Our hormones are responsible for so many biological functions and emotions, so if our hormones are out of balance, we can experience an array of uncomfortable symptoms. Hormones regulate things like mood, sleep, stress, digestion, reproduction, metabolism, growth and development, and more. Here are the 5 signs that your hormones may be out of whack.
1. Skin Problems
This can range from breakouts of acne or pimples to dry skin to skin discolourations to ageing skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and has the most surface area, but it is only reacting to what’s going on inside the body. Healing the gut and maintaining a healthy internal environment will be reflected on the outside.
Some people notice their skin gets worse when they start eating healthy and working out, but this is usually a sign of detoxification and is usually just a withdrawal symptom. Cutting out sugar can do wonders for the skin long-term.
2. Brain Fog
Forgetfulness and lack of focus affects so many women, especially in different parts of the menstrual cycle or during menopause. Things like forgetting where you left your keys or your wallet, or walking into a room to do something and forgetting what you were going to do, are common symptoms of brain fog and hormone imbalance.
Stress is also one of the leading causes of brain fog. In fact too much stress can be attributed to almost 90% of health problems. Mindfulness and meditation are great practices that help to reduce the impact of stress on the mind and body.
3. Period Problems
From irregular periods to painful periods, menstrual issues are a sure sign of hormonal imbalance. The reproductive system is regulated by hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and when these hormones are are out of sync, periods go out of whack.
Issues like PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, infertility, cysts and fibroids can all be attributed to hormone imbalances and can cause further imbalances. Boosting progesterone can help the symptoms of these conditions, so having more vitamin C rich foods and engaging in regular low-moderate intensity exercise is recommended.
This could be complete burnout, to needing your 3PM pick-me-up, or maybe it’s feeling tired but wired and night and unable to sleep. Imbalances in the hormones such as melatonin, cortisol and thyroid hormones can be linked to fatigue and tiredness.
In some cases such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, there can be an autoimmune attack on the body which can lead to symptoms such as fatigue. Ensuring that you sleep 7-9 hours per night, and having a screen curfew can help you overcome fatigue.
5. Mood swings
PMS, anxiety, depression, stress and low libido are all signs of hormone imbalance. A lot of women experience mood changes at certain parts of their menstrual cycle. This can be linked to changes in serotonin, which is a hormone/neurotransmitter predominantly found in the gut.
For example, hormonal imbalance in the week before the period can manifest as PMS with symptoms such as irritability, anger, crying jags, inability to cope and more. Addressing gut issues and managing stress can be helpful in mediating mood changes.
There are many more signs of hormonal imbalance, and many times they can’t be picked up on routine tests like blood tests. If you are experiencing symptoms and don’t feel like body is quite right, it’s important to listen to your body, even if the tests say nothing. Most of the time symptoms will show up way before anything comes up on tests.
Addressing your diet and lifestyle will have a significant impact on your hormone imbalances. Nourishing with a plant-based wholefoods diet with healthy fats and clean protein can help restore hormone vitality. Moving with mindfulness such as gentle yoga or pilates can help restore strength and balance to mind and body.