Updated: Jan 17
What are hormones
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands and travel through the bloodstream to the tissues and organs, delivering messages that tell the organs what to do and when to do it. Hormones are important for regulating most major bodily processes, including metabolism, heart rate, sleep cycles, reproduction and sexual function, mood and stress levels and body temperature.
Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream. Because of their essential role in the body, even small hormonal imbalances can cause side effects throughout the body.
Women can be affected by imbalances in insulin, steroids, growth hormones, and adrenaline as well as estrogen and progesterone levels, Women in their 30s are often severely hormonally imbalanced, as well as fatigued, depressed and are on the road to developing osteoporosis decades before previous generations. Estrogen dominance can lead to weight gain, cancer risks, hair loss, menstrual irregularities, loss of libido and skin issues.
Endocrine glands are specialized cells that produce, store, and release hormones into the blood. There are several endocrine glands located throughout the body that control different organs, including the: adrenal glands, ovaries, pineal gland, pituitary gland, hypothalamus, thyroid and parathyroid glands and pancreatic islets
Several medical conditions are known to impact some, or several, of the endocrine glands. Certain lifestyle habits and environmental factors may also play a role in hormonal imbalances.
The symptoms of a hormonal imbalance depend on which glands and hormones are affected. Symptoms associated with the more common causes of hormonal imbalances include: unexplained weight changes, difficulty sleeping, very dry skin or skin rashes, changes in blood pressure, changes in heart rate, brittle bones, changes in blood sugar, irritability and anxiety, unexplained fatigue, headaches, bloating, reduced sex drive, thinning, brittle hair, blurred vision, breast tenderness.
Everyone will experience natural periods of hormonal imbalance or fluctuations at particular points in their life. But hormonal imbalances can also occur when the endocrine glands are not functioning properly
Causes of hormonal imbalances include: chronic or extreme stress, diabetes, under- or overactive thyroid, over- or underproduction of the parathyroid hormone, poor diet and nutrition, being overweight, hormonal replacement or birth control medications, abuse of anabolic steroids, severe allergic reactions, eating disorders, phytoestrogens (naturally occurring plant estrogens found in soy products), exposure to toxins, pollutants, insecticides, herbicides
Women naturally experience several periods of hormonal imbalance throughout their lifetime, including during: puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. Women are also at risk of developing different types of hormonal imbalance disorders than men because they have different endocrine organs and cycles. Medical conditions causing irregular hormonal imbalances in women include: polycystic ovary syndrome, hormone replacement medications, early menopause, ovarian cancer
Treatment for hormonal imbalances may vary depending on the cause. Every person may require different types of treatment for hormonal imbalances. Treatment options for women with hormone imbalances include:
It is ill advised to take synthetic hormones past menopause, due to the well-documented incidence of stroke and heart disease. These complications are believed to be connected to the way synthetic hormone drugs are metabolized in the liver (they are not native hormones). The result is an altered functional status of the liver and the altered production of clotting factors and inflammatory cytokines.
People have used natural supplements to treat hormonal imbalances for thousands of years. Natural supplements commonly used for the reduction of symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances include: Black cohosh, dong quai, red clover, and evening primrose oil for hot flashes caused by menopause and Ginseng for irritability, anxiousness, and sleep disturbances caused by menopause
At a cellular level the best approach is to supplement the body with Redox molecules. The benefits include enhanced sleep and restoring the hypo-thalamic axis to a functional status. Likewise, with this communication working hormonally, menstrual cycles are more regular, and hormone related mood disorders lessen. As weight decreases, there is a synergetic effect on the body because there is less conversion of hormones in the fat tissues to other hormones. The body detoxifies and adrenal stress lessens accordingly.
It seems clear that protecting basic cellular defenses is vital in maintaining bone health, which is linked in various ways to balanced levels of estrogen, and its opposing hormone partner, progesterone. The synergetic actions of all of our hormones require Redox molecules to activate cellular hormonal messages, and to protect the inside cell balance in maintaining a positive Redox potential.