Hormone Imbalances

Understanding Hormones

Hormones play an important role in our bodies and are integral in making us who we are. When hormones change due to ageing or other conditions, this can significantly impact our physical and mental health.  At The Surrey Park Clinic, we aim to manage hormone imbalances to restore your health and wellbeing. We firmly believe that women should not suffer in silence and strive to help our patients recover and feel their best.

With over 10 years of experience in managing hormonal imbalances for women, we aim to improve the quality of our patient’s lives with a personalised, professional and innovative approach to treatment tailored to our patients’ precise needs. For information specific to managing Menopausal symptoms, please click here.

What are the symptoms of Hormone Imbalance?

  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Mood changes: depression, mood swings, irritability, shakiness
  • Skin changes: drying and wrinkling, acne, body hairiness, scalp hair loss
  • Joint pains and stiffness
  • Weight gain (usually centred around the waist or chest and bust) or weight fluctuations
  • Bladder problems, including incontinence
  • Bowel symptoms: nausea, bloating, pain, irregular habit
  • Vaginal and sexual problems
  • Headaches
  • Menstrual disorders

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What treatment is available for Hormonal Imbalance?

You will be seen at the initial consultation and complete a symptom questionnaire. You may be required to have some additional tests:

Treatments are tailored to your individual needs and may include specialist dietary advice, sensitive and sympathetic explanation, and a targeted treatment plan of hormone replacement. Individual hormone tailoring for hormonal imbalance will also benefit:

For more information about the different hormone conditions we treat, please click here, or complete our symptom questionnaire, and a specialist member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Menopause & Hormone Specialists

Our Specialists, Mr Jay Chatterjee and Dr Alex Standring, have extensive experience in Menopause and Hormone management. Mr Chatterjee and Dr Standring have both a kind and empathetic approach, resulting in patients from all over the UK and Europe seeking their expertise. You can call 01483 454 016 to book an initial consultation or use the link below

Book now

What is included in a Consultation?

(Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of appointments are taking place remotely, via telephone or video call)

  • BMI check
  • Blood pressure check
  • Your consultant will go through your medical history
  • You may also require an ultrasound scan and/or blood tests which are an additional charge

Your specialist will advise you on which treatments from lifestyle and dietary advice to medication after your consultation.

You do not need a referral to book an appointment, just call the clinic on 01483 454016 or click on the link below:

Book an Appointment

Many of our appointments including scans, blood tests, menopause or gynaecological consultations are available to book on-line by following this link. Alternatively, for fertility and all other appointments, please call 01483 454016

Insulin Resistance

Up until recently, Insulin Resistance has been poorly understood. Still, increasing interest and research show that the diagnosis and early treatment or improvement of Insulin Resistance have a huge benefit, both in the short term for the treatment of symptoms and in the long term, to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Our expert team can offer tests to establish your level of risk and provide advice and treatment to those who need it. Click here to find out more.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalances in detail

A combination of altered hormone levels due to various factors can lead to short term symptoms and long term health problems. These symptoms are explained in more detail below:

  • Vaso-motor Symptoms (adrenaline surges): These are commonly known as hot flushes and night sweats as the blood vessels dilate. The heart rate increases (palpitations), and body temperature control becomes erratic. Palpitations may be associated with panic feelings due to the increased adrenaline drive. If these occur whilst asleep, then deep sleep will be interrupted. The individual will sleep lightly or badly all night, waking to feel unrefreshed and exhausted and may report vivid dreams due to remaining in a state of semi-wakeful, restless dreaming sleep or REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep REM) rather than going through the normal cycle of light (REM) sleep and deep (non-REM) non-dreaming sleep.

 

  • Psychological symptoms (mood): These include persistent tiredness, often worst in the morning due to the absence of normal cyclical sleep, especially due to reduced non-dreaming sleep. A tell-tale sign is an increased difficulty in ‘getting going’ feeling depressed or low first thing in the morning. This then recurs mid to late afternoon as cortisol levels gradually and naturally decline. This is also associated with a profound lack of energy, motivation and drive. Tasks that previously seemed straightforward now become monumentally difficult. Short term memory and especially ‘word-blindness’ occur with an increasing inability to concentrate.
    • Negative feelings occur with loss of self-worth and self-esteem and occasionally agoraphobia and claustrophobia. Sudden mood changes can occur as tolerance levels are deficient. This ‘flying off the handle’ may be out of character or exacerbate previously existing characteristics, with minimal control of the situation.
    • Clumsiness reduced reaction time, and inability to judge distance can occur with a woolly ‘out of body feeling. Many of these so-called psychological symptoms have been attributed to the known reduction of blood flow to the brain during oestrogen deprivation as the blood vessels constrict. However, there is increasing evidence that chronic sleep disturbance may be responsible even if it is not obvious that sleep quality is impaired.

 

  • Symptoms suggestive of Glucose Intolerance/Insulin Resistance: Persistently high insulin levels lead to fluctuating glucose levels with feelings of nausea, shakiness or giddiness, hunger, carbohydrate craving and loss of a feeling of fullness after a meal. This interferes with the usual signals of satiety or ability to tell whether a person is hungry or not, leading to eating disorders of any type due to confusing messages. Fasting or random glucose levels are often in the normal range as it is the insulin response that is disordered, although a glucose tolerance test may be abnormal.
    • In females, these symptoms are in the short-term worst pre-menstrually, and they may occur in most women in this phase of the menstrual cycle. Still, with poor quality, ovulation may constantly occur with an exaggerated response pre-menstrually and make attempts to lose or control weight virtually impossible. Abnormal insulin responses lead to symptoms suggestive of low glucose levels but eating or drinking more carbohydrate or glucose worsens the insulin response perpetuating the problem. High levels of insulin increase fat deposition in the body generally but especially in the central abdomen (male distribution) and around the body organs (liver, heart). This is nearly always associated with abnormal levels and cholesterol ratio with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

  • Bladder Symptoms: The bladder’s base, where the nerve endings arise, is sensitive to hormones’ changes, becoming more irritable and less able to hold large volumes of urine than previously. The symptoms include urgency, frequency and getting up at night to pass urine, called Urethral syndrome. Stress incontinence has also been observed to worsen at low sex hormone production in men and women. In women, especially, the symptoms worsen pre-menstrually, and as connective tissue becomes weak, prolapse worsens due to the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. Therefore, in females, local oestrogen treatment (creams, pessaries, rings) can be used to improve the strength and health of the area even if the individual is already being treated with hormone replacement therapy.
    • The addition of bladder relaxants such as Oxybutynin and Detrusitol may reduce the bladder irritability on their own or in addition to hormonal treatments.

 

  • Bowel-related Symptoms: The muscular layer of the bowel wall is sensitive to sex hormones, and lack of oestrogen in females stops the gut’s muscular contractions, preventing the bowel from moving matter forward. Therefore, the bowel distends and becomes bloated and full of gas, which can be excruciatingly painful. Eventually, the bowel will contract in reaction to the increased diameter, and this will cause spasm and further pain.
    • As the faecal matter is not moving forward, it remains in the bowel and water is absorbed from it so that it becomes harder and therefore even more difficult to move forward. Early morning or, indeed, constant nausea may occur along with a metallic taste in the mouth and constipation and occasional diarrhoea (IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
    • Many individuals experience a marked increase in bowel-related symptoms after carbohydrate or sugar load, which may be perceived as an allergy to a particular food product. Instigating changes such as reducing some carbohydrates, especially wheat, can affect the hormone profile leading to improved bowel symptoms.

 

  • Connective Tissues: Oestrogen and testosterone both impact connective tissue, and when their levels decline, symptoms may occur, including joint pains after resting, dry mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose, ears, vagina), and this may also have an impact on connective tissue throughout the body (loss of hair, dry skin, itchy skin, brittle nails). Reduced connective tissue (collagen) in the pelvic floor also increases the risk of prolapse, even in young women. In women who have undergone vaginal repair, recurrence of prolapse will occur if the strength of the vaginal skin and muscle is not maintained. While many of these symptoms can be improved with hormone replacement, dietary changes are as important.

 

  • Blood Vessel Effects: The blood vessel muscular wall is also susceptible to hormone levels which, if reduced, can lead to spasm of the vessel, and this, in turn, can result in deprivation of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue normally supplied by that blood vessel. Headaches and migraines will, therefore, often worsen at times of relative low hormone production. In females, this is most common pre-menstrually. During the menstrual cycle, it often occurs more commonly during reduced ovulation, such as PCOS and during perimenopause and after menopause.

 

  • Cramp-like Chest Pains: These may occur (males and females) even when the blood vessels are otherwise healthy due to constriction of the vessel supplying the heart muscle, leg cramps or restless legs can also occur for the same reason and often at the same time. Often a hot flush or panic feeling will be accompanied by a profound headache indicating hormonal dysfunction at the time.