How hormones affect your health

Hormones, also known as the ‘chemical messengers’ are one of the most important chemical components of the human body. They are proteins secreted in a meagre concentration by the endocrine or the ductless glands that have defining roles in managing several physiological, metabolic and behavioural functions (digestion, metabolism, respiration, tissue function, sensory perception, sleep, exertion, lactation, stress induction, growth, development, movement, reproduction, mood manipulation and so on).

Varied hormones are secreted by several organs in the human body and their secretion is largely regulated, as an imbalance can have a cascade of debilitating physiological impairments. The role of hormones is all the more crucial in major events of growth and development such as in the attainment of puberty, child-birth and other metabolic events that take place throughout a person’s lifetime. Levels of hormones naturally fluctuate at various life stages, most noticeably during puberty and for women during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the menopause. They can also be affected by lifestyle choices and certain medical conditions. It is important to be cautious of such fluctuations and to be aware of the effects to keep unwarranted side effects such as PCOS and PCOD at bay.

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Hormones are also associated with several prevalent diseases and deficiencies, found specifically in men, women, young adults and infants. Imbalance of specific hormones can lead to diseases such as diabetes, irregular menstruation, infertility (men & women), metabolic disorders, thyroid conditions and so on. Hormonal imbalances are a major cause for a host of symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, itchy skin and mood swings.

However, there are some common telling symptoms of majorly found hormonal imbalances that can be easily spotted and worked upon…

1.      Persistent insomnia: Melatonin is a hormone, produced by the pineal gland that is known to keep an individual’s circadian cycle under check, its production alternates throughout the day and ramps up at nights, helping you fall asleep. A common reason for insomnia is lack of Melatonin. Melatonin rich foods like milk can help in boosting melatonin levels naturally. Insomnia is one of the most stereotyped disorders. Self-care and over the counter medicines for this medical condition often leads to complications than being helpful. A patient suffering from Insomnia must get professional help.

In the current COVID-19 era, a lot of children and even adults suffer from insomnia, which could be a potential cause of excessive use of technology or stress. Make a doctor appointment online with Curable to understand the cause of your discomfort. Our online appointment booking helps you make video consultation from home, with extreme ease!

2.      Unexplained weight gain: This can largely be indicative of a deficiency of thyroid hormone, thyroxine, Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome or menopause are the leading causes for infertility in early adults. Thyroid and PCOD/PCOS, like many other hormonal disorders, have effective results when consulted at early stages. Government is currently focusing on making remote consultation and rural healthcare telemedicine friendly. 

3.      Skin problems: Chronic acne could be indicative for lower levels of estrogen and progesterone in women. High levels of androgens could also indicate polycystic ovary syndrome. Ignored symptoms like itchy, pale or dry skin could be indicative of menopause or thyroid problems. Figuring out the cause for your symptoms is key, and only professional consultations can help you in the right direction. 

4.      Fertility issues: High levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and lower levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) can reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Progesterone also plays a vital role in maintaining pregnancy, deficient production of which can lead to termination of pregnancy. 

5.      Weak bones: Falling levels of estrogen during perimenopause/menopause and lowered levels of pituitary hormone secretion could be the major cause of lowering bone density in women. The symptoms for the above case scenario is tiredness, body pain and slower digestion – commonly mistaken for ageing. But what if you could make it easier for your body to help you to age? With the optimal vitamin supplements, it is possible. Our doctors make sure to take laboratory tests to analyse your blood levels before making prescriptions. 

6.      Mood swings: Serotonin is known as the happy chemical, it plays a pivotal role in regulating mood, and lowering serotonin levels is associated with questionable mental health status. Serotonin also helps in regulating appetite and digestion, bone health, sleep cycle and sex.

Ways to manage hormone balance in the body…

Endocrine glands produce precise amounts of required hormones as per need for your daily bodily functions. However, hormonal imbalances occur with ageing and sometimes with unhealthy lifestyle choices. It is essential to identify the symptoms and the underlying deficiencies and replenish them with dietary intake and optimal medication. Some easy to boost your hormonal health are

  • Increased Protein intake
  • High Fibre Diet
  • Consistent Sleep Routines
  • Intake of Healthy Fats
  • Stress Management
  • Avoiding Refined Carbs and Sugars
  • Regular Exercise

It is very important to understand that hormone production and action in the body works with a feedback mechanism where an imbalance of one can lead to derangement of several other hormones, leading to serious diseases. Hormone-related diseases like thyroxine deficiency and diabetes mellitus are on an incline amongst the population across the globe. It is also to be understood that a lot of these serious and often debilitating diseases can be avoided and managed by adapting to healthy lifestyle choices.

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