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No "Safe Threshold" for Hormone Imbalances

Hormones are the body's "power players." They are so important that there may be no such thing as an "insignificant" hormone imbalance.

"It is well established in clinical science that even mild hormonal imbalances can be associated with significant adverse health effects," observe the authors of a recent review study appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives. Hormone balances, as well as any forces that may potentially disrupt them - including chemicals in the environment - should be carefully evaluated.

Mild thyroid hormone imbalances have been linked to cholesterol excess, increased depression, cognitive dysfunction, cardiac abnormalities, and bone thinning (osteoporosis). Other hormones, such as estrogen, can act directly on the brain to affect memory, cognitive skills, headache, seizures, and mood. By altering reproductive function, subtle hormonal imbalances can also promote infertility and lead to poorer pregnancy outcomes.

Another very common hormone imbalance is insulin resistance ("Syndrome X"), which often precedes diabetes, heart disease, obesity, PCOS, and other chronic diseases.

Studies on hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer have shown that even the smallest hormone imbalance increases your risk of cancer. The appearance of even subtle metabolic disruptions of estrogen and other hormones may be critical.

Unfortunately, it may not take much to "tip the scales." Over-exercise, malnutrition (such as in anorexia), and chronic disease are just a few factors that can disrupt hormonal function. Stress also has a strong potential impact. In men, emotional stress can reduce testosterone levels and possibly interfere with sperm production.

To effectively safeguard your health, it's important to address what has been previously viewed as the "gray area" - slight hormone imbalances that often begin to emerge years before the appearance of overt dysfunction and disease. The Connecticut Center for Health is experienced the diagnosis and treatment of hormonal imbalances.