Signs of a Hormone Imbalance
By Labea Butler, LPN
Hormones are essential for our body to work properly, but we don't often think about them until they're out of whack. That’s because a hormonal imbalance can put your body in a state of constant stress. For instance, when we are overly tired or stressed out, we may feel depressed, anxious or have trouble concentrating. Most importantly, when hormones are raised and suppressed for long periods of time, it can lead to conditions like diabetes, adrenal failure and thyroid disease among others. Luckily, by making good choices, we have the power to help keep them in check with good sleep and proper eating. But, it’s important that we have a clear understanding of the role hormones in our life.
When the word hormone is first mentioned, naturally most people think of it as being a problem that affects only women. Hormones actually affect both men and women and can start at birth and continue throughout our entire life. Hormone balance is very important in order to maintain a healthy mind and body. Hormone fluctuations occur naturally, such as during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and perimenopause. Hormone imbalances can be associated with your lifestyle and diet. They can also be affected by pollution and toxins that you are exposed to on a daily basis. Understanding the causes of hormone imbalances empowers you to prevent them, which will help you feel better and think more clearly.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalances are:
Persistent weight gain. There are certain diet, physical activity and lifestyle components that we have to adopt in order to maintain a healthy weight. If you are experiencing issues with poor hormonal regulation, weight neutrality is often difficult to maintain.
Belly fat and loss of muscle mass. When your body is under stress there is an underproduction of certain hormones and an overproduction of others (mainly cortisol). These can signal your brain to sore adipose (fat).
Low libido. This is one of the most noticeable signs of a hormone imbalance, which often starts with sleep disturbances. Without quality sleep your sex hormone production can diminish.
Constant Fatigue. It is not normal to feel sluggish, scatter brain or mentally foggy.
Anxiety, irritability and depression. Anxiety and depression are clues that you have a hormonal imbalance. These can also be caused by being overworked, stressed or environmental toxicities. Often during these times, you are not providing your body with the nourishment that it needs which can make the problem even worse.
Insomnia, poor sleep patterns and sleep disorders. This starts the cycle of physical stress which can increase cortisol levels.
Persistent acne. If you suffer from deep, cystic acne all the time, then you could be experiencing a hormone imbalance. Persistent acne occurs when you have excessive oil production that gets trapped underneath the skin. This oil merges to the top of your skin with acne-causing bacteria and dead skin cells. That leads to clogged pores, pimples and blemishes.
Digestion problems. Gas, bloating and slow digestion are common problems that are usually associated with hormone imbalances. These are often caused by eating to many unhealthy foods.
Constant hunger and cravings. Cravings and excessive eating are commonly associated with hormone imbalances. As your pancreas begins excreting insulin to compensate for the sugar you have consumed your blood sugar will often drop. When your blood sugar decreases the hunger and craving will often return.
Hormonal imbalances are common and treatable. If you are experiencing symptoms as mentioned above realize that you are not alone. The good news is there are many ways to treat these imbalances naturally! It is always best to consult with your physician regarding your concerns. A balanced diet, managed stress, and consistent exercise are always a great place to start when considering your health.