14 Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
Hormones play a critical role in physical and mental health. Biological changes can alter the amounts of hormones within the body, leading to symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women, which can have a significant impact on wellbeing and quality of life. No two women are alike, so signs of hormonal imbalance can vary significantly from one individual to another. What’s more, as you age, you may notice that you experience more or different symptoms than you did in your younger years.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
Hormonal imbalances may occur cyclically, but the imbalances may also become more persistent. Natural biological changes can lead to hormonal imbalances, but high stress levels can also contribute to or exacerbate them. Here are 14 symptoms that indicate you may have a hormonal imbalance.
1. Irregular Periods
For most women, their menstruation cycle is between 21 and 35 days, and the flow can last anywhere from two to seven days. If you experience some variation in duration or time between periods, that isn’t unusual. However, if you’ve always been regular but your cycle or flow alters significantly, it’s one of the common symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women.
2. Sleep Problems and Fatigue
Approximately 47% of women have difficulty getting a full night’s sleep, and the percentage of postmenopausal women who experience regular insomnia is between 61% and 83%. Low levels of progesterone can lead to sleep issues. Fluctuations in melatonin and cortisol can also be a factor. When you don’t get enough sleep or sleep quality is poor, you may experience a persistent sense of general fatigue throughout the day.
3. Mood Swings
If you find that your mood changes course abruptly, and sometimes for no apparent reason, it could be because you have a hormone imbalance. Many women feel more agitated or cry easily before the start of their periods. During perimenopause, these mood swings can happen more frequently. Sometimes, mood swings become more chronic, which can significantly impact physical and mental health.
4. Brain Fog
Do you have difficulty concentrating or struggle with memory recall? These are symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women. Low estrogen, specifically, may be to blame. Women with a hormonal imbalance frequently experience what many refer to as brain fog. If you have it, you understand why it is an apt description, though you won’t find it on a list of medical terms.
5. Gastrointestinal Issues
Your digestive health is key to overall health, and gut function is linked to your hormones. A hormone imbalance can lead to constipation, bloating, cramps, diarrhea and nausea due to imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels in the gastrointestinal tract.
6. Weight Gain
One of the sneaky symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women is weight gain. You may find that before your period, you feel ravenous and want to eat everything in sight, particularly if it is fatty, salty or sweet. A healthy diet, personalized for your body’s dietary needs, can help you to combat this symptom.
People get headaches for numerous reasons, including stress and tension. However, declining estrogen can also cause headaches. Some women experience this symptom before the onset of their period every month, but consistently low estrogen levels can result in more frequent headaches.
8. Hot Flashes
One of the more disturbing symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women is hot flashes. You may have witnessed someone having one, but you won’t be prepared for the sudden and intense heat that arises in the upper body and face until you experience your first one. This intense heat can be accompanied by dizziness, nausea, headache, weakness and rapid heart rate. It may last only a few seconds, but it can go on for up to an hour.
9. Night Sweats
The hot flash’s sibling is night sweats. Both are caused by depleted estrogen, resulting in a miscommunication with the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature. When a severe hot flash occurs at night, you wake up drenched in sweat, though the room temperature is perfectly normal. Some women experience both hot flashes and night sweats, while others experience only one or the other.
10. Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is one of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women. It is common in those who are in perimenopause and postmenopausal women. Falling estrogen levels result in dry and thinning vaginal walls, which can make intercourse painful.
11. Low Sex Drive
In addition to painful intercourse, declining testosterone levels may be to blame when women experience a low sex drive. Though you may think of testosterone as a male sex hormone, women have it as well. Low levels of progesterone and estrogen may also contribute to a low sex drive.
12. Breast Changes
Have you noticed that your breasts have changed? Perhaps they’ve become denser and lumpier. If so, you may actually have high estrogen levels. If your breasts have altered in the other direction, losing density, then your estrogen levels may be falling. Increased estrogen and progesterone can also cause your breasts to feel tender and sore.
Many women discover the fallacy behind the belief that acne is just for teenagers. In fact, it’s one of the common symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women that shows up again as women’s hormones start to fluctuate during perimenopause. Chronic acne is a sign that your androgen levels may be too high. Androgen is another hormone that is considered a male sex hormone, but women have it, too, and sometimes the body produces too much of it.
14. Hair Loss
Falling progesterone and estrogen levels lead to slower hair growth rates. However, sometimes women actually experience hair loss. If it seems like your hair has gotten thinner, it may be one of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women that you can blame on too much androgen. This hormone causes the hair follicles to shrink, resulting in thinning hair.
Find Support for Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
If you are experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women, the professionals at Higher Health are here to help. We offer support throughout your journey to improved health, from hormone testing to a personalized treatment plan. To get started, book your Free consultation call today.