10 Signs & Symptoms your hormonal balance could be effecting your health & wellbeing…
Ever heard these terms and wondered what they mean or how you’d know if the signs and symptoms your experiencing might be related to a hormonal imbalance?
Hormones are chemical messengers that communicate with and send instructions to our cells and organs, controlling most of our bodily functions. These messages effect our physical, mental and emotional health, having an impact on:
✔ Weight & Muscle Mass
✔ Hunger, Appetite & Satiety
✔ Reproduction & Fertility
In other words, hormones have a hand in our day-to-day health and wellbeing. When they are balanced, we ooze vitality and health, when they are out of whack, we experience signs and symptoms that tell us, our body is not functioning at it’s optimal best!
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?
1. Sleep Issues
The quality and quantity of our sleep plays a huge role in all facets of our health. Suffering with insomnia, inability to get to sleep and/or stay asleep, waking in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep (especially around that 1.30 – 2.00am period), feeling excessively tired throughout the day, can all be signs of hormonal imbalance.
2. Lack of Energy & Fatigue
Do you feel like a zombie in the morning? Are you waking in the morning feeling like you haven’t slept all night, barely being able to make it through the day, feeling fatigued and lethargic, or feeling like your spark for life has dimmed or gone out. These may be COMMON but they are NOT NORMAL.
3. Irritability & Mood Changes
Everything irritating you? Just not feeling like yourself but can’t figure out why, things that normally wouldn’t matter now cause irritation and anger. Or feeling like your moods go through 4 seasons in one day!
4. Anxiety, Depression or an inability to cope with stress
Have you been diagnosed with anxiety or depression? Does this worsen just before your period? Are you more prone to anxiety & depression at certain times in your cycle?
Do you find that where you use to be able to cope with stress, you seem to now have built an intolerance to stress and coping with the demands of life have gotten harder?
5. Headaches, Brain Fog or Difficulty Concentrating
Changes in memory and concentration, feeling in a constant haze or fog, suffering headaches or migraines may be related to a hormonal imbalance.
6. Menstrual Irregularities, Absence, Pain, Heaviness, Tender Breasts, PMS & loss of libido
Every woman’s cycle is unique to her but suffering through monthly pain, heavy bleeding, spotting, clots, PMS, breast tenderness, loss of libido or even loss of the menstrual cycle is not a “right of passage” or “just a part of being a woman”, these signs & symptoms can signify a hormonal imbalance is present.
7. PCOS, Endometriosis and Infertility
Diagnosis of a hormonal condition often occurs after women have been experiencing many of the signs & symptoms noted. Sometimes this suffering has been going on for years.
Our fertility is heavily reliant on healthy balanced hormones, inability to conceive, especially when doctors can’t pinpoint an exact cause, could be the result of hormonal imbalance.
Surges and dips in hormones, along with hormonal changes throughout the cycle, can be linked to persistent acne. In teenagers this is often linked to nutrient deficiencies and poor diet choices made during their rapid growth period.
9. Digestive Symptoms:
Constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, digestive discomfort, cravings for sugar & salt, along with a number of other digestive symptoms can be a sign your hormones are out of balance.
10. Weight Gain
Especially around the abdomen can be a sign of hormonal imbalance and in particular Oestrogen Dominance. It may also signify that the liver is struggling with the demands for detoxification.
There may also be a degree of muscle mass loss, especially in men with hormonal imbalance.
NOTE: It’s important to remember we need to look at these symptoms in relation to the whole picture, not in isolation, as many health conditions display the same signs and symptoms.
What are the Main Factors That Can Impact a Healthy Hormonal Balance?
Due to significant changes in our diet since that of our ancestors, we are exposed to more chemicals in our foods, genetically modified foods, unhealthy saturated and processed fats, high levels of sugar & salt , along with a diminished level of minerals in our soils.
These changes have lead to an increase in obesity rates, food intolerances & gut issues, inflammation, blood glucose dysregulation, insulin resistance, diabetes and vitamin & mineral deficiencies. All of which impact the health and balance of our hormones.
If you are experiencing cravings for salt or sugar, struggling with reducing junk food or resisting the mass of “unhealthy” food options available, you are not alone. This is a common occurrence in modern day life and can be both a sign of and driver of hormonal imbalance.
With the rise of technology our lives have become more sedentary, add this to the fact people are working longer hours, creating stress and disharmony in their lives.
The major lifestyle effects on hormonal imbalance are:
✔ Lack of Movement
✔ Increased Levels of Stress
✔ Reduced Quantity and Quality of Sleep
✔ Reduced Social Interaction and Connection (I mean face-to-face connection, not cyber-connection!)
We live in an environment where our bodies are continually bombarded with chemicals. We’re exposed via our food, in our beauty products, in our cleaning products, in our air, in our water and in the plastics that we are exposed to daily.
These chemicals are endocrine disrupting, meaning they have the ability to interrupt our delicate hormonal balance and create altered hormonal function.
To maintain hormonal balance it is important that our detoxification pathways are functioning at an optimal level, as excess hormones and hormonal metabolites (created via normal metabolic functions) need to be excreted from the body.
Further information on detoxification can be found on my blog here
Or if you would like to know more about my detoxification programs, please contact me for further information.
Poor Gut Function
Leaky gut is on the rise and can lead to poor digestion, food intolerances, impaired detoxification (as mentioned above), vitamin & mineral deficiencies and a number of digestive complaints.
Gut Health and Hormonal Health go hand-in-hand and research is continuing to show a major link between gut health, hormones, the brain and immune system.
Birth Control Pills, Reflux Medication and even common pain medication, are some of the most prescribed medications. Combine this with an increased use of drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances, which all place a burden on both gut function and detoxification pathways and you have an increased risk to both balance and function of our hormones.
The Oral Contraceptive Pill in particular has a major effect on hormonal balance, as it work to “switch off” our normal natural hormone production and replace it with a synthetic hormones, which have the potential to lead to fertility and menstrual issues upon cessation.
Join Me next week for Part 2 of Hormonal Imbalance: Natural Ways to Restore Hormonal Harmony.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to lead anyone away from a qualified health practitioner or medical care. We make absolutely no claims to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, it is advisable to speak to your qualified healthcare professional.