The body produces a number of hormones that, when produced in the correct balance, keep the body functioning normally. However, if the body produces too much or too little of even just one hormone, then this can affect the way the body functions and the way you feel.
Your endocrine system works sort of like an orchestra. Even one overactive or underactive hormone gland can have a cascade of effects.
Hormones are incredible chemical messengers in our body that affect our brain, heart, bones, muscles, and reproductive organs and are an essential part of the workings of every cell in the human body. Hormones work best when balanced, but they can become imbalanced.
Balancing Hormones – One Example
Here’s one little example – it’s a story that makes a point about hormones.
Recently my shoulder started to get stiff and painful. Over a period of a few days it worsened so much so that I could hardly use my arm at all. I had a hard time getting to sleep, as it was so painful that I couldn’t get comfortable enough and it would often wake me up once I did finally doze off.
I started researching to figure out what this was and concluded it was a condition called “frozen shoulder”. This condition most often affects menopausal women. As I read up more and more about this condition, I got more and more freaked out. It can last a year. Painful physical therapy is most recommended. Most pain meds don’t help it. I studied all of the top medical sites – Mayo Clinic, WebMD and others. It all just sounded absolutely horrible.
The thought of losing the use of my arm for a year and enduring this pain was more than depressing. Overall, it was looking pretty bleak.
So, I started digging a lot deeper to find alternative treatments and stumbled upon a few obscure articles and some forums that talked about the relation of “frozen shoulder” to hormones. It made sense because this most often affects women in menopause. After reading everything I could find about it, I ended up slathered on some of my bio-identical hormone creams (both estrogen and progesterone).
By the time I woke up the next morning it was greatly improved, and I mean a LOT. By the following day it was completely back to normal.
Can you imagine going through a year of agony by not knowing that some hormones could handle the whole situation within a day or two? WOW!
That blew me away.
Not to mention the fact that I had also been experiencing more joint pain, and what do you know, it had everything to do with my estrogen levels dropping when I went into menopause.
Here is one article about it: http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/joint-pain.htm – see under “Causes of Joint Pain” section.
There is a somewhat common condition called estrogen dominance that can affect women. Even if your estrogen levels aren’t that high, if your progesterone levels are very low (too low for the proper balance between the two), then you can still have estrogen dominance. I think some doctors are maybe a bit too fast to say estrogen dominance, but there are certainly women who have benefited greatly by an increase in progesterone that balanced out those hormones.
There is an excellent article on this that I recommend reading:
https://www.womentowomen.com/hormonal-health/estrogen-dominance/ – not only does it explain this is much more detail, along with symptoms, but it also explains several options of how to treat it.
Men can likewise have issues with testosterone being low, which can adversely affect their muscle tone and stamina.
The Important Role that Balancing Hormones Can Play
Another example of the importance of balancing hormones is shown in a number of studies done on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which found that many patients had lower cortisol levels, a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It has been suggested that such cortisol deficiencies could be largely responsible for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients having impaired or weakened responses to psychological or physical stresses such as worry, infection, or exercise.
It is also quite common for those suffering from Fibromyalgia, CFS and other chronic illnesses to have low thyroid (hypothyroidism), in addition to low adrenal hormones [cortisol and DHEA], as well as low pregnenolone.
Rather than trying to explain each hormone and the varying issues that can occur with each, the best thing to do is to get complete hormone testing done.
Get proper hormone testing done through a qualified doctor and work to correct deficiencies or imbalances either through diet and lifestyle changes, natural supplements or prescribed bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. It is possible that balancing hormones may help to relieve or even eradicate one or more of your symptoms.