Feeling stress occasionally is normal in our life, but prolonged stress is harmful to our health and can lead to Hormonal Imbalance and many health issues like obesity, fatigue, high blood pressure, thyroid issues, and insomnia. The stress can be of my type as physical ( having a disease), emotional (experiencing grief), or psychological ( having a fear). Our endocrine system naturally releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in response to any emergency like a fight or flight. When these hormones are frequently released in the human body and kept in our bloodstream for a longer time, it causes hormone imbalance, which is detrimental to our health. Hormone imbalance can occur in men and women equally and triggers mood swings resulting in irregular menstrual cycles and infertility in women, and decreased libido in men.
Following hormonal imbalance takes place during stress.
Activation of the pituitary gland-adrenal axis is a predominant response to stress. This axis triggers the secretion of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). CRF then stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete the cortisol hormone. Relative high level of cortisol hormone in the bloodstream is a sign of high-stress level in the human body.
Progesterone and testosterone
During stress, our body is secreting stress hormones to deal with more urgent and immediate needs. As a result, the sex hormones of males and females, which are testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, are suppressed, resulting in low albedo in men and women.
Mostly occupational stress is responsible for the higher level of catecholamines in the bloodstream. A high level of catecholamines can lead to cardiac output, skeletal muscle blood flow, sodium retention, reduced intestinal motility, cutaneous vasoconstriction, increased glucose, and bronchiolar dilatation.
Acute stress can suppress gonadotropins and gonadal steroid hormone circulation, resulting in the Interpretation of sex and fertility hormones. Prolonged exposure to stress and a high level of gonadotropins in the bloodstream can cause complete reproductive function impairment.
During stressful conditions, thyroid functioning is usually down. T3 and T4 levels are decreased with stress because stress can inhibit the secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
The secretion of insulin is decreased during stress, resulting in stress-induced hyperprolactinemia. According to research, 50% of diabetic people are suffering from a high level of stress.
Some other hormones also disturb when our body is experiencing stress, such as prolactin, growth hormone, vasopressin, etc.
Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
Our hormones play an integral role in our overall health. As a result, there’s a broad range of signs or symptoms that could signal a hormonal imbalance. The symptoms may be common as well, specifically associated with males and females.
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Muscle’s weakness
- Abnormal heart rate
- Frequent urination
- Pain in joints and muscles
- Sensitive to cold or heat
- Joints swelling
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Hair loss
- Increased thirst and hunger
- Depression & Anxiety
- Blurred vision
These symptoms may occur in men, women, old age, and children equally.
Symptoms in females
In females, the most common hormonal imbalance is polycystic ovary syndrome. There are the following specific symptoms associated with hormone imbalance in females.
- Irregular periods
- Hair loss
- Darkening the skin
- Night sweats
- Pain during sex
Symptoms in male
Normal secretion of testosterone plays a vital role in male development. If the male’s body is not producing enough testosterone, then hormone imbalance may occur, the and following symptoms are associated with it.
- Breast tenderness
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Decreased in beard growth
- loss of muscle mass
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Hot flashes
Diagnosis of hormonal imbalance
A single test to check the hormone imbalance doesn’t exist. The doctor can recommend you different tests or examinations, depending on the symptoms or signs. Some standard diagnosis methods are:
i. Blood test
A blood test is the best method to check the hormonal because all the hormone transports the message to the respective cell through the bloodstream.
ii. Pelvic exam
A pelvic exam can also be conducted to observe some unnatural cysts, tumors, or lymph in the body.
An ultrasound scan uses sound waves to capture the internal images of the ovary, thyroid, and pituitary gland to examine their functioning and hormonal level in the bloodstream.
iv. Other tests
Other tests such as X-rays, CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging, biopsies, and thyroid scan can also diagnose hormonal imbalance disorders.
Treatment for hormonal imbalance
Based on the underlying cause and symptoms, there are various options to treat the hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance can be treated with simple precaution measures such as healthy food, exercise, balanced minerals, and less exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and toxins. Some medicines are also used as an anti-androgen hormone. But, natural remedies and herbs could also be effective in treating hormonal imbalances. If the hormone imbalance is high, then remedies don’t work much because the problem has reached its peak, so in this condition, medicines are used.
Some natural remedies have been used for an extended period to treat hormone imbalances in the past. These home remedies don’t have any side effects as compared to chemical medicines such as pills. Some regularly used home remedies to treat hormone imbalance are as follows:
1) Eat enough protein at every meal
Taking an adequate amount of protein at every is very useful to treat hormone imbalance. Many types of research revealed that taking the protein decreases the “hunger hormone” that is ghrelin and increases the production of hormones that feel full as GLP-1. Doctors recommend taking 20-30 grams of protein per meal to optimize hormone health and treat hormone interruption.
2) Engage in regular exercise
Regular exercise decreases the level of insulin hormone in our bloodstream and makes us healthy. A high insulin level in our body is associated with many diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Being physically active increases the level of testosterone, which is responsible for the reproductive health of males.
3) Learn to manage stress
Cortisol and adrenaline hormone is associated with our stress level. Chronic stress causes a high level of cortisol in the blood for a more extended period and leads to excessive calorie intake and obesity. Many types of research revealed that you could reduce your stress level by engaging in stress-releasing techniques like yoga, meditation, and listening to music.
4) Get consistent and high-quality sleep
No matter how healthy food you take, do exercise daily if you are not sleeping. Poor sleep is associated with many hormones such as leptin, ghrelin, insulin, cortisol, and growth hormone. Quality also matters. To maintain hormone balance, at least seven hours of quality sleep per night should be taken.
These days, in a competitive world everyone is suffering from stress due to different reasons. This stress can be acute, chronic, or prolonged depending on the underlying cause. As an adaptive response to stress, there is a change in the serum level of various hormones, including growth hormone, insulin hormone, sex hormones, cortisol hormone, thyroid hormones, etc. However, long-term exposure to stress may lead to many harmful consequences resulting in various endocrine disorders. The symptoms of hormonal imbalance vary from male to female, but some are common for all kinds of people. To treat endocrine disorders, various medicines are prescribed. In addition, some home remedies are also proved very effective to manage the hormonal imbalance caused by stress.