Signs of Hormonal Imbalance: How to Recognize Them, and What to Do?

Hormonal imbalance can be very troublesome.

For example, one of the best ways to prevent breast cancer is to be aware of the signs of hormonal imbalance, in particular estrogen dominance, and do something about it.

With that in mind, general symptoms of hormonal imbalance are very familiar to women as premenstrual syndrome or PMS, or menopause symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats [1].

With that in mind, how do we define hormonal imbalance?

And what exactly is it?

A healthy body needs all hormones to work properly and keep everything functioning.

A healthy body, one that is hormonally balanced, will continue produce and manufacture all of the hormones it needs.

The balance can be disrupted by inadequate supplies of nutrients, toxic influences, and abnormal amount of stress [2].

Balance is the central aspect of a person’s life.

What are the symptoms?

Signs of hormonal imbalance

Hormones play an integral role in our overall health.

There is a broad range of symptoms and signs of hormonal imbalance [3].

Depending on which hormones or glands are affected, the symptoms can be different.

It also depends on whether you are a male or a female.

Signs of hormonal imbalance are different in men and women.

However, there are some common hormonal conditions that affect both men and women, and they manifest with the following symptoms:

  • Weight gain
  • Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • More frequent bowel movements
  • Puffy face
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Muscle weakness
  • Thinning hair or fine, brittle hair
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Increased hunger
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
  • Pain and stiffness in the joints
  • Sweating
  • Purple or pink stretch marks
  • Fatty hump between the shoulders

Symptoms in women

AS mentioned, women and men tend to have different hormonal imbalances, and different symptoms because of that.

In women, the most common hormonal imbalance is polycystic ovary syndrome.

The normal hormonal cycle also changes in women naturally during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and breastfeeding.

The symptoms that are specific to women are the following:

  • Heavy and irregular periods
  • Missed periods or frequent periods
  • Hirsutism, excessive hair on face, chin, and other parts of the body
  • Acne on the face
  • Thinning hair and hair loss
  • Skin fags
  • Weight gain or trouble losing weight
  • Darkening of skin along the neck creases and in the groin
  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal atrophy

Symptoms in men

While in women, estrogen is the main factor for hormonal imbalance, in men, it is all about testosterone.

If you are not producing enough testosterone, there will be symptoms like the following:

  • Development of breast tissue
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Breast tenderness
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Decrease in bear and body hair growth
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hot flashes
  • Loss of bone mass

Symptoms in children

Boys and girls start producing sex hormones when they enter puberty.

However, there is also the case of delayed puberty.

This is a condition in which boys and girls experience normal puberty, but they also experience symptoms and signs of hormonal imbalance.

The condition is called hypogonadism, and the symptoms are different.

In boys, they include:

  • Muscle mass doesn’t develop
  • Body hair grows sparsely
  • Voice doesn’t deepen
  • Penis and testicular growth is impaired
  • Gynecomastia, development of breast tissue
  • Excessive growth of the arms and legs in relation to the trunk

In girls, the symptoms are the following:

  • Breast tissue doesn’t develop
  • Growth rate doesn’t increase
  • Period doesn’t begin

What can cause hormonal imbalance?

Being that there are many hormones in our body, there are a million causes of hormonal imbalance.

The cause is different depending on the affected hormones.

The common causes, however, include:

  • Diabetes
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Thyroiditis
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Hypogonadism
  • Hyper functioning thyroid nodules
  • Stress
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Pituitary tumor
  • Medications
  • Injury or trauma
  • Cancer treatments

And as with the signs of hormonal imbalance, there are also causes that are unique to women.

Those include menopause, pregnancy, PCOS, premature menopause, breastfeeding, birth control pills, and primary ovarian insufficiency.

Risk factors

In addition to the causes of hormonal imbalance we mentioned earlier, there are also risk factors to account for.

Hormonal imbalances are multi-factorial disorders.

They can be caused by a combination of factors, including your medical history, genetics, stress level, exposure to toxins, diet, and so much more.

With that in mind, here are some risk factors to watch for:

  • Food allergies and gut issues
  • Being overweight or obese
  • High levels of inflammation caused by a poor diet
  • Toxicity and exposure to toxins and viruses
  • Alcohol toxicity
  • High amount of stress
  • Lack of enough sleep and rest

Can you balance hormones naturally?

Conventional treatments for hormonal imbalance include synthetic hormone replacement therapy.

The problem with conventional treatment is that it makes you dependent on taking prescription drugs for the rest of your live, masks the signs of hormonal imbalance, but does not solve them, and causes a higher risk for serious side effects.

Therefore, a more efficient strategy is to look for natural ways to treat hormonal imbalance.

Here are some simple steps to take.

  • Swap carbs for healthy fats, as your body needs fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol. The key is to eat healthy fats, not all fats
  • Consume adaptogen herbs, unique class of healing plants that promote hormone balance and protect your body from diseases
  • Consume more probiotics to aid repairing of your gut lining and balance your hormones
  • Address emotional imbalance, as stress is one of the key factors and causes of hormonal imbalance. You can reduce stress by practicing meditation, yoga, and other calming exercises
  • Get more sleep, as your body needs to rejuvenate and refresh during the night
  • Use essential oils to balance hormones naturally and eliminate toxins from your body

Sources:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/hormone-imbalance
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3783913/
  3. https://www.omicsonline.org/scholarly/hormonal-imbalance-journals-articles-ppts-list.php

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Emily

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