Your hormones are powerful. They affect your weight, energy, mood, and sleep patterns. A slight change in hormone levels creates significant changes in how your body functions and how you feel.
At our family medicine practice in Bastrop, Texas, Pompeyo C Chavez, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating many hormone-related conditions like thyroid imbalances and diabetes. He understands the connection between hormones and health.
Here, we want to discuss your hormones, how to recognize the signs of an imbalance, and what you can do to stabilize and restore your hormone balance.
About your hormones
Hormones are part of your endocrine system. They’re chemicals that travel in your blood, delivering messages to various body parts and systems, telling them what to do.
There are more than 50 hormones circulating through your body, including insulin (helps your body use energy from food), cortisol (stress hormone), and melatonin (manages your sleep/wake cycle).
Thyroid hormones run your metabolism — the system that determines the amount of energy your body needs to perform basic functions. Your sex hormones, including testosterone (male sex hormone) and estrogen (female sex hormone), manage reproduction and sexual health.
What’s behind hormone imbalance?
Hormone imbalance is part of the aging process. Production of sex hormones declines as you get older. These hormonal changes are responsible for many of the symptoms you may associate with aging, including weight gain, hair loss, and fatigue.
You can also develop a hormone imbalance due to:
- Eating disorders
- Thyroid disease
- Cancer treatments
- Use of certain medications
While your hormone levels naturally fluctuate throughout your life, these factors may cause an increase or decrease in hormone production that affects normal body functions.
Recognizing the signs of hormone imbalance
Because hormones play an essential role in so many body functions, an imbalance can cause an array of symptoms that affect your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Common signs of a hormone imbalance include:
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Sudden weight loss
- Muscle aches and weakness
- Joint swelling and stiffness
- Heart palpitations
- Dry skin
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Low libido
- Intolerance to hot or cold temperatures
Symptoms of a hormone imbalance can range from mild to severe. If you feel off and can’t figure out why, it may be your hormones. Lab tests can tell us if your hormones are responsible for your symptoms and determine what treatment can help balance and stabilize your blood levels.
Balancing and stabilizing your hormones
The methods we use to balance and stabilize hormones depend on the cause, types of hormones affected, and whether your levels are too high or too low. Treatment might include hormone replacement therapy or disease-specific medication.
We also emphasize lifestyle changes for balancing and stabilizing hormones. That includes nutrition therapy, an exercise program, and stress management. We customize plans to match individual needs.
Hormonal changes affect your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. The first step towards feeling better is finding out which hormones are out of balance. We can help. Call our office or book an appointment online today.