Hormones are messenger substances in the body, which certain cell groups are responsible for producing. If the sensitive processes get into an imbalance there, this is called Hormonal fluctuations designated. A transient hormone fluctuation doesn't have to be the same in every case Hormonal imbalances to lead. However, this may be the case.
Schematic representation of the anatomy and structure of the endocrine system (hormone system). Click to enlarge.
The human body can be compared to a sensitive control loop in which switching elements send signals to each other, regulate and control each other. The most important hormone-producing bodies are located in various places in the body, such as in the adrenal cortex, in the thyroid, in the pancreas or in the hypothalamus, a part of our brain, as well as the pituitary gland, also a part of our brain.
They adapt the organism to environmental influences, including stress or fear. They control our metabolism of fats or sugars, when we feel hungry and when we get tired. Our bone growth and processes such as aging are also under the influence of hormones. It is therefore understandable that fluctuations in this control loop lead to extremely sensitive reactions. Various sources speak of 30-43 vital hormones. Not all are fully explored.
If the body continuously produces too little or too much of just one of the most important hormones, this can already have noticeable effects on the body, depending on the cause. With an underactive thyroid, the entire metabolism can slow down, which can result in effects such as weight gain, fatigue and even depression.
There are hormonally diverse disorders of fat metabolism or fertility, moods, sleep rhythm or behavior. Causes can be a genetic predisposition, environmental influences, stress or organic diseases; biochemical processes also influence our hormone regulation when taking medication, tumors or other organ damaging influences.
A disease of the kidneys can also affect the hormone-producing adrenal cortex, and a genetic defect can also limit the function of the pancreas or thyroid gland. A deficiency in the luteal hormone progesterone can thwart the desire to have a child in young women; in women over 40, the reduced production of this hormone leads in many cases to fatigue and unwanted weight gain.
From body temperature and bowel mobility to the oxygen content of our blood. Hormones determine a large part of our daily life and our well-being. This control loop is as complex as it is sensitive. If he is temporarily out of balance, it may pass us by almost unnoticed. It is an advantage to consciously pay attention to the connections between our lifestyle and our well-being.
There are several signs that can indicate hormonal imbalances. For example, some people experience food cravings or sleep disorders. Hormonal changes such as those that occur during puberty or menopause can cause chronic fatigue and weakness. Many people suffer from hair loss or skin irritation, which is often associated with severe discomfort.
Mental changes can also occur. Mood swings and depression occur, especially in the case of long-term hormonal disorders. Many people also suffer from hot flashes and night sweats. An excessive appetite can lead to weight gain, while the typical lack of appetite manifests itself through weight loss.
In addition, hormonal disorders can cause many other symptoms and complaints. Headaches up to prolonged migraine attacks, gastrointestinal complaints and muscle pain are possible. In women, hormonal imbalances often manifest themselves in the form of greatly extended cycles, a weakened menstrual period and other menstrual problems.
It can also lead to intermenstrual bleeding and chest pain. Confusion and irritation are also typical symptoms of hormonal disorders. In men, a hormonal disorder can manifest itself in erectile dysfunction. Infertility can be caused by a hormonal imbalance. The physical changes are often expressed by an increasing feeling of illness, which apparently has no underlying cause.
The diagnosis of hormonal disorders usually goes through several stages. In most cases, hormonal fluctuations or their pathogenic effects are difficult to assign to hormones for a layperson. In most cases, the patient goes to his family doctor first, who, if the assessment is accurate, will refer him to a specialist for hormone-related disorders - an endocrinologist.
The daily diagnostics of an endocrinologist include laboratory tests of blood samples as well as the ultrasound device and talking to the patient about his or her living conditions. Factors such as weight gain or loss, sleep disorders, restlessness, stress or depression give him the first clues for an accurate diagnosis and possible therapy options.
The most common diagnoses include thyroid disease and diabetes. Often a clinical picture also includes several of these disorders, especially if the course of the disease has gone unnoticed for a long time and several organs are already affected in the interplay of the hormonal control system.People with a disturbed sugar balance often suffer from listlessness alternating with hectic activity, stress, sleep disorders and obesity, drink and exercise too little. So cause and effect are equally interwoven. It is important to find out specifically in the diagnosis.
Hormonal disorders can cause very different symptoms and complications in humans. As a rule, there are also major differences between male and female patients. In the case of hormonal imbalances, there is primarily a general feeling of illness. The person concerned feels tired and listless and usually no longer takes an active part in life.
It can also lead to anxiety or inner restlessness, with many patients also suffering from sleep disorders. Stress and discomfort occur in various organs in the patient's body. The quality of life is extremely limited by the hormonal disorders and everyday life is made more difficult for those affected. Furthermore, there is also psychological stress, so that most of those affected also develop depression and other behavioral disorders.
Since the treatment of the disorders is causal in most cases, complications can arise here that depend on the underlying disease. In most cases, however, surgery is necessary to eliminate the disturbance. If the hormonal imbalance is the trigger of the tumor, it may have spread to other regions of the body.
If symptoms such as restlessness or mood swings are suddenly noticed, the cause may be a hormonal disorder. A visit to the doctor is indicated if the symptoms persist over a longer period of time. Serious complaints such as depression or fatigue should be clarified quickly to avoid complications. If the symptoms occur during puberty, pregnancy or menopause, it is not necessary to consult a doctor. The hormonal balance usually normalizes itself again as soon as the physical and psychological changes have been completed.
People who feel very uncomfortable because of the hormonal imbalance should still speak to a doctor. This is especially true when physical discomfort occurs. Cancer patients in remission should speak to the responsible doctor. It is possible that a relapse has developed or there is another accompanying symptom that needs to be clarified. If the symptoms mentioned occur after taking medication, medical advice is also required. In addition to the family doctor, you can also speak to a specialist in internal medicine or an alternative practitioner. The emergency medical service can provide first aid measures.
Treatment of hormonal fluctuations and disorders primarily focuses on restoring the hormonal balance of the person affected. This can only be done taking into account his current living conditions and possibilities.
In some cases, even the administration of hormone preparations achieves compensatory results. Organic causes such as tumors or tissue injuries must be corrected surgically. In the case of psychological causes of hormonal disorders, the advice of a specialist in psychology or psychiatry is consulted. A therapeutic treatment can also be used in this area.
There are also naturopathic approaches to curing hormonal disorders. Some diseases can be treated with mutually complementary means. Teas, massages, medicinal herbs, infusions, hormone injections or tablets can also be part of the healing plan, as can the determination of possible stressors in talk therapy, a stay at a spa, regular ultrasound diagnostics or a change in diet and drinking habits.
Exercise therapy, neurological investigations in the magnetic resonance tomograph or an analysis of the body's own proteins can also lead to a successful therapy plan. Some hormonal disorders may require lifelong treatment. For example, a person whose thyroid tissue is increasingly being destroyed due to a hormonal autoimmune disorder has to take thyroid hormones from the time they are discovered, eat and drink very consciously, exercise regularly and check their blood count up to four times a year.
Since hormonal processes usually have long-term effects, the body's adjustment to a given hormone preparation can take several months to over a year until it has worked out the correct dosage with the endocrinologist and the hormonal system of the body gradually adjusts to normalization of the Adjust hormone levels.
Although hormones control and regulate many vital processes in the body and do so reliably most of the time, they are relatively prone to fluctuations. Hormonal disorders of this kind can regress spontaneously or take on chronic courses and remain unchanged for years or decades. The prognosis always depends on the hormone affected and the cause of the hormonal disorder.
During puberty, for example, hormone fluctuations are relatively normal and usually harmless, as they level off on their own after a few years. Until they do, however, they can of course have unpleasant effects such as oily skin and acne, severe menstrual cramps in girls, or aggressive behavior in boys. Depending on how severe the effects of such a temporary hormonal imbalance are, a decision may be made to take countermeasures. However, they will level off by themselves with and without medical intervention.
It is different when hormonal disorders arise as a result of physical triggers, for example disorders of the thyroid gland or the sexual organs. Such hormonal imbalances are not only chronic, but can also have sensitive effects on health. Fluctuations in the hormones of the sex hormones lead to infertility, for example. If hormone replacement therapy is an option, it usually takes a few weeks to months until the patient is properly adjusted and symptoms improve within the scope of their individual possibilities.
Of course, it is not possible to protect yourself against tumors or hereditary hormonal disorders. Hardly anyone is able to banish the environmental stressors of traffic noise, everyday work or general fears of existence from their life. However, we can influence a great deal in our way of life, which is beneficial for a healthy hormone balance.
We can do without too many irritants such as drugs, sugar or concentrates. We can choose whether we move a lot, whether we are with people who are good for us and whether we are careful with our emotional life. Because these factors already have a considerable influence on a healthy metabolism and a functioning hormone system.
In the case of hormonal disorders, the follow-up measures usually depend very much on the exact severity and cause of the hormonal disorders, so that a general course cannot be given. In general, treating the underlying disease in the first place is important in order to completely eliminate these disorders. The earlier a doctor is contacted, the better the further course of this disease is usually.
Furthermore, the underlying disease should of course be prevented so that the hormonal disorders do not occur again. The treatment can take place with the help of medication, whereby the person concerned is dependent on regular intake and also on the correct dosage. If you have any questions or are unclear, you should always contact a doctor first.
In the case of side effects or interactions, professional advice is the best way to alleviate the suffering as quickly as possible. If the hormonal imbalance is caused by a tumor, it must be removed. Even after the removal, regular examinations by a doctor are necessary so that the hormonal disorders do not recur. The life expectancy of the person affected may also be reduced or restricted.
Hormonal disorders usually normalize on their own. If the imbalance in the hormonal balance has psychological causes, the problems disappear as soon as living conditions have improved again. Stress and similar triggers can often be resolved by making small lifestyle changes. A change in diet is just as effective as regular exercise in the fresh air and a good night's sleep.
Missing hormones can be supplemented with appropriate preparations. Substances such as testosterone and progesterone are available as tablets and creams and can already counteract a mild hormonal disorder. In addition, some natural remedies such as maca root or coconut oil help. Vitamin D also influences the hormone level and can be released, for example, through diet and sun rays.
If these measures do not work, there may be a serious cause. Menopause may be approaching for women and the midlife crisis may be the underlying cause for men. Pregnancy or the use of certain medication can also be the cause. There is not much that those affected can do themselves and should therefore speak to a doctor. Medical advice is particularly indicated if the hormonal disorder is accompanied by symptoms.