Hormone Imbalance Symptoms and Treatment
Hormones direct almost every cell and system in the body. When hormones are out of balance, there are many side effects that can impact your health and quality of life. Reproductive hormones such as testosterone and estrogen are extremely disruptive when they are out of balance, a common occurrence in all genders. At Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT, we offer testing and diagnosis for hormone imbalance symptoms, and treatment is available at our medical center in Alpharetta, GA.
As you get older, there are changes in the amount of certain hormones produced. Hormones are the chemical messengers that control so many of the functions in the body – when you have a deficiency due to aging, disease or injury, it can change your health, appearance, energy levels and much more. Hormones are created in the endocrine glands, which include the adrenal, thyroid, pituitary and pineal glands. They are also made in the ovaries and testes. Some of the most relevant hormones that can impact the body include:
Many of these hormones can be depleted, especially as you get older. They can contribute to many of the symptoms connected with aging – replenishing them with hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, can manage symptoms and improve your overall health.
Estrogen was the first hormone to be used in hormone replacement. It has been used for over forty years for women suffering the effects of menopause. How is estrogen useful? Estrogen reduces the effects of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, osteoporosis, urinary tract atrophy, skin atrophy, depression, and mood swings.
Progesterone is often known as the feel-good hormone. It’s synergistic with estrogen, and it protects against estrogen’s ability to stimulate the growth of the uterine lining (which, in excess, may lead to bleeding and endometrial cancer). Recent research has shown the protective effect of progesterone against uterine cancer. Natural bioidentical progesterone works with estrogen to prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and depression. It also helps to boost mood and an overall sense of well-being. Progesterone also helps with achieving healthy sleep.
Even though testosterone is the primary male hormone, women also produce testosterone and can benefit greatly from its supplementation. Levels of testosterone decline with age in both men and women. At optimal levels, testosterone may increase bone density and bone formation, enhance energy and sex drive, decrease visceral body fat, increase muscle strength, and modulate cholesterol levels. What women may not realize is that testosterone keeps their skin soft and supple. This is a hormone both men and women should not be without.
DHEA is one of the most abundant hormones produced in the human body. It’s produced in the adrenal gland which sits on top of each kidney. DHEA positively affects the human body on its own and by converting into estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Clinical studies have demonstrated that DHEA may have a beneficial effect on the immune system, sex drive, metabolism, emotional stability, and stress response. It’s also noted to be a powerful antioxidant and protects against heart disease through its beneficial effects on lipids and body fat. The FDA approved DHEA to treat illnesses such as lupus and other connective tissue disorders.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland. It’s crucial for regulating our circadian rhythm and helps us maintain deep sleep. Within deep sleep, the immune system is stimulated, thus protecting us from infections and disease. With the COVID pandemic, multiple studies have shown melatonin to be protective against the worsening of diseases. Melatonin has also been touted as a powerful antioxidant, a potential anti-cancer agent, and of course, a sleep modulator. Since multiple studies have shown that melatonin can scavenge free radicals (an instigator of cancer), improve the immune system, and improve sleep, this is a hormone we should not be without.
This is a metabolic hormone secreted by the thyroid gland. Its crucial role includes regulation of temperature, metabolism, energy, and cerebral function. At optimal levels, it breaks down fat, resulting in weight loss and lower cholesterol levels. With age, thyroid hormone levels generally decline and the cells become less responsive to thyroid hormone. Low thyroid levels can lead to fatigue, immune dysfunction, loss of motivation, weight gain, and the thinning of hair, skin, and nails.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
All genders are expected to experience hormone imbalance. Men naturally begin producing less testosterone in their 30s, and women drop their estrogen significantly when they begin menopause. While these are expected changes, they are not ones that cannot be managed. Undesirable symptoms of hormone imbalance can include:
- Weight gain
- Hot flashes
- Hair loss
- Muscle loss
- Sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea, and others )
- Bone loss
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Libido and other sexual functions
The symptoms of hormone deficiency depend on the hormone that is out of balance. Low melatonin can impact your sleep cycle, while reproductive hormones can impact sex drive, metabolism, bone growth and many other functions.
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy
At Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT, we offer bio-identical hormone replacement therapy at our medical center in Alpharetta, GA. Dr. Zweig has 20 years of experience as a dual board certified specialist and has extensive experience in bio-hormone replacement therapy. She can perform hormone testing and evaluation to determine if you have a deficiency that can be altered with hormone replacement. Dr. Zweig uses bio-identical hormones for the best outcomes in her treatments.
To learn more about treatment for your hormone imbalance symptoms, contact us at Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT. Call our clinic in north Atlanta, GA, to schedule your hormone imbalance consultation.