Common signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance

Women who struggle with heavy, painful periods are often told that their hormones are imbalanced, but there are plenty of other symptoms of hormone issues that have nothing to do with your monthly cycle. If you recognize any of these signs from your own life, then it’s likely time to talk with a holistic doctor about how to get your hormones back in line.

Sleep Disorders

Many women find it hard to fall asleep mainly just before their period. This may be due to the sharp drop in the hormone progesterone just before menstruation. Progesterone levels also drop after giving birth, but then you can always blame your baby for not getting enough sleep. Progesterone has relaxing properties, so when its levels drop, It can make you feel restless and cause sleep disorders.

Persistent Acne

A lot of women breakout before their period, due to hormonal shifts. However, if you suffer from deep, cystic acne all the time, then it could be androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) which are the culprit. Testosterone stimulates excess production of sebum (oil), which then gets trapped underneath the skin and merges with acne-causing bacteria and dead skin cells. That leads to clogged pores, pimples, and blemishes. The higher a woman’s testosterone levels, the worse the breakout.

Memory Fog

Are you forgetting things? Such as where you put your purse, or what time you’re meant to meet your friend? If so, then this could be a hormonal issue. If you’ve been experiencing a high amount of stress recently, then your body will be producing high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Studies suggest that consistently high levels of cortisol can hamper your learning ability and memory.

Headaches & Migraines

As women enter middle age, they often find they suffer from frequent headaches and even migraines. This could be due to hormonal imbalances around certain times of the menstrual cycle. If you are suffering from headaches and migraines, then it can be helpful to keep a diary of when they occur. This way you can work out if they occur randomly or if they seem to follow certain triggers.
– via Healthy and Natural World

Signs of estrogen and progesterone imbalance

One of the most common types of hormone imbalance in women is the relationship between estrogen and progesterone. These are two of the biggest players in a woman’s endocrine system and the amount you have of each affects your body’s ability to produce and use the other.

There are many different signs and symptoms of estrogen dominance and it is important to remember that some of these symptoms can be caused by imbalances with other hormones. This is why testing the sex hormones, adrenal hormones and the thyroid hormones is so important, this helps to identify the problem and treat the underlying cause.

Signs and Symptoms Include

  • weight gain
  • fluid retention
  • PMS mood changes like anger, irritable and anxiety which can last from a day or so to two weeks
  • migraines and headaches
  • breast tenderness
  • heavy periods, or very light periods if you have low estrogen/ progesterone
  • breast lumps and cysts
  • infertility
  • cramping pains, back pains

Sometimes women have one or two of these symptoms or you could have them all, and while they are common they are not “normal” and are a sign of imbalance. Some months symptoms are really bad, while other times things are “ok”. Lets look at why your hormones change.

What causes your hormones to go out of balance?

Stress
Stress is one of the biggest causes of hormonal imbalance. Stress can be emotional stress like relationships and work stress, or physical stress like pain, injury or lack of sleep which is a major cause of stress, and finally it can be caused by dietary stress from a processed food diet or eating foods which are causing an inflammatory reaction in your body like gluten.

Stress leads to an increased production of cortisol which will lead to a depletion of progesterone. It can also create an inflammatory response which will block the progesterone receptors, so even if you have enough progesterone the high cortisol will stop it from working. High cortisol will affect the messages coming from your hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain which are the master controllers of the hormones. Stress is the number one thing to address and getting a saliva adrenal test will help guide the best way to address your stress levels.

Digestion

Digestion function problems like constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and reflux are all signs of inflammation and dysbiosis (imbalance of your good and bad bacteria) in the gut. This inflammation suppresses the hypothalamus and pituitary which tell the body to produce the sex hormones, adrenal hormones and thyroid hormones, this is why poor gut function can have a negative impact on many aspects of your health.

The liver is where estrogen and progesterone get metabolized, if you are having issues with phase one or phase 2 detoxification this can lead to excess estrogen also. Poor liver metabolism of estrogen can also lead to the unhealthy forms of estrogen being produced like 4 and 16 hydroxyestrone which are associated with breast cancer.

The liver has to deal with the increasing xenoestrogens which are in the environment. These are found in food containers, cosmetics, personal care products and even our food due to herbicides and pesticides that are being used.
– via www.planetnaturopath.com

Have your estrogen and progesterone levels been tested recently?