misc image

Understanding Hormone Levels

Mar 05, 2024

misc image

Understanding Hormone Levels

Published by Claudia Giunta.

We tend to associate certain periods of our lives with intense hormones, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, but truthfully, our hormones influence our bodies and minds every day. Hormones are often referred to as the body’s messengers, helping to regulate various physiological processes that impact our overall well-being. From metabolism and mood to reproductive health, hormone levels play a prominent role in how our bodies function. 

So what are hormones, why do their levels matter, and how can we balance them? In this article, we’ll dive into the crucial role of hormones in health and how Nova Vita’s Hormone Replacement Therapy can help balance your levels.

Nova Vita Solutions

Pro-Pell Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) at Nova Vita Wellness Centers is a revolutionary method of replenishing hormones in men and women with minimal side effects and fewer medical office visits. As we age we begin to produce fewer hormones and crucial biological processes may not function properly. BHRT uses plant-based pellets to provide a natural balance of hormones through a slow release. The pellets deliver consistent hormone levels over a three to six-month period. 

Prospective patients for BHRT will first have an in-person consultation with one of our healthcare providers. After a comprehensive analysis of health symptoms, we will conduct a lab test to identify precise hormone levels for targeted therapy. Starting mid-March, we will be taking appointments for Testosterone Replacement Therapy for those patients who request a different form of hormone replacement. If you are unsure if you are a candidate, schedule a lab appointment or contact us to schedule a hormone replacement therapy consultation.

What are Hormones?

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers that carry information through the bloodstream to various tissues and organs. Hormones typically affect only target cells through receptors. 

Produced in the endocrine glands, each hormone has its own specific goal and message to certain parts of the body. These chemical messages help to manage cellular processes that control appetite, growth, stress, blood sugar, sleep cycles, sex drive, and more. For example, the pineal gland produces and releases the melatonin hormone, signaling the body that it’s time to rest.

The body’s hormones are responsible for controlling and balancing nearly every major system in the body, from basic (appetite and heart rate) to complex (reproduction and emotion). Hormones impact your growth and development, control your mood, affect how you deal with stress, and influence your metabolism. Hormone testing is the best way to determine if a hormonal imbalance severely affects your health. 

What are the Different Types of Hormones?

The endocrine glands that produce hormones are located throughout the body. These glands include:

  • Hypothalamus: controls thirst, hunger, sleep, sex drive, moods, body temperature regulation, and the release of other hormones.
  • Parathyroid: controls calcium.
  • Thymus: controls the immune system.
  • Pancreas; controls blood sugar levels.
  • Thyroid: controls heart rate and calorie burn rate.
  • Pituitary: controls growth.
  • Adrenal: controls stress and sex drive.
  • Ovaries: controls female sex hormones.
  • Testes: controls male sex hormones.

Several different types of hormones in the body affect how your body functions properly. A hormonal imbalance may indicate a problem in one or more endocrine glands. The specific hormone that is imbalanced will cause certain symptoms. Some of the major hormones in the include:

  • Estrogen: controls sex drive in men and women; regulates a woman’s menstrual cycle.
  • Progesterone: influences the body’s changes throughout pregnancy. 
  • Testosterone: controls sex drive in men and women.
  • Cortisol: controls stress.
  • Melatonin: controls the body’s sleep cycles and the body’s circadian rhythms.
  • Growth hormone: controls the reproduction and growth of cells.
  • Serotonin: controls sleep cycles, appetite, and mood.
  • Leptin: controls appetite and signals the body when it’s full.
  • Ghrelin: controls appetite and signals when you’re hungry.
  • Insulin: responds to sugar in the bloodstream.

What is a Hormonal Imbalance?

A hormonal imbalance occurs when your hormones are not produced at the proper levels. You may have several different types of hormonal imbalances at once. A hormone imbalance can either mean you are deficient in a given hormone or your levels are too high. Signs and symptoms of an imbalance will depend on which hormone is imbalanced. 

You may think that common life transitions such as menopause/andropause, puberty, and pregnancy, may cause hormonal imbalances, but you can struggle with them at any time throughout your life. Children, young adults, and the elderly of both sexes may experience hormones out of balance. 

A wide range of symptoms and health issues may indicate something is wrong with your hormone levels. When you start developing uncommon systems it’s best to get tested for a hormone imbalance. 

What are the Causes of Hormonal Imbalances?

The causes of hormonal imbalances depend on the specific hormone involved. Generally, imbalances are caused by changes in functions within a hormone-producing gland. For example, a thyroid gland that isn’t properly functioning may end up producing too much thyroid hormone, accelerating your body’s metabolic process.

Other imbalances, such as in male or female sex hormones (including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), may be caused by age-related changes (menopause and andropause) or genetic disorders, stress, nutritional inefficiencies, or medications. Additionally, excessive stress, poor diet, and certain medications may contribute to imbalances in cortisol and other hormones.

Each underlying cause of a hormonal imbalance relates to different glands and hormones and will impact your body differently. Many diseases and other conditions can cause hormonal imbalances so it’s important to get age-appropriate screenings and test for imbalances when you experience uncommon symptoms. 

What Are the Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances? 

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance will depend on which hormone is out of balance. The following are some general symptoms and the hormones associated with them: 

  • Fatigue: common in all types of hormonal imbalance.
  • Irritability: common in imbalances in female, male, and stress hormones.
  • Changes in weight: weight loss is associated with high levels of thyroid hormones; weight gain is associated with low thyroid levels, imbalances in male and female hormones, and imbalances in stress hormones.
  • Reduced bone density: caused by thyroid and sex hormone imbalances.
  • Muscle loss: common with male and female sex hormone imbalances.
  • Infertility: can occur with sex hormone disturbances.
  • Skin changes: common with all hormone imbalances; can cause dryness, skin thinning, oily skin, and acne.
  • Hair loss: common with thyroid imbalance or low testosterone.
  • Sexual disinterest or dysfunction: common with male and female sex hormone imbalances.
  • Anxiety/depression: can occur with all common imbalances.
  • Increased cholesterol: caused by low thyroid hormone levels, low testosterone, and estrogen/progesterone imbalances.
  • Memory issues: can occur in all common hormonal imbalances.

It’s important to note that hormones impact men and women differently, especially those related to the reproductive system. Men and women also experience different developmental stages, and with this comes symptoms and changes unique to their sex.

Testing and Treatment for Hormone Imbalances

There’s no single test to help doctors diagnose a hormonal imbalance. When scheduling a routine appointment with your doctor be prepared to describe your symptoms and the timeline in which they’ve occurred. Bring a list of all medications, vitamins, and supplements you’re taking. Your doctor may suggest one or several diagnostic tests depending on your symptoms. A few common hormonal imbalance tests include:

  • Blood test
  • Ultrasound
  • Pelvic exam
  • Thyroid scan
  • MRI
  • X-ray

A few common types of treatment for hormonal imbalances include:

  • Estrogen therapy
  • Hormonal birth control
  • Anti-androgen medication
  • Testosterone therapy 
  • Thyroid hormone replacement

Bottom Line

Hormones are responsible for many of your body’s major processes and when unbalanced, symptoms can be varied and adversely affect your health. Seek treatment as soon as possible and take note of any changes in your body or energy levels to treat hormonal imbalances early. 

A revolutionary method for aiding hormonal balance is just a phone call away at Nova Vita Wellness Centers. Our Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) uses pro-pell pellets to alleviate symptoms caused by the natural or genetic decrease in the production of hormones. Starting this March, check if you are a candidate for Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) with TC or TE. Get started with balancing your hormones by scheduling a consultation at Nova Vita.