Hormones are chemical messengers produced by one part of the body to tell some other part what to do. There are many hormones including thyroid hormone, insulin, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. There are many other hormones, but these are some of the most important.
Usually, people tend to only think of one hormone at a time. Thyroid symptoms indicate a thyroid problem. Blood sugar symptoms means there is an insulin problem. Symptoms around sexual function indicate a sex hormone problem. And high stress means a cortisol problem. This may be a good way to learn the different hormones but the hormonal system is more complex than this.
In real life each these four systems affects the other three in a complex balance game. Basically, when one hormone goes up, another, goes down to compensate. This continues until a patient becomes so sick, that almost all of these hormones go down.
When evaluating someone with hormonal problems it is vital to look at all of the systems. One system can affect another and disrupt normal hormonal balance and give them symptoms. More times than not I have seen a blood sugar problem causing poor sleep, fatigue or weight gain. I have also seen adrenal stress or a cortisol rhythm problem causing mood swings, depression or irregular periods. Thyroid dysfunction can also cause the above symptoms and more.
Each of the above systems needs to be thoroughly assessed to find the hidden cause of someone’s hormonal imbalance.