Published on April 1st, 2018 | by Dr. Doug Pucci0
Important Consequences of Hormonal Imbalances
by Doug Pucci
Throughout women’s reproductive years, hormones play a crucial role in cycle regulation. But that’s not where the story ends; hormonal imbalances affect every tissue and organ in the body, including the brain, and the consequences continue into the menopausal years and beyond. Because hormones impact so many things at all phases of life for both women and men, both physical and psychological consequences can result from hormonal problems.
Many symptoms of imbalanced hormones are either accepted as normal by those experiencing these problems or approached by conventional medicine as isolated issues, thereby missing the root cause and merely treating symptoms. Psychological symptoms may be treated unnecessarily with antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications or other potentially dangerous and addictive drugs, giving either temporary relief or having no effect at all. Likewise, physical symptoms may be addressed with medications or physical therapy, which again can result in temporary improvements or no improvements. In fact, the number of symptoms may increase or existing symptoms may become worse.
Just some of the physical symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include heavy menstruation, acne, migraines, fatigue, how and where body fat is stored, infertility, changes in hair, skin or nails and decreased libido. A few of the known psychological symptoms of hormonal imbalances include depression, mood swings, panic attacks, lack of focus and excessive stress or worrying.
A functional medicine doctor can pinpoint which hormones are out of whack through detailed, comprehensive testing that most conventional doctors don’t do. This in-depth level of testing is necessary because the causes behind every hormonal imbalance are different and specific to each person; therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to restoring this delicate balance.
The two most common types of hormonal imbalances are estrogen dominance and low testosterone, but there are other hormones to consider as well, including cortisol, insulin, melatonin and thyroid. These imbalances can come about in several ways, such as medications and environmental influences to processed foods, chronic stress, toxins like heavy metals and chemicals, incorrect exercising, weight-loss dieting and poor food choices.
Underlying health issues, either known or undiagnosed, can also play a contributing role in the problem. Considering all these influences, it’s little wonder why slapping a broad hormonal imbalance label on patients and treating everyone generically with hormone replacement therapy pills, birth control pills and other such solutions doesn’t work.
Only with a multifaceted approach to the accompanying and underlying issues, as well as the specific imbalanced hormones, can the issue be regulated and symptoms permanently relieved. When the tissues and organs are healed and protected, we typically feel and see a world of difference.