When you hear the word hormones, most people think about the classification of hormones that make up the reproductive system. However, there are about 50 different known hormones that make up the endocrine system. Hormones carry information to cells all over the body, controlling a variety of biological processes including hunger, muscle growth, temperature control, and menstrual cycles to name a few.
At CentreSpring MD we look for root causes of your symptoms and checking a variety of hormones is a part of our workup for most patients. Hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, progesterone, insulin, leptin, cortisol and a complete thyroid panel are a few of the hormones that we evaluate regularly.
Stress can play a significant role in the fluctuation of your hormone levels. An alarming 75% of adults reported moderate to high levels of stress according to the American Psychological Association. They also reported stress as a top health concern for U.S. teenagers and further commented that if they don’t learn to manage stress, it could have serious long-term health implications.
Stress triggers the fight or flight response and the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. The result is a temporary increase in energy production, however it is at the expense of all of the other processes not required for immediate survival. Short-term stress is something we can recover from; the effect of chronic stress, however, can cause a host of signs and symptoms in the body.
Common symptoms associated with imbalanced hormones include:
- Weight Gain/Changes in Body Composition
- Hair loss
- Changes in temperature control/ hot flashes
- Changes in Libido
- Sleep Disturbance
- Digestive/Appetite issues
- Menstrual changes
Top 10 diseases related to stress/hormonal imbalance are:
- Heart Disease
- Depression and Anxiety
- Gastrointestinal Problems
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Accelerated Aging
- Premature Death
Testing your hormones is one way to be proactive about your health. I will commonly tell my patients, “you don’t know what you don’t know,” stressing that proper lab testing is invaluable. Due to the continuous fluctuations in our stress levels, environmental toxin exposure, level of physical activity, nutritional status, etc., our hormone levels will differ from month to month and certainly from year to year.
Through extensive history-taking, physical examination and comprehensive lab evaluation, the providers at CentreSpring MD can identify a variety of hormonal imbalances and create treatment plans that improve your health now and into the future!