Natural hormone production can be disrupted for many reasons whether it be increased stress or a medical condition like hypothyroidism. A hormone imbalance can also be part of the natural aging process when men and women reach andropause or menopause. No matter the cause, a hormone imbalance can lead to numerous uncomfortable symptoms, that are best treated with Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) programs. However, in order to help people who experience a hormone imbalance it is important to be aware of the common symptoms to look for.
There are many reasons why energy levels can start to decrease, but often times daily fatigue is due to a hormone imbalance. For example, it is common during andropause for cortisol levels to increase while DHEA decreases, which places extreme stress on the body. Fatigue can also be a byproduct of other symptoms brought on by a hormone deficiency such as depression or difficulty sleeping because the body experiences extreme “wear and tear” without being able to properly recover. Men may report feeling the need for frequent naps during the workday or will feel as if they have “lost their edge” due to the fatigue brought on by a hormone imbalance.
2. Low Sex Drive
Another common symptom that occurs with a hormone imbalance is decreased libido because testosterone levels begin to decline while estrogen levels begin to rise significantly. Because testosterone is the foundation of sexual health in males, low levels of this hormone along with high levels of estrogen can lead to a loss of overall libido. This “double-strike” in male hormone production can contribute to erectile dysfunction as well. Men may report either difficulty maintaining or getting an erection as well as a loss of interest in sex due to a hormone imbalance.
3. Weight Gain
Many men experiencing a hormone imbalance have difficulty losing weight or experience an increase in body fat despite exercise and proper nutrition. A hormone imbalance contributes to this issue because of the role the body’s chemical messengers play in regulating digestive function, fat storage, and metabolic rate. The ability for the body to breakdown and metabolize fat declines substantially with age, due to lack of hormone production and regulation, which is why males will report an inability to lose weight or an increase in body fat, especially in the mid-section.
4. Trouble Sleeping
In men, testosterone contributes to the production of serotonin and melatonin which signals the body to sleep. However, low levels of testosterone can interrupt this process, which contributes to feelings of insomnia or difficulties getting a restful night’s sleep. Many men may report feeling “unrested” despite a full night of sleep or state that they have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Insomnia can also trigger other symptoms during andropause such as depression, irritability, fatigue, or trouble with weight loss.
5. Lack of Focus
An often overlooked symptom of hormone imbalance. It is common with older age for people to have a hard time concentrating. However, a disruption in the body’s natural hormone production can lead to trouble with mental clarity which consists of forgetfulness and difficulty focusing. Men may report “brain fog,” or trouble focusing on important tasks such as projects at work.
6. Mood Swings
One of the most important symptoms of a hormone imbalance is trouble with mood regulation. High-levels of cortisol and low levels of DHEA & testosterone can lead to symptoms such as irritability, bursts of anger, anxiety, and depression. Many males overlook these symptoms as products of a hormone imbalance; however, during the aging process these uncomfortable emotions can occur due to lack of hormone regulation.
1. Hot Flashes
Perhaps the most common symptom for women to experience because of a change in hormone production. Considering that estrogen and progesterone regulate body temperature, it is not surprising that so many women feel this uncomfortable symptom when hormone levels begin to decline. Hot flashes can also produce feelings of nausea, dizziness, or a flushed face. Hot flashes can also produce difficulties when it comes to sleep, exercise, and more as it makes these daily activities uncomfortable.
There are many reasons why women will feel fatigued, but lack of energy in women is mostly due to the other symptoms they experience because of a hormone imbalance. The biggest culprit is hot flashes. When hot flashes strike, it makes it hard to get a restful night of sleep for most women. Mood issues like anxiety and depression also go hand-in-hand with menopause, and are notorious for disrupting sleep and causing fatigue. Although a disruption in certain hormones like cortisol and DHEA can cause women to feel tired, many of the other symptoms they experience contribute to daily fatigue.
3. Low Sex Drive
Similar to men, many women will experience low libido during menopause or due to a hormone imbalance. Because testosterone is the foundation of sexual function in females, low-levels of this hormone along with low-levels of estrogen can lead to a loss of pleasurable sensations, which in turn decreases libido. Women may report either difficulty feeling pleasure during sex as well as a loss of interest in overall sexual intercourse due to a hormone imbalance.
4. Weight Gain
One of the most common symptoms of a hormone imbalance for women is weight gain, mainly because normal thyroid functioning is disrupted. For women, the thyroid and the hormones it produces, are essential for regulating metabolism and digestive health. With menopause or increased stress, the thyroid can be affected which ultimately makes it harder for women to lose weight. An overproduction of hormones could also contribute to significant weight gain despite exercise and proper nutrition.
5. Mood Swings
One of the most noticeable symptoms, along with hot flashes, of a hormone imbalance in women is trouble regulating mood. Overproduction of certain hormones, such as estrogen, can lead to symptoms such as irritability, bursts of anger, sadness, or increased anxiety. Many females overlook these symptoms, which puts them at an increased risk for mental health complications due to their existing susceptibility to such health issues.
6. Trouble Sleeping
Women, just like men, need various hormones to regulate sleep patterns. For example, testosterone contributes to the production of serotonin and melatonin which signals the body to sleep. Without these hormones, women might experience insomnia or difficulty staying asleep throughout the night. Hot flashes can also contribute to difficulty sleeping because women constantly wake up feeling uncomfortable or cannot fall asleep due to these disturbances.
Hormone Replacement Therapy programs can effectively relieve these symptoms & help people feel amazing. It’s important to get people suffering from these issues started with HRT so that they can optimize their health and live better!
Book Your Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Consultation with Dr Sharyl Truty today by calling 904.930.4774.
- Article by Ashley Bierman - Afinity Physician Network 4/2/2019