How Can You Tell If Your Hormones Out Of Balance?

How can you tell if your hormones are out of balance and why is it important to have your hormones in balance?   These are two questions that I get asked a lot.    Sometimes hormone imbalances  can be very subtle and require  appropriate  testing in order to determine whether they are out of balance.    Other times people know that something is going on with their hormones  because they are experiencing a lot of symptoms  such as:  1)   headaches,   2)  sleeplessness,  3) hot flashes,  4) night sweats,  5) vaginal  dryness, 6) pain with intercourse,  7) urinary  symptoms and frequent urinary tract infections, 8)  decreased desire for sex,  9) difficulty  loosing weight,  10) gaining weight around the middle without a change in either diet or exercise,   11) breast pain,  12) breast lumpiness, 13) fatigue,  14) dry skin,  15) constipation,  16) difficulty  dealing with daily  stress, 17)  increased cancer risk,  18) depression,  19) anxiety, 20) hair loss, 21) heart disease risk,  22) fatty liver,  and many more.      Not  all of these symptoms have to be present for there to be an imbalance.

There are many hormones in the body  and they all work together  in a symphony.   If  they do not work together well then people frequently  do not feel normal , but they just can’t  put their finger on what is wrong.   Energy levels  are not normal.    These  hormone categories include thyroid,  adrenal,  sex  hormones,  hormones  involved with  metabolism,  neurotransmitters,  and many others.   So  when one  category is out of balance there is a downstream  effect on all of the other hormones.   The reasons for trying to get the hormones in balance are to improve a person’s well being  and decrease  cancer risk  as many cancers are increased by hormone imbalances.  Problems  can occur when there is either too much or too little estrogen,  too much or too little progesterone,  too much or too little testosterone,  and too much or too  little cortisol;    Imbalances  between ghrelin and leptin,  between insulin and glucagon,  between the neurotransmitters serotonin,  GABA,  dopamine,  epinephrine, norepinephrine,  and glutamine  lead to many of the health  issues that people experience today.

The question is,  how can you find out if there is an imbalance?  Specialized testing can be done through the office to determine this. Once you find out what is out of balance then steps can  be  taken to solve the problem,  many times without drugs that have potentially unpleasant side effects.   Natural bio-identical (exactly the same as what the body manufactures) hormones  can be a benefit to many women,  but that is not the end of the story.   However, once hormones are started,  it is important to test them  again  to be sure that the dosages recommended are bringing things into balance.   The key word here is BALANCE, because it involves everything.

Dr. Yankama,  MD, MPH, Ob/Gyn,  FAAARM  (functional medicine);  269-969-6115


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