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Hormonal Dysfunction

Few issues are more difficult for people to discuss and accept than those involving hormones. Often, we are so embarrassed by having something “wrong” with us, that we do not seek help, and therefore do not experience lasting relief. Both men and women can have imbalances in their hormone production that cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from mood swings to sexual issues. If you or someone close to you is going through hormonal imbalance, and it is affecting not only your health, but also your daily life and relationships, consider a consultation with Advance Health and Wellness. There may be treatments, and thus relief, for your symptoms.

Among women, the most common causes of hormone issues are premenstrual symptom (PMS) and menopause. Premenstrual symptoms can include: bloating, low grade fever, irritability, mood swings, headache, stomach cramps, and lower back pain. These symptoms are found in most all women who have typically functioning sexual organs, between the age of puberty and the onset of menopause.  They can be mild in some women, and far more sever in others. Severe cases of PMS can actually be PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. This disorder is a severe form of PMS, giving rise to more extreme cases of the symptoms associated with a typical premenstrual cycle. Additionally, PMDD can cause depression and self-deprecating feelings, extreme anger, or even suicidal thoughts, due to the exaggerated hormone imbalances.

Menopause is when a woman’s body stops menstruation and no longer ovulates, or produces eggs, making her incapable of getting pregnant. It is a naturally occurring process; however it can cause uncomfortable and frustrating symptoms that affect both your daily life and relationships. The changes in your hormones due to menopause can cause: night sweats and hot flashes, as the body’s ability to regulate temperature is affected; forgetfulness or trouble sleeping; loss of interest in sexual activity and vaginal dryness; pain in the joints; and extreme cases of irritability. While these side effects are completely normal, they are none the less bothersome or embarrassing.

There are other more rare hormonal dysfunctions in women, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis; both of which can cause weight gain, fatigue, sexual complications, and other symptoms similar to those of PMS and PMDD, only more severe. PCOS is when irregular hormone levels form cysts on the ovaries, and other symptoms are: absent or irregular periods, body hair growth that is not typical, dark patches or acne on the skin, and rapid weight gain. Endometriosis is when a certain type of tissue naturally occurring inside the uterus develops and spreads outside of the uterus. It is typically very painful and can lead to infertility in extreme cases.

In men, hormonal dysfunction can lead to weight gain and sexual, or erectile, dysfunction. Obviously, both of these conditions can be sensitive subjects, and many men do not seek treatment because they do not want to talk about them. It is important to remember that just like in women, changes in hormone production are a natural result of aging in men, and the side effects are nothing to be ashamed of. They are also typically treatable.