Hormones play an important role in the body and many bodily functions depend on their proper balance.
The function of hormones
Travelling through the blood, hormones in fact carry the “orders” for organs and tissues to do their function. They influence:
- Sexual functioning
- Body temperature
As you can see, your overall health depends on the proper function of your hormones, so keeping your hormonal balance under control is vital. Hormones can easily go out of balance, so knowing the symptoms of hormonal changes gives you a big advantage.
The most common hormonal imbalance symptoms
Hormonal imbalance can lead to many health issues. Teenagers and pregnant women are just two typical groups that undergo significant hormonal changes; therefore they often suffer from mood swings. The most common signs of hormonal imbalance include:
Continuous weight gain
Although weight gain can be the result of an unhealthy diet, it can also indicate hormonal imbalance. Weight gain is often triggered when the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands is disrupted by stress or other factors.
As a matter of fact, increased cortisol levels give good grounds for the buildup of toxic fat in the abdomen, which can lead to more serious conditions, including heart attack or stroke.
Furthermore, high cortisol levels increase insulin in the blood, which in turn increases the levels of blood sugar. This leads to hunger cravings and increased appetite.
Deficiency of androgen, a hormone produced in the testicles and ovaries, may have adverse impact on your libido. So, poor libido is just another indication of hormonal imbalance.
A constant feeling of tiredness even after getting sufficient amount of sleep is a sign that something is going on with your hormones. It’s cortisol, normally caused by excessive stress, which accounts for this constant fatigue.
Chronic stress triggers adrenal fatigue due to the high levels of cortisol. In fact, cortisol controls the circadian rhythm, which is disrupted by stress. As the levels of cortisol decrease during the day, fatigue takes over.
Moreover, fatigue can also be triggered by high levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone. Hyperthyroidism is a condition when the thyroid function is disrupted and the hormonal levels are abnormally high.
Bad and low mood
Mood swings are also typical of hyperthyroidism. The increased levels of TSH lead to feelings of depression, anxiety and irritability.
Interrupted sleep and insomnia
Women in perimenopause and menopause often suffer from interrupted sleep and insomnia, which only further worsens the already existing hormonal imbalance.
Sleep deprivation actually affects 10 hormones in the body causing many health issues linked to mental health, appetite, fertility and cardiac health.
Insomnia is caused by estrogen deficiency during menopause, because this hormone stimulates regular and sound sleep.
On the other hand, testosterone deficiency in men leads to sleep apnea, which causes interrupted sleep. Women can also suffer from testosterone deficiency.
Sweating is also an indicator of hormonal imbalance. Hot flashes are typical of women during menopause. Night sweat, which is excessive and sudden sweating at night, can also be a sign of incoming menopause.
Imbalances in the endocrine system caused by increased production of serotonin or similar hormones may also lead to night sweats in men and women.
Digestion can be seriously affected by the imbalance of hormones in the gastrointestinal system – cholecystokinin, gastrin and secretin. These hormones stimulate digestion by breaking food down in small molecules absorbed into the blood.
Sugar cravings can be triggered by the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is a condition of an underactive thyroid which stimulates sugar cravings.
Even adrenal overload can kindle sugar cravings. What happens is that the body increases the production of adrenaline and cortisol, thus using the body energy and triggering sugar cravings because sugar is a great source of energy.
Although it was long thought that testosterone deficiency caused hair loss, today it is known that hair loss is triggered by dihydrotestosterone. Women normally have low levels of this hormone; however it still can lead to hair loss.
Hormonal balance is essential for overall health. Thus, knowing the common symptoms of hormonal imbalance is quite important, although they sometimes may in fact indicate other health issues.
Source: Choose Healthy Life