Did you know hormonal imbalances can cause weight gain, mood swings, acne, and irregular periods? Read more for 18 hormonal imbalance symptoms.
What are hormones?
Hormones are produced by the body’s endocrine glands. The pituitary gland, pineal gland, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, testes, and ovaries are all key endocrine glands in the body.
These various organs create minuscule amounts, and it only takes a very small amount to cause substantial changes in the body. A slight increase or decrease in hormone production can cause significant effects throughout the body.
What is hormonal imbalance?
A hormone imbalance happens when the body has too much or too little specific hormone. Some hormone levels fluctuate throughout life and may be caused by ageing, while other changes occur when endocrine glands fail to operate properly.
A hormonal imbalance can manifest itself in a variety of ways. These will vary depending on which hormones or glands are malfunctioning. Any of the hormone imbalance symptoms could be caused by one of several common hormonal problems.
Causes of hormonal imbalance
A hormonal imbalance can be caused by a variety of factors. It is dependent on whether hormones or glands in the body are affected. Medication, cancer therapies, food disorders, stress, accident or trauma, hormone therapy, and other factors are all common causes of hormonal imbalance. Diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome, Addison’s disease, thyroiditis, and other disorders can also cause hormonal abnormalities.
Hormonal imbalances are unique to women and may be connected to reproductive hormones, including frequent causes of menopause, premature menopause, pregnancy, nursing, PCOS, and hormone replacement therapy.
Blood tests, pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and more may be used to diagnose you with a hormonal imbalance.
How to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
Small and simple lifestyle changes can help many people restore healthy hormone levels in their bodies. A well-balanced diet and healthy behaviours can help you feel your best by improving your hormonal health. Here are some natural strategies to balance your hormones.
- Get enough protein. Proteins provide amino acids that your body cannot make on its own and are needed to produce peptide hormones. These hormones play a crucial role in regulating several physiological processes, including growth, energy metabolism, appetite, stress, and more.
- Exercise regularly. Getting enough physical activity strongly influences your hormonal health. It enhances hormone receptor sensitivity, helping the delivery of nutrients and hormone signals. Maintain a moderate weight. Weight gain is directly associated with hormonal imbalances. Eating within your calorie range can help maintain hormonal balance.
- Watch your gut health. Your gut produces numerous metabolites that can affect hormone health.
- Lower sugar intake. Minimizing added sugar intake can help balance hormones. Eating added sugar promotes insulin resistance, and fructose intake is linked to disruptions in the gut microbiome, ultimately leading to hormonal imbalances.
- Reduce stress. Stress can significantly harm the body’s hormones in many ways. Work to decrease and manage your daily stress.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is one of the most important factors in hormonal imbalance. The levels of hormones can rise and fall throughout the day due to the quality of sleep.
- Eat healthy fats. Healthy fat intake can work to maintain balanced hormones that are involved with appetite, metabolism, and feeling full.
- Eat plenty of fibre. Fibre plays a role in gut health, helping regulate hormones like insulin.
18 Signs of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
Hormonal imbalances may affect women of reproductive age. Changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels, the hormones responsible for sexual and reproductive development in women, typically cause these abnormalities. They are so important to a woman’s health that even minor fluctuations can have a significant influence on her body.
Hair loss, unexpected weight gain, and irregular menstruation are all common signs of hormonal imbalance.
However, because hormonal imbalance symptoms are so prevalent, most women fail to see that they could be the result of more than just the occasional stress induced by their job or lifestyle. As a result, many women accept or dismiss their discomforts, ignoring them rather than seeking care from a gynaecologist.
Let’s take a deeper look at some of the symptoms that one’s hormones are out of balance.
1. Weight gain
Hormones are in charge of controlling metabolism and how the body consumes energy. Hypothyroidism occurs when the body produces insufficient thyroid hormone, causing considerable weight gain.
Furthermore, women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) have insulin resistance. You will gain weight since this hormone works with blood sugar regulation.
A decrease in oestrogen levels may also cause you to feel hungrier than usual, which can contribute to overeating and weight gain.
2. Irregular Periods
Some women’s monthly menstrual cycles run like clockwork. Others, on the other hand, are not so fortunate. While a missed or delayed period is not uncommon, it should not occur on a regular basis, especially when cycles are separated by many months.
Women in their 40s and 50s approaching menopause are likely to have irregular periods, which is a natural part of the process.
However, if you are concerned, you should consult a doctor. For younger women, this could be an indication of PCOS and should be evaluated by a gynaecologist.
3. Excessive breast discharge
If you are not breastfeeding or pregnant and notice a milky discharge from your nipples, it could be due to high levels of the hormone prolactin. This could indicate illnesses related to glands in your body, specifically the thyroid and pituitary glands.
4. Very Heavy flow
Increased oestrogen levels can result in the formation of fibroids in the uterus. These fibroids are frequently the cause of a significant flow of blood during menstruation.
5. Aggressive acne
You might get a pimple every now and then, especially around menstruation. Hormonal imbalances may be to fault for persistent, chronic acne. Overproduction of the hormone androgen may cause the oil glands in your skin to overwork. This, in turn, clogs pores, which leads to acne flare-ups.
6. Sleeping difficulties or Insomnia
Difficulty in sleeping can be due to hormonal imbalance. In most cases, sleeplessness is caused by low levels of progesterone, a hormone produced by the ovaries.
Furthermore, low oestrogen levels might induce excessive perspiration and night sweats, which can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
7. Persistent tummy aches
Changes in oestrogen and progesterone levels can also impact digestion. These variations tend to occur during your monthly periods, which is why some women get diarrhoea and bloating around that time.
If your energy levels are regularly poor, high progesterone levels or low thyroid levels could be to blame.
9. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS occurs when tiny cysts containing immature eggs form inside the ovaries. Ladies with PCOS are more prone to produce more androgen, the male hormone that affects the operation of several organs in the body, including the kidneys and liver. PCOS is also responsible for other issues like:
- Excess body hair
- Hair loss
- Weight fluctuation
- Skin issues
PCOS symptoms vary from woman to woman, and if undetected and untreated, it can lead to heart problems and diabetes.
10. Swings in mood
Aside from low energy, hormone imbalances can also have an impact on how you feel. Irritability and grief are two common emotions. Changes in oestrogen levels might impair the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, preventing you from feeling happy.
11. Vaginal Dryness
Low oestrogen levels is a main cause of vaginal dryness. This type of hormonal imbalance can cause a decrease in moisture in the area, making you feel very uncomfortable.
12. Hair loss
Hair can become thinner and less glossy as oestrogen and progesterone levels fall. These drops also cause an increase in androgen levels, which shrink follicles and cause hair loss, exacerbating the problem.
13. Cold hands and feet
Your inability to be in an air-conditioned environment without a jacket could be a sign of hypothyroidism, especially if everyone else around you appears to be well. Thyroid hormone deficiency can cause a variety of symptoms, the most prevalent of which are cold hands and feet.
14. Brain Fog
Hormonal imbalances can induce brain fog, making it difficult to concentrate or recall information.
15. Constant headaches
Hormonal imbalances can produce headaches that range from mild to severe.
16. Irregular sex drive
Hormonal imbalances can induce variations in sex desire, causing you to be more or less interested in sex.
17. Hot flashes
Hot flashes are a typical symptom of hormonal abnormalities, particularly during menopause.
18. Digestive issues
Hormonal imbalances can induce digestive problems such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea. when these abnormalities happen out of the blue it could be due to other reasons but when they become a regular thing almost like your periods, your hormones could be responsible.
These signs can occur frequently making them easy to ignore. But you can treat them easily and stay healthy. If you see or experience any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms, talk to your doctor.