The fluctuation of hormone levels plays a major role in how we feel throughout the year. Hormonal imbalances can be brought on by a number of factors, including lifestyle choices and experiences. Read on to learn some of the ways the changes in seasons affect hormones.
How does cold weather impact hormones?
Melatonin is a hormone that plays a role in sleep patterns, and it is influenced by amounts of light and dark. During winter months, levels of melatonin are elevated in response to fewer daylight hours. This can result in sleepiness and lower body temperatures.
As temperatures drop and daylight hours are shortened, the endocrine system and thyroid tend to work more slowly. This impacts an individual’s hormone levels, and those who menstruate can experience longer period cycles.
The reduced sunlight and shorter days impact testosterone levels. Testosterone levels often decrease in men during colder months, resulting in low libido. Other symptoms of low testosterone include loss of muscle mass and fatigue.
The thyroid is a gland responsible for producing hormones that impact metabolism. In cold weather, thyroid hormone levels are typically higher to help the body maintain its temperature. High levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) can cause symptoms in the body such as low mood, weight gain, and brain fog.
How does warm weather impact hormones?
Vitamin D levels tend to rise in warmer months in response to UV light. Although it is called Vitamin D, it is actually a hormone produced by the kidneys. This hormone helps to regulate the body’s immune system and plays an important role in bone health.
Cortisol levels tend to elevate in the summer compared to the winter. One of the reasons for this is the body’s stress response to hot conditions. Elevated levels of cortisol can result in irritability, headache, and high blood pressure, amongst other symptoms.
Women going through menopause can experience more intense symptoms as the outside temperatures increase. Fluctuating hormone levels affect the body’s temperature control, making it more sensitive to heat, and triggering hot flashes.
Dr. Orbeck is dedicated to helping patients live their best lives by addressing hormonal imbalances and treating associated symptoms. At Regenerative Medical Institute, we offer a number of treatment options for patients, including bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. To request a free consultation or to schedule an appointment, visit our website or call 877-573-3737.