Top 10 Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
Hey again my lovely hormonal & skin seeking friends!! This weeks blog post is all about SIGNS of hormonal imbalance - some of them you might not even think relate to our hormones, but they do!! Along with skin problems (which most of you probably have) - a whole host of other symptoms come with hormonal imbalance and its important you know which ones relate to which kind of hormonal imbalance. I see time and time again, women take "progesterone cream" or synthetic hormones to try and fix their hormone imbalance, without understanding what is actually wrong with their hormones. Here's a brief description of each symptom and what kind of imbalance it relates to.
1. Constant Exhaustion
Are you getting enough sleep, yet constantly tired? This could be due to Cortisol, otherwise known as “the stress hormone.” The problem is that our cotrisol is constantly working over time with stressful lives, jobs, emotional stress and food stress. This causes our blood sugar to become chronically high, leaving us with signs of estrogen DOMINANCE. When estrogen is dominant, progesterone suffers, and this is what leaves us feeling "blue" and "tired".
2. A Low Sex Drive
When our sex hormone production is reduced, this could be a sign of a hormonal imbalance. Usually, this begins with sleep issues, then leads to lack-of-sex-drive ones. This kind of hormonal imbalance is again related to low progesterone, and low testosterone. Both can be imbalanced through stress and food choices.
3. Anxiety, Irritability And Depression
If you have anxiety, are irritable, and/or depressed lately—and you were not before—take note. Sometimes, the thyroid gland can be at fault (too much TSH, or hypothyroidism), so it’s best to pay attention to your symptoms, when they start and end, how often they occur, etc., then see your doctor. Estrogen dominance can also be a sign of anxiety and depression, especially on the lead up to your period. Watch out for that PMS - its a serious sign of estrogen dominance.
4. Unexplained Weight Gain
If you haven’t necessarily been eating more lately, but you’re gaining weight, it may be due to your adrenal system becoming fatigued, then alerting your thyroid, which then slows your metabolism. The pancreas gets the signal, too, and starts to store fat in all our favorite places, particularly our midsections and backs. So, make sure to pay attention to unwarranted weight gain. If this sounds like you, you'll want to really work hard to reduce your stress and make positive food choices (low glycemic, low sugar and unprocessed foods) and make sure you're getting in those healthy fats too!
When progesterone levels go down, our tendency to have insomnia can go up. Estrogen helps us have regular sleeping patterns, and when we don’t have enough estrogen, watch out.This tends to be common in perimenopausal or menopausal women, but can happen to women of all ages. The same can happen when we don’t have enough testosterone (yes, women have testosterone).
6. Routine Digestive Problems
Cortisol, which we talked about above, is usually abundant in the morning. But, if your cortisol is being overproduced, it’ll be low in the morning. If you’re having more digestive issues than usual (as far as bloating and gas, for example), your body is not absorbing nutrients effectively. So, pay attention to your body. It may be cluing you in that all is not well. If this sounds like you, it is likely your gut health is a primary cause of your hormone imbalance. Work on healing the gut first and your hormonal health will follow. If you want some ideas on how to heal your gut check out my blog on gut health.
7. Unusual Cravings
We eat a bunch of Oreos. Why? Is this a common occurrence, or a new thing, where we get insatiable cravings? Oreos today, and doritos tomorrow. Of course, hormonal imbalances can be the cause. In general, not giving in to the cravings can also help with the digestive issues we mentioned above. Get more fat into your diets and cut out the sugary junk! Moving from burning sugar for fuel to burning fat for fuel will help tremendously with your hormones & your cravings!
8. Premature Hair Loss
A lack of testosterone is usually the cause, which can be depleted through lack of exercise, food choices and stress. Take a zinc supplement to help build up levels or consume brazil nuts daily.
Another reason why you may experience hair loss is due to gut health - gut health can wreak havoc on your hormones and cause your nails, skin and hair to break snap and fall out as a result.
Working on your gut health is essential. Try bone broth, L-glutamine powder and take a good quality probiotic.
9. Migraines And Headaches
Although headaches and migraines can be symptoms of many different ailments, they tend to be a sign of a hormonal imbalance. If you suffer from headaches on the lead up to your period it can almost certainly be ESTROGEN DOMINANCE. I recommend a supplement called "DIM" you can take to reduce the problems leading up to your period including migraines and headaches.
10. Hot Flashes
No one likes hot flashes. Oftentimes, they are due to not enough progesterone and too much estrogen, but could also be from hormones that are out of whack in other parts of your body—i.e., your gastrointestinal tract, ovaries, thyroid, adrenals, or pancreas. If your hot flashes are recurring, you may want to try "DIM" supplement, alternatively - work on reducing your estrogenic foods such as Soy - and eat a whole foods diet full of fiber to flush out excess hormones.