The body produces several types of hormones, each with a particular function. Balanced hormones are integral to health and overall well-being. When there’s an imbalance, various issues can occur, including weight gain, chronic fatigue, depression, and a weakened immune system. But what causes hormone imbalance? The health services team at NutriMost Watchung in Central New Jersey explains.
5 Causes of Imbalanced Hormones
Overall health, including hormone balance and weight control, is closely linked to the ratio of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Digestion issues like constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and acid reflux are signs of inflammation and dysbiosis, or an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria. Inflammation suppresses the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which control the production of adrenal, thyroid, and sex hormones. This is why poor gut function, or a lack of good bacteria, can cause hormone imbalance.
The thyroid produces thyroid hormones which influence nearly all metabolic processes. Excess thyroid hormone results in hyperthyroidism, while insufficient thyroid hormone production causes hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism can result from problems like toxic adenomas, Graves’ Disease, and subacute thyroiditis. Hypothyroidism can result from conditions like Hashimoto’s or exposure to excessive iodine or lithium. Improper thyroid function can also depress progesterone production.
The liver metabolizes estrogen and progesterone. Issues with the phase one or phase two liver detoxification process can cause excess estrogen. Xenoestrogens in the environment also cause some detoxification problems. These come from various sources, including cosmetics, toiletries, food containers, herbicides, and pesticides.
Stress is particularly detrimental at midlife when the adrenal glands produce most hormones. Chronic stress causes a flood of cortisol, which impedes total hormone production. The body is then forced to absorb progesterone to make cortisol, which depletes progesterone and causes estrogen dominance. Prolonged stress can wreak havoc on bones and muscles, exhaust strength and energy, and overwhelm the immune system, putting you at risk for chronic illness and autoimmune diseases.
5. Menopause & Anovulatory Cycles
Beginning in puberty, women’s hormones are constantly fluctuating with their menstrual cycle. At middle age, women go through menopause, which is a naturally occurring hormonal change. There’s little that can be done to reverse this physiological process. However, an increasing number of young women have begun to show signs of estrogen dominance as a result of anovulatory cycles, or failure to ovulate. This is linked to lifestyle factors, like crash diets, chronic stress, and exposure to synthetic hormones in birth control pills, as well as growth hormones in beef and dairy products. The xenoestrogens found in household and hygiene products also have an impact.
If you’re concerned about hormone imbalance due to weight or lifestyle, contact the specialists at NutriMost Watchung. They’ll help you to balance hormones naturally through a combination of healthy weight loss programs and nutritional counseling. Call (908) 279-7740 to speak with a friendly staff member. Or, visit their website to read customer testimonials.