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The Warning Signs of Hormone Imbalances | Dr. Carrie Gordon, OB/GYN

The Warning Signs of Hormone Imbalances | Dr. Carrie Gordon, OB/GYN

Hormonal changes happen to all women at some stage in her life. Whether it be preparing for pregnancy or moving into menopause, our hormones are orchestrating each transition.

Dr. Carrie Gordon is Ogden Clinic’s newest OB/GYN who practices at Layton Hospital. Today she’s discussing one of her clinical interests: Hormone health, which includes recognizing abnormal imbalances and correcting them.

What is the role of hormones?

Hormones act as “messengers” in our body that send signals to different organs on how to function. Hormones affect our metabolism, heart rate, blood pressure, sexual organs and function, sleep cycles, body temperature, and mood.

How common are hormone imbalances in women?

“Beginning at menarche (when a girl has her first period), we will all experience normal hormonal changes. Those shifts also happen during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause,” says Dr. Gordon.

“However, many women tend to experience abnormal hormone changes. Although these are less common, I still see them every day.”

Some causes include:

  • Low thyroid activity
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Diabetes
  • Poor nutrition
  • Eating disorders such as obesity or anorexia
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Some types of cancer

We can control some of these factors, such as our diet, but others we cannot.

What symptoms point to a hormone imbalance?

Since hormones are connected to several organs, the symptoms are many. Dr. Gordon says she frequently sees patients with one or more of these symptoms:

  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Unexplained and long-term fatigue
  • Temperature dysregulation (feeling very hot or cold)
  • Changes in appetite or severe thirst
  • Difficulty sleeping

Some less common but still indicative symptoms include:

  • Changes in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Extreme headaches

How does an OB/GYN identify and correct hormone imbalances?

“The most critical part of identifying imbalances is conducting a good history of the patient’s symptoms,” says Dr. Gordon. “This includes a physical exam and some lab evaluations.”

Dr. Gordon says the most rewarding part of treating hormone imbalances is that conservative treatment tends to help quickly and effectively. “I’ve seen simple medical management completely turn someone’s life around in two weeks,” she says.

“It’s fascinating how many women suffer in silence with these issues. They take care of everything around them: A hectic schedule, school, and raising children, all while brushing off their own symptoms. Please reach out to us so we can help.”

What should women know?

If you live with symptoms indicative of a hormone imbalance, Dr. Gordon advises talking to your doctor first. “Many patients come in saying they’ve tried seven different over-the-counter medications or treatments before consulting a doctor,” she says. “Reach out to your physician—in person or over Telehealth for a consultation. We have a variety of natural and medical solutions available that can drastically improve a woman’s quality of life.”

Dr. Carrie Gordon is an OB/GYN who practices at Intermountain Layton Hospital. Schedule your first visit with her here.