These processes work properly as long as your hormone system is healthy and balanced. But if there becomes too much or too little of a certain hormone, it causes hormonal imbalance and gets in the way of your body’s proper functioning.
Fluctuations in your hormone levels can happen for plenty of reasons – sometimes, it could be certain medications, hormone therapy, constant stress, or even physical injury. And when your hormone system is off-balance, it can lead to further health issues – both physical and mental.
Let’s look at 9 common ways how your body can show you that your hormones are out of sync.
1. Unexplained weight change
If you suddenly gained weight without increasing your calorie intake or physical activity level, that could be caused by fluctuations in hormone levels – for example, there can be a problem with thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism.
And this works in the opposite direction too – if you suddenly lost weight but didn’t change anything in your lifestyle – hormonal imbalance may be the one to blame.
2. Persistent weight gain
If you follow a weight-loss training plan and eat healthy food taking into account your calorie and macros requirements, but still keep gaining weight (or can’t lose it no matter how hard you try) – you may need to check your hormones.
For example, you may have excess insulin or low levels of thyroid hormones which keep you from getting rid of those extra kilos.
3. Problems with hair
Your hair health is another indicator of your endocrine system’s state.
If you’re taking good care of your hair, but it keeps being brittle, dry, and thin or falls out for no apparent reason, then it would be better to find out internal reasons than spending hundreds on hair masks or beauty procedures to no avail.
For example, your thyroid hormones could be out of balance, making your every day a bad hair day.
4. Problems with skin
Skin is your largest organ, and often, it’s the first to suffer if your hormone system is thrown out of balance. Adult acne as well as oily, dry, or hypersensitive skin are all among the symptoms of changes in hormone levels.
For example, elevated testosterone can be causing your acne outbreaks by increasing sebum production. Excessive oil along with dead skin cells clog your pores and lead to inflammation.
If you constantly feel tired and exhausted (even when you have just woken up from a good night sleep), this could be a symptom of hypothyroidism that happens when your thyroid hormones are underproduced.
At the same time, hyperthyroidism – or overactive thyroid – can also affect your energy levels and make it difficult for you to get through the day, feeling drained all the time.
6. Heavy, painful, or irregular periods
If your menstrual cycle is irregular, and your periods are extra heavy or painful, the reason could be fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels.
In general, unexpected changes in your menstruation, whether your periods suddenly become longer or shorter, lighter or heavier, may be a signal of some internal changes – so check your hormones to find out the cause.
7. Night sweating
Occasionally waking up sweating in the middle of the night could be caused by an extra warm blanket or anxious anticipation of some important event of the coming day.
But if you continuously struggle with excessive perspiration during your sleep to the point when your clothes are soaking wet and you need to change your sheets, this can also be connected to problems with the endocrine system.
8. Poor quality sleep or insomnia
If it’s typically difficult for you to fall asleep, you tend to wake up during the night, and then feel tired in the morning – that’s another reason to check your hormones.
For example, the stress hormone cortisol is the one playing a major role in your sleep-wake cycle (along with melatonin). And elevated cortisol can cause a variety of health problems, including poor-quality sleep and insomnia.
9. Anxiety or irritability
Being grumpy and feeling anxious from time to time is normal, and arguably, could be even inevitable sometimes.
But regular and dramatic mood swings, constant irritability, and never-ending anxiety can be among the phycological symptoms of a disrupted hormone system.
For example, when testosterone, serotonin, and thyroid hormones are out of balance, it can cause mood disorders and make you suddenly feel all spectrum of emotions in 10 minutes for no apparent reason.
There are many other symptoms that can be a sign of endocrine imbalances – from headaches to infertility, so we should never underestimate the role that hormones play in our health and wellbeing.
Remember, that keeping your hormones in check is key to keeping all your body processes functioning properly.