Noting changes in your body and behavior should become a natural habit as you age. This way, you are in tune with what is normal and what is not when it comes to your health. Hormonal imbalances can cause many symptoms that are easy to misdiagnose upon initial assessment. It’s important to consider the role hormones play in almost every aspect to your body’s functions. So don’t miss these 7 signs that you have a hormone imbalance and be sure to seek out medical attention when pertinent.
Anxiety, Irritability, and Depression
Hormones are infamous for their ability to affect the moods and behaviors of even the best of us. If you haven’t been feeling like yourself, now is not the time to head for prescriptions. Instead, consider the fact you might have a hormonal imbalance making you feel anxious and depressed. Simple changes in diet and exercise could greatly boost your mood and get you feeling like your old self again. It is also suggested to see a certified medical professional if these feelings are persistent and consuming.
Digestive Problems and Cravings
Abnormal levels of serotonin can cause irritable bowel syndrome, making you suffer through gas, bloating, and slow digestion. Many women get these symptoms around menstruation every month due to the flux of estrogen and progesterone. As for cravings, a higher level of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite, may be causing your mid-night munchies. Sleep is very important in regulating the appropriate levels of ghrelin and leptin (the appetite suppressant hormone) to keep your system in balance.
Low Libido and Fatigue
Sex hormones are also affected by sleep deprivation. Imbalances in your thyroid or other endocrine glands are usually the underlying cause to a low sex drive. It’s important to work on your sleeping habits to optimize for sound sleep. Also, stay away from caffeine and alcohol which encourage the formation of estrogen and downplay testosterone. Try taking a B-12 supplement to boost energy, which improves your sexual desire and fertility as well.
Persistent Weight Gain
Wondering why you can’t lose those last 10 pounds? Insulin resistance is usually the culprit when it comes to unexplained weight gain. Other causes are discussed in our blog post on hormones and weight gain.
Insomnia and Poor Sleep Patterns
A drop in progesterone, which has relaxing properties, can make you feel restless throughout the night. Cortisol, the stress hormone, also increases when you get little sleep or are under immense physical stress. This in turn causes imbalances in other hormone systems, like those mentioned above about cravings. It is very important to talk with a holistic health practitioner to get your sleep schedule optimized for quality rest.
Night sweats and hot flashes are the typical clichés that indicate hormonal imbalance. Many times our emotions are the trigger that increases internal temperature. When we are under prolonged stress, our bodies produce elevated levels of cortisol. Progesterone is the primary raw material for producing cortisol. So when high levels of cortisol are being produced, there is a reduction in the amount of progesterone and we experience estrogen dominance. This imbalance is what causes those pesky night sweats and hot flashes.
Vaginal Dryness and Breast Changes
On the flip side, vaginal dryness signals a low production of estrogen in the body, usually during menopause, perimenopause, after childbirth, or during breastfeeding. Another cause of low estrogen in the body is chemotherapy. Many women going through cancer treatments experience vaginal dryness because of this. High levels of estrogen can also cause changes in your breast — tenderness and soreness, lumps, fibroids, and cysts. Get to know your breasts by habitually checking yourself for any abnormalities and seeking medical attention when appropriate.
As you can see, there are many signs that you could be suffering from a hormone imbalance. But the only way to be sure is to check with a medical professional who specializes in hormones. Dr. Pati from the SaJune Institute for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine has been studying and training doctors in the field of hormone therapy for many years. The staff at SaJune approach each patient needs along the five-point restorative model, which looks at hormones, nutrition, detoxification, mind, and body balance. To optimize your wellness, request an appointment today!