Hormones rule our lives – when they are in balance everything seems right with the world but if unbalanced, they can cause all manner of problems such as:
inflammation within and on the body
sight and hearing problems
cramps and tension
dizziness, outbreaks of sweating
ringing in the ears
hair loss and facial hair in women
underweight and overweight
problems with teeth, jaws and sinuses
problems with thryroid gland
loss of libido
heart and circulatory problems
problems with pregnancy and puerperium
bladder or bowel problems, flatulence
aggression, emotional outbursts
lack of concentration, forgetfulness
indecisiveness, losing one’s bearings
tearful episodes, jealousy, distrust
phobias, fears and panic attacks
When hormones are out of kilter we can experience both physical and emotional symptoms, become irritable for no apparent reason and feel that everything is getting on top of us. Most people battle on with their daily lives and sleepless nights, unaware that there is any connection between the way they are feeling and the influence of hormones.
Fluctuations in hormone levels can occur during childhood, at puberty, in pregnancy, in adulthood or in old age. Many women are unaware that their mental state can be connected to their monthly cycle or that the thyroid gland can cause havoc.
Hormone fluctuation is clearly visible during premenstrual syndrome. It’s like being on an emotional roller coaster, being confident about life in general one minute and feeling anything but stable the next. Shifts in mood can play on the nerves, bring about headaches, allergies and eczema and intensify worries. Sex lives that should be pleasurable seem more like hard work.
Family members, colleagues or customers often cannot comprehend how different the woman they know can become at this time. The unsympathetic response is often ‘pull yourself together!’ which shows a distinct lack of awareness of the problems suffered by women during this time.
Quite often, this is not viewed as a separate phase. It can begin from as early as 35 years of age
and last until the start of menopause. Typically, the menstrual cycle becomes noticeably shorter. Some women have only slight bleeding while others bleed excessively. Both extremes clearly show that changes in the hormonal balance are taking place.
Slowing down of menstruation heralds the start of menopause. Associated symptoms include irritability, hot flushes, sleep disturbances and night sweats. Some women choose to take synthetic hormones to help alleviate the symptoms and often to help keep them young-looking.. There are however herbal products available for those looking for an alternative remedy. Sage herb extracts, for example, are used today to help women get through the menopause.
What about men?
Many men refuse to believe it but their hormonal balance does not remain stabile during their lifetimes either. From about 50 years of age, there is a gradual decline in hormone levels. This varies according to lifestyle, diet and stress levels. Men too can experience hot flushes! When prostate problems arise and sexual function declines, it is often recommended that a hormonal pill be taken but again there are herbal products available for those wishing to take an alternative route.
Hormonal fluctuations are deceiving as the symptoms can be due to a variety of reasons such as stress, age or even malfunction of an organ. Women in particular can often feel completely at the mercy of their hormones.
Whatever symptoms you are experiencing, the first step towards relief is to consult your doctor. There are hormone tests available which, by way of a blood sample, can determine the hormonal situation. The doctor may recommend taking synthetic hormones but bear in mind that nature too can offer solutions to the problems associated with hormonal imbalance and that there may a herbal alternative for your condition.