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The communication molecules of the human body
Hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, insulin and cortisol, are vital chemical messengers that control the body's communication pathways and affect many aspects of overall health. Hormones are secreted by exocrine glands, including but not limited to your adrenals, pituitary gland, ovaries/testes, pancreas, etc. The hormones works together to form one mass communication system, call your endocrine system. Even slight imbalances in these hormones can lead to widespread symptoms, and much like a stone dropped into a lake, even a small disruption can create a ripple affect.
Conventional management of hormone imbalances are often to replace or suppress, as seen with the birth control pill, thyroid medication, HRT, insulin replacement, and so one. Unfortunately, for many people this only masks the issue, leading to dependency on medication while secondary symptoms progress, all while exposing people to risk factors such as stroke, osteoporosis, mood disorders, a lack of sex drive, and potential reproductive issues.
Signs of symptoms of hormonal imbalances may include, but are not limited to:
Adrenal Fatigue: fatigue, brain fog, low sex drive, hypothyroid symptoms, trouble sleeping, anxiety, difficulty losing weight, low motivation
Estrogen Excess: PMS, mood swings, weight gain around the hips, water retention, heavy menses, hypothyroid symtpoms, nervousness, sweet cravings, low libido, hair loss
Estrogen Deficiency: Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, depression, nervousness, decreased libido, urinary incontinence, heart palpitations, foggy thinking, sleep disturbances, memory lapses, hair loss, dry skin, vaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness
Progesterone Deficiency: PMS, mood swings, infertility, water retention, fibrocystic breasts, irritability/nervousness, sweet cravings, hypothyroid symptoms, low libido
Insulin Resistance/Excess: weight gain, nerve damage, increased urination, dry mouth, PCOS
Androgen excess: acne, hirsutism, weight issues, irregular/absent menses, hair loss
Androgen deficiency: erectile dysfunction, muscle loss, weight gain, fatigue, mood-related problems
The trick to managing hormone imbalances is to first and foremost uncover the discrepancy, and work towards recovery by using herbs and minerals to balance out endogenous production of the necessary hormone, all while speeding movement of excesses through the liver. Assessments are often done via blood work, or through saliva hormones, as done in adrenal hormone testing or female/male hormone panels.
The importance lies in the diagnostics, as excesses in certain hormones look like deficiencies in another (ie high estrogen looks like low progesterone). Since treatment is specific, its important to understand the level and type of imbalance to ensure management is accurate, and safe.