6 Signs of a Possible Hormone Imbalance
Have you ever wondered if you might have a hormone imbalance?
It can be tricky to spot the signs because symptoms can be vague and have a few potential causes. Hormones act as "messengers" that have a significant impact on how your body works.
Even a slight imbalance can make a difference to some processes in your body. Here are a few signs that you may have too much or not enough of a particular hormone:
● Weight gain
● Abdominal bloating
● Changes in your appetite, especially overeating
● Feeling tired most or all of the time
● Brain fog and fuzzy thinking
● Headaches and migraines
● Mood swings
● Changes to your bowel movements
● Feeling more sensitive to cold or heat
● Dry skin
● Thinning hair and/or hair loss
● Anxiety and/or irritability
● Irregular periods
● Gut problems, including issues with digestion and stomach pain
● Low libido
If your levels of certain hormones fluctuate or go higher or lower than they should, it can have significant effects on your well-being. Hormone tests are the only way to know for sure, but these signs could suggest something isn't quite right with your hormone health.
1) You're having trouble losing weight.
Have you been struggling to lose weight or noticing that you keep gaining weight? Stress can encourage your body to produce more cortisol, which is a significant factor in storing fat (especially for storing belly fat).
If you can't seem to catch a break when it comes to your weight, even when you're exercising and eating healthy, it could be a sign that your cortisol levels need to be brought back into balance. Stress management can be a crucial part of doing this, and lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise can also help.
2) You're tired most days of the week.
Most of us feel tired sometimes, but it's usually just a bit of a blip that you can get past by catching up on sleep and making sure your lifestyle is healthy. If your fatigue is down to hormones, though, it's likely that you'll still feel tired - no matter how much you manage to sleep.
What if you're already getting quality sleep and eating healthy, but you're still feeling exhausted most or all of the time? How you are feeling may be linked to hormone imbalances.
If you also tend to alternate between extreme fatigue and periods of feeling wired, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol could be a factor. Thyroid imbalances can also be a culprit for fatigue.
3) You're struggling with anxiety.
Excessive stress and anxiety aren't always strictly a mental health problem. Chronic stress can raise cortisol levels at inappropriate times, potentially sending the adrenal glands into overdrive. The result? Anxiety, fatigue, and even depression.
Estrogen is another hormone that can trigger feelings of anxiety when levels are less than optimum. According to research, estrogen has a calming effect on fear, but low levels can throw this off and pave the way for anxiety.
Thyroid hormones can also mimic anxiety, mainly if your body isn't producing enough of them.
4) You're experiencing PMS symptoms.
Tend to get PMS symptoms that are off the scale during your menstrual cycle? You may feel anything from bloating to irritability, but if it's on the extreme side, it could be a sign that your estrogen levels are unbalanced during this phase of your cycle.
More specifically, it's possibly an indication that you've got high estrogen levels between ovulation and menstruation. Eating leafy greens can be your best friend here. They contain indole-3 carbinol (I3C), which may help with hormone balance to regulate estrogen levels. In other words, I3C provides key nutritional support for the liver's detoxification of estrogens, thus playing an important role in supporting female reproductive health.
5) You've noticed changes to your skin and/or hair.
Does your skin seem to be getting drier lately? Or maybe you've noticed that your hair is getting thinner or falling out more? Of course, nutrition and stress can play a part, but if they're not the obvious culprits, it may be time to look more closely at your hormone health.
Thyroid hormones can affect the health of your skin and hair, so it's worth getting your thyroid health checked out if you consistently notice changes in the look and feel of your skin and hair.
6) You can't kick your cravings.
Tried everything to distance yourself from cravings and still getting nowhere? It may not just be a willpower issue. Sometimes, your hormones may be the real culprit for why you can't stop craving certain foods.
Chronic stress and high cortisol levels can cause sugar and fatty food cravings, while adrenal imbalances can lead to cravings for salty snacks. There can be another factor involved here too. Eating a lot of sugar can spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, which can affect your levels of estrogen and progesterone, two major sex hormones.
PRO TIP: Keeping a food and mood diary can help you pinpoint whether your cravings are linked to mood or if you crave certain foods with no obvious link to emotional eating.
So what can you do? Here are a few helpful tips to start balancing your hormones naturally:
● Eating enough protein at every meal (animal or plant proteins)
● Engaging in regular exercise (does not have to be super intense)
● Limiting or avoiding added sugar and refined carbs
● Consuming more healthy fats
● Avoid overeating AND undereating
● Eat more fatty fish (or use a fish oil supplement)
● Getting more quality sleep (there is a multipronged approach if you struggle with night sweats)
If you’re still not seeing results from these natural ways, you may want to consult your healthcare professional for more ways to defeat the hormonal imbalance takeover.
If you’re suffering from hormonal imbalance, it might be time to get your hormones checked. Hormones can play a significant role in overall health and wellness, Lifestyle factors such as getting quality sleep, eating a variety of nutritious foods, regular physical activity, and managing your stress levels can help support your hormone health.
Do you feel like this post is talking to you? Contact me today to schedule a complimentary phone consultation to discuss in greater detail how we can work together to help you feel better.