and styleThere are several causes that trigger hormone imbalance, such as using contraception, becoming aged, exposure to chemicals, frequent smoking or taking alcohol, eating poor diet and stress.

Many factors can disrupt hormonal balance and a normal menstrual cycle. Birth control pills, stress, and many other conditions may be to blame. Drug use, reliance on stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, and even poor nutrition seems to physically change the proteins in the brain so they can no longer send the proper signals for normal ovulation.

Other factors which can disrupt hormonal balance and menstruation include:

  1. Adrenal Exhaustion

The adrenal glands contribute to about 35 percent of premenopausal female hormones and almost 50 percent of postmenopausal hormones. Therefore, compromised adrenal function profoundly affects hormonal balance. When we are under stress, regardless of the source (danger, personal relationships, work, environment) our adrenal glands are designed to secrete the hormone cortisol, which has a direct impact on the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA.

  1. Eating disorders

While hormonal changes do not cause eating disorders, an imbalance in hormones can occur in severe eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. When an eating disorder occurs, the reproductive hormones which include estrogen and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are low while the stress hormones are high. In addition, the thyroid and growth hormones are also considerably affected. These conditions can lead to amenorrhœa, or the absence of a menstrual period.

A poor diet can also cause men and women to suffer from a hormone imbalance. Processed foods, saturated fats and refined carbs can cause the body to produce and store excess amounts of fat, which reduces the production of testosterone which is present in both genders.

  1. Ovulation disorders

These types of disorders are caused by high levels of androgens (male sex hormones) or prolactin. Androgen levels promote the male sex characteristics and are responsible for the development of pubic hair and sex drive.

  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

This condition is caused by abnormally high levels of male hormone, which in turn results in high levels of luteinizing hormones as well as low levels of follicle stimulating hormones (FSH).

  1. Abnormal cervical mucus

Irregularities related to cervical mucus include mucus that is too thick to allow sperm penetration even during ovulation or insufficient cervical mucus production in the cervical glands.

  1. Contraception

Using any sort of contraception treatments can cause women to suffer from a hormone imbalance. Birth control pills and other substances often contain progestins or progestogens which are synthetic hormones meant to stop the body from completing its natural ovulation cycle. Introducing these artificial chemicals into the body can cause the natural hormones to become imbalanced.

  1. Aging

Men and women may also suffer from a hormone balance as they age and the effects begin to take a toll on the body. Women frequently begin to suffer frequent hormone imbalances when they enter into menopause as the body begins to adjust to not having a regular ovulation cycle. Men may notice a dip in testosterone levels as the prostate gland begins to function less efficiently than it once did.

  1. Exposure to chemicals

Those who frequently eat meat that has been exposed to estrogenic hormones can cause the natural estrogen levels in the body to become excessively high. Coming into contact with chemicals such as PCB, DDT, dioxin or chlorine either through food or through products in our home can cause an imbalance in hormones to occur. Breathing in vapors containing these toxins can also cause a hormone imbalance in the body. From plastics, pesticides, and other poisons found in common household items, these foreign substances mimic estrogen once they enter the body.

  1. Cigarettes and alcohol

Smoking or drinking alcohol frequently can also cause hormones to become imbalanced in addition to the other damaging effects these substances have on the body. Men who smoke or drink frequently are often found to have lower testosterone levels, while women who drink frequently often find themselves developing higher estrogen levels than normal.

  1. Prolonged stress

This can be a major contributor to a hormone imbalance. The body is designed to cope with stress by producing its own stress-fighting hormones. As stress levels rise hormones such as estrogen DHEA. Chronic stress disrupts this natural process, leading to compromised production of female hormones and multitude of symptoms including irritability, mood swings, headaches, sleeplessness, and weight gain.

  1. Glandular problems

Primary glands such as the hypothalamus, thyroid and pituitary glands are responsible for the production of reproductive hormones. They send signals during reproductive processes that cause various levels of hormone production. When hormonal abnormalities occur in these glands, fertility problems in women may occur. The primary glands may be affected by a wide range of underlying conditions such as weight changes, stress, medication, birth control pills and medical disorders such as hypothyroidism and tumors.

  1. Premature menopause

Premature menopause is also known as premature ovarian failure. It occurs when women under the age of 40 lack hormones required for ovulation and menstruation as a result of a depleted supply of eggs.

  1. Candida

A Candida waste product produces a false estrogen, which tricks the body into thinking it has produced adequate levels, signaling a reduction of its own estrogen. Similar messages can also be sent to the thyroid, reducing thyroxin production and initiating or worsening a hypothyroid problem.