If you are a woman, you are most likely very aware of the effect of hormones on your daily life. This is especially the case during certain times of the month (ovulation and menstruation), puberty, pregnancy and Menopause. However, do you really understand the role of hormones in your health? If not, read on to find out important information about your hormones and your health.
Your hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They are secreted into the bloodstream by different organs in the body including the Pituitary Glad, Pineal Gland, Thymus, Thyroid, Adrenal Glands, Pancreas and Ovaries. Our hormones have the important job of regulating many bodily functions and processes. Your hormones have a direct effect on the following:
- Growth and development
- Sexual function/reproductive growth
- Cognitive function
- Body temperature
When your hormones are “out of whack”, it can cause a number of health conditions and diseases. For example, Hypothyroidism is a disease state that is caused by a deficiency in the secretion of hormones from the Thyroid Gland. Conversely, Hyperthyroidism is a disease state that is caused by an over secretion of hormones by the Thyroid Gland. Both of these conditions can be treated with different types of medications.
During pregnancy, a high level of Estrogen can cause symptoms such as skin sensitivity, nasal congestion and breakouts. This is because high levels of Estrogen cause increased blood flow. Hormones are also thought to be the reason for morning sickness during pregnancy.
During puberty, increased hormone levels in the bloodstream can cause acne and moodiness. Anyone with a teenager living in the house is most likely aware of the effects of hormones during puberty. And, if you have someone in the house who is going through Menopause, you are most likely aware of the symptoms of moodiness and hot flashes.
Hormones are completely natural. However, in some cases of hormonal imbalance, treatment is needed to ease your symptoms and increase your quality of life. If a hormonal imbalance is making it difficult for you to work and interact with your family, talk to your OBGYN today. He or she can recommend lifestyle changes or other treatments to help you manage your hormones.