Hormonal Disorders

Introduction: Hormonal Disorders

Hormonal balance is essential for humans to lead a healthy life. A single hormone or pair of hormones with opposite functions work together to maintain the hormonal balance. However, fluctuations in the normal levels of hormones can occur due to the insufficient or excessive production of hormones which are called hormonal imbalances or disorders. It is also developed when the body cannot respond to the hormones, which have information to coordinate several functions in the body. Hormones are predominantly produced by the endocrine cells, and therefore, the hormonal disorder is also called an endocrine disorder. Hormonal disorders can affect growth, development, metabolism, and sexual activities.

Causes of Hormonal Imbalances

The causes of hormonal imbalance depend on the type of hormones involving specific functions of the body. However, the most common causes of hormonal imbalances are as follows −

  • Medications

  • Poor diet and nutrition

  • Chemotherapy

  • Prolonged stress

  • Tumors

  • Genetics

  • Hormone therapy

  • Injury

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances

The symptoms of hormonal imbalance depend on the type of hormones that cause disorders. However, the most common symptoms of all genders are as follows −

  • Obesity

  • Muscle weakness

  • Infertility

  • Sweating

  • Sudden weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Depression

  • Lack of sexual drive

  • Frequent urination

  • Tingling and numbness in hands

  • High sensitivity to heat or cold

  • Thin and brittle hair

  • Nervousness

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  • The normal levels of male hormones are essential for maintaining overall health. Men can experience hormonal imbalance when a gradual reduction is observed in the secretion of testosterone in the testes.

  • They are highly susceptible to hormonal imbalance because of a sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep, poor diet, and prolonged stress.

  • There are several symptoms of hormonal imbalances in men and adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and andropause are the major effects of hormonal imbalances.


  • The fluctuations in hormone levels in females during or before menstruation, during pregnancy, or menopause usually lead to hormonal imbalances.

  • The abnormal secretion of female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone by ovaries commonly causes hormonal imbalances.

  • Thyroid, steroids, insulin, growth hormones, and adrenaline also create hormonal disorders.

  • Extreme stress, fertility issues, poor diet, inadequate sleep, acne, weight gain, and lack of physical workout also contribute to hormonal imbalances.

Hormonal Disorders


  • It is a group of hormone and metabolic disorders characterized by the effect of the pancreatic hormone insulin.

  • The insufficient production of insulin or ineffective use of this hormone by the body causes abnormal glucose levels in the blood and results in diabetes.

  • Frequent urination, excessive hunger and thirst, weight loss, vision problems, fatigue, and sores are the symptoms of diabetes.

  • The prolonged effect of the hormone leads to serious injury to several organs, blood vessels, and nerves in the body.

Cushing’s Syndrome

  • Cortisol is produced by adrenal glands and the excessive production of this hormone leads to a hyperactive adrenal gland.

  • The cortisol medications are used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or chronic asthma and the overuse of these medications causes Cushing’s syndrome.

  • A person suffering from this syndrome can experience acne, weight gain, fragile skin, fat deposition, and progressive healing of wounds.

  • The overactive adrenal glands affects all the tissues and organs of the body.

Adrenal Insufficiency

  • The insufficient production and release of cortisol and rarely aldosterone by the adrenal glands leads to adrenal insufficiency.

  • Addison’s disease is also known as adrenal insufficiency.

  • It is complicated and usually caused by damage to adrenal glands, autoimmune diseases, and fungal infections.


  • It is a rare condition of excessive secretion of growth hormone in the body that leads to the abnormal fast growth of bones and parts in the body of children.

  • This is a serious condition and it is caused by a tumor of the pituitary gland that is called an adenoma.

  • Enlarged internal organs, extreme sweating, joint pain, headaches, and sleeping disorders are the common symptoms of gigantism.

  • The overproduction of growth hormone in middle-aged adults is called acromegaly and it even affects after puberty.


  • The inadequate production and release of thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland are known as hypothyroidism.

  • It leads to dry skin, fatigue, constipation, being overweight, and intolerance to cold weather.

  • The underactive thyroid glands can cause delayed development in children.


  • The excessive secretion of thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland is known as hyperthyroidism and the thyroid glands become overactive.

  • Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism.

  • It leads to sweating, irregular heart rate, nervousness, and unexpected weight loss.


  • It is a rare condition caused by a deficiency of one or more or all hormones produced by the pituitary gland because of the partial or complete loss of pituitary function in the body.

  • It is also called pituitary insufficiency and it affects the normal activities of the body such as growth, fertility, and blood pressure.

  • The symptoms of underproduction of pituitary hormones are tiredness, inability to synthesize breast milk, sensitivity to cold, and anemia.


Hormones are essential for humans that coordinate the necessary functions of the body. The alterations in the normal levels of hormones can lead to hormonal imbalances. It may be due to the high or low production and release of hormones. The endocrine disorders are prominently caused by medications, poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of physical activity, genetics, cancer treatments, and hormonal therapy. It can affect men, women, children, and even infants. Adrenal insufficiency, gigantism, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, acromegaly, Addison's disease, and hypopituitarism are the major hormonal disorders that occur in humans.


Q1. How does gigantism differ from acromegaly?

Ans. Gigantism is the overproduction of growth hormones in children that leads to fast growth and development of the body. However, acromegaly is also caused by the excessive secretion of growth hormones, but it occurs in adolescents.

Q2. How is the excessive secretion of growth hormone related to IGF-1?

Ans. The excessive secretion of growth hormone triggers the overproduction of IGF-1 from the liver. IGF-1 stimulates the growth of tissues and modifies the glucose and lipid metabolism in the blood.

Q3. Why do glucose levels in the blood abnormally increase?

Ans. The glucose levels in the blood can abnormally increase due to the insufficient secretion of insulin or the body cannot efficiently use the hormone. The severe effect of this hormone results in diabetes and leads to damage to the organs.

Q4. What are the effects of insufficient secretion of cortisol?

Ans. The insufficient secretion of cortisol produced by adrenal glands leads to adrenal insufficiency, which is also known as Addison's disease. An injurious adrenal gland, fungal infections, and autoimmune diseases cause adrenal insufficiency.

Q5. What are the major hormones that involve hormonal imbalances in women?

Ans. Estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, steroid, insulin, growth hormones, and adrenaline of abnormal secretion leads to hormonal imbalances. It results in hormonal disorders.

Updated on: 29-Dec-2022


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