By James Porcelli, M.D. –
Hormone imbalances do not discriminate and can occur in both men and women of all ages.
Hormones are important chemicals that send signals between cells in the body, regulating everything from a person’s blood pressure to how well they sleep at night. Nearly every body function relies on proper hormone production. They play roles in such diverse processes as growth, cell repair, appetite, metabolism, fertility, reproduction, and regulation of pain. These physiological messengers are produced throughout the body, and through their communication with our organs and one another; they help maintain the body’s natural balance designed to keep a person happy and healthy.
Hormone signaling begins with release of the hormone from a gland, an organ that both synthesizes the signaling molecules and secretes them. Each hormone recognizes where it is meant to be using a receptor protein on the cells of the destination organ. The hormone and its receptor fit together like a lock and key, guaranteeing that hormones will only affect the intended organs. When the targeted organ senses that there is a hormone bound to its receptor, it responds to the signal, changing the balance of the body’s chemistry. Hormone release is regulated through feedback from the body, a clever strategy that allows the body to keep itself balanced.
Sometimes, however, the delicate balance of hormones is disrupted. Hormonal imbalances can occur in both men and women of any age, though it is most commonly seen in adults beyond middle age. There are naturally occurring changes in body chemistry as people age, such as menopause, which can affect hormonal release from glands, thus disturbing the balance. Diabetes is another fairly common hormonal imbalance that occurs when there is not enough insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that affects metabolism.
Thyroid over-and under-activity are also quite common and sometimes detected even in children. All these imbalances can manifest themselves in a wide variety of physical and emotional symptoms. Sustained hormonal imbalance can have severe and potentially fatal complications, so diagnosis and treatment is critical for general health and well being.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Because hormones affect so many different aspects of physiology, the outward symptoms tend to be varied and nonspecific. It may feel to the patient as though they are simply tired or upset after an unusually stressful or busy week. With a hormonal imbalance, a person may suffer from anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, and poor concentration. Irritability and mood swings are also quite common. Hormonal balance is critical for our emotional well-being, so radical changes in the way we feel about ourselves and interact with others may indicate a problem.
Some physical indicators of a possible hormonal imbalance include sudden weight gain, acne, hair loss, night sweats, and reduced libido. Women may experience intense premenstrual symptoms, vaginal dryness, yeast infections, and hot flashes. Some women also suffer from unusually heavy, irregular, or painful periods. Infertility may also be the result of a hormonal imbalance.
Risk factors of Hormonal Imbalance
Some of the risk factors associated with hormonal imbalance are emotional. Untreated hormonal imbalance can lead to intense anxiety, depression, and lethargy. Irritability, inability to concentrate, and mood swings may also take a significant emotional toll on both the patients and those around them.
There are also numerous physical risks associated with hormonal imbalance, the severity depending on which hormones are not at ideal levels and how long the imbalance is sustained. The dangers of insufficient insulin, for example, are well-documented in studies of diabetic patients. If insulin levels are not controlled, the blood sugar imbalance can lead to serious complications, including nerve damage, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) is beneficial for anyone with hormonal imbalances of any kind. BHRT is used to re-establish hormonal balance in the body in a natural way. Bioidentical hormones follow the same metabolic pathways as the body’s own hormones.
Because they are structurally identical to the body’s natural hormones, bioidentical hormones used for BHRT are safe and do not cause the unpleasant side effects that synthetic hormones may cause.
Bioidentical hormones have many health protective benefits such as:
. preventing osteoporosis, improving bone density and preventing tooth loss
. maintaining muscle mass, preventing sarcopenia
. help maintaining proper body mass
. improving lipids and cholesterol levels
. preserving cardiovascular function, reducing risk of heart disease.
. protecting youthful brain function and balancing mood
. improving quality of sleep
. enhancing energy
If you suspect that a hormonal imbalance is the cause of your unwanted symptoms, contact the Dr. Porcelli and staff at JMP Medical. We are happy to answer any questions and concerns you might have. JMP Medical is a superb place for women and men to secure integrative care from providers who partner with the patient to focus on the root cause of illness, support recovery, and help maintain good health.
“I recently had some medical issues that were quite alarming and frustrating. After consulting with five doctors and receiving a diagnosis, I was still having issues. I had learned about Dr. Porcelli and how he actually treats the patient not the disease. I eagerly scheduled an appointment with his office and it quickly become evident that Dr. Porcelli is knowledgeable, patient and caring in his approach to treating patients. He takes the time to thoroughly explain what the issues and optional treatments are. He takes a proactive approach to make you look and feel good. I now have my family going to him as well. My 85-year-old mother, with a laundry list of health issues, loves him. The entire environment from office manager, staff, and nurses are true professionals that show compassion and sincerity in all they do for their patients! Kudos to Dr. Porcelli and his entire staff! I highly recommend this office to anyone with health concerns.” ~ MaryAnn Szlachetka
Call (239) 598-9327 today. We are here to listen and to help guide you through your health journey. Ask about Dr. Porcelli’s personalized concierge services including email correspondence, phone calls and guaranteed appointments.