7 Signs Of Hormonal-Imbalance Aging
It’s normal for our bodies to change as we get older. But sometimes these changes happen much faster than they should due to hormonal imbalances. When our hormones are balanced, we feel energetic and alive. When they aren’t, we feel anything but.
Hormones are released by the complex endocrine system, which includes the pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid, adrenals, gonads, pancreas, and pineal gland. All of these glands have to be releasing hormones properly for the body’s inner systems to function properly. A misfire anywhere along the line can result in a variety of symptoms, and not just for menopausal women. Here are the most common symptoms and what they mean:
1. Lack of Energy and Motivation
One of the most common types of hormone imbalance is stress-induced, and it’s called adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is triggered by your body’s instinctive fight-or-flight response.
When you encounter something potentially stressful, the adrenal gland releases cortisol in order to trigger the fight or flight response. Normally, hormones are rebalanced shortly thereafter. But under constant, chronic stress the adrenal gland can’t keep up with the cortisol demand, and the regulation of other hormones suffers. This leads to a pronounced lack of energy and mental fatigue.
2. Lower Sex Drive
Since sex drive is regulated by androgens produced by the gonads (i.e. the ovaries and the testes), hormonal imbalance may very well lead to decreased sex drive. Decreased sex drive may also be due to a lack of energy or motivation brought on by adrenal fatigue.
Regular sex lowers blood pressure and decreases the risk of heart disease.
Certain hormonal imbalances, like hyperthyroidism, are known culprits when it comes to poor sleep habits and insomnia. But the primary reason for sleeplessness and insomnia is psychological stress and turmoil. Anxiety prevents the onset of sleep and prevents individuals from sleeping soundly. Sleeplessness causes our bodies to age in much the same way that computers that are never turned off have a much shorter lifespan.
4. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are more common in women than in men, and may be hereditary. They occur when the valves in a vein that prevent backflow stop working properly, causing blood to flow in both directions and forcing the vein to widen, often against the skin.
Varicose veins can be caused by pregnancy, obesity, or menopause. They can also be caused by physical stress, such as prolonged standing on a day-by-day basis, or aging.
5. Unexplained Hair Loss
Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors, some genetic and some hormonal. But even when the cause is genetic, the trigger is still hormonal. Male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness are triggered by sex hormones.
In the same way, hormonal imbalance brought on by pregnancy or menopause can lead to temporary hair loss. Since the thyroid gland regulates hormone levels in the body, a thyroid problem may also lead to hair loss.
6. Unexplained Weight Gain or Loss
Weight gain or weight loss can be triggered by anxiety, which leads to bad dietary choices and the over-consumption of “comfort” foods like sweets and greasy food. This type of dietary stress brought on by chronic stress can further imbalance hormones in the body.
Normally, our appetites are regulated by a hormone called leptin, which is produced by fat cells and secreted into the bloodstream. Obesity and emotional stress can dull our body’s sensitivity to leptin and lead to unhealthy eating habits.
7. Increase in Fine Lines and Wrinkles
The hormonal changes that occur during menopause significantly affect the skin and contribute to the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Estrogen is the culprit. Estrogen controls collagen production, which is what keeps skin feeling soft and firm. After menopause, collagen production decreases drastically.
Hormonal imbalance of sex hormones can also lead to lowered levels of estrogen and contribute to the early appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
If you feel that you are suffering from any of these symptoms, an anti-aging exam may be right for you. A typical visit to the clinic involves a complete physical exam conducted by our board-certified anti-aging specialist, Dr. Jeremie R. Rachunow M.D. A blood sample is taken for a screening, and a follow-up visit is scheduled in order to review results and determine next steps for replenishing and restoring any and all hormone imbalances.