Hormones are a type of chemicals secreted in the body by group of cells (endocrine glands) to regulate the function of certain target tissues and organs. There are several endocrine glands in the body which produce different types of hormones. Some of the important glands are pituitary glands, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, testes, ovaries, etc.
Hormones usually travel through the blood stream, but in addition to this, they may also travel through the intracellular space to the nearby tissue, or act on the gland which produces it.
Although present in small amount, hormones are vital for each and every body cell, both functionally and structurally.
Hormones act individually or interact with each other for proper functioning in the body. They take important part in body metabolism. They affect growth, influence reproductive function and regulate water and mineral metabolism. Besides, hormones play a key role in optimizing body response to stress.
Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance In Men And Women
Even though certain hormones vary in men and women, there are many hormonal imbalance symptoms which are common for both.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in female: estrogen and progesterone are main female hormones associated with female reproductive system. Any imbalance in them can lead to either one or more of these symptoms such as: Acne, infertility, depression, excess of facial hair, hot flashes, excess of menstrual flow, irregular menses, loss of sexual desire, mood changes, night time sweats, insomnia, dryness of skin and vagina, hair loss, obesity, breast tenderness etc.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in male: testosterone is male dominating hormone; estrogen is in very small amount, when there is imbalance between these hormones it gives rise to following symptoms: erectile dysfunction, loss of stamina, generalized weakness, increase in weight with more fat around the belly, hot flashes, osteoporosis, frequent urination, loss of libido, depression, irritability, poor concentration etc.
Insulin hormone imbalance: it is produced in pancreas. Insulin helps circulating glucose to get converted into energy. Imbalance of insulin and glucose level may produce chronic stress, polycystic ovarian disease, and diabetes: symptoms include obesity, excess thirst, high triglyceride and cholesterol level, low or high blood sugar, weakness, skin problems, irregular menses etc.
Imbalance in thyroid hormone can lead to hypothyroidism (where thyroid hormone (TSH) is low) or hyperthyroidism (where thyroid hormone is in excess T3 and T4);
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include: increase in weight, constipation, nails and hair become brittle, depression, dry skin, diminished sexual desire, cold extremities, intolerance to cold environment, breathlessness, sluggishness, irregular menses.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism: weight loss, diarrhea, anxiety, hair loss, palpitation, sweating, tremors, sleep problems, fast heart beats.
These are some of the symptoms and conditions associated with hormonal imbalance most commonly encountered by a physician in his daily practice.
Natural Home Remedies For Hormonal Imbalance
Depending on the symptoms, your doctor may advise tests to determine what type of hormonal imbalance is present.
For insulin insufficiency, he may prescribe conventional treatment which include synthetic insulin and oral anti-diabetic drugs, besides this natural home remedies are useful which include regular exercise for 45 minutes, eating vegetables with high content of fibers, reducing stress by practicing yoga and meditation, quitting alcohol etc.
Conventional thyroid treatment includes hormone replacement therapy. Home remedies which may compliment the conventional therapy include eating foods that are rich in iodine. These include asparagus, sea food, cabbage, onions, watercress, tomatoes, Irish moss, ginger tea, prime rose oil, coconut oil etc.
For hormonal imbalance affecting female reproductive tract: Dong Quia is effective Chinese herb. It is a member of parsley family mostly found in china, Taiwan and Korea. The roots of this plant are used for medicinal purpose. It is an effective herb to balance estrogen level. Thus it regulates menstrual cycle.
Ginseng is another useful herb to restore hormone imbalance. It is a member of araliacea family. The root of this plant is used for medicinal use. It is useful to restore energy and sexual stamina. Thus men who are facing gonadal problems may benefit from ginseng. However, before taking any herbal medicine it is necessary to consult the doctor to know more about its potential side effects.
A well balanced diet consisting of all essential nutrients is as important as any medication in restoring hormonal imbalance. Avoid eating high fat food and processed food. Drink enough water and avoid excess of tea, coffee and other aerated drinks.