5 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalances can occur at any age, they don’t just happen to older women entering menopause. Women of all ages and even men can have hormone imbalances. They can be hard to diagnose because they often are not the first thing that doctors check. If you are not in pain or feeling technically sick but you just may not feel 100%, it could be your hormones.
Hormone imbalances can lead to a variety of symptoms. Always check with your health care practitioner to be sure before taking supplements or medications for your hormones.
Here are a few of the most common symptoms to look for:
Unexplained weight gain:
If you are eating right, exercising and still gaining unwanted pounds, it could be a hormone issue. If you have tried upping the workouts or even eating less and nothing seems to change it can be very frustrating. Hormones play a big role in regulating your metabolism as well as how and where you hold on to extra pounds. A shift in your hormones can make a bit of a difference. You may even be able to lose the weight without having to exercise as much.
Do you feel tired all the time? Do you feel you must consume caffeine just to function? This could be due to an excess of cortisol in your system which puts strain on your adrenal glands and leads to a lack of energy. Your adrenal glands are responsible for quite a bit of your hormone production, especially in older women going through or past menopause. If you are fluctuating between feeling stressed to the limit and then exhausted it’s time to check your cortisol levels.
Intense food cravings:
We all know pregnant women can have unusually strong food cravings. That is due to massive hormone shift caused by pregnancy. But if you aren’t pregnant and feel you are addicted to sweets, carbs, chocolate or other foods it could also be a hormone issue. If your adrenal glands are stressed you may be reaching for foods that are high in salt. If your cortisol or insulin is out of balance you most likely will crave sweets, carbs or even alcohol.
Loss of sex drive:
Hormone imbalances can cause a loss of libido in both men and women. Your body needs a balance of estrogen and testosterone (in both women and men) to have a healthy sex drive. On your body’s list of things that are important to maintain, this is low on the list really because your body doesn’t need it to survive. So when hormones are disrupted by stress, diet or some other factor, the first thing to go is your libido.
Just look at teenagers entering puberty and you have a perfect example of how hormones can affect one’s mood. Women with PMS are another good example. However, even subtle hormone imbalances can make you feel moody. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, bouts of anger, etc. get your hormones checked before going on a medication to alter your mood such as an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety med. It’s good to look for the cause and treat that if you can before just addressing the symptom.
Consider Nutritional Supplements
There are a lot of natural ways to positively impact your hormones through diet, exercise and nutritional supplements such as Thorne Research's Bio-PMT. Cutting out junk food, caffeine or sugar can really make a difference as can adding yoga, meditation and more time in nature. Talk with your health care practitioner about your concerns and come up with a healthy way to turn your hormones around.