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What Causes Hormone Problems - And How To Normalize Hormone Production

What Causes Hormone Problems

What Causes Hormone Problems – And How To Normalize Hormone Production

Hormone problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including age, lifestyle choices, and environmental toxins. Hormone imbalances affect your body in a number of ways, from causing you to gain weight to making you feel stressed out and exhausted.

If you have an unhealthy diet, it can cause your hormones to become imbalanced and lead to a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, weight gain, and other issues. Exposure to environmental toxins is also a major factor in hormone problems. These toxins can enter your body via food, air, water, and other sources. Toxins can disrupt your hormones by mimicking the effects of hormones or blocking hormone receptors.

What Causes Hormone Problems – Age

Age can cause hormone problems in both men and women. As we age, our hormones are no longer produced in the same amounts as when we were younger, leading to imbalances that can have a variety of symptoms.

In women, these changes typically start during perimenopause which is the period before menopause. During this time, estrogen production begins to decrease, leading to symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. As menopause approaches, other hormones including progesterone begin to decline as well. This can cause additional issues such as mood swings, difficulty sleeping, irregular periods, and vaginal dryness.

In men, aging is the primary cause of hormone imbalances due to a decline in testosterone production. As a man’s testosterone levels decrease, he may experience fatigue, muscle loss, reduced libido, and erectile dysfunction.1

Read more about low testosterone levels.

What Causes Hormone Problems – Stress

Stress is one of the most common causes of hormone imbalances. When we experience stress, our bodies activate a range of hormones that tell us to fight or take flight. These hormones include cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. Unrelenting stress can lead to prolonged elevated levels of these hormones which can have a significant impact on other key hormone systems in our body and disrupt their balance.

The stress response is extremely powerful and essential to our survival in certain situations. However, when stress is unconditionally activated it can lead to a range of issues including weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, poor memory, a lack of concentration, and fertility problems. It is important to recognize when we are stressed and take steps towards getting back into balance. Activities to moderate stress include yoga, meditation, counseling, and other forms of relaxation techniques. By managing stress more effectively we can help our bodies to restore balance in our hormone systems and reduce the risk of further disruption.2

What Causes Hormone Problems - Stress

What Causes Hormone Problems – Diet

Hormone problems can also be caused by diet. Eating too much sugar, processed foods, and phytoestrogen-rich foods can cause your hormones to become unbalanced. The same goes for not having enough of the right kind of fats, minerals, and vitamins in your diet. To help keep your hormones balanced, it’s important to eat a healthy diet full of vegetables as well as grass-fed meat, cold water fish, and low-glycemic fruits.3 4

Read more about eating an optimal diet

Finally, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body properly hydrated and functioning optimally. Avoid sources of water that contain endocrine disruptors or other toxins.5

Read more about choosing high quality water sources.

What Causes Hormone Problems – Nutrient Deficiencies

It is important to ensure that your diet contains all the essential vitamins and minerals required for optimal hormone health. Eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet can help provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Additionally, supplementing with certain vitamins and minerals may be beneficial in improving hormone balance. Some of the most important nutrients for hormone balance include vitamin B6, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.6 7

What Causes Hormone Problems – Lack Of Exercise

Exercise is incredibly important for a healthy lifestyle and plays an influential role in hormone regulation. Without regular physical activity, our hormones can become imbalanced, leading to health problems like insomnia, weight gain, and fatigue.

It’s important to remember to move your body, stretch, run, and perform high intensity exercises from time to time. Doing so improves circulation, increases muscle mass, reduces stress, and helps maintain healthy hormone levels.

It is also recommended to incorporate some light weightlifting into your routine. Weight training helps to build lean muscle which leads to improved metabolism, better bone density, and a stronger overall body.8

What Causes Hormone Problems - Lack Of Exercise

What Causes Hormone Problems – Lack Of Sleep

It is well known that lack of sleep can cause hormone imbalances in addition to other health issues. When the body does not get enough rest, the production of hormones such as serotonin, cortisol, and melatonin are impacted. Without proper levels of these hormones, a person may feel overwhelmed or exhausted more easily and experience difficulty managing stress.

Not getting enough sleep can also lead to increased levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for controlling your appetite. This can disrupt the balance of hormones that control hunger and satiety, leading to overeating and weight gain.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and obesity. It is important to establish a consistent sleep schedule and get enough restorative sleep each night to avoid these health risks.

The effects of lack of sleep are not just physical. It can also have an impact on mental health, causing anxiety, depression, and mood swings. Poor quality of sleep is associated with poor cognitive performance such as difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Lack of sleep can also affect memory and focus, making it harder for you to remember things.9 10

What Causes Hormone Problems – Genetics

Hormone imbalances are complex, and the exact cause of any particular imbalance is often difficult to pinpoint. However, genetics can play a role in hormone problems. Several genetic conditions like Turner syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, and Cushing’s disease can lead to hormonal disruptions.11 12 Furthermore, if someone in your family has Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder causing hyperthyroidism, you are more likely to have it as well.13

Read more about Graves’ Disease.

In some cases, genetic mutations can lead to hormone imbalances. For instance, hyperprolactinemia is caused by a mutation that disrupts dopamine signaling in the brain. This interrupts the production and release of hormones like prolactin, which can result in irregular menstrual cycles or infertility.14

What Causes Hormone Problems – Environmental Toxins

Environmental factors also play a role in hormonal imbalances. Chemicals in food, water, and air can disrupt hormone levels and may be to blame for certain imbalances. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals like phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) have been linked to a variety of health issues, including reproductive problems and thyroid disorders.15 

Read more about common toxins in our environment.

What Causes Hormone Problems - Environmental Toxins

What Causes Hormone Problems – Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are a major cause of hormone problems. Heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, can enter our bodies through ingestion or inhalation. These heavy metals disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance by binding to receptors within the endocrine system. This affects how hormones travel throughout the body, creating an imbalance in hormone levels.16

Read more about removing heavy metals from the body.

What Causes Hormone Problems – Alcohol Consumption And Smoking

Alcohol consumption and smoking are two common habits that have been associated with hormone problems. Both can cause imbalances in hormones, such as testosterone, estrogen, or cortisol levels. These imbalances can lead to a range of symptoms including fatigue, depression, anxiety, irregular periods and more.

Alcohol is known to increase the production of cortisol which is the primary hormone involved in the body’s stress response. Chronically elevated cortisol levels can lead to numerous health issues, including decreased immunity and hormonal imbalances.17

Read more about estrogen.

What Causes Hormone Problems – And Its Link To Obesity

One of the most common causes of hormone problems is obesity. Obesity can lead to a number of health issues, including changes in hormones that can cause symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and difficulty controlling appetite.

Leptin resistance is a condition that occurs when the body does not respond properly to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that helps regulate your appetite and energy levels. It works by telling the brain when to eat, how much to eat, and when to stop eating.

When there is too much leptin in the body and leptin receptors have been desensitized, leptin resistance is the result. This condition can affect several aspects of your health, including weight gain or metabolic syndrome.21

Read more about losing fat.


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4 Domínguez-López I, Yago-Aragón M, Salas-Huetos A, Tresserra-Rimbau A, Hurtado-Barroso S. Effects of Dietary Phytoestrogens on Hormones throughout a Human Lifespan: A Review. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 15;12(8):2456. doi: 10.3390/nu12082456. PMID: 32824177; PMCID: PMC7468963.

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6 Ciebiera M, Esfandyari S, Siblini H, Prince L, Elkafas H, Wojtyła C, Al-Hendy A, Ali M. Nutrition in Gynecological Diseases: Current Perspectives. Nutrients. 2021 Apr 2;13(4):1178. doi: 10.3390/nu13041178. PMID: 33918317; PMCID: PMC8065992.

7 Günalan E, Yaba A, Yılmaz B. The effect of nutrient supplementation in the management of polycystic ovary syndrome-associated metabolic dysfunctions: A critical review. J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc. 2018 Nov 15;19(4):220-232. doi: 10.4274/jtgga.2018.0077. Epub 2018 Oct 9. PMID: 30299265; PMCID: PMC6250088.

8 Hackney AC, Lane AR. Exercise and the Regulation of Endocrine Hormones. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2015;135:293-311. doi: 10.1016/bs.pmbts.2015.07.001. Epub 2015 Aug 5. PMID: 26477919.

9 Kim TW, Jeong JH, Hong SC. The impact of sleep and circadian disturbance on hormones and metabolism. Int J Endocrinol. 2015;2015:591729. doi: 10.1155/2015/591729. Epub 2015 Mar 11. PMID: 25861266; PMCID: PMC4377487.

10 Green ME, Bernet V, Cheung J. Thyroid Dysfunction and Sleep Disorders. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Aug 24;12:725829. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.725829. PMID: 34504473; PMCID: PMC8423342.

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12 Lanfranco F, Kamischke A, Zitzmann M, Nieschlag E. Klinefelter’s syndrome. Lancet. 2004 Jul 17-23;364(9430):273-83. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(04)16678-6. PMID: 15262106.

13 Subekti I, Pramono LA. Current Diagnosis and Management of Graves’ Disease. Acta Med Indones. 2018 Apr;50(2):177-182. PMID: 29950539.

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16 Liu D, Shi Q, Liu C, Sun Q, Zeng X. Effects of Endocrine-Disrupting Heavy Metals on Human Health. Toxics. 2023 Mar 29;11(4):322. doi: 10.3390/toxics11040322. PMID: 37112549; PMCID: PMC10147072.

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