Has the Past Year’s Stress Thrown Your Hormones out of Balance?
It is already well established that hormones have a widespread effect on virtually every aspect of a man or woman’s mental, physical, sexual and emotional health.
In women, menopause, and the resulting hormone decline and estrogen imbalance, can lead to loss of sex drive, hot flashes, weight gain, mood swings, painful sex and even serious diseases such as osteoporosis, breast cancer, heart disease, and other serious health issues.
In males, as testosterone gradually declines with age, men can experience loss of libido, poor sexual performance or erectile dysfunction, (E.D.), reduced muscle mass, increased anxiety and depression, as well as a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other serious illnesses.
Additionally, studies have proven that sex hormones also influence areas of the brain that regulate mood, behavior, and cognitive abilities. And that a hormone decline can result in mental fogginess, psychological issues, and even increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
But menopause and aging are not the only disruptors of healthy hormone production in women and men. Recent research has shown that chronic stress and anxiety may also cause hormones to become dysregulated in the body – causing serious side-effects and health risks for men and women.
Hormone Balance and Chronic Stress of the Pandemic
There has been no greater time of widespread stress in perhaps the last 100 years than in today’s environment, with the many challenges, difficulties and anxieties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Constant worry about protecting oneself and one’s loved ones from infection waged a full year of chronic stress on many people. Additionally, the unprecedented job losses, economic uncertainties, and social isolation of the last year brought almost everyone’s stress level to a near breaking point.
Further, juggling work-from-home duties with managing home-learning for their children added another level of stress to many parents’ everyday life for a full year, or longer. In short, it’s an understatement to say that 2020-2021 was a year of extraordinary and unparalleled stress for the whole world.
How Stress Affects Hormones
It has long been known that chronic stress alters hormone production, transport, and processing. This in turn precipitates hormonal imbalances in the body.
When a person encounters a “threat” it sets off an automatic alarm system in the body’s processes that once served to protect early humans from dangers such as predators. A surge of hormones is released when stress is perceived, that increases heart rate, elevates blood pressure, and boosts energy by increasing sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream.
Then, when the “threat” or “stress” goes away, hormone levels should return to normal. The heart rate and blood pressure should return to healthy levels, and other systems of the body resume their regular activities.
But when stress is constantly always present – such as during the COVID-19 pandemic – this “fight-or-flight” reaction stays turned on. This not only disrupts almost all of the body’s processes, but also puts a person at dramatically increased risk of many health problems, including: anxiety & depression, heart disease, weight gain, cognitive impairment, headaches, sleep problems and more.
And, for individuals already suffering from an existing hormone imbalance, stress may also increase or exacerbate already troublesome symptoms
Treating Stress Related Hormone Imbalance
A panel of specific blood tests can determine if you are suffering from a hormone imbalance or deficiency that may be responsible for a lack of energy, weight gain, changes in mood, decreased sex drive, osteoporosis and more.
Then bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can be prescribed to naturally restore the correct amount and balance of a man or woman’s hormones. Hormone replacement therapy can help restore an individual’s quality of life by eliminating the frustrating symptoms of hormone decline or imbalance. But, perhaps even more importantly, hormone therapy can also reduce a patient’s risk of developing life-threatening illnesses such as osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
And, if stress is determined to be an underlying cause or contributor to the hormone imbalance, a combination of stress management strategies and hormone replacement therapy can offer intervention that gets (and keeps) the body’s hormone levels back in balance.
Lifestyle + Hormone Therapy = Equilibrium
In addition to hormone replacement therapy, many lifestyle factors can be altered and improved to reverse hormonal imbalance and help bring the body back into equilibrium.
Increasing physical activity not only decreases stress, but also boosts levels of fat-burning, muscle-maintaining hormones such as testosterone that decline with age. Clinical research has also proven that stress-reducing techniques like meditation and massage lower levels of stress biomarkers. In fact, review of studies published in 2005 revealed that massage therapy reduces the stress hormone cortisol by an average of 31% and also increases the mood-boosting hormone serotonin by 28% !
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Stress
If you, like most adults living through the pandemic, are feeling the effects of being under a great deal of stress, it is important to discuss the possibility of hormone imbalance with your primary care provider. A simple panel of blood tests can determine if you are suffering from a hormone deficiency that may be responsible for a lack of energy, weight gain, changes in mood, decreased sex drive, mental fogginess, depression or anxiety, and more.
SottoPelle® hormone replacement pellets can restore your body to optimal balance. And pellet therapy offers several advantages, including NO daily pills, NO painful weekly shots, and NO messy creams. Additionally, SottoPelle® testosterone pellet therapy utilizes bioidentical hormones that are safer, more effective, and more natural than lab-created synthetics. Because bioidentical hormones are identical to the body’s own hormones, they offer more effective results, with fewer side-effects and risks.
Talk to your physician about SottoPelle® testosterone replacement therapy today. Or schedule an appointment with the providers at SottoPelle in the Phoenix, AZ area today. If you live outside of the greater Phoenix area, you can also find a physician in your area who is highly trained in hormone replacement using our Physician Finder HERE.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy: 480.874.1515
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as general information only and is not intended to be used as medical advice. While the benefits of hormone replacement are well documented through clinical research, we are not representing that hormone therapy is a “cure” for any disease. Only your treating physician can determine if hormone replacement may be a beneficial part of your healthcare regimen, based on your age, overall health, risk factors, and lifestyle.