11 unexpected signs of hormonal imbalance | Northwell Health

Hormones regulate several processes in the human body. For example, hormones affect actions like appetite, sleeping habits, weight, and acne. Hormonal imbalances occur when there’s too much or too little of a hormone in the body. When this happens, it affects some body processes, and this causes immense effects.

Hormonal imbalance is caused by pregnancy, menopause, diabetes, thyroid problems, eating disorders, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, medications, and tumors.

Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
If these symptoms are affecting you, it could be because of hormonal imbalances.

Weight Gain
Mysterious weight gain in conjunction with other symptoms might indicate hormonal imbalance, and you might want to get checked by a doctor. For example, weight gain may be caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormones tasked with regulating metabolism. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) could also be another cause of sudden weight gain. In addition, women who are in their menopause are also likely to experience the same problem.

Heavy or Irregular Periods
Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones that are responsible for monthly periods. Therefore, any fluctuations in their normal levels cause heavy, lighter and irregular periods.

Estrogen and progesterone in low levels can also cause breaking out in a woman. Adult acne indicates hormonal imbalance as androgen levels are also quite high. This is also a sign of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Vaginal Dryness
When estrogen levels fall, the vaginal walls thin, and the cells that produce moisture reduce. This is more prone in older women due to menopause.

Night Sweats
Suppose you have fluctuating estrogen levels, the quality of sleep at night drops due to night sweats which make you tired throughout the day. This also contributes to the frequent headaches one experiences due to hormonal imbalance and lack of good quality sleep.

Mood Swings
Sudden shifts in mood are a symptom of an underlying issue that could be hormonal imbalance. Estrogen has an effect on serotonin which is the chemical that boosts one’s mood—unstable production of estrogen causes premenstrual syndrome (PMS) between perimenopause and menopause.

Growth of Excess Hair
This is also called hirsutism. It is the growth of hair where men often grow hair, but females do not. This may happen on the beard, upper chin, or even the chest. The hormone androgen is responsible for this condition. This condition mostly affects those people with PCOS.

Gut Problems
Estrogen affects the digestive system and may cause diarrhea, nausea, constipation, and bloating either before or during menses. This also accounts for why females are more prone to the Irritable Bowel Syndrome than their male counterparts.

Low Libido
Fluctuations in levels of estrogen and progesterone may result in a low sex drive. Some medications may also cause a decrease in desire for sexual activity.

When you make an appointment with your healthcare provider, they will recommend tests to check on the levels of your hormones depend on your symptoms. Then, they are likely to prescribe one or some of the following:

  • Blood test- this is because most of these hormones are found in the blood.
  • Pelvic exam- this exam is used to check for any lumps or cysts.
  • Ultrasound- this one obtains images of your uterus, ovaries, thyroid, and pituitary glands.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)- used together with sonography to evaluate the female pelvis and ovaries.

Dealing With Imbalanced Hormones During Your Period
So now that you know or suspect that your hormone levels are fluctuating what next? Here are some tips to help you deal with the condition. The first step to coping with imbalanced hormones is to see your medical provider. They will advise you accordingly after ensuring that your hormones are imbalanced.

Hormone Therapy
This is the most common method of dealing with hormonal imbalances. Hormone therapy involves the administration of medication that contains female hormones. For women who are not trying to conceive, birth control pills are administered to balance one’s menstrual cycle and deal with adult acne that may come with the imbalance.

Estrogen pills, estrogen patch, and vaginal estrogen are prescribed to increase estrogen levels in the body. Vaginal estrogen comes in various forms, such as rings, tablets, and creams to reduce vaginal dryness. To deal with low testosterone levels responsible for low libido, extra testosterone is administered to correct the issue.

Some people usually require a combination of all these hormones to deal with the issue completely. For example, most times, progesterone is added to estrogen for women of childbearing age to prevent endometrial cancers.

Lifestyle Changes to Consider
Adapting good day-to-day habits plays a significant role in balancing your hormones. If the degree of imbalance is not extensive making changes to your lifestyle will help greatly.

  • Managing your weight. Working out, taking walks instead of drives will help you keep your weight in check.
  • Eating a balanced diet. Consume healthy fats like fatty fish with enough proteins.
  • Avoid sugar and sugary snacks and food. This is because sugar interferes with your hormone levels.
  • Exercise often to help boost your mood and manage your weight.
  • Learn how to manage your stress. Take walks and interact with your partner and friends. Share with them whatever issues might be troubling you. Meditation, yoga, aerobics, and listening to your favorite music are also good steps to help manage stress.
  • Drink green tea. Green tea produces theanine which reduces the production of cortisol that causes stress.
  • Spinach, avocado, almonds, broccoli, flaxseeds, and apples are also important in this fight against hormone imbalance.
  • If you bleed a lot, take foods rich in iron to prevent suffering from anemia since you are at risk.
  • Getting enough sleep reduces fatigue and helps deal with stress.
  • Practice good hygiene habits. If you experience excessive growth of hair that is not comfortable with you, get it waxed regularly. Also, get the ideal products to use on your acne-prone face, change your pad/ tampon regularly whether or not you have a heavy cycle.

Every woman experiences hormonal imbalance at a point in their life, and we all must know how to deal with the condition correctly. If your period stops and starts regularly, consider gathering as much information as possible and then go see a professional.