We’ve all heard of hormones, but what are they and why are they so important to overall health? Hormones are the chemical messengers that travel through the body, helping to regulate and control many of its daily functions. Hormones are essential because they affect nearly all of our body’s processes, from blood sugar and blood pressure to sex drive, reproduction, growth, repair and sleep. When hormone levels are out of whack, it can lead to numerous different health problems. Here are 5 signs of hormonal imbalance in women:
1. Mood Swings & Depression
Erratic changes in mood can be one of the most common signs of hormonal imbalance in women. Oftentimes a reason for this is a drop in estrogen hormones. This sex hormone affects important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Serotonin and dopamine are chemicals that help to boost mood, so an estrogen deficiency can lead to mood swings (due to fluctuations) or even depression. Poor sleep that some women with hormonal imbalances experience can worsen depression.
2. Low Libido
Low libido is common among women going through perimenopause or menopause. Decreased levels of both estrogen and testosterone can be responsible for this lowered sex drive. In addition, estradiol and progesterone hormones play a role in the sexual desire of women. These changes can also impact other areas of sexual health. Vaginal dryness and painful or uncomfortable sex can occur as well when hormone levels are out of balance.
3. Changes in Weight
Unexplained changes in weight, whether it be weight gain or loss, can be signs of hormonal imbalance in women. Several hormonal conditions, like hypothyroidism (having an underactive thyroid), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and menopause, can lead to weight gain. Meanwhile, hyperthyroidism (having an overactive thyroid) can cause sudden weight loss. Hormone replacement therapy can help combat these conditions by providing a better balance of hormones.
Feeling tired all the time is a common experience for many women with a hormonal imbalance. This is particularly common during perimenopause and menopause. This chronic fatigue can be consistent even when you’re getting proper sleep and appropriately taking care of yourself. A decrease in estrogen can lower the production of thyroid hormones, which are responsible for the body’s metabolism and energy levels. This overwhelming exhaustion can be physical, mental or both, and cause brain fog among individuals with a hormonal imbalance.
5. Body Aches and/or Headaches
Shifts in hormones can cause uncomfortable pain in a number of ways. If you’re experiencing muscle aches or weakness, you could have a hormonal imbalance. Joints that are painful or stiff can be another symptom. Estrogen helps to protect against inflammation, so a drop in this hormone can cause you to experience pain in the muscles or joints. Headaches, caused by fluctuations in estrogen levels, are another sign that your hormones aren’t where they should be.
Are you experiencing any of these signs of hormonal imbalance in women? Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy from Riverside Village Clinic can help to level out your hormones and get you feeling better on a daily basis!