Our bodies have 50 hormones working hard to keep us healthy. These hormones are pretty good at knowing what to do. But sometimes, due to external or internal factors, they become imbalanced.
Women’s hormones tend to fluctuate more as they go through the stages of life. Puberty, pregnancy, periods, and menopause will affect hormone balance. After these phases, your levels will usually stabilize and return to normal.
But what if they don’t? You might possibly be experiencing a hormonal imbalance. Read on to learn more about women’s health and hormones.
Women’s Hormones Guide
For women, the most important hormones are estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. These sex hormones regulate a multitude of functions within the body, including:
- body development
- period cycles
- hair growth
- sleep cycles
Two other significant hormones are cortisol and thyroxine. Cortisol is often known as the “stress hormone” because it controls our fight or flight response. Thyroxine is a hormone that regulates the thyroid.
Signs of a Hormonal Imbalance
Imbalances happen when there is an increase or decrease in a certain hormone. For example, an increase in thyroxine can lead to a condition called hypothyroidism. The symptoms may include weight gain, facial hair growth, fatigue, and more.
Symptoms will vary since every hormone affects the body differently. For women, these are some of the most common signs of a hormone imbalance.
Unusual Weight Gain
Generally, women tend to gain weight around their hips, butt, and thighs. Fat accumulation around the middle can indicate a hormonal imbalance.
Often called “hormonal belly“, this weight gain occurs due to a rise in thyroxine or cortisol. High thyroxine levels can mean an overactive thyroid, which causes weight gain among other symptoms.
Cortisol levels keep rising when a woman is exposed to long-term stress, trauma, and anxiety. This can trigger the body to store fat, often around the stomach area.
Feeling too tired to function can affect every aspect of your life, from work to relationships. Long-term fatigue can occur due to an imbalance of progesterone or thyroxine.
Too much progesterone can cause sleepiness. Too little thyroxine can lead to exhaustion. Not only that, but hormones affect your sleep cycles provoking insomnia which only leads to more fatigue.
Fatigue can be frustrating to deal with. Many people cope by drinking more coffee or trying to sleep longer. Both of these methods can only make the issue worse.
Women are more likely to suffer from insomnia than men. Why? Their levels of estrogen and progesterone shift up and down more dramatically.
These two hormones control the quality of sleep so any shift can change sleep patterns. Progesterone levels drop a great deal before menstruation. Women usually suffer from poor sleep before their periods in the PMS stage.
Sleep problems affect your physical health, energy levels, and motivation. Losing sleep at night can lead to more serious conditions and mental health issues.
Excess Body Hair
It’s not uncommon for a hair or two to sprout upon a woman’s chin or belly. But excessive body hair, especially on the face, chest, and belly can be an indicator of a hormone imbalance.
The cause? A rise in the male sex hormone testosterone. Excess hair is part of a condition called Hirsutism. It can be an indicator of larger issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Around 5 million women suffer from PCOS in the U.S making it one of the most common hormonal disorders.
While not dangerous in itself, excess body and facial hair can cause loss of confidence and feelings of shame in women. These negative feelings contribute to depressive states and mood swings.
Hair Loss and Acne
While your body is growing excess facial hair, the hair on your head might be falling out. Hair loss and adult acne are two common signs of a hormonal imbalance in women.
Hair loss and acne can also occur because of external factors like stress, diet, and vitamin deficiencies. If you find clumps of hair in your brush or shower it’s crucial to test your hormones to find the source of the problem.
While they are superficial problems, hair loss and acne can dramatically affect women. Females tend to spend a lot of time worrying about their looks, which can lead to negative feelings. Low self-esteem and social anxiety often follow.
Women’s Hormones Tips
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, it’s important to see a doctor. With proper testing and treatment, you can often live symptom-free. But there are some extra tips you can add to your daily life to help.
Some natural ways to balance your hormones include:
- get enough sleep
- de-stress through meditation or yoga
- maintain a healthy diet
- eat healthy fats like fish
- avoid sugar and processed food
- get tested for food intolerances
- engage in regular exercise
- check for vitamin deficiencies
- watch your alcohol consumption
Making small lifestyle changes can lead to big results in the future. Positive habits are a big factor in ensuring your hormones are working hard to keep your body in tip-top shape.
Women’s Hormones Balance Methods
When healthy lifestyle changes are not enough, alternative therapies can be the right solution!
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) utilizes natural, plant-derived hormones. The process uses chemically identical hormones to prevent imbalances. It’s especially helpful for women who are going through menopause.
Another option is BioTE Hormone Optimization. This process creates optimal levels of hormones in your body through the insertion of tiny pellets every few months. Treatment is individualized and customized for you.
Re-Balancing Women’s Hormones
Women’s hormones are delicately balanced to provide ideal body function. When the balance shifts due to factors like stress or illness, the symptoms can be debilitating.
The first step to reclaiming your health and happiness is finding the perfect treatment plan. At the Center for Health & Wellbeing, we offer an integrative approach. Connecting conventional and alternative medicine to give you the best advantage.
Contact us to set up an appointment today. Our team can’t wait to introduce you to your new, healthy lifestyle!