Did you know that your entire endocrine system is composed of glands and hormones? It is one of the two central systems that help coordinate your body’s functions.
As such, your hormones and their levels are vitally important for your well-being and survival. So, hormonal imbalance testing is something that everyone should consider at some stage in their lives.
Today, we’re going to talk about hormones, where and why you should get a hormone imbalance test and the symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
What are hormones?
Hormones are essentially your body’s little chemical messengers. They are responsible for carrying information to the cells through your blood. Typically, hormones only affect specific cells through receptors.
Endocrine glands produce hormones that travel through your bloodstream to tissues and organs. Interestingly, each hormone has a unique goal, carrying a specific message to a certain part of your body.
Such as, your pineal gland produces the melatonin hormone, which circulates through your body. If those levels are high, your body realises it’s time to sleep.
Your hormones impact your development, mood, stress handling, and food breakdown. That’s why it’s so important to keep tabs on your hormone levels and get a hormone imbalance test – it is the best way to determine if your hormonal levels are affecting your health negatively.
What types of hormones are there?
There are many types of hormones in your body. You may find that an imbalance in one or more of these hormones may result in unpleasant or problematic symptoms.
Some of the main hormones found in your body are:
- Insulin: This hormone responds to the sugar in your bloodstream
- Serotonin: This controls your appetite, mood and sleep!
- Oestrogen: We all know how important this hormone is. It controls the sex drive in both men and women and regulates the menstrual cycle in women
- Melatonin: This controls your sleep cycles and circadian rhythm
- Progesterone: This affects us during pregnancy and influences your body’s changes
- Testosterone: Like oestrogen, this controls sex drive in both men and women
- Growth hormone: This hormone controls the reproduction of your cells and their growth
- Cortisol: This is the stress hormone. It’s responsible for controlling your stress level
- Leptin: This controls your appetite and signals when you’re full
- Ghrelin: In relation to Leptin, Ghrelin controls your appetite, telling your body when you are hungry.
If everything is balanced, your body is healthy and doing well. However, if one of these hormones is over, or under, producing, you may have a problem and need to get tested.
Why should I get a hormone imbalance test?
There are several reasons you should have a hormone imbalance test, ranging from symptoms that could be indicative of a hormonal imbalance to age.
Hormone levels decrease with age, and you must keep an eye on them as you age. The good news is that if a test shows that you have a hormonal imbalance, many hormonal replacement therapies can help you maintain your lifestyle.
Some of the symptoms you may experience from a hormonal imbalance could include:
- Weight gain
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Increased gunger
- Unexplained or sudden weight loss
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle aches, tenderness & stiffness
- Pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
- Increased or decreased heart rate
- Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
- Constipation or more frequent bowel movements
- Decreased sex drive
- Nervousness, anxiety, or irritability
- Blurred vision
Where can I get a hormonal imbalance test?
Getting a medical professional to conduct a complete hormonal imbalance test is always best. While there may be some ‘at home’ tests, these are not always accurate and may not test for everything.
Hormonal imbalance testing can be done at several places, including private clinics and GPs. If you are London-based, Harley Street Health Centre can offer you an excellent service, which we highly recommend.
Like most tests, knowledge is power if you’re on the fence about testing for a hormonal imbalance.
So, why not book your test today, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms or are getting older.