Hormone Imbalances - How to Tell if You Have a Hormone Deficiency
The work that hormones do is subtle—yet when they fall out of balance, the effects on your health may be anything but.
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the September 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
I think of the body's hormones as musical instruments in an orchestra: Each plays its own part in creating a perfect concert—until the day one is out of tune and throws off the entire melody.
Although it was many years ago, I still remember one of the first patients I saw with a hormonal disturbance. She was a lovely woman in her early 40s who was a little heavy; despite having tried every diet under the sun, she couldn't seem to shed the extra pounds. As we talked and she mentioned a few more of her concerns—dry skin, brittle hair, a lack of energy (even shortly after her morning coffee)—I realized I needed to test her thyroid levels. Sure enough, they were too low. With proper medication, my patient's skin and energy improved, and she was no longer a prisoner to a simple chemical imbalance.
No one should have to live with an untreated hormone problem. Some require medical care, while others may be addressed with lifestyle adjustments, but almost all are treatable. Here is a guide to some of the most common signs of hormone imbalance—and what you can do to restore harmony.