Hormones are chemicals that are produced by glands in the endocrine system. Hormones deliver messages telling organs what to do and when to do it by traveling through the bloodstream.
Hormones are essential for regulating most major bodily functions and processes. Hormones help to regulate:
- metabolism and appetite
- heart rate
- sleep cycles
- reproductive cycles and sexual function
- body temperature
- mood and stress levels
- general growth and development
Nearly everyone, males and females, experience at least one or two periods of hormonal imbalance during their lifetime.
Hormonal imbalances are more common during puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy. However, some people experience continual, irregular hormonal imbalances.
Most of the time, hormonal imbalances are caused by external factors such as stress or hormone medications. However, hormone imbalances can also be cause by medical conditions that impacts or involves the endocrine system or glands. A person should speak to a doctor about long-term unexplained symptoms, especially those that cause pain, discomfort, or interfere with everyday activities.