Hormone Balancing

Functional medicine practitioners are not only well-versed in alternative therapy routes but are also familiar with human physiology, perhaps more than conventional medicine practitioners. They take an aggregated purview of health issues and seek to address the implicit factors that cause physiological processes to be dysfunctional. Addressing endocrine health is one-way functional medicine practitioners can comprehensively picture any physiological dysfunction. 

The endocrine system produces various hormones that regulate many physical processes. From a weight gain perspective, hormones are the link that connects weight gain, satiation and hunger. Your hunger and vivacity are only two of the many aspects of your well-being that are impacted by hormones. 


Our hormones maintain a delicate balance, and even a small change might have unfavorable effects. Despite evidence that hormone imbalances are often the root cause of many chronic conditions, they are often overlooked unless there are overt manifestations of hormonal imbalance. Also, hormonal imbalances can be frustratingly challenging to identify despite significantly impacting general health.

What does hormone imbalance look like?

Functional medicine looks at the essential function of hormones in maintaining bodily health. Consider your hormones to be messengers that carry information to the rest of your body to control various processes, such as blood sugar, stress levels, metabolism, sleep, and more. We will examine the multiple aspects of hormone imbalance to further your understanding.  

Numerous organs maintain hormone balance. Your brain’s hypothalamus, a small organ, communicates with your endocrine system, which regulates hormone output. The endocrine system has the following glands within its purview: 

  • Adrenals
  • Hypothalamus
  • Ovaries
  • Testicles
  • Thyroid gland
  • Parathyroid glands
  • Pineal gland
  • Pituitary glands

The HPA Axis

As an illustration, your hypothalamus instructs your adrenal and pituitary glands to release the “stress hormones” cortisol and adrenaline when your brain detects a threat. This process, also known as the HPA axis, significantly impacts your body. Upon stimulus by the hypothalamus, these glands respond by releasing hormones. These hormones instruct your muscles to tense up, your breathing to quicken, and your liver to produce more glucose into your bloodstream to provide you with more energy. Because they triggered our “flight or fight” response, those reactions probably served us well in the distant past when we were more likely to be the target of an actual attack. Today, however, stress is frequently more persistent, and we often cannot get away from or combat the stressors. Instead, the long-term impacts still have a negative effect.

Predisposition to Hormone Imbalance and Risk Factors

Throughout our lifetimes, we all suffer hormone imbalances of varying degrees. In healthy individuals, these processes tend to correct themselves on their own. In some people, setbacks in specific developmental phases can cause or increase the increase of chronic hormone imbalances.


Hormonal changes start to accelerate in middle age. Because the ovaries and testes receive signals to begin manufacturing more hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, and growth hormones, puberty is one prominent moment where hormones can occasionally be radically out of balance. With the onset of menopause, estrogen production in women begins to decline. However, for many women, this doesn’t happen gradually; instead, it happens in fits and spurts, making symptoms more difficult to control.

Hormone abnormalities in midlife can affect men as well. Male hormones (androgens) like testosterone begin to fall by roughly 1% annually in males around the age of 40.


Hormone imbalance can result from various causes aside from age-related hormonal changes, such as stress, disordered eating, nutritional deficiency, medicine, exposure to pollutants, birth control pills, and various medical disorders.


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