10 Signs of Imbalanced Hormones Most Women Don't Recognize
Hormones play an essential role in the growth and development of our bodies. Hormones are also responsible for regulating our reproductive and digestive systems. So, what happens when our hormones aren't balanced?
A Delicate Balance
Some hormone imbalances are a normal part of life. Hormone fluctuations occur naturally during puberty, pregnancy, and menstruation. Stress and certain medications can cause hormone imbalances. These types of imbalances are usually easily corrected.
Other hormone imbalances are caused by underlying health conditions. These health conditions can be serious. That is why it is important for every woman to know how to recognize the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance.
Strange Food Cravings
Are you suddenly craving sweet or salty foods? Has your appetite increased? You might have a hormonal imbalance.
Ghrelin is commonly referred to as the hunger hormone. Ghrelin works by stimulating your appetite. When your hormones are out of balance, your body produces extra ghrelin. Extra ghrelin makes you feel hungry all the time.
Some women lose their appetite when their hormones are not balanced. Leptin is the hormone that lets your body know when it's full. If you're producing too much of this hormone, you'll lose your appetite.
Estrogen and progesterone play an important part in our sleep cycle. Your ovaries produce progesterone, which regulates your menstrual cycle, while you sleep. If your body isn't releasing enough progesterone, you'll find yourself struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Women often have trouble sleeping as they approach menopause. As we age, our bodies produce less estrogen. This results in hot flashes and night sweats that make sleeping impossible.
Do you suffer from adult acne? Dry skin accompanied by adult acne should be a huge red flag that something isn't right. If you have regular breakouts, especially if those breakouts are painful cysts, your body could be producing excess testosterone. Testosterone causes our bodies to produce more oil. This oil clogs our pores, resulting in painful cystic acne.
The main cause of excess testosterone in women is polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS. Women who suffer from PCOS are more likely to have fertility problems and develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It's important that you talk to your primary car physician or gynecologist if you suspect you have PCOS.
Irregular periods, painful periods and extremely heavy periods are all signs of a hormonal imbalance. Don't be afraid to speak up at your next doctor's appointment. The earlier you seek treatment, the better the outcome will be.
Lack Of Sex Drive
If you've lost your desire to be intimate, you might have low estrogen levels. Low estrogen levels not only affect your desire to have sex but also cause vaginal dryness that makes sex uncomfortable.
Discuss treatment options, like estrogen cream, with your doctor.
Low estrogen levels can also leave you feeling like you're in a daze. Our hormones do affect our cognitive abilities. Fortunately, your doctor can start you on hormone replacement therapy to counteract any unpleasant side effects of low estrogen levels.
Unfortunately, hormonal headaches are common just before you get your period. What's not normal are chronic hormonal headaches and migraines. These headaches occur when your estrogen levels drop. Birth control pills can prevent unexpected drops in estrogen.
If you're crying over commercials on television and throwing temper tantrums like a toddler at a supermarket, you probably have a hormonal imbalance. Progesterone and estrogen affect dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These hormones control our emotions.
Talk to a doctor or therapist if you think your hormones are affecting your emotions.
Did you know diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, cramps and stomach pain can all be caused by a hormone imbalance? Our digestive tracts are home to hormone receptors. When our hormones fluctuate, it causes our digestive processes to change. Mention any changes in your digestive system to your doctor.
Unexplained Weight Gain
If you're eating healthy and exercising regularly, you should lose weight. If you're gaining weight instead, you need to make an appointment with your doctor. You could be suffering from polycystic ovary disease, diabetes or a thyroid condition. All of these health conditions are serious, but they can be managed effectively with medication and lifestyle changes.
Bonus: Hair Growth
Have you noticed hair sprouting in places you don't normally have any? Hirsutism is a medical condition where women grow male-pattern hair on their face, chest, back or stomach. We're not talking about peach fuzz either. Hirsutism causes excessive amounts of coarse dark hair to grow. Not only is it embarrassing, but it tends to get worse over time, so talk to your doctor immediately if you suspect you have hirsutism.
Hair loss is another symptom of a hormonal imbalance. Hormonal changes can result in telogen effluvium, a temporary form of hair loss. If you notice missing patches of hair on your scalp, it's time to see your doctor.
Common Causes Of Hormone Imbalances
The most common causes of unbalanced hormones include:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Cushing Syndrome
- Adrenal Insufficiency
All the above-mentioned causes of hormonal imbalances can be serious. It's important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor if you suspect you have a hormone imbalance.
Have you ever had a hormone imbalance? How did you know? What steps did you take to rectify the situation? Pass this along to your friends to ensure they're aware of the signs of a hormonal imbalance!
Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation by your doctor. Your health is important to us!