Hormones are chemical messengers that are created and released by the endocrine glands and travel throughout the body. Several types of hormones (Insulin, Adrenaline, and Cortisol being the most important ones) flow through our body and each performs specific roles. When in balance, it helps our body thrive in different conditions; but a hormone imbalance can take a toll on our health. Hormonal imbalance not only affects our body, but it also takes a toll on our emotional well-being.
Women are known to suffer from hormonal imbalance more frequently than men, but the hormonal imbalance is not uncommon in men. This is because a woman’s body goes through a number of changes such as puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Both men and women experience hormonal imbalance at some point in life, therefore it is important to know whether the hormones are functioning properly or not. There are some sure signs that indicate you might be suffering from hormonal imbalance. Nowadays you can perform hormone testing at home and quickly determine whether anything is wrong with the hormone levels or not.
Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
Wrong food choices, lack of exercise, extreme stress and health problems such as diabetes, underactive thyroid, and others can lead to hormonal imbalance. Here are some signs that indicate you may be suffering from hormonal imbalance:
1. Sleep Disorders
If you have trouble falling asleep and waking up in the morning, it can be a sure sign that you are suffering from hormonal imbalance. Lower levels of progesterone and estrogen affect the sleep patterns. Imbalance in circadian hormonal output can also make it difficult for you to get out of the bed in the morning. Some of the common causes of circadian disruption include higher doses of caffeine and/or alcohol. Therefore, it is advised to cut down on the intake of caffeine and alcohol if you have sleep disorders.
2. Sudden Weight Gain
If you are putting on weight consistently, your hormones are to be blamed. Unhealthy eating habits and a bad lifestyle can lead to weight gain, but hormonal imbalances can add to the woes. Low thyroid, insulin resistance and excess estrogen make you gain weight quickly.
3. Mood Swings
Have you been depending on anti-depressants lately? Check out whether the hormone levels are out of balance or not. Hormonal imbalance can take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Mood swings and increased anxiety indicate hormonal imbalance, especially in women. Serotonin deficiency, GABA imbalance, hypothyroidism and over-abundance of dopamine can cause erratic mood swings.
4. Lower Libido
A healthy physical relationship is important for couples to maintain a well-balanced and happy life. However, hormonal imbalance can affect your libido. Too much stress can affect the hormone levels, which in turn results in lower libido. For instance, too much exercise and working for long hours can increase stress in both men and women, which affects the testosterone and progesterone levels in men and women, respectively. Lower level of testosterone in men and lower progesterone in women are the major causes of lower libido.
5. Excess Sweating
Hot flashes and night sweating indicate hormonal imbalance. Hormones are responsible for controlling the body temperature in human beings. If the hormones are off balance, you may be experiencing irregular and excessive sweating quite frequently. Even though this does not indicate any serious problem, it can cause discomfort; therefore it should be treated without delay.
6. Digestive Problems
Slow digestion and bloating can result from hormonal imbalances. Oily and spicy foods, not chewing food and eating too frequently lead to digestive problems but increased levels of stress can also increase digestive problems. As it is discussed earlier, stress affects the hormone levels within the body, which in turn disrupts the digestive system.
As we can see, hormonal imbalance can cause severe problems, so you must treat it as soon as possible.
Ways to Fix Hormonal Imbalance
Here are some quick and easy ways to fix hormonal imbalance in both men and women:
1. Proper Diet
The first step towards helping your body maintain a healthy hormone level is eating a balanced diet. Including hormone helping foods and herbs such as basil, spinach and almonds will benefit bone health and hormones. Eating proteins instead of simple carbohydrates will also help your hormones.
2. Maintain Stress Levels
Stress is the major cause of several health problems including hormonal imbalance. Regular exercising and meditation will help you reduce stress and lead a healthy life. Aromatherapy also helps in reducing stress and anxiety. So a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow at night will help you enjoy a good night’s sleep and wake up fresh in the morning.
3. Beware of Medications
Some medications can disrupt the hormonal balance and can lead to sleep disorders, digestive problems as well as depression and low libido. Birth control pills, for example, are known to alter hormone levels. Discuss the side-effects of the medications with your doctor and ask for natural alternatives.
While hormones are responsible for proper functioning of our body, their imbalance can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. So it is important to treat hormone imbalance as soon as you know about it. Perform a hormone test at home and discuss the possible remedies with your doctor, if you find the hormones are out of balance.