Our endocrine system is simply a marvel of nature. The sophisticated chemical messaging system within our bodies enables certain organs and glands to produce hormones that regulate so many of our systems, from metabolism and physical development, to our sleep cycles and sexual reproductive functions.
When our hormones aren’t in equilibrium, we can experience everything from sleeplessness to reduced sex drive. Hormonal imbalances can occur at any time in your life, but there are also expected times when hormonal levels shift significantly, such as pregnancy and menopause.
The caring team at Life’s Cycle Women’s Care, under the leadership of Dr. Pamela Kimbrough, helps women and men who struggle with hormonal imbalances by finding their root causes and creating highly customized treatment plans for them. Fortunately, in Life’s Cycle’s Norman and Ardmore, Oklahoma, offices, Dr. Kimbrough offers treatment options that can get you feeling like yourself again, despite hormonal issues.
How do I know if my hormones aren’t in balance?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell when something’s amiss, but we’re dedicated to educating our patients about their own health. Knowledge is power, and the more you have about how your body works, the better partners we can be.
We’ve devised a handy list you can consult with six of the most common symptoms that point to hormonal imbalance in both men and women, especially as they age:
- Fertility challenges can often be traced to menstrual cycle problems that are hormonally driven, making it difficult to get pregnant, while men can experience a lower sperm count.
- Mood ups and downs are also often linked to hormonal imbalances other than the typical swings that precede a woman’s period. Elevated levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), for example, can lead to anxiety and depression, fogginess, and sleep issues. And we all know that a lack of high-quality rest can make you a bear!
- Speaking of sleep issues, they can crop up when you experience hormonal fluctuations (melatonin is a biggie when it comes to regulating sleep), leading to a disturbed sleep-wake cycle. You might feel unusual fatigue or struggle with exactly the opposite problem — insomnia. Low estrogen levels cause sleep problems, too, and it’s typical for menopausal women to be affected.
- Digestive problems are the result of shifts in estrogen as you approach your period, during perimenopause, and after menopause. Around your period you can suffer either constipation or diarrhea, while during perimenopause and after menopause, the problems are usually bloating and constipation.
- Low libido for men and women and vaginal dryness for women are linked to low estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels, so if getting in the mood has become a bigger challenge, it could be due to lower estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone if you’re a woman, and reduced testosterone if you’re a man.
- Skin and hair issues can become noticeable when hormones fluctuate. A thyroid hormone deficiency may make your skin dry, while a surplus of androgen can bump up your skin’s oil production and cause breakouts.
A hormonal imbalance in women can cause hair thinning, loss, and brittleness. Men might notice a slowdown in the growth of body hair — including their beards.
Keep in mind that these symptoms are highly indicative of hormonal imbalance, but there are many more, from weight gain to osteoporosis in women to erectile dysfunction (ED) and decreased muscle mass for men.
And though many hormonal fluctuations happen for women because of the menstrual cycle and big life transitions like pregnancy and menopause, men aren’t immune to hormonal imbalances.
Is it possible to bring my hormones back into balance?
With the right treatment, yes. Fortunately, Dr. Kimbrough offers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) to her patients who are living with diverse and life-altering symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
Your body produces hormones naturally, but when they get out of whack, plant-based bioidentical hormones can safely balance things out and eradicate unpleasant, uncomfortable symptoms.
These hormones, though not manufactured by your body, are natural and perfect matches for your own.
The SottoPelleⓇ line we carry are offered in pellet form and inserted easily and painlessly under the skin. The pellet system has proved to deliver steady, low-dose BHRT more efficiently and conveniently than creams, patches, and pills, because they’re time-released and evenly absorbed.
In addition to addressing the symptoms we’ve discussed here and many others, BHRT helps your body’s systems perform better, thus improving everything from your intimate relationship to your bone density, connective tissues, muscle mass, and thinking and concentration.
Dr. Kimbrough tailors your BHRT to your individual needs and helps you clear up your unique symptoms.
Call either of our offices today to learn more about BHRT, or book an appointment through our website.