Hormones are chemicals released by a cell, gland or organ in our body and it virtually controls everything we do. The work that hormones do are very subtle and all of them work together like musical instruments in an orchestra. When your hormone is out of balance, you will feel negative effects emotionally and physically.
What cause hormonal imbalance?
Women are more pre-dispose to hormonal imbalance than men. These are the main causes of hormonal imbalance:
- Birth control pills
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance?
When your hormones are out of whack, you don’t feel good. Watch out for the following symptoms:
- Irregular and heavy menstrual bleeding
- Extreme changes in mood or depression
- Loss of appetite
- Cannot focus
- Weight gain
- Reduce sex drive
- Hot flushes and night sweats
What happen when these hormones are not balanced?
Estrogen is produced in the ovaries. When you are overweight, the estrogen level is high because fat cells produce hormone to increase estrogen level. Estrogen level decrease during menopause.
Testosterone is produced in the ovary. During menopause, testosterone level will drop. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) increases testosterone level leading to irregular period and possible male pattern baldness.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin is responsible for the body circadian rhythm regulating sleep and wakefulness. Decrease in melatonin will affect your sleep and cause depression.
Ghrelin and Leptin
These two hormones control our appetite and hunger. When ghrelin level is high, it increases our appetite and we feel hungry easily. Leptin cause the body to be satiated. We have the feeling of being full and not hungry. Sleeping less than 5 hours will increase ghrelin level and reduce leptin.
Thyroid regulates the body metabolism and controls how fast or slow we burn calories. Hypothyroidism happens when thyroid level is low. This cause weight gain, fatigue and depression. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism happens when thyroid level is high. This causes heart palpitation, sweating, anxiety and even sometime diarrhea.
Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland. Cortisol is produced when the body is under stress. Chronic stress keeps the cortisol level high. This suppresses our immune system and causes the accumulation of abdominal fats.
Growth hormone is produced in the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland is the master gland as the growth hormone stimulates other glands to produce their own hormone. Growth hormone secretion decrease with age. This affects the repair, regeneration of cells and ultimately the vitality of the body.
As you can see that how all the hormones function and interaction with each other to contribute collectively to our health. When one is not functioning optimally, it has an impact on the other parts of the body. In my next post, I will cover tips to balance your hormone.
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