What do hormones do?
Hormones are responsible for controlling a variety of bodily functions and processes. Hormones are produced by various glands and organs that make up the endocrine system, and these substances affect everything from stress levels to sexual function.
Why should I have my hormone levels tested?
Too much or too little of one hormone can affect the entire physiology of the human body. Hormonal imbalances are responsible for many things that can make you feel ill, lethargic, and unlike yourself. Having your hormone levels tested allows your healthcare provider to create a custom treatment plan tailored to your individual needs so that you can live your best life and feel like your best self.
What do hormones control? What do hormone levels indicate?
The level of various hormones can indicate many different things. In order to understand what hormone levels indicate, it’s important to know what various types of hormones control and how they affect the body. Here are the most common types of hormones we’ll monitor and evaluate to ensure your body is functioning optimally.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that is responsible for controlling blood sugar levels and helping the body convert sugar from food into energy usable for bodily functions. When too much insulin is produced by the body, this can result in hypoglycemic episodes characterized by:
Too much insulin, however, can be an early warning sign of Type 2 diabetes and can indicate your body is not functioning properly due to stress, an unhealthy body mass index, and other issues. If you want to know and understand your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other serious complications, evaluating blood glucose levels and insulin output are essential.
If your insulin production is off balance and your blood glucose levels are too high or too low, it can also affect your mood, your ability to focus or concentrate, and more. Working to regulate this hormone and blood sugars can bring you more energy and vitality and significantly lessen your risk for developing other health conditions.
Estrogen plays an important role in sexual function, menstruation, and menopause. When too little estrogen is produced, you may notice skin irritation and dryness, hair loss, and slow nail growth, while too much estrogen has been shown to increase the likelihood of developing certain cancers, such as breast cancer and uterine cancer, as well as depression and anxiety.
Progesterone is a hormone responsible for regulating menstrual cycles which also plays an important role in pregnancy and the ability to conceive, which is why it’s vital that women attempting to conceive understand their estrogen and progesterone level and how they affect the body.
Testosterone is a hormone responsible for physical characteristics of the body such as muscle mass and reproductive tissues as well as sexual function and desire. Too much or too little testosterone can affect sexual function, reproductive health, and even mood and appetite. If you are concerned about sexual function, Riverside Village Pharmacy offers a variety of prescription treatments to treat reproductive disorders and erectile dysfunction.
Serotonin is a term commonly used in discussions involving mental health and depression. This hormone is more than just the ingredient found in many antidepressants, however. Serotonin is a mood-boosting hormone that also affects sleep patterns, memory, concentration, mood, digestion, some nerve functions, and more. Too little serotonin can cause:
- Mood Imbalances
- Decreased Energy Levels
- Weight Gain
- Weight Loss
Too much serotonin can be incredibly dangerous and can lead to:
- Extreme Agitation
- Loss of Consciousness
In healthy doses, cortisol can be effective at helping cope with stress and danger. During flight or fight situations, the increased heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing caused by cortisol production can help make life-saving decisions that help us evade attackers, avoid car accidents, and more. In today’s world of increasing demands and high-stress work environments, however, cortisol can be produced too often, which can lead to:
- High Blood Pressure
Adrenaline, like cortisol, is beneficial when the body is required to respond to dangerous, stressful, or life-threatening situations. Adrenaline for most of us is limited to the increase in energy we feel when riding a roller coaster, watching a scary movie, or participating in extreme sports, but an increase in adrenaline levels at other times is often an indication of too much stress and the presence of anxiety. If your cortisol and adrenaline levels are too high, your healthcare provider will work with you to create a health plan that involves eliminating and managing stress as much as possible to prevent other health concerns that can develop as a result of the body’s constant exposure to stress hormones.
Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4)
Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) are hormones produced by the thyroid gland, and they are responsible for weight gain or weight loss, energy levels, internal body temperature, skin health, hair growth or hair loss, and other factors. Too much or too little of these hormones can be an indication of anxiety, thyroid cancer, extreme stress, and other conditions.
Hormone Testing in Nashville | Riverside Village Clinic
Riverside Village Clinic offers a members only program that provides hormone testing and other benefits. When you sign up for the Wellness Club, we’ll complete a patient consultation where we get to know you, learn your medical history, discuss your primary health concerns, and establish goals for the coming year.
Then we’ll complete a gut wellness lab and consultation as well as hormone labs and follow up with individualized treatment plans, follow-up visits to monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed, and provide supplemental guidance and support to help you live your best life.
You can complete hormone testing and treatment a la carte, as well. We specialize in BHRT (Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy) and work with you on an individualized solution for your hormone balance. Proper treatment helps you live your best life and alleviate symptoms like mood swings, depression, anxiety, physical changes due to menopause, etc.
Imagine feeling like the best version of yourself in as little as a few months. By signing up for the Riverside Village Clinic Wellness Club program, you can!