Hormones can influence the body to function properly. When one hormone is thrown out of balance, it can affect others, which means that a cortisol imbalance can contribute to an estrogen imbalance and vice versa. Since hormones play an integral role in overall health, hormonal treatments with the help of a healthcare provider can help develop treatments and management plans and prescribe medication.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Hormonal Imbalance?
A broad range of signs and symptoms could signal a hormonal imbalance. The signs and symptoms may vary depending on which hormones or glands are not working properly. However, below are the common hormonal conditions affecting people of all genders:
- weight gain
- a hump of fat between the shoulders
- unexplained and sometimes sudden weight loss
- muscle weakness
- muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
- increased or decreased heart rate
- increased sensitivity to cold or heat
- constipation or more frequent bowel movements
- frequent urination
- increased thirst
- increased hunger
- decreased sex drive
- nervousness, anxiety, or irritability
- blurred vision
- thinning hair or fine, brittle hair
- dry skin
- puffy face
- rounded face
- purple or pink stretch marks
What Are The Causes Of A Hormonal Imbalance?
The causes of hormonal imbalance depend on which hormones or glands are affected. In fact, below are the common causes of hormonal imbalance :
- cancer treatments such as chemotherapy
- eating disorders
- hormone therapy
- injury or trauma
- tumors, whether cancerous or benign
- pituitary tumors
Some of the conditions below may initially cause hormonal imbalances, but having these can also lead to further hormonal imbalances:
- diabetes insipidus
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia, or low levels of aldosterone and cortisol
- Cushing syndrome, or high levels of cortisol
- Addison’s disease
- hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid
- hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid
- hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules
- type 1 and type 2 diabetes
What Are Treatment Options For Hormonal Imbalance?
The best type of hormonal treatment depends on health, symptoms, personal preference, and what’s needed to get out of treatment. Also, the treatment for a hormonal imbalance is defined by its cause. These are some common treatment choices.
A doctor may prescribe a low-dose estrogen supplement for those having hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms. There are various forms of estrogen hormone therapy, such as pills, gels, suppositories, and others. The best one will depend on different factors, including health, symptoms, and preference.
BHRT (Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy)
Identical to the hormones that the ovaries produce, BHRT is among the popular choices to treat hormonal imbalance. These hormones include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. BHRT is the “natural” hormone replacement option in which the hormones are derived from plants and structurally the same as those occurring naturally in the human body.
BHRT’s latest advancement is the hormone pellet. Administered by a trained medical professional, the pellet is then implanted under the skin, where it consistently supplies hormones into the bloodstream and can last up to 5 months. That said, the consistent nature of the hormone delivery provides more reliable relief from discomfort.
Consider using estrogen cream, pill, or ring for those having trouble with vaginal dryness or soreness during sex. Many hazards connected with systemic estrogen, or estrogen that goes through the circulation to the proper organ, are reduced when using this local treatment.
Hormonal Birth Control
This hormonal treatment can assist women in controlling menstrual periods. In fact, examples of hormonal birth control (IUD) are birth control patches, birth control pills, birth control injections, intrauterine devices, and vaginal rings. Also, it may aid in treating acne and reducing unwanted hair on the face and body.
Both are found in men and women. Androgens are sex hormones produced by males. Those women with high testosterone levels may opt to take androgen-blocking medication. These are some effects of acne, hair growth on the face, and hair thinning.
For those men who are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, testosterone supplements can assist. Also, it aids teenagers who are experiencing a delay in puberty. The treatment comes in various forms, such as patches, injections, and gel.
Thyroid Hormone Therapy
To help recover hormonal balance, the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid) is suggested for those with hypothyroidism.
This is a type 2 diabetes medication that may help certain PCOS patients who are experiencing hormonal imbalance. Nonetheless, it may help reduce androgen levels and promote ovulation, but the FDA hasn’t authorized it to treat PCOS yet.
Flibanserin (Addyi) and Bremelanotide (Vyleesi)
They are the only FDA-approved medicines to treat and diminish sexual desire in pre-menopausal women. Addyi is a pill, whereas Vyleesi is an injectable medicine that may be self-administered. However, these two can have serious side effects, such as acute nausea and irregular blood pressure, so it’s best to consult a doctor.
This prescription ointment is made for ladies with a lot of facial hair. When applied topically to the skin, it helps delay new hair development but doesn’t eliminate existing hair.
Who Can Benefit From Hormone Therapy?
The following can benefit the hormonal treatment and can outweigh the risks if they are healthy and those who:
- Have other symptoms of menopause. The treatment option of Estrogen therapy can ease vaginal symptoms of menopause, such as dryness, itching, burning, and discomfort with intercourse.
- Have moderate to severe hot flashes. In fact, systemic estrogen therapy remains the most effective treatment to relieve troublesome menopausal hot flashes and night sweats.
- Need to prevent bone loss or fractures. The bone-thinning disease called osteoporosis can even benefit from systemic estrogen. Although bisphosphonates treat osteoporosis, estrogen therapy may help if a patient can’t tolerate or isn’t benefiting from other treatments.
- Experience early menopause or have estrogen deficiency. Those who have surgically removed their ovaries before age 45, stopped having periods before age 45 (premature or early menopause), or lost normal function of their ovaries before age 40 (primary ovarian insufficiency).
Who Shouldn’t Take Hormonal Treatments?
The following conditions may want to avoid the hormonal treatments if having:
- Blood clots
- Cancer (such as breast, uterine, or ovarian)
- Heart, liver, or gallbladder disease
- Heart attack
- Known or suspected pregnancy
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
The Bottom Line
When deciding to get ERT, experts recommend getting a hormonal treatment at the lowest dose for the shortest time possible. Integracare Medical Care and Aesthetics offer hormonal treatments for men and women, which includes multiple types such as pills, pellets, and injections to replace the appropriate hormones. Also, women will be aided by injections of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormones) and LH (luteinizing hormone), while injections of hormones can aid men in stabilizing sperm production.