Some health issues are easy to diagnose and fix. If you fall and break a bone, the treatment is fairly clear. The same is true for most infections. Even diseases such as cancer and diabetes can be discovered through symptoms and tests.
Hormones are a different story.
If your hormones are off, you might experience a multitude of symptoms that can be misdiagnosed. We don’t have a clear hormone level the way we have a safe blood sugar range.
There are symptoms and tests, but surprisingly many physicians don’t think to check.
So What are Hormones?
Hormones are chemicals in our bodies that enact changes.
They are messengers, created in our endocrine glands, that travel through our bloodstream and send messages to other cells.
Those messages control many of our most basic functions. This includes hunger to our more intricate and delicate systems like reproduction, as well as our emotions and moods.
What are the Symptoms of a Hormone Imbalance?
There are many different types of hormones and therefore many different ways for them to become imbalanced.
If you feel that something is off or not right, it’s a good idea to check if you’re experiencing symptoms of an imbalance.
Let’s look at a common hormone imbalance with the thyroid gland.
The thyroid regulates metabolism, which is the process of your body breaking down food and converting it into energy.
Your thyroid controls the rate in which this process happens.
A slower metabolism means your body may not be able to break down all the food you eat in a day and convert it to energy it stores it as fat instead.
Your thyroid can be under or overactive. Here are a few symptoms for each.
- Hair loss including outer of eyebrows
- Dry skin/hair
- Brittle fingernails
- Weight gain/difficulty losing weight
- Muscle/joint aches
- High cholesterol
- Constipation Heavy periods
- Depression or moody
Hyperthyroid (Overactive) Weight Loss
- Muscle weakness
- Hand tremors
- Mood swings
- Rapid heartbeat tachycardia
- Vision Changes
- Light periods or missed periods
A doctor can run a blood test to check your thyroid function, and there is medication to correct the problem.
However, there is also a natural way to correct the imbalance and feel good again, without being dependent on medication.
You can do a few things to help your thyroid function properly, such as:
Banish the sugar in your diet.
Eat a thyroid-friendly diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Cut down on caffeine and drink more water.
And lastly, check how much soy you’re consuming.
Many people don’t realize that having too much soy in your diet can give you symptoms that mimic a thyroid problem, but it won’t show up on a test.
Soy is in soy milk, but it’s also in many packaged foods. Read the labels of the food in your home and you might be surprised how much soy you’re ingesting without realizing it.
Diet greatly affects our hormones, so we have a natural way to manage them.
A hormonal imbalance is when your body isn’t getting enough or getting too much of a certain hormone.
Many people don’t realize just how much hormones affect the way we feel and how our bodies function. Hormones control so many functions! You’re probably heard of cortisol, the stress hormone. Hormones also control how quickly we burn calories, our libido, acne, hair loss, weight, moods, and much more.
A hormone imbalance can lead to symptoms that feel like depression (or is depression), iron or other deficiency, exhaustion, and poor health.
We need the right balance to function properly.
A loose analogy would be putting the wrong type of oil and gas into your vehicle. It might run, but poorly, so you might not realize what the problem is.Â Many people have heard that a thyroid imbalance can cause weight gain and other problems, so let’s go over two other imbalances that you may not be aware of.
We have two adrenal glands. The adrenal cortex releases hormones that are necessary for us to live. The adrenal medulla releases hormones that aren’t essential, but they’re still important and affect our health.
Following are symptoms for both an insufficiency and excess of hormones.
If you find you have five or more of the symptoms on either list, it’s possible that your adrenal glands are not functioning as they should.
Adrenal Hormone Insufficiency
- Exhausted no matter how much sleep you get
- Burn Out
- You use stimulants to stay awake
- You feel negative most of the time
- You feel irrational
- You have bouts of crying over things you wouldn’t normally cry over
- You feel emotionally fragile
- Low blood pressure
- You feel dizzy if you stand up from lying down
- Frequent infections or illness
- Low blood sugar
- Crave salty foods
- Diarrhea, constipation or alternate between both
- Insomnia and have trouble staying asleep
- Awake in the early hours of the morning
Adrenal Hormone Excess
- Struggle to get to sleep even though you’re tired
- Crave sugar particularly after a meal
- Carry extra weight around your midsection/abdominal
- Feel bloated
- Eczema, thin skin or other skin conditions
- Feel like your heart is racing
- High blood pressure
- Shakiness between meals
- Pink or purple stretch marks on your belly or back
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Often anxious
- Irritability or just don’t feel like yourself
- Have trouble falling pregnant
- Crave carbohydrates
As you can see, hormones can completely change how you feel!
Sex Hormone Imbalance
Sex hormones might not be what you first think about.
The side effects of this kind of imbalance include acne persisting long after puberty, mood swings, facial hair, and a swollen tummy!
The symptoms are more physical and visual with this imbalance, and they affect your fertility.
Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance are:
- Abdominal bloating
- Swollen and/or tender breasts
- Low libido
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Mood swings
- Fibrocystic breasts (lumpy breasts)
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Cold hands or feet
- Trouble sleeping or insomnia
- Anxiety or irritability
- Difficulty falling pregnant
If you find that you’re experiencing a number of these symptoms, it’s time to look closer.
Luckily, there are natural ways to control and manage your hormones so you feel healthy again.