Everybody has experienced days when something seems strange. You don’t have to do anything to feel down, frustrated, or exhausted; it just happens. It might not be anything, but it also might be a symptom that your hormones are out of whack.
Your body’s systems are kept under control and regulated by hormones. This regulation is thrown off when hormone levels are too low or too high, which causes a variety of symptoms and signs. Recognising these signs is important because not all of them are obvious and may differ from person to person.
Let’s explore what hormone imbalance is, what are the causes of hormonal imbalance, common hormonal imbalance symptoms and how to regulate hormones.
In this Article
What Is Hormone Imbalance
Throughout their lifetimes, In women, hormone imbalance happens on a monthly basis. This change is most apparent during their periods, puberty, and menopause. It’s also typical for males to fluctuate occasionally.
Your hormones play a critical role in controlling a variety of bodily functions, including as appetite and metabolism, sleep patterns, reproductive cycles and sexual function, body temperature, and mood.
The endocrine system’s glands generate hormones, which are then released into the bloodstream. Even though certain hormones change naturally as we age, other changes can be brought on by the endocrine glands not making enough of certain hormones.
An excess or deficiency of a hormone results in a hormonal imbalance.
Particularly, estrogen and progesterone levels show the most obvious signs of these abnormalities. Menstrual irregularities, pelvic pain, and uterine fibroids are just a few signs that these two hormones are not balanced properly.
Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance
The many potential causes of hormonal imbalance in women are numerous. Depending on which hormone or gland is impacted, these causes vary. A hormonal imbalance can occur for a variety of causes, some of which are:
- Premature menopause
- Primary ovarian insufficiency
- Cushing syndrome
- Benign or cancerous tumours
- Eating disorders
- Hormone therapy
Symptoms Of Hormone Imbalance In Women
Nobody wants to be controlled by their hormones, but how can you tell if they are out of balance? It should be no surprise that even a minor imbalance can visibly impact your general health and well-being.
When you feel tense, irritated, or just generally “wrong,” it’s easier to blame on your hormones.
However, before you dismiss yourself as having hormonal imbalances, there are a few significant hormonal imbalance symptoms to watch for that should verify your doubt. But it’s a good idea to speak with a medical expert for an accurate clinical diagnosis. The most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women include:
- Unexplained weight gain: A number of hormone-related conditions, such as an underactive thyroid (when your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and menopause, can result in weight gain (which results in hormonal changes that can make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen). Extra belly fat is associated with high levels of estrogen, cortisol, and insulin and low levels of thyroxine.
- Mood Swings and Irritability: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is known for bringing out your inner demons, but if you’re still having emotional swings similar to PMS long after your period has passed, your hormones may be out of whack for another cause. The female sex hormone oestrogen (a chemical that boosts mood) affects serotonin and other brain neurotransmitters. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or depression during perimenopause (the time before periods stop entirely) and menopause can be brought on by fluctuations in oestrogen.
- Decreased libido: It’s unlikely that you’ve lost interest in your partner if you’re not feeling it in bed with them for a while; instead, it could be that your hormone levels are fluctuating. Because of the declining levels of oestrogen and testosterone throughout perimenopause or menopause, low libido is particularly prevalent among females (although known as a male hormone, women also have testosterone). Your sex life may also be affected by additional menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, exhaustion, depression, and anxiety.
- Sleeplessness: One of the earliest indications of hormonal imbalance, including menopause, is insomnia and restless sleep. The ovaries gradually generate less oestrogen and progesterone during perimenopause and menopause, which aids sleep. Falling estrogen levels may also factor in night sweats, which can interfere with sleep and cause exhaustion and low energy.
- Irregular Periods: Despite individual differences, if your hormones are balanced, your period should fall within the usual menstrual cycle, which lasts between 2 and 8 days and occurs every 24 to 38 days. Something might be wrong if they are unpredictable. Additionally, if you experience unpleasant or painful heavy periods together with additional symptoms, including lower back discomfort, frequent urination, abdominal pain, constipation, or painful intercourse, you may have fibroids. Non-cancerous growths called fibroids can appear in or near the womb. Although the actual reason is unknown, estrogen is believed to stimulate them, and having a family history may further raise your risk.
- Hot flashes and Night sweats: Hot flashes, which frequently occur in addition to night sweats, are one of the most prevalent signs of hormonal imbalance. Hot flashes affect almost all women who are perimenopausal or entering menopause. Low estrogen levels are known to cause hot flashes, according to researchers. Every hot flash involves a heat sensation radiating from the chest to the head and neck. It might result in perspiration and can last for a few minutes. Some women experience a quicker heart rate together with hot flashes. Night sweats are hot flashes that occur while you are asleep. Women who have nocturnal sweats frequently feel exhausted when they wake up.
- Hair Loss and Thinning Hair: These might also be signs of hormonal imbalance if you discover that you are losing more hair than usual. Particularly in people with PCOS, hair loss is typical. The hair follicle shrinks in females, making it impossible for the hair strand to fit on the scalp and causing it to fall out. Other hormones in your body, such as testosterone, start to have a stronger impact when levels of estrogen decline. Hair loss or thinning is the end result. This may become apparent during pregnancy, menopause, or shortly after you begin using birth control medicines.
- Skin problems: Before your period, acne may emerge for reasons related to hormone imbalance. Hormonal fluctuations can aggravate skin issues and cause acne. Acne issues are related to androgen excess, such as testosterone. Chronic adult acne may be a symptom of the polycystic ovarian syndrome, as well as low levels of estrogen and progesterone and excessive amounts of androgen hormones. Like itchy skin during pregnancy or menopause can result from hormone imbalances, dry skin can be a sign of thyroid issues or menopause.
- Fatigue: The butterfly-shaped thyroid gland in your neck, which is controlled by hormonal changes in the brain, produces too little thyroid hormone, which can sap your energy and cause chronic weariness. However, this could also be due to changes in sleep, nutrition, or exercise. Progesterone in excessive amounts can bring on sleep. Fatigue is also associated with depression. In actuality, depressed individuals are more than four times more likely to experience fatigue.
Although some of the following conditions may initially be brought on by hormonal imbalances, having these conditions can also result in additional hormonal disorders and abnormalities:
- type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- diabetes insipidus
- hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid
- hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid
- hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules
- Cushing syndrome, or high levels of cortisol
- Addison’s disease
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which causes low levels of cortisol and aldosterone
Hormonal Imbalance Treatment
What can you do to restore the balance of your hormones when they become even slightly out of balance and begin to impact your entire body negatively? Read on to find more on hormonal imbalance treatment.
Hormone replacement therapy
One of the most popular therapies for low hormone levels is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Hormone treatment can provide some relief for those going through menopause, premature menopause, primary ovarian insufficiency, and after oophorectomy (a procedure that removes the ovaries) or chemotherapy. Hysterectomy patients are advised to use just estrogen therapy.
Thyroid hormone therapy
Levothyroxine, a synthetic thyroid hormone, is often taken daily to treat hypothyroidism. This oral drug treats the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism while restoring hormone balance. Levothyroxine can be taken simply once per day to maintain normal thyroid hormone levels because of how long it remains in your system. Even if you feel fine, your doctor will want to frequently check your thyroid hormone and TSH levels to see if the thyroid hormone dosage has to be changed.
The main treatment for menopausal symptoms is oestrogen tablets. Your doctor will review the recommended dosage before you use these pills. The majority of the time, estrogen pills are used once daily.
Estrogen patches are applied on the abdominal skin for a week, more or less. Combined progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone) and estrogen patches may be helpful for some people.
Vaginal estrogen comes in the forms of a lotion, a ring, or tablets. For those who feel pain, irritation, or dryness in their vagina, vaginal estrogen is a typical treatment. The correct dosage will be determined by a doctor because it differs depending on the product. Vaginal rings are changed every three weeks and contain progesterone and estrogen. Vaginal pills and lotions are used on a daily basis.
Combined hormone therapy
Some individuals could require more than one hormone in addition to oestrogen. Because it contains progestin and oestrogen dosages, this medication is referred to as a combined therapy. This option is advised for women who have an intact and healthy uterus. Progesterone is added to oestrogen therapy to safeguard women from endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial cancer.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Treatment
People with PCOS who don’t want to get pregnant can take combined hormonal birth control pills as a long-term treatment. Progestin and oestrogen are both present in combined hormonal medications. They can reduce excess hair growth and acne and regulate your menstrual period.
- What distinguishes perimenopause from menopause?
Menopause follows perimenopause, which is a phase of transition. Your periods have stopped during menopause. You have entered menopause once you have gone without a period for a complete 12 months.
- What home remedies can I use to treat my perimenopause symptoms?
The perimenopause symptoms may be treated at home. You can:
- Consume a diet rich in whole grains, lean meat, and good fats.
- Exercises that need weight, such as walking, hiking, or strength training, should be done.
- You can improve your sleep hygiene by avoiding screens and engaging in relaxing activities before bed.
- Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
- Use stress-reduction methods such as meditation.
- Give up smoking.
- Lose weight if necessary. It will boost your energy and decrease hot flashes and night sweats.
- How can hormonal imbalances be identified?
Since hormones are immediately released into the bloodstream by your endocrine glands, healthcare professionals frequently conduct blood tests to check hormone levels. Doctors may request additional tests to assess your hormone levels, such as a glucose tolerance test or an insulin tolerance test, because certain hormone levels fluctuate significantly during the day. In addition, your doctor will conduct a physical exam, inquire about your medical history, and also discuss your symptoms.
Every single one of us experiences fluctuating hormone levels. The phrase “hormonal imbalance” has become so widespread that you’ll hear people using it nonstop everywhere. It is crucial to pay attention to any symptoms and have them examined by a qualified medical professional so that you can receive the proper care, whether that entails using conventional medicine or alternative therapies or changing your lifestyle, in order to restore the appropriate balance of your hormones and your good health. Many people experience relief from the right medications, lifestyle modifications, and counseling.