Last Updated on July 25, 2023
“Hormones are important messages both within the brain and between the brain and the body,” they say. And good communication in these areas matters a lot. So when you have a hormonal imbalance, it’s important that you treat it immediately.
A hormonal imbalance is an issue that can affect anyone, regardless of age or lifestyle. Imbalances have far-reaching effects on your physical and mental health, so it’s important to pay attention to the signs before things get too serious.
Our bodies rely on harmony to function optimally – but hormonal imbalances can disrupt this harmony and have a big impact.
- 1 What are hormones and why are they important?
- 2 What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance?
- 3 What are the effects of hormonal imbalance in females?
- 4 Can hormonal imbalance cause weight gain?
- 5 How can I treat a hormonal imbalance naturally?
- 6 Lose weight with fasting
What are hormones and why are they important?
Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the body’s endocrine glands, and they regulate certain activities in our bodies. They control everything from metabolic rate to growth and development, sexual function, reproduction, and emotional state.
Hormones are essential for maintaining homeostasis within our bodies, as they help to regulate many different functions. Without hormones, we would not be able to function normally or have normal health.
What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance?
Hormonal imbalances can affect our health in a myriad of ways. Let’s look at the main hormonal imbalance symptoms:
- Mood swings and irritability: Hormonal imbalances can cause sudden changes in mood, such as feeling weepy, angry, or stressed for no apparent reason. The reason for this is that certain hormones are responsible for regulating your emotions. An imbalance can even lead to depression or anxiety.
- Sleep problems: Hormones are also responsible for setting the body’s internal clock, so when they are out of balance the result can be insomnia or difficulty falling asleep.
- Skin changes: Does an imbalance of hormones cause acne? The answer is yes. Hormones play an influential role in skin health. When one of them is disrupted or unbalanced, visible changes can occur. For example, unbalanced estrogen and testosterone levels may cause acne breakouts, redness/flushing on the skin, dark patches, as well as spider veins.
- Low libido: An imbalance of hormones such as testosterone or estrogen can lead to a decrease in libido or desire for sexual activity in men and women alike.
- Reproductive issues: Hormonal imbalances can cause problems with fertility and menstruation. This can include irregular periods, difficulty getting pregnant, and other reproductive issues.
- Fatigue: Hormonal imbalances can also lead to low energy levels and chronic fatigue in some individuals. This is due to the impact that hormones have on metabolism and the body’s ability to produce energy.
Various factors can disrupt the natural hormonal balance in our bodies. Fortunately, it can be treated with lifestyle changes, medications, or natural supplements.
What are the effects of hormonal imbalance in females?
But how does hormonal imbalance affect a woman? What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in females? Here are the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women:
- Irregular menstrual cycles: One of the most common effects of hormonal imbalance in females is irregular menstrual cycles. The menstrual cycle is controlled by a delicate balance of hormones, and any disruption to this balance can result in irregularities. In some cases, menstruation may cease completely or be shorter than normal.
- Infertility: In women, hormonal imbalances can prevent ovulation from occurring or can make it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus.
- Hair loss: Often in women, the culprit for hair loss is a hormonal imbalance. Imbalances in the hormones testosterone, estrogen, and other hormones that contribute to hair loss can lead to thinning of the hair and even bald spots over time.
- Vaginal dryness: Women who are transitioning into menopause commonly experience body changes, including vaginal dryness caused by changing levels of estrogen production.
- Increased body hair: Women’s bodies are naturally equipped with a delicate balance of female and male sex hormones, which have unique effects.
When these balances become skewed due to the excess production of androgens, women can experience hirsutism, resulting in bothersome extra growth in their body hair.
Other physical signs include headaches, hot flashes, acne breakouts, and inflammation.
Can hormonal imbalance cause weight gain?
Hormonal imbalances can indeed cause weight gain. Hormones play a crucial role in regulating various processes in the body, including metabolism and fat storage. When certain hormones are out of balance, it can lead to changes in appetite, fat distribution, and energy expenditure, which may contribute to weight gain.
Here are a few important hormones that affect weight:
- Thyroid hormones: The thyroid gland produces hormones that control metabolism. When the thyroid is underactive (hypothyroidism), it can lead to a slower metabolism, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it.
- Insulin: Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. When cells become resistant to insulin (insulin resistance), the body may produce more insulin, which can promote fat storage and lead to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.
- Cortisol: Cortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone,” plays a role in managing stress responses and metabolism. Chronic stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which may increase appetite and promote the storage of fat, especially around the midsection.
- Sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone): Imbalances in estrogen and testosterone can affect body composition and fat distribution. For example, women with an excess of estrogen may experience weight gain, especially in the hips and thighs.
How can I treat a hormonal imbalance naturally?
To an extent, it is possible to manage hormonal imbalances through simple dietary and lifestyle changes.
Incorporating stress-relieving activities like yoga and meditation into your daily life is one way to balance your hormones. It is also beneficial to adopt an active lifestyle, perform light cardio exercise, and walk each day in order to regulate your hormones.
Foods that help avoid hormonal imbalance
Eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods that support a balanced hormonal system is essential for overall well-being. Foods such as:
- Oily fish
contain fatty acids that may help produce hormones in the body.
Focusing on eating a variety of these essential nutrients is an excellent way to stay nourished for hormone health. Lastly, drinking enough water every day will improve your circulation and help regulate your body’s internal thermal balance.
Foods that contribute to hormone imbalance
Eating certain foods can have an adverse effect on your hormones, causing various degrees of hormonal imbalance. Examples include:
- Highly processed fast food
- Refined and artificial sweeteners
- Fried and overly fatty food
- Food additives and artificial flavors.
Making small changes as part of your regular routine can help restore balance in your hormones over time, and can lead to you feeling better overall. If you feel like your hormones are still out of balance you should consult your doctor.