- Tai chi
- Mind-body therapies
1 AnswerAny therapy that is going to help you decompress from the effects of stress will help you as you stabilize your stress hormones and, for that matter, all of your hormones. For men, shifting hormone levels are much less severe, but they exist nonetheless. So while you may not "feel" any dramatic stressors, your body may be coping with pockets of hidden inflammation. Any of these treatments can help regulate the flow of energy in your body:
1 AnswerHealthwise answered
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is a chemical produced in the brain that causes the kidneys to release less water, decreasing the amount of urine produced. A high ADH level causes the body to produce less urine. A low level results in greater urine production.
Normally, the amount of ADH in the body is higher during the night. This helps prevent urination while you are sleeping. But if the levels of ADH remain low during the night, the body will produce large amounts of urine, so urination during the night is more likely
Sometimes this hormone system develops slowly in children and prevents the normal nighttime increase in ADH. This can increase the risk of bed-wetting during the night. Over time, this problem usually gets better on its own.
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1 AnswerDavid Slovik, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, answeredThe bone remodeling process maintains the skeleton by replacing old bone with new. This important task in the body's housekeeping scheme requires more than osteoclasts (cells that break down bone) and osteoblasts (construction cells); a host of hormones work quietly behind the scenes to influence the behavior of cells.
Parathyroid hormone, which is secreted by small islands of tissue near the thyroid gland, is a primary force in resorption, the process by which calcium is released from bones. Parathyroid hormone is secreted when the level of calcium in the blood falls below the amount needed by the body's cells. This hormone helps restore the appropriate levels of calcium in the blood in several ways. It promotes the absorption of calcium by the digestive system and slows the excretion of calcium into the urine. It also stimulates osteoclasts to break down bone to release calcium into the blood. When the calcium level in the blood is adequate, the production of parathyroid hormone falls.
It takes a sizeable squad of other hormones and substances to carry out bone formation. For example, vitamin D (which is actually a hormone) plays a pivotal role, limiting withdrawals of calcium from bone by promoting calcium absorption from food in the intestines.
1 AnswerJan Shifren, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answeredTestosterone is converted to estrogen in the blood, and some researchers and healthcare providers are concerned that the long-term risks of estrogen therapy will also be seen in women on testosterone therapy. In fact, a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that the risk of breast cancer was nearly 2.5 times greater in postmenopausal women who took hormone pills combining estrogen and testosterone than in those who didn't take the medications. The researchers also reported that the risk of breast cancer was greater with estrogen-testosterone therapy than with estrogen alone or estrogen combined with progesterone. A study in The New England Journal of Medicine of 814 women who used testosterone patches or a placebo for a year documented four cases of breast cancer among women using testosterone patches, but no cases in the placebo group -- a difference that could be due to chance but is worrisome nonetheless. Clearly, more study is needed to determine how testosterone might influence the risk of breast cancer.
1 AnswerJan Shifren, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answeredTestosterone production peaks in a woman's 20s and gradually declines after that. Although menopause per se does not cause low testosterone levels, by menopause, it registers at just about half of what it was at its peak due to aging. The hormone doesn't disappear completely, however. The ovaries manufacture it throughout life, even though they stop producing estrogen at menopause. But if a woman's ovaries are removed (which sometimes occurs in combination with a hysterectomy), her testosterone levels drop, although the adrenal glands continue to make hormones similar to testosterone. The same decline can occur after certain forms of chemotherapy and with certain medications.
Taking oral estrogen can also diminish a woman's active or “free” testosterone levels, because her body responds to the increased amount of estrogen by boosting its production of a certain protein known as sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). This protein binds to testosterone, so the testosterone then is not free to be used by other cells in the body.
3 AnswersSymptoms of hormonal imbalance include:
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- Seasonal allergies
- Not feeling well after meals
- Sluggishness, headaches, confusion
- Frequent colds and infections
- Weight gain
- Unexplained hair loss
- Excess of body hair or facial hair
- Loss of body hair
- Having an autoimmune condition
1 AnswerThere are at least 60 types of hormones in your body. If one hormone is off, it's likely that several others will be out of whack as well. When your hormones are out of balance, it's natural to feel out of sorts. This type of chronic low-grade stress sets the stage for inflammation and oxidative or metabolic stress. As you age, you become more susceptible to the long-term effects of the subtle inflammation that results from oxidative or metabolic stress. Over time, hormonal imbalance left untreated can trigger an autoimmune condition by directing your immune system to launch a full-scale attack, even when it's not necessary. These hormonal snafus, together or combined with other imbalances in your body, can wreak havoc on your body, mind, and emotions. Living with even mild low-grade hormonal imbalance makes you susceptible to oxidative stress.
1 AnswerMichael Mufson, MD, Psychiatry, answeredSome studies have found that people with anxiety disorders have increased levels of excess corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in the cerebrospinal fluid, a clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Research sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health revealed that individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder have above-average levels of CRF. One study showed higher-than-normal levels of pituitary and adrenal stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), in the bloodstreams of women who had been physically or mentally abused as children. The levels were especially high in women who were experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression at the time of the study.
This research suggests a biological explanation for why early stress or trauma increases the risk of developing an anxiety disorder in adulthood. Early trauma may cause a lasting increase in CRF and other stress hormones, and the pumped-up levels of these hormones may keep the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the autonomic system in a state of alert.
1 AnswerMichael Mufson, MD, Psychiatry, answeredWhile neurotransmitters help transmit signals along nerve pathways, other chemicals, called hormones, carry messages to organs or groups of cells throughout the body. Imbalances of certain hormones increase the risk for anxiety and may induce anxiety symptoms.
These hormones circulate in a pathway called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which influences mood. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain located above your brainstem, the pituitary gland sits below your brain, and the adrenal glands are located atop your kidneys. Together these bodies govern a multitude of hormonal activities in the body and may play a role in anxiety disorders. The autonomic nervous system, which triggers the fight-or-flight response and directs functions throughout the body, is responsible for the function of the HPA axis.
When you're faced with a threat, the HPA axis allows you to respond quickly. However, in some people with anxiety disorders, this system remains in overdrive.
The hypothalamus secretes corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a hormone vital to rousing your body when a physical or emotional threat looms. This hormone follows a pathway to your pituitary gland, where it stimulates the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which pulses into your bloodstream. When ACTH reaches your adrenal glands, it triggers the release of cortisol, a steroid hormone. The rise in cortisol prompts a cascade of reactions in your body, including a rush of energy and alertness. This enables you to respond quickly to a threat. Normally, a feedback loop allows the body to disable these defenses when the threat passes. But in some cases, the floodgates never close properly, and cortisol levels rise too often or simply stay high.
The Women's Health Initiative, a major independent 15-year research program begun in 1991, reported in 2002 that the demonstrated risks of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) outweighed benefits in asymptomatic women. Increased risks for stroke, deep vein thrombosis, dementia, incontinence and breast cancer were so clearly demonstrated, in fact, that the HRT study was stopped early.
These findings on the use of estrogen-progestin and estrogen-only HRT drugs were alarming, according to Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman of Georgetown University Medical Center. In a more recent study* examining 340 medical journal articles written about HRT, she and her research team examined the admitted drug industry financial conflicts of interests disclosed by authors of HRT-friendly medical journal articles; it was published in March 2011 in the journal, Public Library of Science Medicine.
* Fugh-Berman A, McDonald CP, Bell AM, Bethards EC, Scialli AR (2011) Promotional Tone in Reviews of Menopausal Hormone Therapy After the Women’s Health Initiative: An Analysis of Published Articles. PLoS Med 8(3): e1000425. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000425