Effects of hormonal imbalances

Updated April 17, 2017

Hormonal imbalances in the body can cause a wide variety of illnesses and symptoms in men and women. There are many different types of hormone imbalances caused by different hormones and glands in different parts of the body. Often one hormone affects the other so you often have more than one hormone that is not function correctly. This will be a general overview of different types of hormonal imbalances and how the results affect the physiology of a woman.


A hormone is a chemical produced in the human body that travels to different parts to convey or get a certain result. Hormones work together not alone in the body. They have a big effect on the immune system that protects the body from disease and infection. An imbalance in the thyroid or adrenal hormones can produce illness in people. Reproductive hormones like progesterone, oestrogen or testosterone can produce serious problems in our body when out of balance. Too much or too little of a hormone is when problems result.


Although hormones are only present in small amounts they act on every cell in a person's body. They interact with each other and often cause imbalances. They are produced by a group of glands called the endocrine system. These glands are located in different parts of the body but are considered part of the same system. They are powerful substances secreted into the bloodstream from these glands. But only the cells that use the hormone will respond. The pineal gland helps regulate sleep and the pituitary gland regulates growth. The other glands included in the system are the thyroid, pituitary, thymus, parathyroid, adrenal, ovaries pancreas and testes. Hormone imbalances result from emotional and physical stress and ageing. Often if one hormone does not work more than one is released to compensate. So hormone imbalances often involve one or more hormones. They cannot be stored in the cell so often are released only when needed.


There are female hormones produced by the ovaries. These hormones are oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. These hormones regulate a women's menstrual cycle during her reproductive years. The male hormone produced is testosterone. It is about 95 per cent produced by the testes and the rest the adrenal glands. When man gets older the testosterone drops and oestrogen rises. The adrenal glands produce three types of steroid hormones. One is cortisol it helps the body react to stress. Alderstrone balances salt and water in the human body. Androgens secreted by the adrenals gland supply the DHEA for men and women. Thyroid hormones control the body's metabolism. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas it converts sugar to energy. The growth hormone GH controls a child's height. Most of these hormones have imbalances associated with them that causes disease and problems in the human body.


Female hormone imbalances cause breast disease, ovarian syndrome, menstrual irregularities and other symptoms. Some symptoms of the imbalance are bloating, bone loss, low libido, nervousness, mood swings, hot flushes and many others. Male hormonal imbalances can cause bone loss, muscle problems, and body composition. There are many symptoms similar to female hormone imbalance. An adrenal hormone imbalance leads to problems with the immune system, blood sugar irregularities and high androgen levels. Some symptoms are high blood sugar, memory lapses, bone loss and sugar cravings. Thyroid hormone imbalance causes problems with the body's metabolism. It often causes problems in different parts of the body. An insulin imbalance often causes high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary disease. It has many other symptoms.


Hormone imbalances can be detected by medical testing. There are different type of tests. Saliva testing is one method that often test for hormones like progesterone, testosterone and cortisol. Other methods are blood spot testing and urine tests that can test for almost any hormone imbalance imaginable. These methods can really narrow down the problem a person may be having. Once you find the cause of the hormone imbalance then you can find a treatment or way to deal with it. Different hormonal imbalances may have different treatments such as diet, medications, injections, exercise and reducing stress. It is advised if you have a hormone imbalance seek out a doctor for testing and treatment.

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About the Author

Joan Russell has been a freelance writer for many years. She writes on variety of topics, including food, health, gardening, travel and education. She's written for the Christian Science Monitor, IGA Grocergram, Home Cooking, Atlantic Publishing and Duclinea Media. She has a B.A. in journalism/communications from the University of Bridgeport and an A.S in food service management from Naugatuck Valley Technical Community College.