Hormones don’t have the greatest reputation; whenever we get weepy, have pitching mood swings, or a breakout of bad acne we tend to curse ‘these dam hormones’. But like it or loathe it, hormones are a part of our makeup. They are the chemicals our glands produce within the endocrine system, the chemicals then catapulted into our bloodstream and responsible for keeping us in check when it comes to everything from the pace of our metabolism to how well we sleep, our body temperature, our libido and even how much we feel like laughing.
When our hormone levels are imbalanced it can throw us off-kilter. Of course, hormones are in flux a lot especially during menstrual cycles, pregnancy and puberty and menopause. But if are feeling stretched thin emotionally and out of sorts in all kinds of ways, it could be down to a wildcard reaping havoc on your hormone balance. Take a look at the quick signs and symptoms that your hormones are out of sorts and learn how to get it sorted fast.
Speedy Weight Gain
If you have noticed your weight shoot up lately and it has nothing to do with that new pizza place moving three doors down, then it could be a sign that your hormones are off-balance. Soaring estrogen levels along shot with cortisol and low thyroxin can all lead to excess weight, especially around the stomach. Stick to clean eating habits and a gentle exercise plan and be sure to try and avoid those processed salts and sugars.
Mega Mood Swings
Many of those who are in their menstruation cycle will have a taste of mood swing life. You get grouchy, you get mad, you get sad, and life sucks. This can be a part of the monthly routine, but if you are finding your symptoms uncontrollable or following no kind of sensible pattern, then it could be a hormonal imbalance. Estrogen has a big impact on our neurotransmitters meaning that serotonin levels can fall into a funk and feelings of depression can hang about. Avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine – along with other disruptors of cortisol and consider chatting with someone about how to manage your moods in a way that makes you feel like you have some control.
If you are constantly waking up as though you have waded through a swamp, then this could be another sign of hormonal imbalance. Excessive sweating is never fun, especially at night as it can interrupt your sleep cycle and lead to insomnia which in turn, leads to low mood swings, heightened anxiety and a bunch of other non-fun symptoms. Cotton nightclothes, special mattresses, and keeping your bed in a blissful state can be a start.
Everyone has their own unique approach to their sex drive and whether you can’t get enough or it's just not for you, if you see a shift in your libido it could be a sign of a shift in your hormones. Falling levels of estrogen and testosterone can lead to low libido. Visit your gynaecologist to discuss changes in libido and to get some advice on whether HRT is an option.
Bad Skin Day
Breakouts of hormonal acne can be common just before your period, but if you are having skin flare-ups on a regular basis then it could mean something isn’t checking. Hormonal skin flare-ups can be found most noticeably on the jawline and are down to high levels of testosterone. Our skin is a delicate thing and you may be best seeking professional advice here rather than turning to a billion different products which could just confuse the skin and cause more flare-ups.
Headaches can be triggered by plenty of things but studies have proven that hormone shifts can cause women to suffer head pain especially if their estrogen levels are low. If at a certain time of the month, you notice a pattern of headaches then this may be the result of hormone levels. Keep a headache diary and trace the timeline to see if the culprit could be hormonal, a link to lifestyle or your diet.
While many of the symptoms above can be associated with PMS it doesn’t mean that we have to live with them. We are entering an era where women’s health is starting to be taken with more than a pinch of salt and hormone imbalances should be addressed and sorted so you can live your best-balanced life.
Do you have any information to share on hormonal imbalances? Would love to hear your experiences so feel free to share in the comments.