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What Causes Hormonal Imbalances

What Causes Hormonal Imbalances

What causes hormonal imbalances in men and women? What are the ways to treat it? Read on to find out...
Aastha Dogra
Hormonal imbalances produce symptoms such as hot flashes, migraines, fibrocystic breasts, heavy menstrual bleeding, ovarian cysts and night sweats in a woman. Men too experience some of these symptoms, such as hot flashes and excessive sweating. They can deteriorate a person's health, cause his mood to fluctuate and can lead to low fertility as well. The following Buzzle article brings forth the causes of hormonal imbalance in men as well as women. Have a look...
High Estrogen Levels
High estrogen levels in the body is one of the common causes behind hormonal imbalance. The excessive estrogen in the body, could result from a number of factors, such as, if the woman is on a birth control pill, if she suffers from stress and anxiety, if the progesterone levels in her body are falling and if she has undertaken hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Natural Aging Process
In men, hormonal imbalances are caused due to the low production of testosterone by the testes, as a person ages. When men age, it's not just testosterone levels which fall, but the estrogen levels increase too. This weakens the bones and the muscles, reduces the sex drive and causes hormonal imbalances in the body.
Stress and Anxiety
Hormonal imbalance in young women and men, could result from stress and anxiety. Stress is often associated with symptoms, such as, weight gain/loss, loss of muscles, high blood pressure, dizziness, excessive hair growth on the face and imbalances in the blood sugar. Researches have shown that when a person suffers from stress, it brings down the levels of progesterone in his body. This is because the progesterone in the body is utilized to create adrenal corticosteroids, a type of hormone which protects the body from stress. However, when under stress, the body does not make enough progesterone, leading to adrenal exhaustion. This disturbs the estrogen-progesterone ratio in the body, causing an excess of estrogen and hormonal imbalance.
Cosmetics
Petroleum based cosmetics such as mineral oil, petroleum jelly, talcum powder, liquid paraffin, etc. can cause hormonal imbalances and make the skin dry. They stimulate the production of certain hormones in the body, resulting in this condition.
Non-organic Foods
Taking a diet of non-organic foods which are rich in estrogen, can cause excess of estrogen in the body, leading to a hormonal imbalance. Non-organic animals are given estrogen steroids to fatten their bodies. When a person eats the meat of such livestock, estrogen enters his bloodstream, resulting in hormonal imbalance in the process.
Eating Disorders
Eating disorders, such as bulimia, cause an imbalance of hormones in the body. When a person suffers from these disorders, the levels of estrogen and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) fall in the body.
Environmental Toxins
Insecticides, paints, herbicides, pesticides, plastics, varnishes, personal care products - all these contain environmental toxins, which can cause hormonal imbalances in the body. They cause excess of xeno-estrogens in the body, which prohibit the good estrogen in the body to do its job properly.
To counter the effects of hormonal imbalances in the body, taking a healthy, balanced diet, made up of organic fruits and vegetables, is very important. Some of the nutrients that should be made a part of the diet are vitamins B and C, magnesium, potassium, zinc, amino acids, manganese and proteins. These nutrients especially help in taking care of hormonal imbalance caused by stress and anxiety.
Giving up on cosmetics which contain petroleum, maintaining the normal thyroid levels in the body, taking care of the colon health, exercising everyday, and making a point to sleep for seven to eight hours everyday - these are some of the natural ways to keep the right balance of hormones in the body. Besides these, alternative medication such as taking certain herbs, hormone replacement therapy and allopathic medicines are some of the popular treatment options. Although hormonal imbalances can be rarely treated completely, but with these treatments and making the above suggested changes in one's lifestyle, its symptoms can definitely be kept under control.