Do you feel bloated, irritable or changing your moods frequently? This could be a sign of hormonal imabalance. Hormones are the chemical messengers that communicate with your organs and cells and impact their functions. Hormonal levels are constantly changing depending on the age as well as external factors such as food, medications, the chemicals in the environment, etc.
Here are 12 common symptoms of hormonal imbalances among women:
1. Irregular Periods
Most women have regular periods, which vary between 21 and 35 days. However around 15% of women in reproductive age experience irregular periods where they have unpredictable pattern of ovulation and menstruation and skip months. This may mean that you have too much or too little of estrogen and progesterone. If you are a woman in her 40s or early 50s, the reason may be that you are going through perimenopause – the time before menopause when your reproductive system is slowly declining its functions. Irregular periods may be also a sign of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), in which case you need to talk to your doctor.
2. Sleep Problems
If you don’t get enough duration or quality of sleep, it might be your hormones to blame. Progesterone is a hormone that helps you sleep better. If your progesterone levels are lower than usual, that make it harder to fall and stay asleep. On the other hand low estrogen can trigger hot flashes and night sweats making it hard to get the rest you need.
3. Chronic Acne
Sometimes a skin breakout before or during your period is normal but if doesn’t clear our it can be a symptom of excess androgen hormones like testosterone, which may cause your oil glands to overwork. Androgens also affect the skin cells in and around your hair follicles. Both of those things can clog your pores and cause acne.
4. Memory Fog
Changes in estrogen and progesterone can make your brain feel foggy and harder to remember things. Estrogen might impact brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Attention and memory problems are especially common during perimenopause and menopause. But they can also be a symptom of other hormone-related conditions, like thyroid disease.
5. Gut Problems
Your gut is lined with tiny cells called receptors that respond to estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are higher or lower than usual, you might notice changes in how you’re digesting food. That’s why diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, and nausea can appear or get worse before and during your period.
6. Long lasting Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of a hormone imbalance. Excess progesterone can make you sleepy. And if your thyroid makes too little thyroid hormone, it can decrease your energy.
7. Mood Swings and Depression
Drops in hormones or fast changes in their levels can cause moodiness and the unexplained sadness. Estrogen affects key brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. But other hormones, that travel the same paths as neurotransmitters, also play a part in how you feel.
8. Increased Appetite and Weight Gain
When you’re feeling sad or irritated, as you can be when your estrogen levels are low, you may want to eat more. That might be why drops in the hormone are linked to weight gain. The estrogen dip can also impact your body’s levels of leptin, a hormone that helps regulate food intake so you actually feel more hungry.
Many things can trigger headaches but for some women, drops in estrogen bring them on. That’s why it’s common for headaches to strike right before or during your period, when estrogen is on the decline. Regular headaches or ones that often surface around the same time each month can be a sign that your levels of this hormone might be shifting.
10. Vaginal dryness
The level of dryness and wetness of your vagina depends on the levels of your estrogen. It is normal to feel wet around ovulation and dry right after or before your period. However if you often notice that you’re dry or irritated down there, low estrogen may be the reason. The hormone helps vaginal tissue stay moist and comfortable. If your estrogen drops because of an imbalance, it can reduce vaginal fluids and cause tightness.
11. Loss of Libido
Most people think of testosterone as a male hormone, but women’s bodies make it, too. If your testosterone levels are lower than usual, you might have less of an interest in sex than you usually do.
12. Breast changes
When your estrogen drop that can make your breast feel softer. On the other hand an estrogen increase can thicken the breast tissue, even causing new lumps or cysts. Talk to your doctor if you notice breast changes, even if you don’t have any other symptoms that concern you.
If you want to know more about how to balance your female hormones holistically, you might be interested in joining my 12-Week online Cyclical Wisdom & Power Mastermind for women “Nature of Women” for living a natural and sustainable life in harmony with your Feminine hormonal flow.