12 May 12 things you don’t know about hormones
Hormones are powerful chemical messengers that play a critical role in regulating bodily functions, including reproductive health, metabolism, and mood. They are also temperamental and hard to keep in check, especially in our stress-filled lives.
While most women are aware of the basic role their hormones play in their reproductive health, there are many aspects of female hormones that they may not fully understand.
Here are 12 things that women may not know about their hormones:
- Women need testosterone and men need estrogen, the ratios are just different. So both men and women have to have the correct balance of these hormones for everything to work right, from menstrual cycles and moods to hair growth.
- Hormones are made in many places, not just the typical glands you remember from school. The intestines make hormones, like gastrin, a hormone that helps with digestion. Leptin is made by fat cells and signals hunger. Bones make a hormone called osteocalcin.
- Hormonal imbalances can cause a wide range of symptoms: Many women associate hormonal imbalances with issues like irregular periods, but hormonal imbalances can cause a range of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, and mood changes. If something is suddenly off, or slowing going off track, hormones might be to blame.
- Hormones affect bone health: Estrogen plays a key role in maintaining bone density, and hormonal imbalances can increase the risk of osteoporosis. This is especially important as we age.
- Hormones can affect skin and hair health: Hormonal fluctuations can cause acne and other skin issues, and hormonal imbalances can exacerbate existing skin conditions. Hair thinning and hair loss is also a symptom of hormone issues. This is why it’s important to stay aware of changes in your skin and hair.
- Hormones can impact sleep: Hormonal imbalances can interfere with sleep quality and make it harder to fall and stay asleep. Sleep problems do not have to be constant, you may notice fluctuations in your sleep issues during the month. Women may notice changes that correspond to phases of your menstrual cycle.
- Hormonal imbalances can cause fertility issues: Hormonal imbalances can affect ovulation and make it more difficult to conceive. It takes an expert in hormones to do the appropriate tests and get to the root of such issues.
- Hormones can impact sex drive: Hormonal imbalances can reduce sex drive, and issues like low estrogen can cause vaginal dryness and pain during sex. Changes in your libido or sexual function can be key indicators of your hormone health.
- Hormones can affect mood: Hormonal imbalances can cause mood swings, irritability, and depression. If you start to experience mood swings that feel out of character, hormones might be to blame.
- Hormones can impact metabolism: Hormonal imbalances can affect insulin sensitivity and make it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. If you experience weight changes even though you maintain a decent diet and activity level, it’s time to take a deeper look.
- Hormones can affect heart health: Estrogen plays a role in maintaining cardiovascular health, and hormonal imbalances can increase the risk of heart disease. It’s not just about menstrual cycles, but impacts your overall health and wellbeing.
- Hormonal imbalances can be managed: There are a variety of treatments available for hormonal imbalances, including lifestyle changes, hormone replacement therapy, and medication. So if you’re struggling with hormonal issues, there is hope!
Hormones play a critical role in many aspects of women’s health, and understanding their functions can help women take charge of their reproductive and overall health. And if you found yourself relating to any of the information here that indicate hormonal issues, we’re here to help. As hormone experts, we have the ability to perform tests, identify problems, and help you start feeling like yourself again.