Hormone imbalances can lead to a wide-range of physical, physiological and emotional problems, from depression to hair loss. For men, the imbalances could involve testosterone and oestrogen, while in women hormones such as androgen, progesterone and oestrogen could play a role, according to Dr. John Lee, a graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School and pioneer in progesterone hormone replacement therapy.
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Testosterone Deficiency in Men
Testosterone is a male or androgen hormone. Testosterone production occurs in the testicles and it helps to maintain secondary sex characteristics. According to Lee, testosterone deficiency is common in men over 50. Insufficient amounts can lead to weight loss, muscle tissue loss, reduced libido, fatigue, enlarged breasts, reduced stamina, softer erections and gallbladder problems. Treatment may include nutritional supplements, muscle-building exercises and supplemental hormones such as testosterone, progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone.
Women can experience complications from excessive oestrogen. Post-menopausal women take oestrogen supplements to prevent osteoporosis and treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness, incontinence, chilly sensations, dizziness, fatigue, irritability and sweating. Women can experience excessive oestrogen imbalances, which could result in puffiness and bloating, rapid weight gain, mood swings, insomnia, flushed face, weepiness, cervical dysplasia or abnormal pap smear, tender breast tissue, heavy bleeding, migraines, unclear thinking and gallbladder problems. Treatment involves reducing or eliminating synthetic oestrogen dosages.
Progesterone is a female hormone that prepares the uterus for pregnancy. It converts the endometrium into a secretory stage that prepares the uterus for implantation. Low progesterone levels could result in complications such as premenstrual syndrome, early miscarriage, unexplained weight gain, anxiety, painful or lumpy breasts, cyclical headaches and infertility. Treatment includes dietary adjustments and eliminating synthetic hormones such as birth control and progesterone creme.
Women can experience hormone imbalances from low oestrogen levels. Oestrogen supports female secondary sexual characteristics such body form and breasts, and regulates some aspects of the menstrual cycle. Oestrogen deficiency could lead to complications such as vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, bladder infections, hot flushes, night sweats, memory problems and lethargic depression.
Fatigued adrenal glands could cause cortical deficiency in women. The adrenals are located on top of each kidney. Fatigued adrenal glands are usually the result of chronic stress. Cortical imbalance could cause debilitating fatigue, foggy thinking, thin or dry skin, brown facial spots, unstable blood sugar, low blood sugar and exercise intolerance.
Oestrogen dominance is a female hormone imbalance that occurs when progesterone levels are too low and oestrogen levels are too high. This could cause breast tenderness, irregular menstruation, uterine fibroid tumours, premenstrual mood swings, weight gain, endometriosis, fluid retention, hair loss, fibrocystic breasts, headaches, depression, polycystic ovary syndrome, menstrual cramps, fatigue, breast tumours, thyroid dysfunction, infertility, adrenal gland fatigue, thickened uterine lining, migraines, accelerated ageing, miscarriage, anxiety and panic attacks, joint and muscle pain, autoimmune disorders, decreased libido, fibromyalgia, insomnia and restless sleep. Persistent oestrogen dominance could result in breast cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, osteoporosis, irregular menstruation, hypertension, stroke and heart disease. Treatment includes progesterone cream, detoxification supplements, dietary and environmental changes, and balancing nutritional supplements.
Women may experience complications from high androgen levels. Androgens are also known as male hormones. They produce strong bones and muscles, protein balance, sexual desire and protein balance. Excessive sugar and simple carbohydrate intake may cause excessive androgens in women. Complications could include acne, excessive facial hair, thinning scalp hair, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypoglycaemia or unstable blood sugar, infertility and mid-cycle pain. Treatment may include Insulin sensitisers, oral anti-androgens, topical anti-androgens, antibiotics or retinoids.
Excess Estrogen in Men
Men naturally have very low levels of oestrogen. It contributes to sperm formation and maturation, libido, neurological health, heart rate regulation and formation of strong bones. Excessive oestrogen is treated by increasing hormones like testosterone and making dietary changes. Complications include hair loss, prostate enlargement, irritability, bloating and puffiness, headaches, breast enlargement and weight gain.
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