Hormones are what keep our bodies functioning healthy. Which is why even the smallest tip in the balance can cause severe side effects.
As we grow older, we seem to be diagnosed with some health condition or the other. From breast cancer to osteoarthritis, there seems to be no end in sight. However, for some women, even without having one condition that seems to plague our gender, they find themselves struggling with issues that throws their body for a toss. Well, if you're one of those women, you might be suffering from hormonal imbalance.
Each hormone in our body has an important role to play in keeping our organs and bodily functions running smoothly. Healthline mentions that all those hormones control your metabolism, appetite, heart rate, sleep cycles, reproductive cycles and sexual function, general growth and development, mood and stress levels and body temperature, to name a few.
A harmonious balance of those hormones will ensure that you stay healthy. However, because of how essential they are to even the smallest parts in our body, any imbalance can cause severe side effects.
You will notice these signs when your body's hormones are imbalanced:
1. Noticeable and constant weight gain
While you might be working on your lifestyle or physical activity in order to reduce or maintain a healthy weight, hormones play a role too. No matter how old you are, an underlying hormonal imbalance can cause you to gain weight without much effort. Issues with your endocrine system, thyroid or digestive system could cause that imbalance. Even stress can do the same due to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, says Parsley Health.
2. Low sex drive
Imbalance in the production of estrogen and testosterone, the reproductive hormones, could cause you to have a low libido, states Flo Health.
3. Poor sleep patterns
Progesterone is the hormone responsible for relaxing the body and aiding your circadian rhythm for better sleep. But when levels of the hormones drop, you could start to feel restless at night which could cause poor quality sleep, says On Health.
If you find yourself forgetting things often lately especially with small things like where you left the house keys or whether you switched off a light, it's a sign of imbalance. Cortisol increases when you're stressed and this can hinder your memory and learning ability.
5. Persistent acne
This is a problem that is common among women across all ages especially when their menstrual cycle is approaching. However, having constant breakouts and acne could be caused by testosterone imbalances. When it is high, there is an excess of oil released. This can get trapped under the skin and merge with bacteria or dead skin cells. As a result, the clogged pores lead to acne.
6. Tiredness and fatigue
Even after a long nap or the recommended hours of sleep, if you feel exhausted, then your thyroid hormone or lack of it might be the reason.
7. Anxiety, irritability, and depression
According to Rocky Mountain Analytical Lab, unusual anxiety and mood swings that are unrelated to your periods can be caused by a hormonal imbalance.
8. Digestion issues
Chronic stress can cause a consistent increase in cortisol levels. This could play a role in developing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which is caused by abnormal levels of serotonin. Even fluxes in estrogen and progesterone can increase your risk of developing gallstones.
9. Hot flashes and night sweats
This symptom is usually synonymous with menopause. However, too little estrogen or progesterone can make you experience these uncomfortable feelings. Some other hormonal imbalances include the adrenal hormones and those involved with your ovaries, thyroid, pancreas or gastrointestinal tract.
10. Breast changes
Increased levels of estrogen can make your breasts feel sore and tender. This could lead to lumps, fibroids, and cysts.
Medical News Today cites other effects of hormonal imbalances which include:
- deepening of the voice in females
- frequent urination
- thinning, brittle hair
- puffy face
- blurred vision
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, you might need to visit a doctor to check for the underlying issues.