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13 Common Signs of a Hormone Imbalance

Hormonal changes affect everyone from birth to death; nevertheless, we tend to have a negative perception associated with them. Being able to spot the signs of hormone imbalance is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing associated symptoms, so we’re here to provide you with some of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalances.

1. Persistent Weight Gain

Most of us know that lifestyle, diet and physical activity are key components to maintaining a healthy weight, but your hormone balance plays a role too. As women age, they tend to believe that putting on weight is inevitable, but there might be an underlying hormonal imbalance making it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. A variety of systems in your body such as the endocrine system, your  thyroid or your digestive system  may all by playing a role in the imbalance that causes weight gain.

2. Low Libido

One of the most noticeable symptoms of hormonal imbalance is low libido. This could be due to imbalances of estrogen and testosterone.

3. Fatigue

Can't make it past mid-morning without some sort of pick-me-up? How about that mid-afternoon crash? We all have days when we’re so tired that we’re desperate for a nap. However, if you feel exhausted every day, then you could be suffering from a lack of a thyroid hormone, adrenal fatigue, or another form of hormone imbalance.

4. Anxiety, Irritability and Depression

Not feeling like yourself? Anxiety, mood swings and depression are clues that you have an imbalance. Most ‘midlife’ women experience mood swings and feel anxious in situations that they used to handle calmly before. This is likely due to a hormone imbalance.

5. Insomnia and Poor Sleep Patterns

Many women find it hard to fall asleep before their period. This may be due to the sharp drop in the hormone progesterone that occurs just before menstruation. Progesterone has relaxing properties, so when its levels drop, it can make you feel restless and lead to poor sleep patterns.

6. Hot Flashes & Night Sweats

For many women, night sweats and hot flashes are the first uncomfortable sign that something is out of whack. The cause may be too much or too little estrogen or too little progesterone. Other hormone imbalances in your body that come from the adrenals, ovaries, thyroid, pancreas or gastrointestinal tract may also be the source of the problem.

7. Cravings

Common causes of cravings and excess eating are adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, and other hormonal imbalances. Minimizing sugars, alcohol, dairy and wheat may help control cravings, and improve digestive function as well.

8. Persistent Acne

A lot of women breakout before their period, due to hormonal shifts. However, if you suffer from deep, cystic acne all the time, then androgens could be the culprit. Testosterone stimulates excess production of oil, which can get trapped underneath the skin and merge with bacteria and dead skin cells leading to clogged pores.

9. Memory Fog

Are you forgetting things lately? Like where you put your car keys, or what you walked into the room for. Have you been stressed out? Your body will produce high levels of cortisol when stressed, which studies suggest can hamper your learning ability and memory.

10. Digestive Problems

Cortisol production is naturally high in the early morning to help you wake up. However, chronic stress may lead to adrenal glands overproducing cortisol. This may contribute to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), due to abnormal levels of serotonin. The flux of estrogen and progesterone may also play a role in IBS as well as can make a woman’s gallbladder empty more slowly and increase the cholesterol in her gallbladder, doubling her risk of developing gallstones.

11. Headaches & Migraines

Suffer from frequent headaches or migraines? This could be due to hormonal imbalances around certain times of the menstrual cycle.

12. Vaginal Dryness

As menopause approaches, the reduction of estrogen levels causes changes to the vaginal wall. This can lead to vaginal dryness.

13. Breast Changes

High levels of estrogen can make breasts feel tender and sore, which could lead to lumps, fibroids, and cysts.

Please note that many of these symptoms can be linked to other physical problems, and a simple blood, urine or saliva hormone test can help you and your healthcare professional determine if there are other underlying concerns.