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4 Major Hormones: How They Affect Your Health

Dr. Madiha Ahmed

1 min read

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Hormones are special chemical messengers in your body that travel to tissues and organs via blood and control major bodily functions. They affect a lot of different processes in the body such as metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, mood, growth, and development. Both men and women have hormones, and as individuals age, hormone levels change and develop. Here are some major hormones and how they affect your health!

1- Serotonin

Also known as the feel-good chemical, serotonin helps to regulate sleep cycle, mood, memory, appetite, and some muscular functions. An imbalance can occur when your brain doesn’t make enough of the hormone to regulate your stress levels and mood properly. Certain supplements and medications, and recreational drugs can cause the serotonin levels to rise.

Low levels of serotonin might be signaled by weight gain, migraines, depression, insomnia, carbohydrate cravings, and panic attacks. High levels of serotonin can cause sedation, confusion, agitation, and a decreased libido. Some natural ways to restore balance include regular sleep, consumption of foods high in tryptophan, and exercise.

2- Testosterone

Testosterone is essentially a male hormone and the main sex hormone in both men and women. It helps the body build muscle as by nature it is an anabolic steroid. A sedentary lifestyle, excessive consumption of meat, smoking, and drinking can not only lead to testosterone imbalance, but also early andropause, which is also known as the male menopause.

Some signs that can signal an imbalance include weight gain, insomnia, decreased libido, poor memory, and depression. In women, high testosterone levels can result in excess hair growth, acne, and a deepening of the voice. In men, low levels of testosterone can lead to erectile dysfunction. Lifestyle changes such as managing stress levels, exercising regularly, and adopting a healthy diet can help with an imbalance.

3- Estrogen

It is the main female hormones and is secreted by the ovaries. It is responsible for menstruation, menopause, and reproduction. Even though there are rarely any cases of excess estrogen, but they can occur because of post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or the use of oral contraceptives. Cases of low estrogen levels are more common and can occur because of excessive exercise, diseases of the pituitary gland, and poor diet.

Some external signs and symptoms of imbalance include hair loss, thinning skin, skin lesions, and acne. Excess levels may result in depression, moodiness, constipation, and chronic musculoskeletal aches. Low levels may lead to osteoporosis. Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and increased exercise can help if your estrogen levels are low.

4- Cortisol

This hormone is responsible for helping you stay energetic and healthy. It controls physical and psychological stress. An imbalance can occur during stressful times when the body boosts cortisol levels to deal with the situation. Usually, the normal levels are restored afterward. Some signs of imbalance include high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, anxiety, fatigue, and high levels of cholesterol. Stress management can help restore the balance.

If you think your hormones are out of whack, visit your doctor to have your levels tested. You can book an appointment with a top Endocrinologist in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939  for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Madiha Ahmed - Author Dr. Madiha Ahmed is a Endocrinologist practicing in Islamabad. Dr. Madiha Ahmed has the following degrees: MBBS, MS (Diabetes & Endocrinology) and has 15 years of experience.
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