Hormonal imbalance can cause disruptive and disturbing effects to your lifestyle and feelings of well-being. Each annoying symptom of a hormone imbalance can have an impact on your quality of life, cumulatively, they can be life-changing, and usually not in a good way.
When a woman’s hormonal ratios change, moods and physical changes can change rapidly, without warning and also affect longer-term health and wellbeing.
Think weight gain, mood swings, depression, night sweats, hot flashes, PMS, extreme fatigue and lack of sleep and you have a pretty good picture of how a hormonal imbalance can affect your life.
Endometriosis (a condition where tissue grows outside of the uterus rather than inside) is one symptom of a hormonal imbalance which is often painful and persistent.
Here are some symptoms that can often be attributed to a hormonal imbalance and how you might help reduce the effects:
- Weight gain – Most women find it difficult to keep a healthy weight if their hormones are out of whack. Simple carbohydrates will exacerbate the problem. Eliminate sugars, white flour and processed food to lessen this symptom.
- Libido problems – Lack of sex drive is a common symptom of a hormonal imbalance. Lack of good quality sleep may disrupt sex hormone production. As well, feeling fatigued is certainly not conducive to a good love life.
- Extreme fatigue – Hormone imbalances or deficiencies can zap your energy and even interfere with the thinking process. Try dietary changes such as eliminating carbs, to help balance blood sugar levels and cut out the mid-morning slump. Try to include protein at every meal or snack.
- Night Sweats and Hot Flashes – These issues are uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing. Dietary changes and natural supplements may help in keeping these problems under control.
- Belly fat – Stress may cause an imbalance in hormones by causing persistently elevated levels of the hormone cortisol. One role of cortisol is to store fat. Physical exercise helps to utilize and dissipate stress hormones to allow the body to enter its much needed recovery phase.
- Depression and anxiety – Constant stress and anxiety can ultimately lead to depression. Constant feelings of irritability and feeling out of control should be addressed before this occurs.
- Stress, lack of sleep or working too much can interfere with the production of necessary hormones. This then has a circular effect; the lower hormone levels then further impact sleep patterns and exacerbate stress symptoms.
- Extreme cravings – Resistance to insulin, adrenal sluggishness and other hormonal problems may cause almost irresistible cravings of sugary or high-carbohydrate foods. Although difficult for a while, try to curb cravings by eating healthy and low-carb foods several times per day.
- Insomnia – Lack of sleep stresses the body and may increase cortisol levels leading to further hormone imbalances. Some recent studies claim that sleep is even more important than diet for health. Diet, exercise and stress management may help to eliminate most or all issues leading to insomnia.
Being aware of your body’s changes and habits is key to recognizing hormonal imbalances and other problems. Keep a record of changes and discuss them with your health care provider. Help is available to regulate imbalance problems. While pharmaceutical solutions may be necessary, there are natural options available for assisting with many hormonal deficiencies.