Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Feeling night sweats, fatigue, low mood, or irritable?
Your hormones could be to blame.
Hormones are your body’s chemical “messengers” that dictate the way your cells and organs function.
These special little chemicals impact your appetite, sleep patterns, how you respond to stress, how fast your hair grows, whether you’re happy or anxious, and everything in between.
Despite their vital role, most women suffer from some kind of hormonal imbalance.
It’s normal for some hormone levels to inevitably fluctuate at some point in your life. However, the symptoms of hormonal imbalances become particularly noticeable during puberty, pregnancy, or during perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
When a hormone is thrown off balance for whatever reason, the symptoms that follow can cause a number of unpleasant and often debilitating symptoms in the women, disrupting your overall wellbeing.
Let’s take a closer look at hormonal imbalances, and learn the most common signs and symptoms caused due to shifts in hormonal profiles.
Symptoms of hormone imbalance in women
When something is out of balance with your hormones it can have far-reaching consequences for the whole system.
This means you’re going to feel it manifest both in your body and your mind. If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms you should consult a healthcare professional.
Everyone feels tired from time to time. In most cases, most people feel better by taking adequate rest, correcting a nutrient deficiency, treating an underlying medical condition or incorporating lifestyle or dietary modifications.
However, if you’re experiencing unexplained fatigue, despite taking care of yourself, you may want to consider a comprehensive evaluation of your hormone levels to rule out conditions such as adrenal fatigue or hypothyroidism.
A simple blood test called a thyroid panel can identify if your levels are out of balance.
Research shows that hormones can be a major contributing factor in regulating mental health in females.
Anxiety is one of the common symptoms of poorly functioning hormones. Typically, anxiety disorders are correlated with an overactive thyroid.
Anxiety may ebb and flow in intensity, regardless of the cause, and like most women, you may attribute these oscillations to life events or a variety of other factors rather than hormone imbalance.
If your anxiety does not go away and interferes with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships, don’t ignore it.
The most overlooked symptom of a hormone imbalance in women is slightly irregular menstruation.
Most women will have irregular periods at some point in their lives; therefore it is thought to be normal.
However, highly fluctuating periods, heavy bleeding and cramps, as well as periods that are too long, too short, or unpredictable, can all be indicators of hormone imbalance.
Skin and hair changes
Poorly functioning hormones can be a contributing factor to changes in your skin.
Hormones have a direct impact on the health and vibrancy of your skin and hair. Thyroid problems can cause dry hair and skin, thinning hair, hair loss, and brittle nails, for example.
Hormonal variations increase the amount of oil your skin produces, thereby causing acne. If you believe that your skin problem is due to a hormonal balance, you could consult a doctor to restore the balance and your good health.
Vaginal dryness in women is one of the leading indicators that your hormones are out of sync.
The main culprit could be falling levels of estrogen, the hormone that helps maintain the vagina’s lubrication, elasticity, and thickness.
Low levels of estrogen during perimenopause and a lack of estrogen after menopause can cause thinning, drying, and inflammation of vaginal walls.
If the walls become thin, it means fewer cells will secrete moisture. This can lead to vaginal dryness.
Change is inevitable. A new, persistent symptom, on the other hand, indicates that something has changed.
Keep a track of changes in your body over time, if you believe something merits a doctor’s attention.
This allows your doctor to determine if there is a problem and request any required testing.
Be sure to have your hormone levels regularly checked. A simple blood test can usually be used to determine hormone levels.
Also, if you’re approaching a stage of life where hormone irregularities are common, such as menopause, consult with your doctor to determine the best treatment plan for you.