Hormonal Imbalance: 8 Warnings Signs You Should Look For
Hormones regulate many processes in our body, from our sleep cycle to moods, appetite, sexual function, and metabolism. All this is achieved because of a careful balance of the different hormones in our body. This is why an imbalance of hormones can affect every facet of our life. Hormonal imbalances are quite common. Most of us, especially women, will experience hormonal imbalance at some point in our life.
The good thing is that hormonal imbalances are quite easy to treat through medication or alternative therapies. The only problem is that most of us are ignorant of the symptoms and hence, do not act in time. Here are some of the warning signs that you should look for:
Fatigue: Excessive fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance. If your fatigue does not dissipate despite rest and a healthy diet, hormonal imbalance is most likely the cause. Excessive progesterone, hyper hypothyroidism are some of the common hormonal issues behind excessive fatigue.
Period trouble: Irregular, painful, or unusually heavy periods – these could all indicate a hormonal imbalance. Irregular periods that don’t occur around the same time or skip a few months could indicate too little or too much of estrogen or progesterone. It can also be a symptom of PCOS or premenopause. Painful or unusually heavy period can also be a cause of concern when accompanied by symptoms like lower back pain, abdominal pain, constipation, painful intercourse, or frequent desire to urinate. These could indicate fibroids.
Skin problems: A sudden outbreak of acne that does not clear can be a symptom of hormone imbalance. Chronic acne usually indicates a low level of estrogen, progesterone and a high level of androgen. Androgens are ‘male’ hormones that cause excessive sebum production, causing acne. Hormonal imbalance can also lead to other skin problems like itchy or dry skin.
Trouble sleeping: Progesterone, a hormone secreted by your ovaries, help you fall and stay asleep. If progesterone levels are low, you will have trouble getting to sleep and then may have disturbed sleep. It also causes hot flashes and night sweats. This is most commonly seen in premenopausal or menopausal women.
Digestive problems: The gut contains more neurotransmitters than the brain. Hormonal imbalance can affect the microbiome and the bacterial system in the gut, affecting digestion. Symptoms include nausea, bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhoea.
Lower libido: Low levels of estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone can all cause a lower sex drive in both men and women. This is a common occurrence in premenopausal and menopausal women. Treatment is usually through medication, cream or gel.
Weight gain: Estrogen affects the level of leptin in the body which regulates food intake. A fall in estrogen can, hence, lead to weight gain. There are a number of other hormonal issues associated with weight gain, including hypothyroidism, PCOS, menopause, and high cortisol.
Moodiness: General moodiness is not always a cause for concern. But if you are experiencing wild mood swings, it may indicate an underlying hormonal disorder. Estrogen influences the neurotransmitters in the brain, which include serotonin, the chemical which regulates mood. Fluctuations in estrogen and the resultant moodiness can cause PMS. It is also often the reason for moodiness in premenopasal and menopausal women.