Women listen up! Esteemed health and hormone expert Marla Ahlgrimm answers common questions relating to female hormone imbalance in this short Q&A.
Q: What causes hormone imbalance?
Marla Ahlgrimm: There are a number of reasons a woman may experience a shift in her natural hormone levels. One of the most common, however, is poor dietary and exercise habits. Our bodies, including the organs that secrete hormones, need a specific balance of nutrition. Eating too little or too much of the wrong foods can wreak havoc on our insides. Likewise, over- or under-exercising can throw things out of whack.
Q: Do women have male hormones and if so what is the purpose?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Both men and women share similar hormones, although in vastly different proportions. Testosterone, the most well-known male sex hormone, helps regulate physical functions including fertility and the release of moisture in mucous membranes. Women with deficient testosterone may notice a low libido, severe fatigue, irritability, hair loss, and waning muscle mass.
Q: What are some symptoms of estrogen dominance?
Marla Ahlgrimm: External symptoms include acne, puffy eyes, excess belly fat, brittle nails and hair, weight gain, and acne. Internal symptoms can include vaginal dryness, incontinence, unusual carbohydrate cravings, bloating, night sweats, and migraines.
Q: How are hormone issues treated?
Marla Ahlgrimm: A doctor will perform a hormone test to determine what, if any, hormones are to blame for a woman’s symptoms. If chemical imbalance is the culprit, the first course of action is a change in lifestyle. A doctor may recommend a light fitness routine and have a woman increased her intake of healthy whole foods. However, if that’s not enough, hormone therapy, either via injections, creams, or other delivery method, may be prescribed. Hormone therapies are often custom-created to fill a woman’s specific needs and hormone deficiencies.