Being able to spot the signs you have a Hormone imbalance is key to maintaining a holistic health lifestyle because they play such an important role in virtually every aspect your well-being.
What do your Hormones do?
Your hormones are tiny little chemical messengers that whizz around your bloodstream telling your organs and body tissues to fulfill their functions. These busy little chaps affect your well-being in various ways, which include:
- Your development and growth
- The way you metabolize food
- Sexual functionality
- Cognition and mood
- Body temperature
As you can see they impact on all aspects of your health and well-being. So making sure that you keep them in balance is crucial to your holistic health lifestyle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to throw them out of balance, so we’re going to be looking at nine tell-tale signs that will warn you that all is not quite right on the farm – that farm being your body of course.
- Constant weight gain
If you’re struggling with your weight, it doesn’t especially mean your diet’s poor; it can be one of the signs you have a hormone imbalance. The so-called stress hormone “cortisol” is secreted by the adrenal glands. When cortisol production is disrupted (whether through stress or some other cause), it cannot not only trigger weight gain, but can also dictate where that weight gain gathers on your body.
Studies have proven that raised cortisol levels can result in what is sometimes referred to as “toxic fat” accumulating in the abdominal area. This increases the chances of cardiovascular disease – both the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Poor Libido
Having a poor libido can also be one of the signs you have a hormone imbalance. The hormonal Androgen is manufactured in men by their testicles, and in women by their ovaries. Lack of this hormone can give rise to poor libido, even in women.
- Feelings of Fatigue
Fatigue is another of the signs you have a hormone imbalance, especially if you are getting plenty of quality sleep, but still wake up feeling tired. This could be down once again to our good old friend cortisol. The constant state of readiness that the presence of cortisol brings about with regard to the fight or flight syndrome, happens when feelings of stress are being experienced. If stress is present frequently, this can result in feelings of fatigue.
In the presence of chronic stress, people often experience something called Adrenal Fatigue, again brought about by high levels of cortisol. Cortisol actually controls something called the circardian rhythm. This eventually becomes disrupted, leading to very low levels of cortisol later in the day.
- Low Mood
With feelings of low and bad mood such as irritability, anxiety, and depression, the Thyroid Gland can be the guilty party once again, and for exactly the same reason – over production of TSH through Hypothyroidism.
- Insomnia and Interrupted Sleep
Insomnia and interrupted sleep conditions are often experience by women going through the menopause or perimenopause. It is a result of the huge change to hormonal balances. Unfortunately continued insomnia and interrupted sleep is only serves to make the condition worse. It’s a vicious circle!
The problem is that hormone levels and balances are addressed during sleep, so sleep deprivation will affect up to 10 different hormones causing problems with appetite, cardiac health, fertility, and mental health too.
The hormone estrogen is the hormone that helps to maintain regular sleep patterns. The deficiency of Estrogen, which is a symptom of menopause or perimenopause, is a main cause of insomnia.
Testosterone deficiency can also be an issue for women. In men, it often results in sleep apnea causing interrupted sleep for both themselves and their partners.
- Excess Sweating
Excess sweating is another of the signs you have a hormone imbalance. Women going through the Menopause (or Perimenopause) often experience hot flashes. At night, when in bed, these are known as night sweats, and are sometimes a precursor to the onset of menopause itself, if it is not already in full swing.
In both men and women, night sweats can be a result of problems with the endocrine system, brought about by over or under production of hormones such as serotonin.
- Problems with Your digestion
If you are experiencing issues with your digestion, it could be brought about through the imbalance of 3 hormones in the gastrointestinal system. These are called gastrin, secretin, and cholecystokinin, also known as CCK. These 3 hormones help to enhance the actual digestive process that breaks food down into simple molecules that can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Craving for Sugar
Another indicator you have a hormone imbalance is a craving for sugar, which can be brought about by the thyroid gland. It’s another consequence of the condition of hypothyroidism, whereby the gland is not enough active.
A craving for sugar can also be brought about through an adrenal overload. Again, this reaction is part of the fight or flee mechanism that we mentioned earlier, whereby the body boosts production of Adrenaline and Cortisol. Anything sweet is unfortunately a great source of energy (albeit only very short lasting) to feed the fight/flee preparation process.
- Hair loss
It was always thought that hair loss was usually the result of a lack of testosterone. Whilst this may be true in terms of the root cause it is now known that Dyhydrotestosterone, or DHT for short, is thought to be the key culprit. While women only have a very small level of Testosterone in their body systems, it is enough to cause DHT to cause hair loss.