Hormone Imbalance Symptoms in Women: 7 Signs to Watch Out For
Hormones play an important role in your body system. They regulate many functions like growth, sex drive, sexual function, sleep, metabolism, etc. For your body to function optimally, your hormones need to be stable—that is, not too high or too low.
Too high or too low hormones in your bloodstream can lead to what we call hormone imbalance. Hormone imbalance is associated with many problems in women, including period issues, unwanted hair growth, weight gain, fertility issues, insomnia, mood swings, constipation or diarrhea, etc.
To prevent a full-blown medical condition, you should note when your hormones are low or high. Here are some symptoms to watch out for.
What is Hormone Imbalance?
You must have heard of the term hormones, chemicals produced by the endocrine system that transmits messages to different parts of the body via the bloodstream. Like a boss or a manager, hormones relay messages to body organs, telling them what to do and when to do it.
In addition, hormones help control various processes in the body. They help regulate appetite, metabolism, sleep cycles, heart rate, sexual function, general mood and stress levels, and body temperature. Since hormones play a crucial role in the body, imbalances in some hormones can result in discomfort.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalance can be detected by observing the presence of some symptoms. The symptoms depend on the affected hormones. Some of the symptoms associated with hormone imbalance are:
- Excessive Weight Gain
No one looks forward to gaining excessive weight due to the stigma associated with it and the health condition it comes with. However, sometimes, the excessive weight gain you are experiencing may not be your doing. It may be a result of fluctuating hormone levels which can also make it hard to lose weight.
High levels of hormones like estrogen, cortisol, and insulin and a low level of thyroxine can contribute to extra belly fat. A good way to monitor your hormone levels as a woman is by undergoing hormone testing for females. This test will help you understand if your hormone levels are too high or low.
- Excessive Sweating
Do you sweat excessively even when you shouldn’t be? Excessive sweating is another symptom of hormone imbalance, given that some hormones regulate your body temperature. It can be caused by endocrine alterations in conditions like hyperthyroidism, hyperpituitarism, pheochromocytoma, and diabetes, and at certain phases of life such as perimenopause and pregnancy.
- Affected Sex Drive
Your sex drive needs to be at the right level to satisfy your partner. However, sometimes, it may plummet due to factors like physical and emotional well-being, past experience, beliefs, and relationships.
Different illnesses, physical changes, and meds can also affect sex drive. For instance, your libido may take a nosedive due to variations in estrogen and progesterone levels. Or it could be because of health problems like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, etc.
- Hair Loss
A woman’s hair is one of her pride. But what happens when you start losing your pride gradually every day?
Regular hair loss is an indication of a health issue. When experiencing this condition, ensure the focus on the cause and not the symptom alone. A variation of multiple hormones can result in hair loss. Some of these hormones are:
Thyroid hormone: Low thyroid can be one of the reasons why hair is falling off.
Adrenal gland hormones: Cortisol, a stress hormone, is nature’s built-in alarm system. When this hormone increases, the body experiences stress.
Sex hormones: If you are approaching menopause or you are facing hormone-related conditions such as PCOS, you may notice some of your hair falling out.
- Severe Fatigue
It’s usual to experience fatigue. However, when it becomes too much, you may have a problem with your thyroid gland.
Frequent fatigue is usually due to issues with the thyroid hormone thyroxine. In addition to issues with thyroid, hormone imbalance can cause sleep problems, resulting in stress and eventually extreme fatigue.
- Stubborn Acne
Acne is one of the visible and probably annoying signs of hormonal imbalance. Hormone imbalance triggers acne and can cause more skin damage. High levels of androgens like testosterone are linked with acne issues.
- Digestive Issues
Estrogen, a sex hormone, affects the microflora in the guts, altering the operation of the GI tract. The results? Bowel pain, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, and nausea before or during menstruation.
The effect of estrogen on the gut may also be the reason why women are more susceptible to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) than their counterparts.
Hormone imbalance is associated with several health conditions. Knowledge of hormone imbalance symptoms will help in early and proper diagnosis, which may help prevent a full-scale health issue. Ensure you schedule hormone testing with your doctor to understand your hormone levels and take appropriate steps when needed.