We all know the times when we feel angry, frustrated and emotional, and sometimes for no apparent reason. Although it is not an excuse, we often blame our hormones for this . Yes, the hormonal imbalance plays an important role in that sense and many that perhaps you still do not know.
What causes a hormonal imbalance?
Hormones, in fact, play a very important role in women’s health and well-being. When hormone levels fluctuate, this can have an impact on your mood, sexual desire, fertility and ovulation . Hormonal problems are common, so if you feel that you are experiencing a hormonal imbalance, then you are not alone.
13 signs of hormonal imbalance and what to do about it
There are certain causes that can throw away the natural chemistry of your body, the common culprits are menopause, pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, the birth control pill, and lifestyle factors such as inconsistent sleep patterns , stress, a bad food and lack of exercise. Other causes can be thyroid problems or diabetes.
1. Sleep Disorders
Many women have difficulty falling asleep especially just before their period. This may be due to the strong fall of the hormone progesterone just before menstruation . Progesterone levels are also reduced after giving birth, but then, you can hold your new mom stage with it. Progesterone has relaxing properties, so when your levels go down, it can make you feel uneasy.
2. Persistent acne
Many women start with outbreaks of pimples before their period due to hormonal changes. However, if you suffer from deep cystic acne all the time, then it could be the androgens (male hormones such as testosterone), the culprits. Testosterone stimulates the excess production of sebum (oil), which then gets trapped under the skin and fuses with the bacteria that cause acne and dead skin cells. That leads to blackheads and pimples , and therefore spots. The higher a woman’s testosterone level, the worse the pimple is.
3. Brain fog
Are you constantly forgetting things? Such as where did you put your bag, the keys or the appointment you had the next day? If so, then this could be a hormonal problem. If you’ve been experiencing a lot of stress recently, then your body is going to be producing high levels of cortisol which is the stress hormone. Studies suggest that consistently high levels of cortisol can hamper your learning and memory capacity.
4. Constant appetite
Can not you take your hands off the cookies? If not, you should stop telling you that you are a pig. Yes, it is important to eat healthy and exercise, however, your appetite and uncontrollable cravings, may be due to the imbalance of hormones. Are you sleeping well? In one study, volunteers who were sleep deprived saw their ghrelin hormone levels soar – making them extremely hungry – while their levels of the hormone leptin, the hunger hormone, subsided. The hormone ghrelin stimulates the appetite, and leptin and oxintomodulin, suppresses it.
This indicates why people who are chronically sleep deprived (who get less than seven hours per night) tend to be more overweight than those who get more sleep.
5. Digestive problems
Stress hormones affect us in different ways. Some may bring tension to their head, and have a tension headache , some may simply feel grumpy and want to curl up on the couch with a box of chocolates. However, some people carry stress to their stomach . The production of cortisol is naturally high in the early morning to help you wake up. However, people who chronically stress their adrenal glands by an overproduction of cortisol , alters their cortisol concentrations so that cortisol is low in the morning when they wake up, instead of high.
Also, if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), then it could be due to abnormal levels of serotonin. 90% of those affected are women, some whose IBS symptoms erupt around menstruation. The flow of estrogen and progesterone may also play a role.
6. Constant fatigue
We all have days when we are so tired that we are desperate for a nap. We suffer from chronic fatigue . However, if you feel exhausted every day, then you may be suffering from a lack of thyroid hormone, a condition called hypothyroidism . You are more likely to have this condition if you have gained 5 to 10 kilos that you can not lower, or even through diet and exercise.
Thyroid hormones control the body’s metabolism , and when hormone levels are low, all systems slow down, including heart rate, mental functioning, and digestion. That’s why hypothyroidism can make a person feel exhausted, with mental fog, and even constipation . If you are suffering from hypothyroidism, then you are not alone, as it is believed to affect at least 15 million adults in the United States alone.
7. Mood changes and depression
Most middle-aged women experience mood swings and feelings of anxiety in situations they used to handle calmly before. This is probably due to a hormonal imbalance, which could be related to menopause .
8. Weight gain
While women get older, they tend to believe that being overweight is inevitable. But there may be a problem underlying that weight gain. The problem could be your fatigued adrenal system and therefore it is sending signals to your thyroid that there is a problem. The thyroid then responds by decreasing your metabolism. Then, the pancreas also responds to the signal by thinking it needs to conserve fat, and concentrates on storing fat in your midsection, back and other places that are not suitable for your particular body type.
9. Headaches and migraines
While women enter a middle age, they often find that they suffer from frequent headaches and even migraines . This could be due to hormonal imbalances around certain moments of the menstrual cycle. If you are suffering from headaches and migraines, then it may be useful to keep a diary of when they occur. In this way you can solve if they occur at random or if they seem to follow certain triggers.
10. Hot flashes and night sweats
If you frequently have hot flashes, then this could be due to an imbalance in hormone levels. It was once thought that being too low in estrogen was the issue. However, we now understand that the cause can also be a dominance of estrogen and very little progesterone, or other hormonal imbalances in your body that come from the adrenal glands, ovaries, thyroid, pancreas or gastrointestinal tract. These systems are not always kept in balance, and women are more prone to hormonal imbalances as they move through changes towards middle age.
11. Vaginal dryness
When menopause approaches, the decrease in estrogen levels causes changes in the vaginalwall . This can cause vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable. There are lubricants available that can relieve your discomfort – talk to your doctor about your options.
12. Changes in the breasts
As women age, high levels of estrogen can make the breasts feel tender and painful, which could lead to tumors, fibroids and cysts. That is why it is important to have annual exams in your breasts. Know your breasts better, getting into the habit of checking yourself for lumps or anything unusual. While not every lump or change of breast indicates cancer, it is still the best way to be on the safe side of things and talk to your doctor if you feel anything suspicious.
13. Loss of libido
Hormonal imbalances can cause women to experience low sexual desire. This could be due to low levels of estrogen.
If you suspect that you are suffering from conditions related to hormonal imbalances, then it is a good idea to visit your doctor to get rid of doubts. It is also recommended not to eat industrialized foods, especially dairy products and meats from animals from industrial farms that are injected with hormones, such as chickens and cattle. If it is going to be consumed, let it be milk and organic meat, coming from a free-range animal that is not supplied with hormones.
Hormonal imbalances are well recognized today and age, and there are trained specialists such as obstetricians, gynecologists and reproductive endocrinologists, who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of imbalances and hormonal abnormalities.