Hormones are chemicals produced by the endocrine system that acts as messenger molecules in the body. They travel throughout the body’s tissues and organs through the bloodstream to give them messages and make them aware of what to do and when to do it. As people age, hormone levels shift, typically causing an imbalance that affects major bodily functions.
Hormonal imbalance occurs when a person has too little or too much of a certain hormone. It affects both genders differently, but it’s more varied for women of reproductive age. Women’s hormone levels change before or after menstrual periods, during and after pregnancy, and when they’re nearing and once they hit menopause.
With hormones’ vital role, it’s extremely important to maintain their balance, especially for women. The first step to doing that is determining where your hormone levels are at, and you can do that by listening to your body. Learn about the signs indicating hormonal imbalance in women here.
Women’s monthly menstruation cycles differ from one another, but it should happen like clockwork. However, not all women have regular cycles. They may experience delays or even miss them occasionally.
While it’s common to have irregular periods, it’s uncommon to experience it more frequently. It may even have gaps in between periods that could last for several months. If you experience that kind of irregularity in your menstrual cycle, you may have to consult your doctor to determine if it’s due to hormonal imbalance.
Women in their menopausal age may also experience irregular periods because its part of the normal process. Thus, regular consultations can be helpful to monitor hormone levels for optimal health at that age.
Mood swings are common symptoms of hormone level disturbance that usually happen pre-menstrual period. These mood disturbances before and during periods occur due to hormonal imbalance. The changes in women’s estrogen levels cause this.
Estrogen level changes impact the release of chemicals that affect emotions. Those include dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Mood swings due to hormone imbalance can also be associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), making them more sensitive to changing hormone levels.
Hormonal imbalance in women can also cause unhealthy weight gain. The decrease in estrogen that causes mood swings is also linked to this because they lead to eating too much comfort foods. Disrupted release of dopamine and serotonin during hormone level changes may cause women to eat food high in sugar, salt, fat, and calories so they can feel better.
Besides mood changes, dropping estrogen levels also affect another hormone called leptin. Leptin holds back hunger and is crucial to appetite and weight control. Once it’s affected by hormonal changes, you’ll likely eat more than you should.
Thyroid hormone level changes also contribute to weight gain in women. Insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone cause hypothyroidism, leading to considerable weight gain.
Occasional fatigue isn’t uncommon, but it may be caused by hormonal imbalance if you feel constantly tired. The constant fatigue you feel is related to increased levels of progesterone and a decrease in thyroxine. It makes you feel like you don’t have energy most of the time after being busy with work or other regular activities.
Busy women need to have the energy to do all the errands they have to run; that’s why some do hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to address constant fatigue. Clinics such as Hormone KC administer HRT to reenergize patients and help with other hormonal imbalance symptoms. In addition, fatigue caused by hormonal imbalances can be compacted by stress and lack of sleep, increasing its intensity.
Excessive hair loss may be because of changes in various hormones. The changes in levels of estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and thyroid hormones cause hair loss to fasten. Having conditions related to hormones like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can also contribute to your hair falling off.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs frequently than ever, it means it’s time to visit your doctor to see if your hormone levels are still balanced. Maintaining it at an optimal level is essential to living the best quality of life possible for a woman, however old you may be. So focus on it, and your health will be A-okay.
Though not a medical professional, Hodge Racter knows much about medical topics, including hormone replacement (having undergone the procedure himself) and medical weight loss surgeries. Today, he remains spry and energetic despite his age, and when he’s not doing freelance work, he has quality time with his wife and two dogs.