Making friends with hormones is not always easy. Every woman faces fluctuations in hormone levels. PMS, pregnancy, menopause, and many other factors can upset the balance of hormones, but if you can’t identify the cause of the problem, it’s a cause of concern. In our blog post, we understand how to recognize Hormonal Imbalance problem and take care of your health on time.
What is Hormonal Imbalance?
Hormones are agents that are secreted by organs and tissues associated with the endocrine system. They come with the blood to the most distant parts of the body and deliver them the information necessary for their well-coordinated vital activity. In other words, they “tell” what, where, and when to do and how quickly.
Hormones regulate a large number of processes in the body: metabolism, sleep cycles, heartbeat, mood, temperature – just a small list of everything that is under the strict supervision of hormones. But their work is often interrupted, and most of the time it is due to a decrease or increase in the amount of a particular hormone in the body.
A person’s insulin, cortisol, thyroxine, estrogen, and progesterone levels can go down as well as up, each change seriously affects your overall health. If you’re making dinner and you add too much salt or too much pepper, it’s not what it’s supposed to be – the same thing happens to your body when your hormones go haywire.
But how do you know if you’re at risk?
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Irregular menstrual cycle
Most women have a 21 to 35-day gap between periods. If you observe that every month they come at a different time or, even do not come at all, it may mean that your body either lacks certain hormones or, on the contrary, their levels are too high. Most often, it has to do with the ratio of progesterone and estrogen hormones.
If you are 40 and older, then the failure may be caused by the so-called perimenopause (the period before menopause), or the last menstruation of the female body. But in general, an irregular cycle can be a symptom of serious problems with the health of the reproductive system, so in this situation, the best course of action is to see a gynecologist, get all the necessary tests and begin treatment, if it is required.
Problems with sleep
If it takes you several hours to get to sleep, and this happens regularly, it could well signal a hormonal imbalance. Progesterone, a hormone secreted by the ovaries, plays a big role in maintaining a stable deep sleep. If its levels drop, it can affect both the quality of sleep and how quickly it comes. Moreover, low estrogen levels can lead to nightmares, so it’s important to be diagnosed by a specialist on time.
Rashes often occur during menstruation (or in the days before it happens), but if they appear on your skin regularly, it indicates a serious hormonal imbalance. Elevated levels of androgens, the “male” hormones found in both men and women, can cause sebaceous glands to overwork and affect cell function around hair follicles. All this leads to rapid clogging of pores, and in the worst case, to the development of acne.
The effects of hormones on brain activity have not yet been fully investigated, but it is known that changes in the hormones estrogen and progesterone can cause memory clouding. Some experts also agree that estrogen can affect chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Well, in general, memory problems can be directly related to adverse hormonal changes in the body – such as thyroid disease, for example.
Our intestines contain a huge number of receptors that respond to estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones become less or more than normal, you may notice significant changes in your digestion. Diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea – all these can suddenly affect your well-being if your hormones are disrupted. If at the same time you observe frequent rashes and rapid fatigue, it is time to see a specialist.
Changes in your breasts
A decrease in estrogen, the main female sex hormone, may cause breast tissue to become less dense. But increasing its amount can work in the opposite, but not always in a positive direction. Breast tissue will gain density, but in the process, there is a risk of cysts.
Rapid weight gain
If you’re feeling sad or irritable, which often happens when estrogen levels drop, your appetite can go into overdrive. A decrease in the hormone can lead to noticeable weight gain: it is known that if this happens with estrogen, it can also affect the performance of another hormone, leptin, which helps regulate food intake.
How can I prevent hormonal imbalance?
- Add polyunsaturated acids to your diet: omega-3 and omega-6 can help reduce appetite and the risk of developing obesity. These acids trigger leptin production, so you are unlikely to gain excess weight with them.
- Next time you are going to take a coffee or a tea break, consider adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogenic plants affect the physiology of the body, normalizing its internal processes, including the work of the hormone cortisol.
- Taking probiotics will help maintain the balance of microflora and the normal ratio of “bad” and “good” bacteria. The more of the latter in the intestines of the body, the easier it is to process the food consumed. It has also long been proven that estrogen-related hormonal malfunctions can be corrected with probiotics that restore estradiol, the bacteria responsible for processing estrogen.
- Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common diseases on the planet. However, it has many more negative consequences than it may seem at first glance: vitamin B plays a crucial role in several body functions, including immune and anti-inflammatory functions. Low levels of this vitamin can lead to hypothyroidism – a lack of thyroid hormones and decreased intensity of thyroid function.
- In urban living, the first thing we sacrifice when it comes to lack of time is sleep. However, 3-4 hours of sleep is critical for the body. With this amount, it begins to experience real hormonal stress: an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for appetite, and a simultaneous decrease in the hormone leptin, which is responsible for satiety, leads to the risk of gaining excess weight and a deterioration of the metabolism. This is why adequate sleep is one of the most important components of health. If there is enough of it, the body increases the secretion of growth hormones, which help repair cells and produce new ones with greater intensity.