How do you recognise hormonal imbalance and what can you do about it?
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers, and they affect many processes including your mood. Too much or too little of certain hormones might be crucial. This is called hormonal imbalance and it might be to blame for a wide range of unwanted symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, low mood and/or hormonal acne.
Your hormones are important for regulating many processes that happen in the body including your appetite, metabolism, sleep cycles, sexual function, body temperature, mood, and reproductive cycles.
Therefore, it comes to no surprise that, even the slightest imbalance, may have a visible effect on your health and wellbeing. Having said that, it is also common for hormones to fluctuate at various stages in your life such as during puberty, during your menstrual cycle, menopause, and during pregnancy. Hormones can also be affected by certain medical conditions and/or your lifestyle.
It is important to notice if you are experiencing the below symptoms so that you can get them checked out by a health professional straight away and receive the appropriate treatment. Treatment might involve medication and/or lifestyle changes to restore the hormonal imbalance and return to your good health.
Here are five signs of hormonal imbalance to look out for and what you can do to improve the situation:
Estrogen is the female sex hormone that has an effect on neurotransmitters in the brain. The latter is called serotonin and it is a chemical that boosts your mood. Hormonal imbalance can cause fluctuations in estrogen known as PMS (premenstrual syndrome) or a depressed mood during the perimenopause (the stage just before menopause) and the menopause stage.
If you’re experiencing low moods or anxious thoughts, changing your diet and/or lifestyle might help. This could mean taking up exercise if you are not physically active, drinking less alcohol and quitting smoking, if you are a smoker. Keeping a diary to log all of your symptoms will help you and your doctor identify if you have any hormonal imbalances.
Fatigue is a common symptom if you have hormonal imbalances. Too little progesterone can cause insomnia and make it difficult to sleep. However, too much progesterone can make you tired and fatigued. Another common hormonal imbalance that causes fatigue is low thyroid hormone levels.
Regardless of what hormonal imbalance you are experiencing, practicing good sleep is essential to optimise your sleep routine. This involves going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time, every day, to establish a routine. This also includes weekends. You should also avoid alcohol and excessive caffeine.
Try to establish a night-time routine, such as taking a warm bath and preparing some chamomile tea, so that you give the body a cue that it is time for bed and rest.
There are many different hormone-related conditions that can cause weight gain including an underactive thyroid, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and menopause.
If you are experiencing weight gain, with no change in your diet and/or exercise level, you should consult an expert in women’s health to identify if you have one of the above conditions.
Fight hormonal weight gain by adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced nutrition and exercise plan. Stick to lean meats, healthier fats, complex carbs, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains to encourage healthy blood sugar levels, prevent PMS, and aid weight loss.
A variety of things might trigger headaches. However, a decrease in estrogen levels is a common cause for women. If headaches are occurring repeatedly, at the same time each month, then a declining level of estrogen might be its trigger.
Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising, avoiding stress, and getting adequate sleep will help minimise the occurrence of headaches.
Hormonal acne or chronic adult acne can be a sign of low levels of estrogen and progesterone and high levels of androgen hormones. Hormonal acne can also be a sign of PCOS. Hormonal imbalances during pregnancy or menopause can also cause itchy skin while menopause or thyroid problems can cause dry skin.
Our trainers, together with professional experts in our team, can help you identify if you are suffering from hormonal imbalances. Following your diagnosis, we can set you up with a tailored program and nutrition plan that fits your needs and your goals.
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