Fatigue, weight gain, difficulty concentrating or sleeping and depression - although these are problems that everyone experiences occasionally, if you are struggling with them regularly or you just don't feel right, you could have a hormonal imbalance. A hormone imbalance can occur because of menopause or a thyroid problem. The specialists at Nebraska Medicine will get to the root of your problem and get you the right treatment to manage your hormone levels.
Nebraska Medicine Treats a Variety of Hormone Imbalance Issues
The glands located at the top of each kidney aid in controlling blood sugar, protein and fat, and react to stresses going on in your life by releasing cortisol and aldosterone and adrenaline. Disorders can be triggered by too much or too little of one of the hormones. We work to help figure out precisely which hormone is off, and can correct it with different techniques, including medication and hormone replacements.
Hyperprolactinemia describes a condition in which higher-than-normal levels of the hormone prolactin are found in the blood. This hormone is made by the pituitary gland which is located at the base of the brain. Its main job is to stimulate the production of breast milk after a woman gives birth. When a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding, it is normal to have high levels of prolactin.
In other cases, high levels of prolactin can be caused by a disease or certain medications. It could be a tumor on the pituitary gland that is causing the high levels of prolactin. These tumors are often benign and are more common in women than men. Other brain tumors may also cause this gland to produce too much prolactin. Most often, though, hypothyroidism is the cause, which is an underactive thyroid.
Prolactin lowers the levels of estrogen and testosterone in women and men. High levels of prolactin along with lower levels of estrogen and testosterone can cause sexual and menstrual problems. In women, they may experience irregular periods, vaginal dryness or breast discharge when not pregnant or nursing. Men may experience erectile dysfunction or lower amounts of body hair and muscle mass. Doctors can diagnosis hyperprolactinemia through a blood test. Once a diagnosis is made, our doctors will work to determine what’s causing the elevated levels. Your treatment will be based on what’s causing the high levels.
This is condition where a person’s sex glands produce little or no sex hormones. Sex hormones help control secondary sex characteristics, such as breast development and menstrual cycle in women, testicular development and sperm production in men and pubic hair growth. The sex glands, also called gonads, are primarily the testicles in men and the ovaries in women. Hypogonadism can be caused by an autoimmune disorder, genetic disorders and kidney and/or liver diseases.
Our doctors can diagnose hypogonadism by a physical examination and blood tests. Imaging tests may also be needed. Iron levels can also impact sex hormones. Our doctors will test your iron level to see if a low level (anemia) is the cause. Thyroid hormone levels will also be tested, as thyroidproblems can cause similar symptoms to hypogonadism.
Hypogonadism is treatable and patients often respond well to treatment.
For girls with hypogonadism, they will not begin menstruating and the condition can affect breast development and height. After puberty, symptoms can include hot flashes, loss of body hair, low sex drive and a menstrual cycle that is irregular or stops. Raising estrogen levels is the goal of treatment for women. Our doctors may prescribe a supplemental estrogen hormone. Other treatments can target specific symptoms, like decreased sex drive and an irregular menstrual cycle.
In boys, hypogonadism can affect muscle and beard development. It can also cause growth problems. Symptoms include breast enlargement, decreased beard and body hair, muscle loss and sexual problems. Raising testosterone levels is the goal of treatment for men. Our doctors may prescribe a therapy for testosterone replacement.
We treat a variety of other hormonal imbalance issues as well, which can be caused by an overactive or underactive thyroid. The thyroid produces hormones that regulate nearly all of the metabolic processes in the body. In most cases, thyroid conditions can be controlled and managed with proper medications and requires lifelong management. Untreated thyroid conditions can cause serious problems in other parts of the body. Nebraska Medicine has doctors who specialize in treating conditions of the thyroid. If your symptoms are found not to be a result of your thyroid, your doctor should check for other possible causes such as anemia, sleep apnea or other inflammatory conditions.
Why Choose Nebraska Medicine for Endocrine Issues
We Offer a Women's Center Designed for You
Designed specifically for women, the Olson Center for Women's Health is dedicated to meeting all of a woman's healthcare needs. The Olson Center has specialists in menopause management as well as primary care, OB/GYN, high-risk obstetrics, breast care, physical therapy, infertility, midwifery, incontinence and mental health.
Hormonal life changes often occur during perimenopause and menopause. Should your problems be related to perimenopause or menopause, our female specialists will work closely with you to develop an individualized hormone treatment plan. Your treatment plan will provide the lowest hormone replacement therapy possible for the shortest time-frame to relieve symptoms while attempting to minimize risk for other health concerns.
Highly Ranked Care
Nebraska Medicine is ranked among the nation’s best. Each year, U.S. News and World Report surveys the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals to come up with the year’s list of Best Hospitals. Just 3 percent of the hospitals analyzed for Best Hospitals earn national ranking in even one specialty. We were recognized in 2012, 2014 and 2016 as a high-performing hospital in gynecology in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals.