Hormone Imbalances: Causes, Hot Flashes as Symptoms, & More

Hormone Imbalances: Causes, Hot Flashes as Symptoms, & More
Next Health Staff
February 13, 2024

Medically reviewed by Next Health Clinical Director, Jessica Brewer

Hormonal imbalances can exert a profound influence on our physical and emotional well-being, often leading to a range of discomforting symptoms. From the intricacies of our lifestyle choices to the environment we inhabit, various factors can contribute to these imbalances. Understanding the root causes of hormonal disruption is a crucial step in not only managing these imbalances but also proactively addressing them. In this blog, we delve into the intricate web of factors that can trigger hormonal imbalances and explore how Next Health's innovative approaches, such as Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), can provide solutions to regain equilibrium in our hormonal landscape.

What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?

Hormonal imbalances can stem from a variety of factors, ranging from lifestyle choices to environmental exposures. Understanding these potential causes is crucial for effectively managing and addressing hormonal imbalances. Let's explore some of the key contributors to hormonal imbalances:

Long-Term Toxin Exposure as a Potential Cause

In our modern environment, exposure to endocrine-disrupting toxins has become increasingly prevalent. These toxins, found in everyday products and substances, can interfere with the body's delicate hormonal balance. Some actions you can take to minimize toxin exposure include:

  • Rethinking Cooking and Storage: Non-stick pans and plastic containers can release harmful chemicals that may disrupt hormones. Opt for safer alternatives like stainless steel cookware and glass containers.
  • Choosing Safer Products: Many fragrances, air fresheners, and beauty products contain synthetic chemicals that can mimic or interfere with hormones. Opt for fragrance-free or naturally scented options, and choose clean beauty products free from harmful substances.
  • Water and Food Choices: Be mindful of the materials used in food and beverage containers. Avoid consuming hot foods and drinks from plastic containers, and opt for glass containers whenever possible. Additionally, consider using water filters to reduce exposure to hormone-altering chemicals in tap water.

The Impact of Stress on Hormones

Chronic stress can take a toll on hormonal balance. When you're stressed, your body releases cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels can disrupt the equilibrium of other hormones in the body, leading to imbalances. Incorporating stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, and relaxation practices can help mitigate the effects of stress on hormonal health.

Insufficient Sleep and Hormones: Why Am I Always Hungry And Tired? 

Sleep is essential for hormonal regulation. During sleep, your body repairs and balances hormones, including cortisol, insulin, and growth hormones. Disrupted sleep patterns or insufficient sleep can disrupt this delicate process, potentially leading to hormonal imbalances. When you are tired, your hormones signal to crave foods high in sugar for immediate energy. Prioritizing good sleep hygiene and establishing a consistent sleep routine can contribute to hormonal equilibrium.

Sedentary Lifestyle and Hormone Disruption

Physical activity plays a significant role in hormonal health. Regular exercise helps balance hormones such as insulin, cortisol, and sex hormones. A sedentary lifestyle, on the other hand, can contribute to hormonal imbalances. Incorporating regular physical activity into your routine can positively impact hormonal equilibrium.

Dietary Choices and Hormonal Imbalances

Dietary habits can also influence hormonal balance. Consuming a diet high in processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats can lead to insulin resistance and disrupt hormonal levels. On the other hand, a diet rich in whole foods, lean proteins, healthy fats, and a variety of nutrients can support hormonal health.

What Causes Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes, also known as flushes, are a hallmark symptom of menopause. These sudden sensations of heat, often accompanied by flushing of the skin, increased heart rate, and sweating, are triggered by hormonal changes, primarily a significant drop in estrogen levels. Hot flashes occur as a result of the body's attempt to regulate its temperature due to fluctuating hormone levels. For approximately 75% of women, hot flashes are a common experience during the menopausal transition.

What Does Hot Flashes Feel Like?

Hot flashes are characterized by an intense sensation of heat that spreads across the body, usually starting in the chest or neck area and radiating to the face and extremities. During a hot flash, a woman may experience:

  • Sudden warmth that is often accompanied by redness of the skin
  • An increase in heart rate
  • A feeling of being overheated
  • Profuse sweating, particularly on the upper body
  • A flushed or reddened appearance of the face and neck
  • A brief episode of feeling intense warmth, followed by a cooling sensation

Hot flashes can vary in intensity and frequency for each woman. They may be brief and mild for some individuals, while others may experience more severe and prolonged episodes. Night sweats, a phenomenon where hot flashes occur during sleep and result in waking up drenched in sweat, are a common nighttime manifestation of this symptom.

How To Stop Hot Flashes?

Managing and alleviating hot flashes can significantly improve a woman's quality of life during the menopausal transition. While some women may opt for medical interventions like hormone therapy, there are several strategies that can help mitigate the discomfort of hot flashes:

  • Dress in Layers: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that can be easily removed when a hot flash strikes.
  • Cooling Techniques: Keep a fan handy to cool down during hot flashes. Applying a cold pack or damp cloth to the forehead or neck can also provide relief.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink cold water or herbal teas to help regulate body temperature.
  • Avoid Triggers: Identify and avoid triggers such as spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and hot beverages that can exacerbate hot flashes.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Practicing deep breathing, meditation, and other relaxation methods can help manage stress and reduce the frequency of hot flashes.
  • Maintain a Cool Sleep Environment: Use lightweight, breathable bedding and keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature to minimize nighttime hot flashes.
  • Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity to improve overall health and potentially reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

How To Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne?

Hormonal acne is a common skin issue that can occur during perimenopause and menopause due to hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decline in estrogen levels. To effectively manage and get rid of hormonal acne, consider these strategies:

  • Skincare Routine: Adopt a consistent skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, exfoliation, and moisturization. Use products that are non-comedogenic and suitable for your skin type.
  • Topical Treatments: Incorporate over-the-counter or prescription topical treatments containing ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or retinoids to target acne breakouts.
  • Hormone Regulation: Consult a healthcare professional to explore hormonal therapies such as birth control pills or other hormone-regulating medications that can help manage hormonal acne.
  • Dietary Changes: Incorporate a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while minimizing refined sugars and dairy products, which can exacerbate acne.
  • Stress Management: Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to help mitigate hormonal imbalances that can contribute to acne.
  • Avoid Touching or Picking: Refrain from touching or picking at acne lesions, as this can worsen inflammation and lead to scarring.
  • Supplementation: Consider supplements that help your body balance hormone levels such as Ora Organics Hormonious. Order yours today via FullScript

How To Get Hormones Tested and Explore Hormone Replacement

Understanding your hormone levels and addressing imbalances is a fundamental step in enhancing your overall well-being. At Next Health, we offer a detailed approach to hormone testing through our Next Health Baseline Test. The Baseline Test analyses over 50 biomarkers including thyroid panel (TSH, freeT4, freeT3), total testosterone, estradiol, and vitamin D, in order to empower you to gain an accurate picture of your current state of health.

Our Next Health Baseline Test serves as a crucial starting point to determine whether hormonal imbalances may be impacting your health. If the test indicates suboptimal hormone levels, you may be a candidate for our Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). This innovative therapy utilizes bio-identical hormones derived from yams, which are molecularly identical to your body's natural hormones. Traditional hormone therapy (HRT) involves the use of manufactured hormones from synthetic sources, while bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) involves the use of hormones derived from natural sources. Our Hormone Optimization Program utilizes traditional creams, injections and pills but also have pellet therapy available as a an option.

By undergoing hormone testing with our Next Health Baseline Test, you're taking a proactive step towards better hormonal health. The results of this test enable us to tailor a personalized treatment plan, ensuring that you receive the precise care you need. Whether you're experiencing the challenges of menopause or seeking relief from hormonal imbalances, our approach aims to restore balance and elevate your overall quality of life.

When Is The Best Time To Test For Hormone Imbalance

Understanding when to test for hormone imbalance is essential for proactively managing your well-being as you age. Around the age of 30, hormonal changes begin to take place, and hormone levels gradually decline. This decline becomes more pronounced as women enter their 40s, with an approximate yearly loss of 50% of testosterone between the ages of 20 to 40. Hormones play a crucial role in transmitting vital information to cells, and when their function isn't optimal, we may experience a decline in our overall well-being. Surprisingly, many stereotypical signs of aging, such as low energy, hair loss, reduced libido, and others, can be attributed to hormonal decline.

Recognizing the symptoms of hormonal imbalance is the first step in determining when to seek hormone testing. For women, these imbalances can manifest in various ways, including aging skin, bone density loss, dry and painful intercourse, emotional reactivity, depression, frequent night urination, hair thinning, hot flashes, night sweats, day sweats, fatigue, insomnia, loss of libido, loss of vitality, unresponsive weight gain, and feelings of nervousness or anxiety. If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's crucial to consider hormone testing to gain insights into your hormonal profile with the Next Health Hormone Optimization Program.

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