Hormones play a special, integral role in your overall health and wellness. They travel throughout your body and tell each organ how to function, what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. For example, your appetite and metabolism are regulated by hormones. Your sleep can be affected by your hormone levels. Even sexual functions, moods and stress require balanced hormones for proper functioning.
The causes of hormonal imbalance differ depending on gender, and vary from person to person. Because of this, there’s a wide range of signs and symptoms to heed.
Additionally, hormone imbalances often mimic other ailments, making it extremely important to work with a doctor for effective testing and evaluation. Test results can concretely identify imbalances (if any), as well as determine if your symptoms are in fact hormone-related.
Read on to learn more about the most common symptoms in further detail below.
Many women with hormonal imbalance complain of weight gain, despite staying active and eating a healthy diet. As mentioned before, hormones regulate metabolism, which processes calories into energy. The slower your metabolism, the harder it will be to lose weight.
You may have higher levels of estrogen and cortisol and lower levels of thyroxin. These inconsistencies can lead to unwanted fat accumulation in the body, especially around the waist.
Some people notice their skin is sweatier than the skin of other people. Others wake up in the middle of the night sweating excessively for no reason. Both can be signals that your hormones are imbalanced.
Hormones regulate body temperature. If not balanced, you can experience unusual temperature changes. There may be times where you are wearing a sweater to keep warm when your friends are wearing t-shirts and shorts. Or, you may be wearing light clothing and no coat in winter, when everyone else is freezing.
If this sounds familiar, it is time to meet with a hormone expert.
DECREASED SEX DRIVE
No one would likely complain if hormone imbalances caused an increase in sex drive. Unfortunately, just the opposite happens. Variations in both estrogen and progesterone lead to a lower sex drive.
For women, sex hormones are produced in the ovaries and when too low or too high, can change your desire for intimacy. It can make the vagina dry and unable to lubricate naturally, making sex painful. When a woman finds it hard to have sex, she may feel shame, guilt and fear. This can become a bigger problem for their relationship. However, it is a problem that can be fixed.
This is a fear for both men and women. Even with normal hair loss, like the kind that you pull out when brushing your hair each morning, can produce a little fear. Hair is important.
When hormones such as the thyroid and the adrenals are not properly functioning, it is likely a problem with your hormones. And problems with these hormones can mean you have an imbalance.
EXTREME FATIGUE AND TIREDNESS
You eat a healthy diet, you exercise, you get plenty of rest and yet you still feel tired all the time. This can be so frustrating and defeating, especially since you are doing everything right.
What you may not realize is that your hormones can cause you to feel fatigued, even when you should feel energized. Your thyroid malfunctioning could be the culprit.
The thyroid has so many duties, including regulating stress and sleep. These two functions can also contribute to feelings of fatigue when not working correctly.
If you have tried without success to fight fatigue, it may be time to meet with a hormone specialist.
Rashes, dry skin, oily skin, and acne are just a few of the skin problems associated with hormonal imbalance. Not only can these issues be painful, they can be embarrassing. Having these issues can make a fun event stressful.
Androgens or testosterone levels are usually to blame for skin related issues. If levels of hormones get too high, more significant problems can occur, such as infertility, insulin resistance and even polycystic ovary syndrome. The sooner you seek treatment from a hormone professional, the better.
You may not have known this before, but the lining of your intestines has hormone receptors. Both estrogen and progesterone can be found in the gastrointestinal tract. The hormones, when balanced, allow the gastrointestinal system to function normally and you feel no negative symptoms.
However, when hormones are imbalanced, your digestive system will react accordingly. You may experience irritable bowel, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, nausea and even negative changes during menstruation. Many of these symptoms can be caused by other ailments so having a hormone specialist diagnose you is key to getting help.
When estrogen drops, headaches can occur. And as you know, they can also be caused by allergies, tension, stress, pre-menstrual syndrome, hangovers, lack of sleep, eye strain and a myriad of other reasons.
This is one reason working with a doctor to determine the correct cause of your hormonal headaches. If they find your headaches are caused by hormonal imbalances, there are many treatment options to offer you relief.
Nothing can make you angrier than hearing a friend or family member, especially a spouse, complain about your mood swings. They may even get brave and ask you if your mood is related to hormone changes.
Sometimes, your answer can be a definite, “yes”. Hormones contribute to mood swings. You may react easily and allow anger, depression or anxiety to take over. You may cry for no reason. You may even find yourself crying one minute and literally five minutes later, find yourself screaming at the dog.
Mood swings are common for people with hormonal imbalances. Finding a way to regulate your mood can be done with help.
In conclusion, there are many signs of hormonal imbalance in both men and women. Even if your symptoms are not listed here, they could still be related to hormones. Hormone replacement therapy could be one way to resolve your imbalance. Meet with a specialist who can discover why your hormones are imbalanced and apply the right treatment. They can help you begin eliminating hormone imbalance signs today.