Importance of Proper Hormonal Balance for Overall HealthMar 31, 2021 09:27PM ● By Mark Fergeson
A recent article from the New York Post stated that nearly half of women have been affected by a hormone imbalance. A research study in Urology Times shows a steady decrease in testosterone among men in the U.S. over the past 30 years. From birth until death, for better or worse, our health is affected by our hormones.
Because there are many different causes for hormone imbalance, symptoms can vary greatly between individuals. Some of the more common symptoms include mood swings, anxiety, depression, heavy or painful periods, low libido, trouble sleeping, weight gain, hair loss, headaches and fatigue. In order to effectively treat the imbalance, it is important to identify the underlying cause. This is achieved by a frank discussion between you and a healthcare provider. During this conversation, your symptoms, risks/benefits of treatment and personal health goals should be discussed. Blood work will be taken to assess your current health and hormone levels to best identify treatment options to meet your needs.
Several things can cause our hormones to get out of balance—some come from our environment, some from inside our bodies and some are situational. We are exposed every day to multiple chemicals and toxins that can alter hormone production, from shampoo to the foods we eat, and from smoking or vaping. Insulin resistance, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases are just a few of the various medical conditions that can disrupt hormone balance. Prolonged periods of increased stress, such as a divorce or issues at work, often cause hormonal imbalance, too. Even if we could eliminate all the external and underlying issues that contribute, we wouldn’t be able to stop aging, which is the leading cause of hormonal imbalance.
Our hormones reach their optimal levels when we are in our twenties. It is no coincidence that is also when the majority of us feel our best and healthiest. As we progress into our thirties, hormone production begins to slow. Men lose about 1 percent of total testosterone production every year starting in their late 20s. By age 40, most of us are showing some signs and symptoms of falling hormone levels. Most women start having symptoms of low progesterone (perimenopause) in their early to mid-40s. Some of these symptoms are hot flashes and night sweats, irregular or heavier periods, and difficulty sleeping.
Once into our 50s, we start feeling the effects of multiple hormone deficiencies, menopause and andropause (male menopause). As we enter our 60s and beyond, these deficiencies add up, causing a laundry list of related complaints. Many people have been told that it is just a normal part of getting older and that they need to learn how to deal with their aging bodies.
A growing amount of research shows that restoring hormonal balance improves a person’s quality of life, decreasing, or even resolving many of these "normal aging"-related symptoms. An article from Medical News Today reports that most doctors now agree it is safe to take hormone therapy. That being said, not all hormone treatments are right for everyone. It’s important to customize treatments after a careful evaluation of risks, benefits, overall health and the individual’s goals. Proper hormone replacement therapy will not make us younger, but it certainly can make us feel younger.Family Nurse Practitioner Mark Fergeson is the director of operations and primary medical provider at Fulcrum Hormone and Wellness Center, 1601 SW 89 St., Ste. D-100, OKC. For more information or to make an appointment, call 405-546-7888 or click here for more info.