Hormones are chemical messengers. These molecules are produced by the endocrine system and injected directly into your blood. They are the message carriers. They regulate your body’s processes. They tell your body when to feel hungry, stressful, relaxed or sexually aroused. They even tell your body how to breathe and how to use energy in the body. Since practically every process in your body depends on your hormones, a hormone imbalance can have serious repercussions. Hence, as soon as you experience symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, you should get a hormonal test done from a competent lab. A hormonal test may involve a series of tests. You may require different tests as recommended by your doctor. For most of the tests, a blood sample will be collected by the phlebotomist and submitted to the lab. The various options for tests include the basic female hormones test, the AMH-ELISA test, female reproductive hormone test, FSH-follicle stimulating hormone test, testosterone test, and a series of other tests.
Although hormones flow through your entire body, there are only certain cells that are designed to decode their messages. Hormones and hormone receptors work on the concept of lock and key. Certain hormones can exchange messages with certain cells and organs.
Hormones perform different functions. For example, when you eat a meal that may be rich in sugar or glucose, the pancreas produce the insulin hormone to regulate your blood sugar. When you are agitated, excited, or threatened, your adrenaline hormone comes into action to prepare your body and mind. When you go to sleep, the melatonin hormone is produced to relax you. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced when you are under stress. The progesterone and thyroxine hormones help our respiratory system. The hypothalamus hormone regulates our body temperature, hunger, thirst, mood swings, libido, and other reactions. Therefore, there are different hormones that affect our different bodily functions.
They are responsible for
Metabolism of food items.
Maintenance of body temperature and thirst.
Sexual function and reproductive growth.
Development and growth.
Cognitive function and mood.
Hormones are secreted from the endocrine glands. Some of these brands include
A hormone imbalance can cause the following health problems
Muscle aches, stiffness, and tenderness.
Obesity for sudden weight loss.
Osteoporosis among women.
Hot flashes and night sweats.
Irregular bowel movement.
Increased thirst and hunger.
Swelling of joints.
Increased or decreased heart rate.
And an array of other health problems.
Since, hormones control practically every process and organ in your body, there may be different symptoms for different types of hormonal imbalances and hence, you should see your doctor to find out the right hormone test that you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know that I need a hormone test?
There may be different health indicators for different hormone tests. For example, are you experiencing hot flashes and night sweats? Are you suddenly experiencing stiffness of muscles? Are your bones getting weak? Are you experiencing indigestion? Are you experiencing constipation or diarrhea? Is there a lump of fat between your shoulders just under your neck? These, and many more, can be symptoms that you need a hormone test.
Is hormonal imbalance different for males and females?
Since there are many critical functions that are different among males and females, different hormones play different roles. For example, among men, the three main hormones are testosterone, growth hormone and cortisol. Testosterone is needed for sex drive, bone density, muscle mass and fat distribution. Cortisol regulates blood pressure, sugar levels, information, and metabolism. The growth hormone controls metabolism and muscle and bone growth. Among women, the main hormones are estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. Estrogen helps develop and maintain the reproductive system. It also maintains cognitive health, bone health and various cardiovascular systems. Testosterone, which is in smaller amounts compared to men, plays a similar role. Progesterone prepares the reproductive organs during conception through delivery. Low progesterone can sometimes increase the levels of estrogen, and this creates a hormonal imbalance. Since both men and women have different physical needs, their hormonal imbalances are also different and hence, there may be different hormone tests recommended for males and females.
What is hormonal imbalance?
Since hormones play an important role in regulating various processes of your bodily functions, if there is even a small variation in the production of these hormones, a hormonal imbalance is caused. Since hormonal imbalance can manifest through various physical conditions such as weight gain or weight loss, a hump on the back between the shoulders or extreme fatigue (just to name a few), it is critical that you observe various signs and consult your doctor to know if you need an appropriate hormone test done.
What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance among males and females?
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance among males: Breast tenderness Loss of muscle mass Hot flashes Difficulty concentrating Erectile dysfunction Onset of osteoporosis Loss of muscle mass. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance among females: Excessive hair on the face Heavy or irregular periods Vaginal dryness Sudden weight gain Headaches Pain during sex Acne on the face, chest and upper back Hair loss Darkening of the skin at certain parts In case you experience these symptoms, you should get a hormone test done on priority basis.
What can cause hormonal imbalance?
A hormonal imbalance can be triggered by multiple factors, including ongoing hormonal therapy, certain medications, chemotherapy, eating disorders, continuous stress or injury or trauma. Among women, hormonal imbalance can be triggered during menopause, during pregnancy and breastfeeding or while taking birth control pills. A hormone test can reveal why hormonal imbalance is happening.