This post is sponsored by Kingsberg Medical. Please contact a hormone replacement therapy specialist for further information on Kingsberg Medical.
Changes in your ability to focus, exercise, enjoy sex, lose weight, and even sleep may all be due to hormonal changes in your body. Those pesky wrinkles and that loose, sagging skin – yes, that too can have a basis in the signals of our crucial chemical messengers not getting through. Hormone imbalance can affect people in so many ways that it is often hard to distinguish what is really going on deep below the skin’s surface. Some hormones affect us on a molecular basis, determining whether our bones and muscles stay strong or become weak, whether our internal organs retain their size and function or if they will shrink and lead to illness in the body.
All of these issues and many more may be grounded in the fact that hormone decline is a natural adjunct to aging. If that is the case, and the only way around aging is not a pleasant thought, what can be done to stop this physical decline?
The first thing anyone needs to do is determine if he or she has some type of hormone imbalance. Because hormones are chemical messengers, they move around in the bloodstream, speeding through the body to deliver their signals. Measuring their levels in the blood is the accurate method of determining a deficiency or excess – in other words, an imbalance.
Your first discussion with a hormone replacement therapy specialist will address some of the changes that have occurred in your body. This will provide a bit of insight that will help determine which blood tests to perform. Let’s take a look at some common problems that tend to appear as we age, but are often due to hormone imbalance.
It is a well-known fact that older people tend to sleep less, and less soundly, than when they were younger. Why is that? First of all, hormone fluctuations can interfere with natural sleep rhythms. Now, add in the fact that many hormones are secreted during sleep, and you have what can be termed a “double whammy” of sleep deprivation. The body needs certain hormone levels to sleep, and sleep increases these hormones. Not enough sleep equals hormone deficiency, and hormone deficiency equals not enough sleep. So, which came first – the chicken or the egg? That is what this effect seems like to many people.
Take a look at how hormone imbalance directly affects sleep:
Growth hormone production takes place in part during the day, and in large part at night while we are in deep, slow-wave sleep. Anything less than 7 hours of quality sleep significantly reduces GH secretion. When growth hormone levels are low, the body responds by increasing cortisol production. Cortisol, the stress hormone, inhibits GH secretion and makes it difficult to fall asleep at night.
Progesterone also helps you to fall asleep, and when its levels drop, and estrogen becomes dominant, sleep is also elusive. Unfortunately, an excess of progesterone can have the reverse effect, making it difficult to stay awake. Testosterone deficiency also inhibits sleep and is another hormone experiencing secretion during sleep.
The brain is home to a plethora of hormone receptors and neurotransmitters, and if these receptors do not receive adequate signals, the brain will not function at its maximum capability. Such is the case with growth hormone, where receptor cells in the areas of the brain that control learning, memory, and recall are in dense proportion. That page you have to keep reading because your mind keeps wandering is an issue because you may be experiencing growth hormone deficiency.
Changes in testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, and other thyroid hormones besides GH may all be to blame for your memory fog, poor recall, lack of concentration, and impaired cognitive performance. Getting tested for hormone imbalance and receiving the proper treatment can restore proper brain functions.
That overwhelming exhaustion that never seems to end is probably not due to over-exertion at the gym. Exercise, if you had the energy for it, would help with growth hormone and testosterone secretion that would raise those levels in the body and provide you with increased energy.
Ongoing fatigue is one of the most common signs of hormonal imbalance. When the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones, you will find that your energy levels plummet. Excess progesterone will leave you feeling sleepy. Growth hormone deficiency slows down your metabolism, leading to weight gain. The body has to work harder to move a heavier load, draining what little energy the consumption of food provides. Most of it is turning into stored fat.
With higher levels of cortisol in your body, the hunger hormone, ghrelin, is stimulated, forcing you to consume larger amounts of caffeinated and sugar filled foods for energy. These dietary changes have you spiraling between rapid highs and lows, furthering your energy drain.
Testosterone also aids in energy, heart functions, metabolism, and endurance. People with Low T often walk around feeling tired all of the time. The only way to tell which of these hormones is the culprit behind the changes in your body is through blood analysis.
Please contact a hormone replacement therapy specialist for further information on Kingsberg Medical.