitary disorders, chronic illnesses, obesity, and medications, can sway testosterone levels. Regular medical check-ups and blood tests are essential to keep your hormone levels in the right balance.
Achieve Hormonal Harmony with Hoag Medical Network
Hormonal imbalances can lead to a range of troubling symptoms, influence other hormone levels, and sometimes signify serious conditions. If you recognize any of these symptoms, seek consultation with your doctor.
These tests are typically covered by most insurance plans when deemed medically necessary and prescribed by your doctor. Check with your doctor or insurance provider for more information.
Schedule a same-day or next-day appointment at Hoag, the top-ranked hospital in Orange County for six straight years. With Hoag, exceptional care and trusted expertise are never far away.