What Are the Signs of Hormonal Imbalance in Women?

What Are the Signs of Hormonal Imbalance in Women?

Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body. They are chemicals produced in the endocrine glands that travel through your bloodstream to different tissues and organs, delivering messages that tell the organs what to do and when to do it. Hormones help to control many of your body’s major processes, including:

 

  • Metabolism and appetite
  • Sleep cycles
  • Mood and stress levels
  • Body temperature
  • Heart rate
  • Reproductive cycles and sexual function
  • General growth and development

 

A hormonal imbalance occurs when you have too much or too little of a certain hormone in the bloodstream. As the body is so dependent on hormones for instruction, even small changes in hormones can have serious effects throughout your entire body.

 

Imagine you were baking cookies, and you accidentally added too much or too little of one ingredient. When you pulled the cookies out of the oven, you would soon find out that something was off. The wrong ratio of ingredients would have affected the flavor, texture, and quality of the final product.

 

Just as too much or too little of any single ingredient would affect the final product of the cookies, too much or too little of any hormone would affect the state of your body. Some hormone levels fluctuate throughout your lifetime and may just be the result of natural aging. However, other changes in hormones may occur when your endocrine glands are not functioning properly.

 

“Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream. Because of their essential role in the body, even small hormonal imbalances can cause side effects throughout the body.”

 

Men and women can both be affected by imbalances in insulin, steroids, growth hormones, and adrenaline. Women may also experience imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels, while men are more likely to experience imbalances in testosterone levels.

 

In this article, we are going to discuss the signs of hormonal imbalances in women, as well as how you can help bring your hormones back into balance.

 

Hormonal Imbalance in Women

 

Bloating, fatigue, irritability, mood swings, trouble concentrating, hair loss, palpitations, problems with blood sugar, infertility—these are just a few symptoms of hormone imbalance. These small chemical compounds affect every cell and system in the body. If you have a significant hormone imbalance it can be debilitating.

 

Some hormonal shifts are normal, such as the monthly fluctuations of sex hormones responsible for menstruation and ovulation, or the changes that occur during pregnancy. Menopause is another time period for a normal hormonal shift in a woman's life. Many women may experience weight gain, mood swings, night sweats, and diminished sex drive during this time as a result of the change in hormones. Other times, however, these fluctuations in hormones may be due to a medical condition or as a result of dietary, lifestyle, or environmental factors that have a negative effect on the body.

 

Women naturally experience several periods of hormonal imbalance throughout their lifetime, including during:

 

  • puberty
  • menstruation
  • pregnancy
  • childbirth
  • breast-feeding
  • perimenopause
  • menopause
  • postmenopause

 

Women are also at risk of developing different types of hormonal imbalance disorders than men because they have different endocrine organs and cycles than men do. Medical conditions causing irregular hormonal imbalances in women can include:

 

  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • hormone replacement or birth control medications
  • early menopause
  • primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
  • ovarian cancer

 

What Causes Hormonal Imbalance in Women?

 

Everyone will experience natural periods of hormonal imbalance or fluctuations at particular points in their life, but hormonal imbalances can also occur when the endocrine glands are not functioning properly.

 

Endocrine glands are specialized cells that produce, store, and release hormones into the blood. There are several endocrine glands located throughout the body that control different organs, including the:

 

  • adrenal glands
  • gonads (testis and ovaries)
  • pineal gland
  • pituitary gland
  • hypothalamus gland
  • thyroid and parathyroid glands
  • pancreatic islets

 

Several medical conditions are known to impact some, or several, of the endocrine glands. Certain lifestyle habits and environmental factors may also play a role in hormonal imbalances.

 

Causes of hormonal imbalances may include:

 

  • chronic or extreme stress
  • type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • hyperglycemia (overproduction of glucagon)
  • hypoglycemia (more insulin produced than there is glucose in the blood)
  • underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • over- or underproduction of the parathyroid hormone
  • poor diet and nutrition
  • being overweight
  • hormonal replacement or birth control medications
  • abuse of anabolic steroid medications
  • solitary thyroid nodules
  • pituitary tumors
  • Cushing’s syndrome (high levels of the hormone cortisol)
  • Addison’s disease (low levels of cortisol and aldosterone)
  • benign tumors and cysts (fluid-filled sacks) that affect the endocrine glands
  • congenital adrenal hyperplasia (low levels of cortisol)
  • endocrine gland injury
  • severe allergic reactions or infections
  • cancers that involve endocrine glands
  • chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • iodine deficiency (goiters)
  • hereditary pancreatitis
  • Turner syndrome (females with only one functioning X chromosome)
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • anorexia
  • phytoestrogens, naturally-occurring plant estrogens found in soy products
  • exposure to toxins, pollutants, and endocrine disrupting chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides

 

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women

 

The symptoms of a hormonal imbalance depend on which glands and hormones are affected. Common symptoms of hormonal imbalances in women include:

 

  • heavy, irregular, or painful periods
  • osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones)
  • hot flashes and night sweats
  • vaginal dryness
  • breast tenderness
  • indigestion
  • constipation and diarrhea
  • acne during or just before menstruation
  • uterine bleeding not associated with menstruation
  • increased hair growth on the face, neck, chest, or back
  • infertility
  • weight gain
  • thinning hair or hair loss
  • skin tags or abnormal growths
  • deepening of the voice
  • clitoral enlargement

 

There are many diverse symptoms that can occur from a hormone imbalance, as hormones affect so many different organs and systems of the body. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most important signs to look out for and what you can do about them.

 

Common Signs of Hormonal Imbalance in Women

  1. Mood swings

 

The female sex hormone estrogen has an effect on neurotransmitters in the brain including serotonin (a chemical that boosts mood). Fluctuations in estrogen can cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or depressed mood during the perimenopause (the phase before periods stop completely) and the menopause.

 

  1. Headaches

 

Many women suffer headaches due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause.

 

  1. Weak bones

 

Falling levels of estrogen during the perimenopause and menopause can cause bone loss.

 

  1. Low libido

 

Low libido is particularly common in women going through the perimenopause or menopause due to falling levels of estrogen and testosterone. Other menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, fatigue, low mood and anxiety can also have an impact on your sex life.

 

  1. Unexplained weight gain

 

A number of hormone-related conditions can cause weight gain including an underactive thyroid (when your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones which regulate metabolism), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (a hormone-related problem causing small cysts on the ovaries) and menopause (which results in hormonal changes that can make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen).

 

  1. Skin problems

 

Chronic adult acne can be a sign of low levels of estrogen and progesterone and high levels of androgen hormones and can also indicate polycystic ovary syndrome. Similarly, hormonal imbalances during pregnancy or menopause can cause itchy skin while dry skin is a symptom of menopause or thyroid problems.

 

  1. Fertility problems

 

Hormonal imbalance is one of the leading causes of female infertility and with changing hormone levels, a woman’s fertility naturally drops after the age of 35. High levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) can reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant while low levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates the ovaries to release an egg and start producing progesterone, can also cause fertility problems. Early menopause and other hormone-related conditions such as PCOS will affect your fertility.

 

  1. Heavy or painful periods

 

If heavy or painful periods are accompanied by other symptoms like abdominal pain, a frequent need to urinate, lower back pain, constipation and painful intercourse, then you may have fibroids. Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb. The exact cause is unknown although they are thought to be stimulated by an estrogen imbalance.

 

  1. Insomnia and poor-quality sleep

 

During the perimenopause and menopause, the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen and progesterone, which promotes sleep. Falling estrogen levels may also contribute to night sweats which disrupt your sleep, contributing to fatigue and lack of energy.

 

  1. Vaginal dryness

 

Vaginal dryness is most often caused by a fall in estrogen levels, especially during perimenopause and menopause. Taking the contraceptive pill or antidepressants can also change hormone levels, resulting in this problem.

 

Restoring Balance to Your Hormones

 

When hormones are out of balance, it can lead to numerous health issues. Bringing your hormones back into balance involves following holistic dietary and lifestyle practices that promote health, and avoiding the causes and triggers of hormonal imbalance. Some significant steps to take are to:

 

  • Reduce stress levels and find ways to manage your stress
  • Eat a healthy, whole foods diet and avoid processed foods and foods with added chemicals
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stay hydrated
  • Make sure you get enough sleep each night
  • Aim to follow a regular sleeping schedule
  • Avoid exposure to toxins, pollutants, and endocrine disrupting chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides
  • Cleanse the body regularly to lower your toxic load

 

Aside from these lifestyle factors, taking an herbal hormone supplement can make a world of difference in your health and can really help to regulate your hormones. Our Happy Hormones tonic is a unique women’s hormone formula that contains several medicinal herbs renowned for their ability to facilitate hormonal balance and women’s hormonal health:

 

Chasteberry, a key ingredient in this formula, is a traditional remedy for various women’s health issues and has been used to reduce symptoms of PMS and menopause, and may also help normalize estrogen and progesterone levels.

 

Evening Primrose has been studied extensively and various studies regard it as being highly effective in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. 

 

Shatavari Root is a traditional Ayurvedic herb that has long been used for women’s reproductive health throughout all stages of their life; it is also a potent adaptogenic herb that helps to regulate the endocrine system, enhance immunity, and helps the body cope with physical and emotional stress. 

 

Wild Yam is a plant native to North America, Mexico, and parts of Asia that has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for treating menstrual cramps, PMS, rheumatism, and digestive problems.

 

Black Cohosh, a flowering plant native to North America, is an active ingredient in various women’s health products and has long been used in Native American medicine to help with menopause symptoms, fertility, and hormonal balance.

 

Together, these herbs work synergistically to create a one-of-a-kind women’s health product that may help to balance hormones, regulate the menstrual cycle, provide PMS relief, and regulate and support the health of the endocrine system. Our master herbalist has formulated this product using only wildcrafted, organic, and biodynamically grown herbs, ensuring the highest quality and integrity that we can offer. We do not use any toxic chemicals, fillers, or preservatives in any of our products.

 

This formula is especially helpful for women who are coming off the birth control pill or going through menopause. For many women coming off birth control, cycles remain irregular for up to two years after stopping the pill. Chasteberry can greatly shorten that time and helps ease the body into regaining its own natural rhythm. This proprietary formula also offers many benefits to women who are menopausal. Chasteberry may help to relieve many of the uncomfortable symptoms of this transition time, including hot flashes, irregular cycles, depression, and flooding.

 

How Do These Herbs Work to Balance Hormones?

 

Chasteberry is a key ingredient in our Happy Hormones formula. Chasteberry, also known as vitex, is a supreme hormonal tonic for women. Both extensive clinical studies, as well as over two thousand years of use in folk medicine, have proven the effectiveness of this remedy.

 

It works by stimulating and normalizing the hypothalamic/pituitary glands, which regulates the balance of estrogen and progesterone in the body. It does this by increasing secretion of LH (lutenizing hormone) and decreasing FSH (follicular stimulating hormone). This can restore gonadotropin levels to youthful levels.

 

Shatvari herb acts as a potent adaptogenic herb that helps to regulate the endocrine system, enhance immunity, and helps the body cope with physical and emotional stress. Adaptogens work at a molecular level by regulating a stable balance in the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands—all of which are involved in the stress response. Essentially, they work by “hacking” the stress response in the body.

 

These key herbs, along with the other medicinal herbs in this formula, combine to form a unique supplement for restoring balance to hormones. This product is exclusively for women’s hormones, and is not recommended for men, as men and women have different hormones. To take, simply mix 1-2 servings in a glass of water, tea, or drink of choice and take up to twice per day.

 

Summary

 

Hormones are chemicals produced in the endocrine glands that travel through your bloodstream to different tissues and organs, delivering messages that tell the organs what to do and when to do it. Hormones help to control many of your body’s major processes, including metabolism and appetite, sleep cycles, mood and stress levels, body temperature, heart rate, reproductive cycles and sexual function, and general growth and development.

 

A hormonal imbalance occurs when you have too much or too little of a certain hormone in the bloodstream. As the body is so dependent on hormones for instruction, even small changes in hormones can have serious effects throughout your entire body.

 

Women naturally experience several periods of hormonal imbalance throughout their lifetime, including during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, breast-feeding, perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Women are also at risk of developing different types of hormonal imbalance disorders than men because they have different endocrine organs and cycles than men do.

 

Some fluctuations in hormones may be caused by dietary, lifestyle, or environmental factors such as chronic or extreme stress, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hyperglycemia, underactive thyroid, poor diet and nutrition, being overweight, hormonal replacement or birth control medications, abuse of anabolic steroid medications, and anorexia to name a few.

 

When women have a hormonal imbalance, it can lead to many different symptoms. Among the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women include mood swings, headaches (especially chronic, recurring headaches), weak bones, low libido, unexplained weight gain, skin problems, fertility problems, heavy or painful periods, insomnia and vaginal dryness.

 

Bringing your hormones back into balance involves following holistic dietary and lifestyle practices that promote health, and avoiding the causes and triggers of hormonal imbalance. Aside from these foundational dietary and lifestyle practices, it can be very helpful to supplement with an herbal hormone remedy like our Happy Hormones formula—a unique women’s hormone formula that contains several medicinal herbs renowned for their ability to facilitate hormonal balance and women’s hormonal health.

 

Hormones play a major role in our health, our mood, and in many areas of our life. It is important that we maintain our health and pay attention to the signs of a hormonal imbalance. If you notice any kind of imbalance in your hormones, follow the tips in this article to bring yourself back into balance, and consider consulting with your doctor or a women’s health expert. Maintaining balance in your hormones is a key part of leading a happy, healthy, and balanced life.

 

References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23459142/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321486#hormonal-imbalances-in-women

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22231/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6761896/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538498/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6276442/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5767260/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538260/

Products mentioned in this post

Happy Hormones Tonic

Happy Hormones Tonic

$49.95

Hormone Balance, Hormone Health, PMS Symptom Relief

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