A human body has several hormones and individual hormones have different functions. These hormones harmoniously balance with each other, and when the hormones do not balance together that state is known as hormonal disbalance disbalance or imbalance. This imbalance affects mainly the reproductive system, and may contribute to development of chronic diseases.
What are hormones?
Hormones are called the body’s chemical messenger that helps in the functions of the body by delivering messages through the bloodstream to your different organs, muscles, and tissues. These messages convey the organs when and what to do.
Researchers have clarified that our endocrine system produces over 50 types of hormones. These hormones plays crucial role in different bodily functions, such as:
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar regulation
- Sexual functions
- Managing body temperature
- Sleep cycle
As hormones play an important role in all these processes, a little imbalance can cause serious disruption in a human body. This can even cause chronic conditions which may require medical treatment.
Which tissues release hormones?
A gland makes different types of substances such as hormones, digestive fluids and sweats. Endocrine system makes most of the hormones, and releases them into the bloodstream. The organs or tissues that release hormones are described below:
1. Pituitary gland: Pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland located in the brain, just behind the bridge of the nose and below the hypothalamus. This gland has two lobes, such as posterior and anterior lobes. Pituitary glands release many types of hormones that affect the other endocrine glands. The anterior lobe releases six hormones which includes:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Growth hormone (GH)
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone or corticotropin
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
- Luteinizing hormone (LH)
The posterior lobe releases two hormones:
- Antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
2. Hypothalamus: A small region that connects the pituitary gland to the pituitary stalk is called hypothalamus. The hormones released by hypothalamus are:
- Oxytocin (This hormones actually made by the hypothalamus but it stored and released through the pituitary gland)
- Corticotropin-releasing hormone
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
- Growth hormone releasing hormone
- Thyrotropin-releasing hormone
3. Pineal gland: Pineal gland is a small gland positioned at the back side of the corpus callosum. It releases melatonin which helps in the sleep and wake cycle.
4. Thyroid gland: The thyroid gland is a small butterfly shaped gland that is positioned at the frontside of our neck. The main function of this gland is to maintain the body’s metabolism rate. Our thyroid gland releases four hormones:
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- Reverse triiodothyronine (RT3)
- Thyroxine (T4)
5. Parathyroid glands: There are four pea-sized glands located just right behind the thyroid gland, called the parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands release parathyroid hormone to maintain and balance the calcium levels in our body.
6. Pancreas: The pancreas is the part of our digestive system located in the back of our abdomen. The endocrine cells in pancreas produce insulin and glucagon.
7. Adrenal glands: The small triangle shaped glands positioned on the top of each kidneys are called the adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands makes hormone including:
- Androgen or DHEA
8. Ovaries: Females have two ovaries positioned on the both sides of the uterus just below the opening of the fallopian tubes. The ovaries make three hormones, such as:
9. Testes: Males have two testes that are located below the penis. The testes also produce testosterone hormone and sperm.
Apart from the endocrine system, there are also other glands or tissues that produce certain crucial hormones:
1. Adipose tissue: Adipose tissue is the fat tissue that is spread throughout our body, including under the skin, around the organs, breast tissue, muscles and bone marrow. This tissue releases leptin and estrogen.
2. Kidney: Kidneys are the bean-sized organs that are a part of the urinary system. They help to filter the body by eliminating wastes through urination. Our kidney produces hormones including:
- The active form of vitamin D
3. Liver: Our liver has multiple functions in our body including digesting food. This organ or gland makes two hormones, such as Angiotensinogen and Insulin-like growth factor 1.
4. Gastrointestinal tract: The gastrointestinal is a long tube connected from the mouth to the anus. Our Gut mainly helps in the digestion and also produces certain hormones, such as:
- Glucagon-like peptide 1
5. Placenta: Placenta is a temporary organ that gradually develops during the first three months of pregnancy. It produces estrogen and progesterone to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
What are the functions of hormones?
Our endocrine system produces certain chemicals that are called hormones, and they take part in several body functions. These hormones work for their target cells by giving certain specific messages. These chemical messengers can also affect or make changes in the targeted cells and the surrounding tissues.
Our body utilizes hormones for different types of communications, such as communication between two endocrine glands, and between thyroid and pituitary glands. The communications between the endocrine system includes one endocrine gland releasing hormones which stimulates the other gland to manage the hormone levels. On the other hand, our pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which stimulates thyroid gland to release more.
What can cause hormonal imbalance?
Any hormonal related condition may have several potential causes. However, the common reasons behind the hormonal imbalance may include:
- Damage to the endocrine glands
- Autoimmune conditions
- Hereditary gene mutation
What conditions can develop due to hormonal imbalance?
The hormones in our body function harmoniously together. However, too much of or too little of these can affect the body and may cause a range of symptoms or conditions. The possible conditions caused by hormonal imbalance include:
- Diabetes (type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gastrointestinal diabetes)
- Thyroid conditions ( Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism)
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (Irregular menstrual cycle)
- Female infertility
- Male infertility
What symptoms may occur due to hormonal imbalance?
Hormonal imbalance may affect the endocrine system, reproductive system, and fertility. The common symptoms may include:
- Migraine or headache
- Weight gain
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- Irregular menstruation
- Painful or heavy menstrual bleeding
- Joint pain
- Sleep disturbance
- Mood swings
What is the female hormone test?
Female hormone test is specialized for women which is usually done to measure the different hormone levels in females. Female hormone blood test is generally a part of routine blood tests. However, a doctor may prescribe this test for various reasons, including:
- To diagnose a condition: Your doctor may prescribe this test to identify the cause behind your symptoms. This test may help in diagnosing polycystic ovary syndrome, menopause, infertility, and a few types of cancers.
- To monitor an existing condition: Your doctor may suggest this test for the monitoring of a present condition. Hormone tests are usually suggested to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment of infertility and certain cancers.
- To screening: Your doctor might also suggest a hormone test to detect any health issues before the appearance of any potential symptoms. For example, certain hormone tests are suggested during pregnancy to detect any possible pregnancy complications.
What hormones are measured in the female hormone profile test?
There are different types of female hormone profile tests available that include multiple types of hormone testing. However, the known female hormone test list includes:
- Thyroid hormones: There are different types of thyroid hormones that affect our body, such as thyroid stimulating hormone, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. An imbalance of these hormones may indicate a thyroid condition.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): Follicle-stimulating hormone helps in regulating menstruation and triggers the ovaries to release eggs during ovulation. High levels of this hormone may indicate an issue with your pituitary gland or hypothalamus.
- Estrogen: Estron, estradiol and estriol are the three types of estrogen that have multiple functions in our female body. These hormone levels usually fluctuate throughout the day.
- Progesterone: This hormone is extremely important for managing menstruation and fetus development. This hormone testing helps to detect pregnancy complications, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and to determine if you are ovulating normally.
- Testosterone or DHEA: Testosterone is usually known as the “male hormone” which is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. This hormone testing helps to detect infertility, ovarian cancer, and PCOS.
- Luteinizing hormone (LH): This hormone triggers the ovaries to produce more estrogen and release eggs. High levels of luteinizing hormone may indicate an issue in our ovary, pituitary glands or hypothalamus.
You can search for a female hormone test price online.
When should you get a female hormone test?
Your doctor would suggest to you to take a hormone test, if you notice any possible symptoms of hormonal imbalance. As the hormones affect many body parts, the imbalance may cause various symptoms, such as:
- Body hair growth
- Irregular period
- Vaginal dryness
- Excessive bleeding during menstruation
- Problems in conceiving
- Sensitivity to cold
- Skin changes
- Hair fall
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Excessive tiredness
How often should you take a hormone test?
In case you have been diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance, and you are managing your hormone levels by medications, lifestyle and dietary changes. If your symptoms have improved and you are currently not having any symptoms then further testing is not required. However, your doctor would guide you if you require any further testing.