When we hear the word “hormone,” we usually associate it with something negative. Hormones are commonly associated with menopausal women and the difficulties they may face. However, there are numerous hormones that perform various functions within the body and affect us all from conception to death.
Menopause isn’t the only thing that disrupts the normal hormonal balance, and it doesn’t only affect women. There are several causes of hormonal imbalance, and understanding them can help you treat the problem.
What Could Be the Cause of Hormonal Imbalance?
Hormonal imbalance is extremely common, particularly in women. A hormonal imbalance may be a genetic predisposition for some people, but it can also be caused by age, medications, pregnancy, hormone-based birth control, diabetes, thyroid conditions, and lifestyle.
Some of the causes of hormonal imbalance can be addressed through dietary and exercise changes, as well as better sleep habits. Stress is also a common cause of hormonal imbalances, and reducing stress can help to resolve the issue. Your doctor may need to treat other causes.
What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Hormonal Imbalance?
1. Persistent acne problems
During certain times of the menstrual cycle, normal hormonal shifts can cause some women to break out in acne. However, if you have persistent acne or deep cystic acne, this could indicate a hormonal imbalance. An increase in testosterone can result in an increase in sebum production, which gets trapped in the skin and combines with bacteria, clogging pores and causing acne.
2. Sleep issues
When progesterone levels drop, usually right before a period or right after giving birth, it can cause sleep issues. An unnatural drop in progesterone levels can cause persistent sleep problems or disorders.
3. Foggy memory
If you have trouble remembering where you put your keys or purse, it could be due to a hormonal imbalance. When you are under a lot of stress, your body responds by producing a lot of cortisol, a stress hormone. A number of studies have found that chronically elevated cortisol levels in the body can impair memory and learning.
4. Always hungry
Hormones such as ghrelin and leptin can make you feel constantly hungry. Because ghrelin stimulates appetite while leptin suppresses it, changes in the normal levels of either of these hormones can make you feel ravenous. This is more common in people who are chronically sleep deprived.
5. Digestive issues
Hormone fluctuations can cause digestive issues. When the stress hormone cortisol and the hormone serotonin are out of balance, they can have negative effects on the digestive tract, especially if you already have conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Digestive issues can also be caused by high levels of estrogen and progesterone.
6. Chronic fatigue
is caused by hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid fails to produce enough hormones. On a daily basis, this can result in exhaustion. Thyroid hormone regulates a variety of bodily functions, including digestion, heart rate, and cognitive function. When the metabolism isn’t working properly, it causes fatigue.
7. Weight gain
Gaining weight is not an unavoidable sign of aging. Hormone imbalances can cause weight gain in many cases. When the thyroid produces insufficient hormones, the metabolism slows and the body gains weight. This could be due to adrenal fatigue, which affects the pancreas and the hormones it produces.
8. Depression and mood swings
Mood swings, depression, and anxiety are common symptoms of menopause, which disrupts the normal levels of hormones. Stress, as well as a decrease in the production of the brain chemical serotonin, can cause these mood changes.
9. Headaches and migraines
This can be caused by hormonal imbalances caused by the menstrual cycle or menopause. It can be beneficial to keep a diary of when these headaches occur in order to identify a possible trigger. Cortisol spikes caused by chronic stress can also cause headaches.
10. Vaginal dryness
A decrease in normal estrogen levels, as seen with menopause, can cause changes to the vaginal wall, resulting in dryness. Intercourse can become uncomfortable, if not painful, as a result of this.
11. Night sweats and hot flashes
These were once associated with low estrogen levels, but they can also be caused by too much estrogen and not enough progesterone, as well as other hormones. Hot flashes and night sweats can be caused by issues with the ovaries, adrenal glands, thyroid, or pancreas.
12. Loss of libido
Many women suffer from a lack of sex drive, which is usually caused by low estrogen levels. Low sex drive in men is usually caused by a drop in testosterone. Other hormonal imbalances can also contribute to libido loss.
13. Breast changes
Elevated estrogen levels can cause changes in women’s breast tissue. Fibroids, lumps, and cysts can all grow as a result of these changes. High estrogen levels can also make the breasts feel sore and tender.
What Can You Do If Your Hormones Are Out of Balance?
1. Caffeine consumption should be limited.
Caffeine can be harmful to the endocrine system, especially if other factors such as pregnancy or stress are present. You can reduce your caffeine intake and replace it with beneficial herbal teas. You can also add healthy fats, such as coconut oil, to your coffee.
2. Toxins should be avoided.
Toxins found in everyday items like plastics, pesticides, and household chemicals and cleaners can disrupt hormone levels in the body. Toxins can be avoided by not using chemical pesticides and cleaners in your home, storing food in glass rather than plastic containers, and cooking in non-coated pots and pans.
3. Commercial cooking oils should be avoided.
Commercial cooking oils containing high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, such as canola, vegetable, peanut, soybean, margarine, and shortening, may metabolize in your body to become a type of fatty acid.
Furthermore, this fatty acid may contribute to conditions such as heart disease and hormonal imbalance. Use healthy fats like coconut oil and olive oil, as well as real butter.
4. Avocados and coconut oil should be consumed.
Coconut oil, avocados, and other healthy fats contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are the most effective way to boost levels of female hormones and testosterone. The cholesterol in these healthy fats is required for the formation of healthy cells and the production of normal hormones.
5. Change your leptin levels.
Leptin is required for metabolism regulation and hunger suppression. Leptin deficiency is caused by eating too many processed foods and sugar, as well as skipping out on normal sleep patterns. So get plenty of rest, avoid sugar and processed foods, and eat whole foods.
6. Consider Maca Root.
Because of its high mineral and essential fatty acid content, maca root has long been known to provide a hormone boost.
Men have reported better sleep, increased libido, and increased sperm production, while women have reported increased fertility, fewer PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms, and healthy skin. You can take it in the form of a capsule or mix it into a smoothie.
7. Learn how to deal with stress.
Chronic stress raises cortisol levels, which affect all of your other hormones, causing them to become out of balance. Cortisol levels can be kept normal by learning how to manage stress better. To relieve stress, try exercise, yoga, or meditation.
8. Alter your eating habits.
Reduce your intake of processed foods and sugars while increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, and healthy oils like olive and coconut oil. Avoid foods like meat, eggs, and dairy, as these can contain chemicals that disrupt normal hormone balance. You can also take fish oil as a supplement.
9. Exercise on a regular basis.
A minimum of thirty minutes of regular exercise per day can help restore hormonal balance, alleviate symptoms, and improve sleep and digestion. Any moderate exercise is beneficial as long as it gets you moving.