Unbalanced hormones can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional well-being. Hormones regulate numerous bodily processes such as metabolism, reproduction, and mood. Upsetting their delicate balance can lead to many symptoms that can significantly impact your daily life.
According to a study, about 47% of women experience hormonal imbalance symptoms, but the disorder presents in both men and women. The great news is that there are ways to identify the signs of unbalanced hormones and take steps to restore balance.
In this article, we’ll explore the common signs of hormonal imbalances and what you can do to alleviate the symptoms.
Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
We’ll provide the information you need to understand what’s happening in your body and how to return to feeling like yourself again. Hormonal imbalance signs include:
When hormones like cortisol, thyroid hormones, or sex hormones are imbalanced, it can lead to chronic fatigue. Cortisol, the hormone produced by the adrenal glands, helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. When cortisol levels are too low, or you have adrenal fatigue, it can exhaust you.
Similarly, low levels of thyroid hormones, known as hypothyroidism, can also make you feel tired and sluggish. This occurs because a deficit of the hormones in your system decreases metabolism, which leads to fatigue.
Skin and Hair Changes
Excess sebum production from an androgen imbalance is the most identifiable cause of acne. Androgens commonly referred to as male hormones, but found in all sexes, mediate skin health. Unbalanced levels can lead to a higher-than-normal amount of sebum, causing clogged pores and blemishes on the skin.
In addition to your skin health, hormone changes may affect hair quality and growth. Thyroid abnormalities can lead to dryness or thinning and even hair loss.
For women, irregular periods are one of the critical indicators of an imbalance. Such changes might include missed periods, heavy bleeding, or an irregular cycle. This common symptom could result from a hormonal disorder such as polycystic ovary syndrome, which manifests as acne, excessive hair growth, weight gain, and excessive hair growth.
If you’re struggling with irregular periods, consult a doctor or healthcare provider for diagnosis and guidance on individualized treatment.
Weight Gain or Difficulty Losing Weight
Hormones like insulin, cortisol, and thyroid hormones affect metabolism and how much fat our body stores. So, weight gain is typical when these hormones are out of balance, even when sticking to your diet and exercise routines.
Furthermore, when your body is under stress, it’s natural for them to go into ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing cortisol to protect itself against whatever danger it senses. Persistently abnormal cortisol levels can lead our body to retain more fats as a form of energy.
Muscle Weakness and Joint Pain
You may have hormonal imbalance if you feel it takes too much effort to move or have stiff joints. Several hormones, such as estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid, strengthen your muscles. A decline in either estrogen or testosterone can lead to muscle weakness.
Additionally, joint stiffness may be a result of thyroid disorder. The thyroid helps break glycogen into glucose, which muscles use as energy. When it’s dysfunctional, you experience muscle weakness.
Low libido is commonly associated with hormonal imbalance because hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone contribute significantly to sexual desire and performance. Imbalances in these hormones can lead to decreased sexual pleasure, vaginal dryness, and difficulty achieving orgasm. Therefore, it’s vital to detect changes in one’s sex drive and address potential hormone issues early.
Unbalanced hormones can lead to trouble sleeping, often connected to a dysfunctional hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, a central component of the endocrine and nervous systems. This vital system is responsible for controlling the sleep-wake cycle through the production of hormones like melatonin and cortisol.
Melatonin deficiency can make falling asleep or adjusting to new sleep patterns difficult. High cortisol levels in the evening make sleeping even more challenging as one feels exhausted and restless.
Hormonal imbalances can have a profound effect on fertility. An imbalance of hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can interfere with ovulation, sperm production, fertilized egg implantation, and other vital conception aspects. These imbalances can cause infertility if left untreated, leading to frustration and other issues for those hoping to start a family.
What to Do if You Have Hormonal Imbalance
If you suspect you have unbalanced hormones, you can begin by talking to your healthcare provider. They can perform diagnostic tests and help you develop a treatment plan. Here are some other steps you can take to balance your hormone:
- Eat a balanced diet: A healthy diet comprised of plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats can help support hormone balance.
- Exercise regime: Regular exercise can help regulate hormone levels and improve overall health.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can disrupt hormone levels; stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga, can be helpful.
- Sufficient sleep: Getting enough sleep is critical for hormone balance. Try to have seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
- Consider hormone therapy: In some cases, hormone therapy may be necessary to restore hormone balance. Your healthcare provider can help determine your proper course of action.
Remember that hormone imbalances can be complex, and the issue requires the assistance of a healthcare professional.
Hormone imbalance can seriously affect your health and well-being, and it is crucial to understand the signs and take action. Most hormone imbalances are highly treatable, provided they’re diagnosed and treated by a professional healthcare provider. Many people begin to feel better quickly after diagnosis and treatment, but some may need lifestyle changes or additional treatments to correct their problems. Speak with a medical professional if you experience any abnormal symptoms associated with a hormonal imbalance to restore balance and improve your overall quality of life.