Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Subscribe to the Magazine for free
Subscribe for free to keep reading! If you are already subscribed, enter your email address to log back in.
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Are you a healthcare practitioner?
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Hormonal Imbalance - All You Need to Know in 2024

Medically reviewed by 
Hormonal Imbalance - All You Need to Know in 2024

If you’re feeling “off” and develop unusual symptoms, hormonal imbalance may be to blame. Hormone irregularities affect 80% of women and more than 25% of men over 30. 

Diagnosing the root cause of hormone problems and using a functional medicine treatment approach can eliminate bothersome symptoms and the risk of life-altering complications. Simple medical interventions combined with lifestyle changes can reverse hormone imbalances and restore patients’ quality of life. 


What Are Hormones?

Hormones are chemicals in the human body that coordinate body functions and carry messages to the skin, muscles, organs, and numerous other tissues. These signals direct the body what to do and when to accomplish specific tasks. When present in the right amounts, hormones contribute to optimal body functioning. More than 50 hormones exist within the human body. 

Hormones are part of the body’s endocrine system and control numerous body processes, including metabolism, reproduction, mood, growth, development, sleep-wake cycles, and sexual functioning.

What Does Hormone Imbalance Mean?

Hormone imbalance in the body occurs when too much or too little of a hormone is present. This may stem from various genetic or environmental factors. Even the tiniest imbalance can be problematic for body functions, health, and overall well-being. 

Major body changes can become apparent when hormones are unbalanced, many of which require treatment to maximize patient health. Some hormone imbalances are temporary, while others last long-term or indefinitely when not addressed.

What Conditions Does Hormonal Imbalance Cause?

Hormonal imbalances can contribute to the following conditions:

Hormone imbalances should be treated naturally or with medical interventions to minimize symptoms and optimize patient health, well-being, and quality of life with a low risk of complications. 

Causes and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

It’s helpful to know the symptoms of hormonal imbalance and its potential causes to determine the best way to treat it.

Hormone Imbalance Symptoms Affecting People AMAB

People assigned male at birth (AMAB) might notice the following symptoms associated with a hormonal imbalance:

Many of these symptoms stem from low levels of testosterone.

Hormone Imbalance Symptoms Affecting People AFAB

The symptoms of hormonal imbalance in people assigned female at birth (AFAB) include:

Low estrogen is a common cause of these and other symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances in people AFAB. Such symptoms may come and go or worsen over time when left untreated.

Hormone Imbalance Symptoms Affecting Children and Teenagers

The following symptoms may indicate hormone imbalances among children and teens:

  • Slowed growth rate
  • Delayed signs of puberty
  • Being small for a child’s age
  • Less-than-normal endurance and strength 
  • Poor concentration
  • Carrying excess weight or being too thin
  • Excessive thirst or hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Vision changes
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Acne 
  • Hair loss
  • Hot or cold sensitivity
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Irregular or unusual periods
  • Body or facial hair growth in girls

Any new, alarming, or unusual symptoms in children warrant a visit with a healthcare provider. 

Hormone Imbalance Symptoms Affecting the Metabolism

Hormonal imbalances that affect metabolism could contribute to the following symptoms:

Metabolism affects the way the human body utilizes food and nutrients, converting them into energy. The body might burn more or less energy than usual due to hormonal imbalances and metabolism changes.

What Are the Causes of Hormonal Imbalances?

Numerous factors can contribute to hormonal imbalances, including:


Tumors that develop on hormone-producing glands or organs can affect hormone production, causing an imbalance. Tumors are either cancerous or benign (noncancerous). Depending on their location, they may cause an increase or decrease in hormone production. 


Adenomas are benign tumors that sometimes produce excess hormones. Those that affect your endocrine system may contribute to hormonal imbalances.

Nodules (Growths)

Thyroid nodules present on the thyroid gland (the gland that produces thyroid hormone) can lead to hyperthyroidism (excess thyroid hormone production) or hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone production). 

Endocrine Gland Damage or Injury 

Damage or injuries to endocrine glands can also cause hormone fluctuations. They often cause a decrease in hormone production. 

These injuries may occur because of thyroid or neck surgery, severe blood loss, reduced blood flow, bacterial or viral illnesses, head trauma, or radiation therapy during cancer treatment — particularly in people treated for neck or head cancers. 

Autoimmune Conditions

Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the body’s immune system attacks its cells. If it attacks an organ or gland that produces hormones, an imbalance may develop. 

Examples of autoimmune diseases that could affect hormone balance include Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s disease, type 1 diabetes, Addison’s disease, and polyglandular syndromes (conditions affecting more than one endocrine gland). 

Other Causes

Additional causes of hormonal imbalances include:

The normal aging process may also contribute to low hormone levels, particularly low testosterone in men and low estrogen in women.

Women are more likely than men to experience thyroid disease than men, as these diseases affect about 1 in 8 women during their lifetime. 

Diagnosing Hormonal Imbalances

Diagnosing hormone imbalances generally involves blood testing, as endocrine glands release hormones into the bloodstream. Other hormone tests evaluate saliva or urine samples.

Providers discuss patients’ symptoms, review their medical history, complete a physical exam, and may order an ultrasound or other imaging procedure to view specific glands or organs. 

Specific lab tests to consider include:

  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: assesses kidney and liver health, blood sugar, acid-base balance in the blood, and electrolyte balance
  • Hemoglobin A1c: measures the average amount of sugar in the bloodstream over the past several months
  • Fasting Insulin: evaluates insulin levels after a fast to detect insulin resistance 
  • Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA-IR): measures approximate insulin resistance 
  • Estradiol (E2): assesses estrogen levels
  • Comprehensive Thyroid Panel: measures thyroid health, function, and hormone balance (TSH, T3, T4, and anti-thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase antibodies)
  • DHEA-sulfate: evaluates DHEA-S (the “youth hormone”)
  • Testosterone: (free and total w/ SHBG): measures testosterone levels 
  • Progesterone: evaluates progesterone levels
  • DUTCH Complete: urine test that assesses estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, cortisone, and other hormones 
  • Saliva Profile 1: saliva test that measures adrenal hormones and sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and DHEA-S)
  • Lipid Panel: analyzes triglycerides, cholesterol, and lipoprotein levels
  • Micronutrient Test: evaluates levels of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the bloodstream to screen for deficiencies that may affect hormonal balance

The specific tests that are most appropriate depend on a patient’s symptoms, medical history, and risk factors. These tests can detect hormonal imbalances or determine the underlying cause of a patient’s symptoms. 


Managing and Treating Hormonal Imbalances

Treating hormonal imbalances often involves combinations of medical interventions paired with healthy lifestyle changes. Examples include:

Treatment Options for Hormonal Imbalance

Endocrinologists are medical doctors who specialize in and treat hormonal imbalances, though general medicine providers can also help patients better manage certain hormone disorders. 

Examples of common treatments that help balance low or high hormone levels include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), oral medications (pills), and injections.

Treatment options for too-high hormonal levels include medications, radiation therapy, surgery, or combinations of treatments. Providers might prescribe medicines to shrink tumors or suggest surgery to remove problematic growths.

Everyday Tips to Fix Hormonal Imbalances

In addition to medical intervention for hormonal imbalances, adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help improve hormone levels naturally. Examples of holistic treatment options include reducing stress, following a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and exercising regularly. It’s also vital to get enough high-quality sleep and avoid smoking or using tobacco products.  

Dietary supplements may help reduce iodine deficiency or other vitamin or mineral deficiencies linked to hormonal imbalance. 


When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider?

Contact a healthcare provider at the first sign of any new or unusual symptoms associated with hormonal irregularities. The earlier hormone disorders are diagnosed and treated, the faster patients feel better with a lower risk of long-term complications. 

Many patients diagnosed with hormone imbalances should see their provider every 3-6 months for follow-up appointments or lab work, though individualized needs vary from patient to patient. 

Balancing hormones can do wonders for patients’ overall health and quality of life. Many diagnostic tests and treatments for hormonal imbalances are simple, yet highly effective. Preventing hormone issues is sometimes as easy as adopting healthy lifestyle habits.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Learn More
No items found.

Lab Tests in This Article

11 unexpected signs of hormonal imbalance | Northwell Health. (2018, November 27).

Adenomas: Types, causes, symptoms & prevention. (2021, November 22). Cleveland Clinic.

Anderson, S. (2022, July 22). 5 conditions that make it harder to lose weight. Rupa Health.

Bryant, A. (2024, March 13). Pituitary adenomas: Advances in diagnosis and management. Rupa Health.

Chaunt, L. A. (2023, April 13). Using functional nutrition to address hormone imbalances. Rupa Health.

Christie, J. (2022a, March 25). The most common causes of infertility in men and women. Rupa Health.

Christie, J. (2022b, May 6). 10% of women experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder. are you one of them?

Christie, J. (2023a, January 27). Top 6 functional medicine labs to test for root cause of PCOS. Rupa Health.

Christie, J. (2023b, January 31). 5 functional medicine lab tests to consider for women in menopause. Rupa Health.

Christie, J. (2023c, January 31). 7 functional medicine labs to test for root cause of infertility in women. Rupa Health.

Christie, J. (2023d, January 31). How to add bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to your integrative medicine clinic. Rupa Health.

Cleveland Clinic. (2018, October 4). Low testosterone (low T): Causes, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment. Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic. (2022a, February 8). Low estrogen: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment. Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic. (2022b, March 9). Type 1 diabetes: Causes, symptoms, complications & treatment. Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic. (2022c, April 4). Hormonal imbalance: Causes, symptoms & treatment. Cleveland Clinic.

Cloyd, J. (2023a, April 7). Functional medicine high cholesterol protocol. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2023b, May 25). A functional medicine hashimoto treatment protocol: Testing, supplements, and nutrition. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2023c, September 4). A root cause medicine protocol for patients with hot flashes: Testing, therapeutic diet, and supportive supplements. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2023d, October 2). A functional medicine approach to stress management. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2023e, November 17). The gut-based approach to healing your acne. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2023f, December 19). How to interpret your progesterone test. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2023g, December 26). How to interpret an hba1c test and what it means for your patient’s health. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2023h, December 27). Hormone testing 101: How to test and interpret your results. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2024a, February 28). The link between erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease: Understanding the connection. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2024b, March 1). Optimizing sperm health for male fertility outcomes. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2024c, March 14). How to interpret your basic metabolic panel results. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, K. (2023, December 19). How to interpret your lipid panel results. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2023a, July 28). A functional medicine diarrhea protocol: Comprehensive lab testing, therapeutic diet, and supplements. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, J. (2023b, August 25). A root cause medicine protocol for patients with insomnia: Testing, therapeutic diet, and supportive supplements. Rupa Health.

Cloyd, K. (2023, September 7). Unlocking hormonal health: A comprehensive guide to understanding and choosing the right hormonal testing for your patients. Rupa Health.

Coleman, E. (2024, March 21). Guide to hormone headache: Definition, causes & treatments. Rupa Health.

Complete thyroid panel by precision point. (2024). Rupa Health.

Conner, V. (2022, August 2). Nutrition and lifestyle tips to help reduce hot flashes. Rupa Health.

Cox, A. (2022, September 8). 4 herbs and supplements that may help control type 1 diabetes. Rupa Health.

DeCesaris, L. (2023, May 22). Discussing the metabolic health benefits of diet induced thermogenesis with your patients. Rupa Health.

DeCesaris, L. (2023a, January 25). How to support a healthy menstrual cycle. Rupa Health.

DeCesaris, L. (2023b, December 12). Elevating mood with nutraceuticals: A functional medicine perspective. Rupa Health.

DePorto, T. (2022, September 13). Understanding acne and how to treat it naturally. Rupa Health.

Dhaliwal, S. (2018). Diabetes tests and checkups: MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia.

DHEA-Sulfate by access med labs. (2024). Rupa Health.

Diorio, B. (2023, January 27). Functional medicine labs that are important for longevity and cognition. Rupa Health.

DUTCH complete (dried urine) by precision analytical (DUTCH). (2024). Rupa Health.

Estradiol (E2, total) by ZRT laboratory. (2024). Rupa Health.

Gerow, S. (2024, February 27). Neurological health in athletes: Preventing and managing concussions and brain injuries. Rupa Health.

Greenan, S. (2021, November 19). What is functional medicine? How do I find A functional medicine practitioner? Rupa Health.

Henry, E. (2021, November 22). Jacquelyn had reduced libido due to menopause. this is how she and her doctor fixed it. Rupa Health.

HOMA-IR by bostonheart diagnostics. (2024). Rupa Health.

Insulin, fasting by access medical laboratories. (2024). Rupa Health.

Khakham, C. (2023a, August 2). Top labs to run bi-annually on your patients experiencing fatigue. Rupa Health.

Khakham, C. (2023, June 30). Personalizing skin health: Leveraging functional medicine labs to tailor dietary interventions and supplements. Rupa Health.

Khakham, C. (2023b, September 21). An integrative and complementary approach to radiation-induced thyroiditis. Rupa Health.

Kresge, K. (2022, April 6). 9 common things that may be causing your constipation. Rupa Health.

Kresge, K. (2023, February 21). An integrative medicine approach to depression. Rupa Health.

LoBisco, S. (2022, November 16). 7 natural treatments for low progesterone. Rupa Health.

Low testosterone: Are you “one in four”? - western michigan urological associates. (2022, October 1). Western Michigan Urology Associates.

Micronutrient test by spectracell laboratories. (2024). Rupa Health.

Neibling, K. (2023, February 7). What you need to know about the thyroid iodine connection. Rupa Health.

Orbeta, R. (2022, April 1). 8 signs and symptoms of an autoimmune disease. Rupa Health.

Orbeta, R. (2022, June 6). 10 type 2 diabetes risk factors you may not know about. Rupa Health.

Preston, J. (2023a, March 9). 7 most common female reproductive health issues. Rupa Health.

Preston, J. (2023b, March 15). An integrative medicine approach to managing menopause symptoms. Rupa Health.

Preston, J. (2023c, September 13). A functional medicine protocol for fatigue: Lab testing, nutrition, and helpful supplements. Rupa Health.

Rupa health | A simpler way to order specialty lab work. (2024).

Saliva profile I - female/male by ZRT laboratory. (2024). Rupa Health.

Sharma, M. (2024, March 21). Addressing hormonal imbalances in adolescents. Rupa Health.

Skarulis, M., & Stack, B. (2019, April). Thyroid disease |

Stanford, J. (2024, March 19). Exploring the link between insulin resistance and obesity. Rupa Health.

Sweetnich, J. (2023a, April 5). Top 5 labs for patients experiencing hair loss. Rupa Health.

Sweetnich, J. (2023b, April 17). A functional medicine protocol for low libido in men. Rupa Health.

Sweetnich, J. (2023, February 28). Testosterone testing 101. Rupa Health.

Teeter, L. A. (2023, April 4). Functional nutrition strategies for weight management and metabolic health. Rupa Health.

Thyroid panel by boston heart diagnostics. (2024). Rupa Health.

Varanasi-Diaz, S. (2024, April 1). Integrative approaches to enhanced focus and concentration. Rupa Health.

Weinberg, J. (2023, October 10). An integrative medicine approach to skin tags. Rupa Health.

Weinberg, J. L. (2022, September 7). An integrative medicine approach to hypothyroidism. Rupa Health.

Weinberg, J. (2022, November 16). 4 science backed health benefits of the mediterranean diet. Rupa Health.

Weinberg, J. (2023a, January 24). Functional medicine treatment for graves’ disease. Rupa Health.

Weinberg, J. (2023b, February 7). A functional medicine protocol for hyperthyroidism. Rupa Health.

Weinberg, J. (2024, January 11). Enhancing sleep quality during shorter days: Insights from functional medicine. Rupa Health.

Weinberg, J. L. (2022, September 7). An integrative medicine approach to hypothyroidism. Rupa Health.

Yoshimura, H. (2023, October 31). Functional fitness: Integrative approaches to muscle health and hormonal regulation in men. Rupa Health.

Yoshimura, H. (2023a, April 10). Integrative medicine approaches to managing anxiety and depression naturally. Rupa Health.

Yoshimura, H. (2023b, July 3). 5 functional medicine lab tests that can help individualize care for Addison’s disease patients. Rupa Health.

Yoshimura, H. (2023c, November 7). The remarkable power of exercise on our health: A comprehensive overview. Rupa Health.

Subscribe to the Magazine for free to keep reading!
Subscribe for free to keep reading, If you are already subscribed, enter your email address to log back in.
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Are you a healthcare practitioner?
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.