Stress makes the human body react in ways designed to defend itself against predators and other aggressors. For example, the hypothalamus activates an alarm system in the body when a person is faced with a perceived threat. In addition, nervous and hormonal impulses stimulate the adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys to release a surge of substances, including adrenaline and cortisol.
In addition to increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and energy levels, adrenaline increases the body’s metabolism. For example, it raises blood sugar levels (glucose), and cortisol enhances glucose consumption in the brain and makes it easier for cells to repair themselves.
Hormone Replacement Therapy: Hormone Imbalance
In a fight-or-flight situation, cortisol also suppresses processes that are unnecessary or detrimental. It inhibits the digestive system, reproductive system, and development processes by altering immune system reactions. This sophisticated natural warning system communicates with the brain areas that govern mood, motivation, and fear.
An overactive stress response system and high cortisol levels can impair almost all the body’s processes over time. In addition to depression and anxiety, this puts a person in danger of death.
Long-Term Stress Effects
Stress can induce the liver to release more sugar into the circulation as energy. As a result, the body releases insulin to respond to high glucose spikes to deal with the extra circulating glucose. Unresolved glucose spikes caused by prolonged stress can eventually lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Both males and females are susceptible to the effects of stress on their reproductive systems. Stress causes high amounts of cortisol in the short term. As a result, the menstrual cycle can be thrown off by ignored or unbalanced hormones in women. It can result in missing periods or, in the worst-case scenario, a complete cessation of the menstrual cycle.
Long-term stress in men can cause testosterone levels to drop. Erectile dysfunction and sperm production can both be the result making it more difficult to conceive.
Can Hormone Therapy Help?
Hormone replacement treatment (HRT) may assist when estrogen and progesterone levels are low in the body. HRT can help with hot flashes, sweating, and other menopausal symptoms. Furthermore, it can be used as a preventative measure against osteoporosis. Progesterone and estrogen are included in HRT for females.
For males, there is testosterone therapy. Besides assisting with erectile dysfunction, returning testosterone to normal levels can increase sexual drive and muscle strength.
The first step in treatment is to have your hormone levels tested. Metro MediSpa can help. Once your levels are known, a hormone replacement therapy regime can be recommended. Get back to feeling like your typical self and be tested. Call 888-637-7228 or 910-599-9925 and set up an appointment today.