Stress. It’s a common factor in every person’s life. But when stress goes unmanaged, it can drastically affect your health and your quality of life.
When stress is not properly managed, it can affect a variety of your body’s systems. One such system is your endocrine (hormonal) system.
The hormonal system is made up of eight glands. These glands work together to maintain the delicate balance of hormones that your body needs to function properly. Hormones are very potent. The slightest change in the amount of hormone production—hormonal imbalance— can have profound effects on the body. One of the most common causes of hormonal imbalance is chronic stress.
Hormonal imbalance begins with the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located at the top of your kidneys. They are responsible for the release of important hormones that your body needs during times of stress. When the adrenal glands become overworked as a result of there being too much stress on the body, it results in adrenal fatigue.
When your adrenal glands are forced to work overtime for a period of time, the hormonal imbalance it causes can cause other body systems to suffer.
The three most common sources of stress that contribute to adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance include chronic pain, emotional stressors, and poor lifestyle choices.
Chronic pain can arise from a variety of health issues, including:
- Nerve damage
- Injuries or surgery that require long-term healing
- Back problems
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Chronic disease, inflammation, or infection
Common emotional stressors that can contribute to chronic stress include:
- Difficult relationships (dysfunctional, abusive, frequent arguments)
- Divorce or end of a long-term relationship
- Death of a loved one
- Personal injury or illness
- New baby or child added to the family
- Financial stress (mortgage, loans, living expenses)
- Change in living arrangements / residence
- Being overworked
- New job or termination of employment
- Outstanding achievement (promotion, graduation)
Poor Lifestyle Choices
Poor lifestyle choices can also cause excessive stress to your body, including:
- Poor sleep habits
- Caffeine dependency
- Skipping meals on a routine basis
- Consuming too much refined sugar (processed foods, sodas, candy, and other sweets)
- Too little or too much exercise
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Some common symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance as a result of adrenal fatigue include:
- Inability to lose weight
- Cravings for sweets
- Decreased sex drive
- Poor memory
- Weakened immune response
- Recurrent infections
- Menstrual cramping
- Severe mood swings
- Hot flashes / night sweats
- Unexplained nervousness or irritability
- Increased joint or muscle pain
If you’re an otherwise healthy person but find yourself experiencing one or more of the above symptoms on a routine basis, it could be due to the profound physiological changes that are occurring in your body as a result of hormonal imbalance. The good news is that you don’t have to live with these annoying symptoms. At Vibrant, we can put you on the path to restoring your body’s natural balance and enjoying good health for life.
Take the first step towards recovery. Schedule an appointment!