Almost half of women express that hormones have negatively affected their well-being. While some hormonal imbalance symptoms are easier to attribute than others, most women are initially unaware of the negative implications of a hormonal imbalance.
The medical community continues to dissect the ways in which disease and disability are closely related to a decrease in female sex hormones after menopause. Alzheimer’s disease, coronary atherosclerosis, urinary incontinence, and osteoporosis are all hormone-dependent aging problems many women endure after menopause.
Are you wondering if your brain fog or decreased sex drive can be attributed to a hormone imbalance?
Keep reading to learn about the most common symptoms for women and when it’s time to get tested.
What Is a Hormonal Imbalance?
The body’s chemical messengers are its hormones. They’re produced in the endocrine glands. From there, they travel throughout your body in the bloodstream to tell your organs and tissues what to do. Hormones help control many bodily processes, like reproduction and metabolism.
If your body has too much or too little of a specific hormone, you have a hormonal imbalance. Whether it’s estrogen dominance or a lack of progesterone, the smallest changes can impact the body significantly.
What Are the Reasons for Female Hormonal Imbalance?
Some hormone fluctuation is normal and can be a result of aging. However, sometimes your endocrine glands get it wrong, and the only way to get to the bottom of the issue is to get tested.
There are many potential causes of a hormonal imbalance. Causation is dependent on which glands or hormones are affected.
Some of the most common causes are:
- Cushing syndrome
- Hormone therapy
- Eating disorders
- Injury or trauma
- Cancer treatments
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Many of the causes that are unique to women have to do with reproductive hormones. Here are some of the hormonal imbalance causes unique to women:
- Premature menopause
- Hormone drugs (like birth control pills)
- Primary ovarian insufficiency
Menopause is a common cause of hormonal imbalances in women. Because most women spend 1/3 of their lives in a post-menopausal state, it’s only natural to experience a variety of symptoms from hormonal imbalances.
Our Houston menopause treatment methods are proof that menopause doesn’t have to rob you of your happiness or natural pleasures.
Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
Hormones play an integral role in one’s health. There is a myriad of symptoms that could indicate a hormonal imbalance. Those symptoms vary, depending on which glands or hormones aren’t functioning properly.
Here are some common symptoms associated with a hormonal imbalance:
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Increased sensitivity to heat or cold
- Muscle weakness
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Muscle aches or stiffness
- Increased hunger
- Thinning hair
- More frequent bowel movements
- Decreased or increased heart rate
- Blurred vision
- Mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
- Nervousness, irritability, or anxiety
- Rounded face
- A fatty hump between the shoulders
- Pink or purple stretch marks
Some of the common symptoms specific to women with a hormonal imbalance are:
- Heavy or irregular menstrual cycles (including stopped periods, missed periods, or frequent periods)
- Excessive hair on the chin, face, and other parts of the body
- Acne on the chest, upper back, or face
- Hair loss or thinning hair
- Weight gain
- Trouble losing weight
- Skin tags
- Darkening of the skin
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal atrophy
- Pain during sex
- Night sweats
Testing for a Hormonal Imbalance
There’s not one single test available that doctors use to diagnose a hormonal imbalance. In your appointment with your doctor, they’ll give you a physical exam and ask a series of questions first. From there, your doctor will decide which tests work best for your situation and symptoms.
Be prepared for your appointment by being able to describe your symptoms and the timeline on which they’ve occurred. If you’re taking any medications, supplements, or vitamins, bring a list of what they are.
Some questions your doctor might ask in your appointment are:
- What symptoms are you experiencing, and how often do they occur?
- Is there anything that provides relief to these symptoms?
- Have you gained or lost any weight recently?
- Are you more stressed lately?
- When was your last period?
- Are you trying to get pregnant?
- Do you have vaginal dryness during sex?
- Do you have pain during sex?
What Tests Exist?
Depending on what your symptoms are, they’ll suggest 1 or more diagnostic tests. Blood tests, pelvic exams, and ultrasounds are all common testing methods for hormonal imbalance symptoms.
Sometimes there’s a need for additional tests, such as:
- Thyroid scan
Treatment for a Hormonal Imbalance
Treatment options are dependent on what exactly is causing a particular hormonal imbalance. Common treatment options for a hormonal imbalance are:
- Estrogen therapy
- Vaginal estrogen
- Hormonal birth control
- Anti-androgen medications
- Thyroid hormone therapy
There are plenty of more natural treatments, too. Pellet therapy, for example, uses custom-compounded pellets that are inserted in your body periodically. They release a plant-based hormone that provides consistent hormone levels throughout the day.
Many synthetic hormone replacement therapies can negatively affect the body and create large hormonal swings.
Don’t Wait to Get to the Bottom of Your Hormonal Imbalance
Many women endure common symptoms like mood swings, changes in weight, depression, and fogginess as a result of a hormonal imbalance in their bodies.
If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, don’t let those symptoms affect your life another day.
There are plenty of treatment options and methods to ensure you get your life back in a safe and effective manner.
Do you want to learn more? If you live in Houston or Woodlands, Texas, contact us for an appointment or for any questions or concerns. We are here to help you get your life back!