What You Should Know About Hormone Health
Your hormones play a fundamental role in your health, but many people know very little about their body’s hormones. Hormones are special “messengers” that have unique functions and roles in different bodily systems. Your hormones are regulated by your endocrine system, which is a network of organs and glands that range from the hypothalamus in your brain to the thyroid and adrenal glands. Even the ovaries in women and testes in males secrete hormones that play a large role in physical health and wellness.
Learning about hormonal health will equip you to make better decisions for yourself, understand your body better and possibly find a cause to any inexplicable feelings or symptoms you’ve been having.
Hormones Impact Your Mental Health
The mind used to be viewed separately from the body, but mental health professionals and doctors now know that physiology and psychology are intrinsically linked. The mind-body connection influences us in myriad ways, and numerous studies have demonstrated the biological differences between people with certain mental illnesses and those without.
Hormonal imbalances can affect depression and anxiety. Conditions like hypothyroidism and PMS can correlate to your brain, making it difficult to function normally and cope with any physical symptoms on top of your mental health.
Hormone Levels Change as You Age
Hormones will fluctuate naturally throughout a person’s lifetime, and women are especially likely to notice the differences in their systems as their bodies age. Pregnancy and menopause are two significant life events that can cause a woman to experience a wide-range of hormone-induced symptoms.
Imbalanced Hormones Can Be Caused by a Health Condition
You may have seen blog posts and articles online boasting about their hormone balancing diets. While eating healthy should always be a priority, imbalanced hormones are not something to take lightly or solely self-diagnose.
Old stereotypes promote women as “hormonal” and emotionally irrational depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle. This is a dangerous trope that may cause many women to overlook serious symptoms.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, talk to your doctor. Ask to have your blood levels checked and see whether or not you do have an imbalance. If one is found, your doctor can then take a closer look and begin to seek out the underlying condition.
- Excessive fatigue unrelated to life changes
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Mood swings
- Gastrointestinal problems that mimic the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Hair and skin changes including hair loss, excessive dryness or increased oil, breakage and acne.
- Changes to menstrual cycle
- Reduced sex drive
Taking Control of Your Health
Your hormones can’t be seen, but they have visible and invisible signs of imbalance. If you feel like something isn’t right, talk to your doctor. Even if you aren’t sure anything is wrong, it’s okay to reach out and get a professional opinion. Preventative care is one of the most important ways to prevent long-term illness and chronic pain.
You should also always see a physician before starting any hormonal supplements, natural remedies or other medications The good news is that most hormonal imbalances and their related conditions are highly treatable, so the sooner you get checked out, the better!