47% of women ages 30-60 have experienced hormone imbalance symptoms. 43% say it's negatively affected their life. Despite how common it is, there is plenty of misinformation about this issue.
A hormone imbalance is when your body is unable to regulate levels of important hormones. A few of the most common hormones are estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, insulin, serotonin, dopamine, or adrenaline.
This can be caused by aging, stress, thyroid disease, cancer, medications, nutrition, and more. An imbalance can also create a domino effect where improper levels of one hormone affect the levels of every other one.
53% of women with symptoms went to the doctor, 48% took vitamins or supplements, and 35% changed their diets. Other hormone imbalance treatments include hormone replacement or bioidentical hormone therapy.
Getting help is impossible without realizing what's causing your symptoms, so read on for 8 hormone imbalance signs to look out for.
1. Weight and Appetite Changes
Estradiol is the predominant form of estrogen. Healthy levels at the beginning of the mental cycle are 25-75 pg/ml and that increases to 200-300 pg/ml during the cycle. Menopause drops it to 10-32 pg/ml.
If these hormone levels get too high or low, women may notice changes in their weight or appetite. 54% listed weight gain as a symptom of hormone imbalance.
Low estrogen levels can change weight distribution, causing what's known as central obesity when fat increases in the abdomen and arms. This can increase the risk of heart disease.
Low estrogen triggers mood changes that may make you crave comfort food. It may also lead to changes in leptin, the hormone that decreases hunger.
2. Sleep Problems and Fatigue
50% of women noticed changes in their energy levels as a result of hormone imbalanced or menopause, and 53% listed sleep disturbances as a symptom.
Imbalanced estrogen levels make it difficult to sleep for several reasons. It increases the risk of sleep apnea, a condition that makes it difficult to breathe while sleeping.
51% of women experienced hot flashes and 50% experienced night sweats. These symptoms also make it difficult to get comfortable while sleeping.
Progesterone is another hormone that helps with sleep. It should be at 1.5 ng/ml before ovulation and 15 ng/ml after ovulation.
Improper levels can keep you from staying and falling asleep. It also increases fatigue, but you'll need to check that a thyroid condition known as hypothyroidism isn't the true cause.
3. Mental Health and Mood Changes
Estrogen protects the brain by impacting neurotransmitters while improving cognition and the ability to withstand stress.
The severe drops in this chemical that occur during menopause increase the risk of psychosis, schizophrenia, and manic episodes. Using selective estrogen receptor modulators or SERMS can combat this change.
Only 41% of women recognize brain fog as a sign of hormonal imbalance, and only 38% recognized memory loss as a sign.
Changes in mood and mental health are more commonly recognized. 56% of women experienced mood swings, 52% experienced anxiety, 47% experienced depression, and 45% experienced a lack of interest.
Hormone levels change during your period, and it's normal to feel grumpy before and during it, but if the mood changes persist, you should see a doctor. Be on the lookout for mental health or awareness changes as well.
4. Skin Aging and Acne
Decreases in estrogen cause the skin to get thin, increasing the likelihood of wrinkles and other signs of aging. This is often the natural result of getting older, but it can also be a sign of hormone imbalance.
Excess androgens or male hormones like testosterone that are present in males and females may increase acne. They increase the amount of oil on the skin and clog pores. Anti-androgen medication is one treatment option.
5. Bone Changes
Estrogen is more than a sex hormone; it's essential for maintaining strong bones. Low levels increase the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.
These changes become more and more severe as you age. 50% of women over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
6. Abnormal Levels of Blood Sugar or Calcium
A hormone imbalance affects other important chemicals in the body that need to be regulated. This usually happens when an essential endocrine organ stops functioning as it should.
Improper levels of the parathyroid hormone from the parathyroid glands can lead to levels of calcium in the blood that are too high or too low. This can worsen bone, muscle, or mental problems, affect your teeth, and more.
The pancreas secretes insulin and glucagon to regulate blood sugar. Type 1 diabetes affects its ability to do so and leads to hormone imbalance symptoms such as weight changes and excessive thirst.
7. Stomach Problems
The gastrointestinal tract is lined with receptors for estrogen and progesterone. If it doesn't get enough of these hormones, women can experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as:
These symptoms can occur during a normal period, but they may be a sign of a more serious problem when combined with other hormone imbalance signs such as mood changes and fatigue.
8. Infertility and Irregular Periods
A wide range of hormones needs to be in perfect alignment for women to have regular periods and stay fertile, including:
25% of women have irregular periods that are shorter, longer, lighter, or heavier than they should be. Hormone imbalance is one of the most common causes of this issue.
10% of women experience PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome. This severe hormone imbalance can cause women to skip or stop having their periods and become infertile.
Where to Find Hormone Imbalance Solutions
A hormone imbalance is a common but dangerous health problem. It can spread throughout your body and affect the brain, stomach, bones, and more.
Signs include weight and appetite changes, sleep problems, fatigue, mental health or mood changes, weakened bones, skin aging, acne, blood sugar or calcium changes, stomach issues, infertility, and irregular periods.
These signs can point to other conditions, so let your doctor determine if the cause is a hormonal imbalance.
Be Youthful Co has a range of beauty and health solutions to choose from. Contact us today to begin hormone replacement therapy to restore your hormone balance.