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Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

If you are not sure if your symptoms relate to hormone balance or not, then this article could help.

 
 

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance

Bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, mood swings, problems with blood sugar, trouble concentrating, infertility — these are just a few symptoms of hormone imbalance.

These compounds affect every cell and system in the body. Some hormonal shifts are normal, like monthly fluctuations of sex hormones responsible for menstruation and ovulation or the changes that occur during pregnancy.

Menopause is another time for a normal hormonal shift in a woman’s life. Many women may experience weight gain, mood swings, night sweats, and diminished sex drive during this time.

Other times these fluctuations may be due to a medication or a medical condition.

Balance your cortisol

Cortisol is an important hormone that may become imbalanced with stress or illness. Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands that lie on top of the kidneys.

Low intensity exercise can help lower elevated cortisol levels and stress impacts adrenal function and hormone levels. Check your hormone imbalance symptoms and signs so you can notice when things don’t seem right with you.

Irregular periods?

Most women have menstrual cycles that last between 21 and 35 days. Up to one quarter of women experience irregular periods.

This includes having periods that are shorter or longer than usual or periods that are lighter or heavier than usual. Some women who have irregular periods may experience abdominal cramping or a lack of ovulation. Dysmenorrhea refers to pain and cramping during periods.

Amenorrhea is a medical term that refers to an absence of periods for at least 3 months even though you are not pregnant.

Prolonged menstrual bleeding involves periods in which bleeding routinely lasts for 8 days or longer. Or you have periods that occur infrequently or more than every 35 days.

See your doctor if you believe hormonal imbalance is affecting your menstrual cycle.

Progesterone helps sleep 

If you can’t sleep or you don’t get good quality sleep, hormone balance may be to blame.

Progesterone is one hormone released by the ovaries that helps you sleep and low levels may make it difficult to fall and stay asleep.

A small study in postmenopausal women found that supplementing with progesterone restored normal sleep when their usual pattern was disturbed.

Acne?

Many women experience monthly breakouts before or during their period but it is also common at menopause.

However, chronic acne is something different. Acne that does not go away may be due to excess androgens, male hormones like testosterone that both women and men have.

Excess levels of these androgens make oil glands extra productive and also affect skin cells that line hair follicles. Excess oil and skin cell changes clog pores, leading to acne..

High androgen levels may sometimes indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS may experience infertility.

High insulin levels can stimulate the production of androgens and may be associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss can help reverse insulin resistance.

Brain fog?

This is a common complaint even though this is not a true medical term. It is a commonly reported symptom with many potential underlying causes.

Women in perimenopause and after menopause report more memory complaints and difficulty concentrating than premenopausal women.

Shifting hormone levels may be to blame, but other factors may play a role. Perimenopausal and post-menopausal women often have trouble sleeping and experience hot flashes and increased depression which, in turn, may contribute to brain fog.

Thyroid disease is another common cause of brain fog. See your doctor if you are experiencing brain fog so you can find out and treat the root cause.

Stomach problems?

Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract have receptors for both oestrogen and progesterone. Levels of these hormones change throughout the course of a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. When they do, they impact the function of the gastrointestinal system.

Women often experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, vomiting, and nausea before or during their periods. These symptoms can also occur with many other conditions.

If you experience them along with mood changes and fatigue before or during your period, it may be more likely that the GI disturbances are occurring due to monthly hormonal fluctuations.

Fatigue?

Fatigue is a common symptom that may have many potential underlying causes.

A common hormonal imbalance that causes fatigue is low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism). This condition is easily diagnosed with a blood test. If your levels are low, you can supplement with. bioidentical progesterone as that supports thyroid function, or discuss with your doctor if you need to take medication to bring your levels back up to normal.

Regardless of any hormone imbalance that may exist, practice good sleep hygiene to optimise your sleep and prevent fatigue. This involves going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and exercise from the late afternoon on to avoid interfering with sleep. Establish a relaxing nighttime routine to give your body the message that it’s time for sleep.

Take a warm bath, sip a cup of chamomile tea, or listen to relaxing music.

Mood swings?

Hormonal imbalance may be to blame for some cases of mood disturbance. Many women experience anger, irritability, mood swings, depression, and anxiety before and during their periods.

These can be associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of PMS. Women who have PMS or PMDD appear to be more sensitive to changing hormone levels.

Ostrogen has an effect on neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Not smoking or drinking alcohol can help with these symptoms.

Steer clear of caffeine, sugar, and sodium. Get plenty of exercise, enough sleep, and get adequate calcium.  What Influences Appetite and Weight?

Hunger pangs?

A decrease in oestrogen levels during a woman’s monthly cycle may trigger mood changes in some women. Some may reach for comfort foods that are high in fat, calories, sugar, and salt in an effort to feel better.

Sadly, eating these foods backfires and makes you feel worse. Sodium increases water retention and bloating and sugar, excess fat and calories will lead you to pack on the pounds.

Combat hormonal weight gain by adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan. Stick to lean meats, healthy fats, complex carbs, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables to help prevent PMS and encourage healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss.

Headaches?

A variety of things may trigger headaches, but if headaches occur routinely at the same time every month, just prior to or during a period, declining oestrogen may be the trigger.

A combination cream with both oestrogen and progesterone can be helpful in the second half of the cycle if this is the case.

Vaginal dryness?

Falling oestrogen levels during perimenopause and a lack of estrogen after menopause may lead to vaginal dryness. This makes the wall of the vagina thinner and it can be painful to have sex.

A doctor may prescribe an oestrogen cream or tablet to combat these and other symptoms related to menopause.

It’s important to take progesterone along with oestrogen to decrease certain risks of hormone therapy so a combined cream such as 20-1 can be helpful.

Combined forms of HRT usually are synthetic hormones and some women are not advised to take it because of an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, gall bladder disease, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer.

HRT may be associated with side effects that include headaches, breast tenderness, swelling, mood changes, vaginal bleeding, and nausea.

Low sex drive?  

Testosterone is typically thought of as a male hormone, but both men and women have it. Low testosterone levels may cause low libido and in women progesterone is the precursor for this hormone in the body.

However, it is not advisable to take any testosterone supplement unless under the direct monitoring of a doctor as there can be side effects such as increased hair growth on the face and body.

Breast changes?  

Oestrogen that is too high or too low may lead to changes in breast tissues. High oestrogen may cause lumpy or dense breast tissue, even cysts and carries an increased risk for breast cancer.

In one study, postmenopausal women who took oestrogen plus progesterone hormone experienced an increase in breast density compared to women who took a placebo.

If you notice any breast changes or are concerned about your breasts, see your doctor for an evaluation.

Pituitary problems 

The pituitary gland is a small structure located at the base of the brain. It is known as the “master gland” because it produces several hormones that affect many bodily processes and other endocrine glands.

Hormones produced by the pituitary gland include prolactin, growth hormone (GH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), adenocorticotropin (ACTH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The pituitary gland also releases antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and oxytocin.

A pituitary gland tumour is the most common kind of pituitary disorder and they are usually benign.

Hypothalamus problems  

The hypothalamus is the portion of the brain that lies near the pituitary gland. It helps regulate hormone secretion in various parts of the body, controlling functions like body temperature, mood, hunger, thirst, sleep, fatigue, sex drive, and circadian rhythms.

Dysfunction of the hypothalamus may produce many symptoms depending on which hormone systems are affected. Supplementing hormone levels that are low may help relieve symptoms.

Blood sugar

The pancreas serves as both an exocrine gland and an endocrine gland. As an exocrine gland, it secretes enzymes that are necessary to digest protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

The endocrine function of the pancreas involves the secretion of the hormones, insulin and glucagon, which regulate blood sugar. The body needs a steady supply of blood sugar to fuel the brain, kidneys, and liver.

Diseases like diabetes cause problems with insulin which may produce weight changes, excessive thirst, and unstable blood sugar levels.

Infertility

Hormone imbalance is a common cause of infertility in women and abnormal levels of estradiol, testosterone, luteinising hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, progesterone, prolactin, and other hormones may all contribute.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is condition that affects approximately 10 percent of women of childbearing age. It causes irregular periods, such as skipped periods, more frequent periods, or even total cessation of menstruation.

While women who have PCOS are more likely to experience infertility,  the condition can be treated with hormones to restore ovulation and bioidentical progesterone is particularly helpful.

Skin ageing?

Decreased levels of oestrogen in perimenopause and menopause are associated with skin ageng. The skin gets thinner as we age and it tends to wrinkle as collagen is lost.

Skin also becomes drier, less elastic, and less vascular with age so looking at moisturising and supporting the body with b bioidentical oestrogen and progesterone can also help.

Thinning bones

Bones need good balanced hormones: oestrogen to clear away old bone and progesterone to build new bone.

Approximately 50 percent of women over the age of 50 will suffer a bone break due to osteoporosis ensuring you have good hormone balance is essential, especially if you know you have a potential risk due to family history or other factors.

Ostrogen dominance?

This is a condition in which there is too much oestrogen in the body and it is not balanced by sufficient progesterone.

Excess oestrogen plays a role in breast cancer, ovarian cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, autoimmune conditions, and even “man boobs” .

Diet and lifestyle changes can help you balance your oestrogen levels as can supplementing with. bioidentical progesterone.

Weight distribution

Women who are menopausal may notice they gain more weight around the abdomen, thighs and arms. This central obesity, as it is known, is dangerous because it increases a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

This occurs because once the ovaries are no longer producing oestrogen the body switches production and puts it into the soft tissue of the abdomen and related areas so again balance with bioidentical progesterone can be helpful.

Helpful information: 

If you are not sure which hormones you may be low in, or have too much of, these articles will be helpful in identifying the relevant symptoms.

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2017/12/04/what-signs-of-oestrogen-dominance-do-you-have/

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2017/06/09/do-your-symptoms-need-oestrogen-as-well-as-progesterone/