Although hormones are chemical messengers that travel, through the blood, to the organs and tissues in the body to its benefit, what happens when a particular becomes too much or too little in the body? This article discusses the various ways in which the hormones affect the body.
Testosterone is predominantly a male hormone and the key sex hormone in both women and men. It is also an anabolic steroid that helps the body build muscle.
An imbalance can be triggered by diet, mood, and daily activities. According to experts eating too much meat, and excessive drinking as well as smoking or living a sedentary lifestyle, can result in a testosterone imbalance.
Some signs of an imbalance in both males and females include weight gain, decreased sexual drive, insomnia, poor memory and depression. In men, testosterone imbalance can cause erectile dysfunction, high levels of testosterone in women can lead to excess hair growth ance and deepening of voice.
Estrogen is the major female hormone and is responsible for reproduction, menstruation and menopause because it is secreted by the ovaries.
Excess estrogen although rare can occur as a result of post-menopausal hormone therapy or use of oral contraceptives. Low estrogen can occur due to poor diet, excess exercise, as well as diseases and pituitary gland disorders.
External signs of estrogen imbalance include, skin lesions, acne, hair loss and thinning skin. Excess levels can cause constipation, chronic musculoskeletal aches, moodiness, and depression, while low levels can cause osteoporosis.
Serotonin helps to regulate our mood, appetite, sleep cycles, memory, and a host of muscular functions.
Serotonin imbalance, occurs as sometimes the brain doesn’t produce enough amounts of the hormone to regulate your stress and mood levels properly. In situations where there are excess levels of serotonin, use of some medications, recreational drugs, or nutritional supplements can be the cause.
What are the signs that serotonin is out of balance? If there are low levels of serotonin, the individual can suffer depression. Other signs include migraines, panic attacks, weight gain, insomnia problems and carbohydrate cravings. If there is too much serotonin in the body it becomes a serious issue and can result in confusion, agitation, sedation and decreased sexual drive.
Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and is responsible for helping the body stay energetic and healthy. Its key purpose in the body is to control both psychological and physical stress.
How does an imbalance manifest? During stressful periods, the body’s natural reaction becomes boosting cortisol levels to allow it cope with the predicament. Generally these can decline to normal levels eventually, though in some individuals cortisol levels stay high during this state.
Consistently high cortisol levels can lead to stomach ulcers, fatigue, high blood pressure, anxiety and high cholesterol levels. Low cortisol levels can cause conditions like alcoholism and chronic fatigue syndrome.