5 hormonal imbalances you need to be aware of
Our body has multiple endocrine glands which secrete different hormones crucial for various functioning of the body and mind. An imbalance in the levels of these hormones causes several changes in behavior and impacts our health and wellness. It is always better to know about them and seek timely treatment. Here are the five most common hormone imbalances, and how they affect us.
Most commonly known as the stress hormone, cortisol helps regulate your blood sugar, metabolism, inflammation, and memory formation. If your adrenal glands secrete too much cortisol, you may experience symptoms such as high blood pressure, increased thirst, irregular menstruation, mood swings, and weight gain. In case of low cortisol levels, you may experience dizziness, fatigue, mood swings, muscle weakness, and weight loss.
Insulin allows your muscles, fat, and liver to absorb glucose and regulates metabolic processes. When your pancreas produces too much insulin, you may develop hypoglycemia or abnormally low blood sugar levels. Your pancreas will not produce enough insulin typically in the case of type-1 or type-2 diabetes. Low insulin levels can manifest as dehydration, dizziness, fatigue, frequent urination, hunger, and weight loss.
Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males. Problems associated with abnormally high testosterone levels in men include increased risk of heart attack, uncharacteristically aggressive behavior and prostate enlargement with difficulty in urinating, and acne problems among others. Testosterone deficiency in adult men may lead to reduced body and facial hair, low sex drive, impotence, reduced sperm count, and poor concentration, among others.
In women, estrogen is the major sex hormone. High estrogen levels in women may result in breast lumps, fatigue, reduced sex drive, feeling depressed or anxious, and weight gain. Low levels of estrogen may delay puberty, and slow or prevent sexual development. It generally happens in the perimenopause and menopause phases, often leading to painful sex, lower sexual desire, and hot flashes.
Progesterone in women supports pregnancy and is crucial in menstruation, while in men it supports fertility. High progesterone levels in men increase estrogen levels while in women, it leads to reduced sex drive and weight fluctuations. Low progesterone in men may cause erectile dysfunction and fatigue. In women, it may result in an irregular menstrual cycle, frequent miscarriages, and pain during pregnancy.