The ovaries produce many hormones. Chief among them are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The ovarian hormones, estrogen and progesterone, interact to coordinate a woman’s menstrual cycle during her reproductive years. The brain produces the hormones, follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which trigger hormone production from the ovaries. When any of the hormones coming from the brain or the ovaries are imbalanced, symptoms may occur. Imbalances are most common in puberty and menopause, but imbalances can happen at any age.
The adrenal glands produce three types of steroid hormones: glucocorticoids (cortisol), mineralocorticoids (aldosterone), and androgens (DHEA/DHEAS). Cortisol enables the body to respond and adapt to the stresses of daily life. It also helps to maintain blood sugar levels and promote a healthy immune system. Aldosterone works to balance salt and water in the body. Androgens secreted by the adrenals provide the majority of DHEA for both men and women. For women, the adrenal glands are the major source of testosterone. Imbalances in the adrenal system can contribute to problems with the nervous and immune systems, body composition difficulties, blood sugar irregularities, and high androgen levels.
Low levels of GH are linked to poor muscle tone, increased body fat, low energy levels, and cardiovascular changes. GH insufficiency is also associated with pituitary gland problems, brain injury, autoimmune disorders, and nervous system conditions.
Thyroid hormones control the body’s metabolism. The brain produces thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which triggers the thyroid gland to produce two types of hormones – T4 and T3. Because every cell of the body is affected by thyroid hormones, symptoms of imbalances are often varied and affect multiple body systems.
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas. Insulin “unlocks” the cells to allow glucose (sugar) from food to enter and be converted into energy. When too much glucose is present in the body, the pancreas increases the amount of insulin being produced. High insulin as well as high glucose may contribute to multiple symptoms.