Hormonal Imbalance In Women: Symptoms, Cause And Treatment
It wouldn't be wrong to say that all women are terrified of these two words when said together - “Hormonal Imbalance”.
Hormones act as busy messengers in our body. They regulate our body’s physiology and our behavior and even the slightest imbalance in these hormone levels can bring a lot of undesirable changes.
How Do Hormonal Fluctuations Happen?
Natural Hormonal Fluctuations
It's important to understand that hormones can fluctuate naturally, altering a woman's life in many ways. As a woman enters her puberty and moves to her menopause, her hormones change throughout the years.
Hormonal imbalance can be caused by other things too, such as unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle. Unhealthy lifestyle doesn't simply mean that you aren't eating right but it also means that you are exercising less, not sleeping properly and are taking a lot of stress.
How Many Hormones Do You Have?
It has been discovered that the human body actively secretes about 50 hormones.
However, only female sex hormones produced by your ovaries cause the most mess, when imbalanced.
These hormones are
Other important hormones, which can affect a woman's body, are -
While estrogen regulates stress, bone health, memory functions and cholesterol levels, progesterone takes care of your ovulation and menstrual cycle. Insulin maintains blood sugar and thyroid maintains all metabolic functions. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone which keeps the body stress free.
What Causes Hormonal Fluctuations?
Hormones tend to work best when they work in a harmony.
Things that break this harmony are -
- Insufficient sleep
- Unhealthy diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Exposure to toxins
- Exposure to pollution
- Insulin resistance
- Thyroid disorders
Underlying medical conditions
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS is a condition related to ovaries which is one of the leading causes of hormonal imbalance found in women. PCOS can lead to infertility, gradual weight gain, higher risk for diabetes, acne and even abnormal hair growth.
Also Read: Everything you must know about PMS
Hormonal imbalance symptoms in females
Look out for these signs -
#1. Rapid Weight Gain
If you are packing on pounds too fast and nothing seems to help you fit into your skinny jeans, it's time that you consider hormonal imbalance to be a reason behind it. Hormonal imbalance can lead to gradual and even fast weight gain.
If your measurements are increasing right around your belly then it can be an alarming thing for you. This rapid weight gain can be very harmful as it leads towards the risk of developing other diseases.
There are days when you just want to lie down and do nothing, but if those days are turning into weeks for you and you still feel sluggish all the time and absolutely cannot find any motivation to get up and work, it can strongly indicate the hormonal imbalance in your body.
Feeling lazy and mentally foggy is something what hormonal imbalance does to you.
#3. Sleep Issues
Hormonal imbalance can take away your good night's sleep.
If you pass nights feeling uncomfortable, tossing and turning in your bed because even counting sheep doesn't work for you anymore, then it can be an indication towards a distressed endocrine system.
#4. Decrease In Sex Drive
Do you miss being sexually active? One of the most undesirable symptoms of hormonal imbalance can be a low libido. Hormonal imbalance can mess with, or even take away, your feeling of excitement when it comes to sex.
If your sex drive has gotten laid back lately, blame your hormones.
#5. Emotional Turmoil
No one enjoys your frequent episodes of mood swings and outbursts, not even you and especially not the people around you.
If you feel depressed, anxious, irritated, angry and every emotion possible all the time and nothing seems to cheer you up, then all this can be a clue towards hormonal imbalance.
#6. Food Cravings
Admit it, you love food. But your hunger is taking a strange turn, you just can't seem to have enough. If you feel hungry all the time and no amount of food can seem to satisfy you, then it says a lot about your messed up hormonal system.
#7. Menstrual Irregularities
Having an irregular menstrual cycle - which is not getting your periods either on time (menopause) or getting them too soon - can be an alarming indication towards hormonal imbalance.
#9. Change In Menstrual Flow
Scanty or heavy bleeding can also indicate the hormonal imbalance.
If you are noticing facial hair growth or rapid hair growth all over your body then it is an indication of hormonal imbalance.
Ways to balance hormone levels naturally (How to Treat Hormonal Imbalance)
Here are some things you should try to follow -
#1.Improve Your Diet
Junk food, processed food, refined sugar and refined carbohydrates are your ultimate enemies. Choose healthy fats over refined carbohydrates. High fiber grains, fruits, and vegetables should be your first choice.
- Green leafy vegetables (Take care not to overcook)
- All kinds of fruits (choose whole fruit over juice)
- High fiber multigrain produce
Instead of Omega 6, consume good sources of Omega 3 such as:
- Canola oil
Jump rope, run, play catch or just dance. Move your body and you'll do just fine. Lack of exercise and leading a sedentary lifestyle can also push you towards faster weight gain and worsen your hormonal conditions.
If you are new to becoming active, it's highly recommended to at least walk for 30 to 40 mins a day and stay active in your daily routine to maintain a healthy hormonal and cardiovascular health.
When you are done with breaking a sweat. Find peace. Stress can worsen your hormonal imbalance.
- Take some time out for yourself.
- Practicing meditation.
- Try doing deep breathing exercises.
- Explore Yoga.
- Explore spirituality.
- Spend some time outdoors.
- Walk somewhere close to nature.
#4. Take Care Of Your Circadian Rhythm
Get more sleep.
Unless you get 7-8 hours of peaceful and undisturbed sleep every night, you're not treating yourself right. Make sure your bed is cozy and comfortable so that you can sleep uninterrupted.
#5. Seek Help
Hormonal imbalance can adversely affect your health and well-being in the long run. It is important that you meet your healthcare provider, especially your Gynaecologist if you are facing any hormonal issues so that you can be assisted properly.
#6. Take The Test
You believe you might have the hormonal imbalance but you aren't sure. Well, it's time you meet your healthcare provider and take the test for hormonal imbalance. Don't worry, a simple blood test is all that you need to know about your current hormonal status.
Your doctor will assist you to understand your reports and help you deal with all the symptoms you've been feeling and provide you with the proper treatment that will make things better for you.
What you can do about Hormonal Imbalance
- Be open to your doctor and ask questions.
- Try to clear as many doubts as you can, regarding your condition.
- Write down everything if you need to.
- Don't skip any routine checkups or follow-ups.
Taking professional medical help is essential when it comes to combating hormonal issues. Meet your doctor and discuss what troubles you. Follow your doctor's advice and try to lead to a healthy life.
Hormonal imbalance is a serious issue which should not be ignored and must be taken care of as soon as possible. Many forms of hormonal imbalance can slowly progress into various diseases or even serious conditions such as infertility, which can adversely affect your life in many ways.
Lead a healthy lifestyle, eat the right kind of food and undergo routine checkups to ensure your hormonal levels remain balanced.