Hormonal Imbalances: What Are They and How Are They Treated?

A significant factor in women’s health is their hormones. When women have an imbalance in their hormone levels, they can experience things like painful and/or irregular periods, hot flushes, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which we have covered before. Hormone levels fluctuate at various stages in our lives: menstruation, childbirth, menopause, and anywhere in-between. There’s no escape from the physical and emotional manifestations of hormonal imbalances, but there are ways to mitigate them. At times they can be harder to identify especially when more complex health issues occur, so here is a concise guide for you to familiarize yourself with the changes within your own body.

Causes

Dr. Erika Schwartz says that although a hormonal imbalance is not a diagnosable health condition, it explains how everything in your body is affected by hormones like estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, and insulin. Imbalances are often unavoidable, especially when bodily changes occur. However, they can also be caused by a malfunction in one’s endocrine glands, which are responsible for releasing hormones into the bloodstream. These glands are located throughout the body and serve as control systems for organs. Medical News Today notes that certain illnesses or diagnoses also aggravate hormonal imbalances, such as diabetes, hyper- and hypoglycemia, hyper- and hypothyroidism, to name a few. Hormonal imbalances can also come as a result of your lifestyle – having a poor diet, taking certain medications, chronic stress, and the like.

Symptoms and Effects

The symptoms of hormonal imbalances are extremely varied, often depending on the glands that aren’t working well. The most common symptoms in women include excessive weight gain, mood changes that could also signal depression and anxiety, a decreased libido due to changes in sexual hormones, hair loss due to thyroid malfunction, changes in skin type and excessive breakouts, high levels of fatigue and stress due to elevated cortisol levels, and even irregular and painful periods. While these range from minor to debilitating, The Women in Balance Institute advises catching them early on to prevent the development of more serious illnesses, like breast cancer.

Possible Treatments

Diet has a huge impact on your estrogen levels, explains Dr. Jaclyn Tolentino on Parsley Health. Sugar, alcohol, and other high-glycemic foods can cause a surge in estrogen levels. A good diet to maintain is one that also promotes liver health – foods rich in healthy fats and Omega-3, high-fiber, leafy vegetables, and green tea help the liver filter out toxins in your body. NetDoctor also suggests having your vitamin D levels checked, taking supplements if necessary, and consuming magnesium-enriched foods as well. Try to exercise as much as possible too. This will not only help you maintain a healthy BMI, but could be an outlet for stress, and get you tired enough to be able to sleep soundly – all necessary for balancing hormones.

A significant factor in women’s health is their hormones. When women have an imbalance in their hormone levels, they can experience things like painful and/or irregular periods, hot flushes, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which we have covered before. Hormone levels fluctuate at various stages in our lives: menstruation, childbirth, menopause, and anywhere in-between. There’s no escape from the physical and emotional manifestations of hormonal imbalances, but there are ways to mitigate them. At times they can be harder to identify especially when more complex health issues occur, so here is a concise guide for you to familiarize yourself with the changes within your own body.

Causes

Dr. Erika Schwartz says that although a hormonal imbalance is not a diagnosable health condition, it explains how everything in your body is affected by hormones like estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, and insulin. Imbalances are often unavoidable, especially when bodily changes occur. However, they can also be caused by a malfunction in one’s endocrine glands, which are responsible for releasing hormones into the bloodstream. These glands are located throughout the body and serve as control systems for organs. Medical News Today notes that certain illnesses or diagnoses also aggravate hormonal imbalances, such as diabetes, hyper- and hypoglycemia, hyper- and hypothyroidism, to name a few. Hormonal imbalances can also come as a result of your lifestyle – having a poor diet, taking certain medications, chronic stress, and the like.

Symptoms and Effects

The symptoms of hormonal imbalances are extremely varied, often depending on the glands that aren’t working well. The most common symptoms in women include excessive weight gain, mood changes that could also signal depression and anxiety, a decreased libido due to changes in sexual hormones, hair loss due to thyroid malfunction, changes in skin type and excessive breakouts, high levels of fatigue and stress due to elevated cortisol levels, and even irregular and painful periods. While these range from minor to debilitating, The Women in Balance Institute advises catching them early on to prevent the development of more serious illnesses, like breast cancer.

Possible Treatments

Diet has a huge impact on your estrogen levels, explains Dr. Jaclyn Tolentino on Parsley Health. Sugar, alcohol, and other high-glycemic foods can cause a surge in estrogen levels. A good diet to maintain is one that also promotes liver health – foods rich in healthy fats and Omega-3, high-fiber, leafy vegetables, and green tea help the liver filter out toxins in your body. NetDoctor also suggests having your vitamin D levels checked, taking supplements if necessary, and consuming magnesium-enriched foods as well. Try to exercise as much as possible too. This will not only help you maintain a healthy BMI, but could be an outlet for stress, and get you tired enough to be able to sleep soundly – all necessary for balancing hormones.