Your hormones play a crucial role in maintaining your overall health and well-being. These helpful chemical messengers regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism, reproduction, mood, and sleep.
When our hormones are in balance, we feel energized, focused, and emotionally stable.
But a hormonal imbalance can lead to a range of well-documented and sometimes unexpected health issues that can easily disrupt our daily lives.
Let's take a closer look at what might cause a hormonal imbalance, how endometriosis can play a role, and what you can do to re-balance your hormones naturally.
The Importance of Hormonal Balance for Overall Wellness
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are over 50 hormones in the human body, all of which have specific roles to play in maintaining your body’s homeostasis (or internal balance) and your overall well-being.
When our hormones are in harmony, our bodies function optimally. This is why achieving and maintaining hormonal balance is crucial for overall wellness. Our helpful hormones are responsible for regulating all of the following (and more):
Daily digestion and metabolism
Growth and development
Sexual function and libido
Pregnancy and giving birth
Sleep (or lack thereof)
Hormonal balance doesn’t just affect our physical health—it also has a significant impact on our mental and emotional well-being. When balanced, hormones help regulate our mood, energy levels, sleep patterns, and even our ability to cope with stress.
By prioritizing hormonal balance, we can unlock our full potential for living a healthy and fulfilling life.
Signs and Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Being aware of the signs and symptoms of hormone imbalance is key to identifying and addressing the issue. Some common symptoms of hormonal imbalance include:
Irregular periods: Hormonal imbalances can cause irregular periods. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and amenorrhea are examples where specific hormonal disruptions trigger irregularity.
Infertility: Hormonal imbalances often cause infertility, with conditions like PCOS and anovulation. For those assigned male at birth, imbalances like low testosterone (hypogonadism) can also impact fertility.
(Adult) acne: Acne mainly stems from blocked pores. Hormonal shifts, particularly during puberty, significantly influence its development by stimulating oil glands, including facial ones. Hormonal acne, or adult acne, arises when such changes enhance skin oil production, common during pregnancy, menopause, and testosterone therapy.
Diabetes: Diabetes, where the pancreas doesn't produce or properly use insulin, is the most common hormonal disorder in the U.S. It has various types, including Type 2, Type 1, and gestational diabetes, all of which need treatment.
Thyroid disease: Thyroid disease primarily includes hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) and hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone), each with numerous causes. Both conditions necessitate treatment.
Obesity: Hormonal imbalances can lead to weight gain by altering hunger signals and energy usage. High cortisol levels and low thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), for instance, can promote obesity.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms but can’t seem to pinpoint particular causes, it may be worth considering whether a hormone imbalance could be the underlying cause.
So, if that is the case, what could be causing that hormonal imbalance to begin with?
Hormone Imbalances Caused by Endometriosis
If you’re a female of reproductive age and are experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance, it’s important not to rule out endometriosis as a potential culprit.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), endometriosis (or "endo") is a common health condition that affects millions of women worldwide. Endometriosis occurs when your uterine lining grows outside your uterus abnormally, which can lead to severe pain, chronic inflammation, and potential hormonal imbalances.
If you are diagnosed with endometriosis, it’s very important to understand how it can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones in your body. Excess estrogen, in particular, is a common issue women living with endometriosis experience.
Excess estrogen can cause uterine tissue to grow more aggressively, leading to more inflammation and pain while worsening endometriosis symptoms and challenging effective management.
If you suspect that endometriosis is causing hormonal imbalances, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional who specializes in hormonal health. Experts can perform various tests to assess your hormone levels and identify any imbalances.
Testing for a hormone imbalance may involve blood work, saliva samples, or other diagnostic methods. But once any specific hormonal imbalances are identified, a tailored treatment plan can be developed to address the imbalance effectively.
Natural hormonal treatment options for endometriosis
In addition to medical interventions, natural at-home treatments can aid endometriosis and its hormonal imbalance.
Herbal supplements like chasteberry and turmeric can regulate hormones and lessen inflammation.
Dietary changes, like switching to a nutritious diet low in processed or preserved foods, can often prevent endometriosis flare-ups.
Acupuncture and chiropractic care can enhance hormonal balance through better circulation and stress reduction.
Lifestyle changes can also support better natural hormonal balance. These might include regular exercise (but don’t overdo it if you have endometriosis), effective stress management techniques (like yoga or meditation), prioritizing sleep, and practicing self-care.
By making these and other healthy lifestyle changes, you can create a foundation of overall wellness that supports your body's natural hormone balance.
Achieve Hormonal Harmony and Feel Your Best
Achieving hormonal harmony is a journey that requires constant awareness, understanding, and proactivity.
By recognizing the signs and symptoms of hormone imbalance, understanding the impact of conditions like endo on hormone levels, and exploring natural treatment options, you can take control of your hormonal health and achieve optimal wellness.
Remember, maintaining hormonal balance is not just about physical health. It's just as important to nurture your emotional and mental well-being.
Take the first step towards hormonal harmony by contacting Dr. Delgado at The Pelvic Pain Center of Northern Virginia to learn more about your options and start your journey towards wellness.