A hormonal imbalance can be a difficult concept to grasp–even and especially to those suffering from one.
Hormonal changes occur from the moment we’re born to the moment we die, with more pronounced shifts taking place in the teenage years, and for women in their 40s and 50s. While we chalk up certain physiological shifts as a result of our aging bodies (and minds), they may actually have nothing to do with the natural changes of aging and everything to do with a hormonal imbalance–regardless of age or other naturally occurring hormonal changes.
Calling something a hormonal imbalance is an easy explanation for just about everything–from otherwise inexplicable irritability to the sweat-soaked nights. Meanwhile, a hormonal imbalance also seems to be a result of just about everything–from diet to pollution, to stress. So, it’s no wonder why hormones are left so little understood; the scope of being influenced and influencing other things is just too wide.
And while a lot of the mood-related symptoms are commonly understood, far too few people are accustomed to the telltale physical signs that they have a hormonal imbalance, especially when multiple signs occur at the same time.
Here are five signs you have a hormonal imbalance.
Hormonal Imbalance Signs
1. Weight Gain
The adrenal glands are endocrine glands that produce hormones, including adrenaline, aldosterone, and cortisol. A hormone imbalance can exhaust the adrenal system, which in effect makes it harder to lose weight or even maintain one’s regular weight. It can also lead to weight gain, without changing diet at all.
A common symptom of premenopausal women, hot flashes and night sweats can occur at a younger age if a hormonal imbalance is present. If you repeatedly wake up sweaty or experience hot flashes during the day, without necessarily being in a hot climate, then a hormonal balance may be to blame.
3. Persistent Acne
A lot of women break out whenever they have their period due to normal hormonal shifts. However, if the acne persists, you may have high testosterone levels in your body. Testosterone stimulates the excess production of sebum oil, which gets stuck under the skin with acne-causing bacteria and dead skin cells. This leads to clogged pores, pimples, and blemishes.
4. Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness tends to occur when menopause approaches. However, a reduction of estrogen levels at any age can cause changes in the vaginal walls. Vaginal dryness makes sex uncomfortable.
5. Excessive or Unwanted Hair
High levels of testosterone in the body can cause women to develop excessive body or facial hair. All females produce androgens (male hormones), but the levels are normally low. Producing too many androgens lead to male-pattern hair growth and other unwanted male characteristics, such as a deep voice.