These signs are your body's way of showing a red alert that your hormonal imbalance are a result of a health complication.
Hormonal changes are constantly happening in our body and after a change, the body balances out their functions properly. Sometimes though, from the excess of a hormone in our body to a lack of one, all these changes can affect our physical appearance, mental processes, and habits. However, we aren't always aware of the signs that our body is telling us. We end up brushing it off as a one-time thing and only find out about it when the issue becomes critical and we realize that these hormonal fluctuations were the cause of an underlying problem.
You probably relate if these are some of the things your body shows you which actually indicate that there is a hormone in your system that is not in balance.
If you find yourself craving food more often or looking for food that is extremely salty or sweet, it could be a sign of a hormonal imbalance. This hormone in particular is called ghrelin. Also called the hunger hormone, one of its functions is that it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage. When it circulates in the bloodstream, it activates the hypothalamus, which is an area of the brain that controls appetite.
In fact, it also stimulates the release of a growth hormone from the pituitary gland crucial in breaking down fat and helps build up muscle. So chances are if your appetite has gone up suddenly, it could be that there is an excess of ghrelin being released in your bloodstream.
Mood swings are generally associated with Post-Menstrual Stress and estrogen imbalance is the main cause for it. Estrogen and progesterone that is released during periods can affect the levels of the neurotransmitter called serotonin which regulates mood and appetite. So any shift in that balance can cause your mood to be all over the place.
However, there are other hormones that can affect mood as well. One hormone that plays a role is the thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland releases the thyroid hormone and when there is the right amount of it in the body, your moods will remain stable. According to the British Thyroid Foundation, "rapid changes in thyroid hormone levels, in particular, can unsettle your emotions". This is a symptom of a disorder called hypothyroidism. Other changes in the release of the thyroid hormone can be a sign of hyperthyroidism.
While acne can be caused by issues like pollution or come up as a result of excess heat in the body, persistent and adult acne can be a sign of hormonal imbalance. In this case, an oily substance called sebum, which is produced by the sebaceous glands, is influenced by sex hormones. The glands are affected by a hormone called androgens which are male sex hormones that are present in both men and women.
During menstruation, an abnormal increase in the androgens can increase the production of sebum which then comes out through the pores of our skin. This leads to oilier skin which can later progress to acne.
While it's not dangerous to not feel like having sex, it could be a symptom of a health issue if it persists. There are 4 main hormones that, if imbalanced, maybe a reason for a lowered sex drive. One is estrogen which controls the female reproductive system. If any part of this balance is disrupted, it could result in a lowered sex drive. High levels of estrogen lead to an accumulation of more abdominal fat.
Another hormone is cortisol which is generally known as the stress hormone. It helps boost energy so if there is a lack or excess of cortisol being released, it could cause a loss of libido. The other hormones are the thyroid hormone and testosterone in the body. If there is any change in the release of these hormones, they could lower your sex drive.
If you're unable to focus or concentrate, or have a headache that feels like a migraine, it could be because of low estrogen levels in your body. According to Healthline, estrogen controls the chemicals in the brain that affect the triggers of the pain sensation. So migraine headaches, otherwise known as hormonal headaches, have been linked to the female hormone estrogen. A drop in your estrogen levels can trigger a headache. As a result of this, your concentration levels also take a dip.
Considering the fact that our digestive tracts are home to a host of hormones, any imbalance could cause you to suffer from feelings of constipation, bloating, severe cramps or stomach pain. The most common hormone that causes problems in the digestion is estrogen. It circulates the body and when it reaches the liver, becomes inactive. The Organic Dietician, an online health site, states that "In a normal functioning digestive system, this inactivated estrogen is then sent to the intestines where it can be excreted in the stool. But if certain bad bacteria are present in your gut, the bacteria can reactivate estrogen and release it back into your body where it continues to circulate and can cause estrogen dominance."
If you are gaining weight without having done anything to cause it, it could be a result of a hormonal imbalance in the body. Hormones like insulin, thyroid, or estrogen, if not maintained within the correct range, could actually indicate diseases like diabetes, thyroid condition or polycystic ovaries.
Irregular periods, absent periods, heavy bleeding, or extreme pain during periods can all be a result of the reproductive hormones such as estrogen and progesterone in your body not functioning the way it should. In fact, such symptoms could actually be a sign that you are suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which is mainly characterized by cysts on your ovaries. Healthline says that even minor imbalances can cause significant effects, especially with your periods.
While most hair problems revolve around things like split ends or frizzy hair, a hormonal imbalance causes hair to either grow in places that it's not supposed to or have severe hair loss. Hirsutism is a medical condition wherein women grow male-pattern, thick, coarse hair on their face, chest, back and even stomach. If it gets worse over time, then you might be suffering from a severe complication of a hormonal imbalance. Another issue is hair loss. Imbalances can result in telogen effluvium which is a temporary form of hair loss. It can be recognized by missing patches on the head.
A drop in estrogen and an increase in the male hormones androgen and testosterone can cause this extra or lack of hair growth.
In this case, insomnia is brought on by a lack of either estrogen or progesterone. When your ovaries produce progesterone, it helps regulate the menstrual cycle while you are sleeping. But if there is a lack of it, you'll find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. During menopause, it gets worse as the body produces less estrogen thus making it harder to get a good sleep and you are usually woken up by night sweating and hot flashes.
Stress: One important way to keep your hormones balanced is by maintaining a proper rhythm and routine. However, if your body is under constant stress, it works overtime which in turn results in the hormones being released at various times of the day instead of at regular intervals. This causes hormonal imbalances and thus brings on the symptoms.
Lifestyle: If your diet doesn't consist of as many of the proteins the body requires or if there is a lack of exercise, your glands will not function properly and can cause hormone release to malfunction. This could lead to more complications like hormone-related diseases and disorders, obesity, heart problems and more.
Genetics: Sometimes genes play a role in leading to hormonal imbalances. While the actual imbalance is not passed down through the family, any hereditary diseases can lead to the lack or excess release of a hormone, like in the case of diabetes.
Medication: Sometimes medication prescribed for other health issues can have severe side effects. Some of these side effects can cause a delay in the release of a hormone or even completely block it. Since all hormones work in tandem and are meant to run like a well-oiled machine, if one stops working or slows down, all other body functions slow down.
Cosmetics: Believe it or not, the ingredients used in certain cosmetics can be absorbed into the skin which then sits in the bloodstream. Some of these ingredients can block the production of hormones and cause problems in the release of other hormones. Thus an imbalance is caused.
It is recommended to not self-prescribe as each person experiences health issues differently and might not be able to find a solution that fits with their situation. It is essential to talk to a doctor when you start experiencing these symptoms as they will be able to understand the severity of the underlying issues that may be causing these physical representations.