We’ve all seen days where something just feels off. There’s no inciting event that makes you feel blue, irritated or tired; it just happens by itself. It could be nothing but it could also be a sign that your hormones are falling off balance.
Hormones help maintain a controlled, regulated system in your body. When the level of hormones gets too low or too high, this regulation gets thrown off resulting in a myriad of symptoms and signs. Not all of these indicators will be clear-cut and may actually vary in each individual; learning how to recognize them can be essential.
Women experience a monthly shift in their hormones throughout their lives. This shift is particularly noticeable around the time of their periods, puberty and menopause. An occasional flux in men is also normal. But when the signs of hormonal imbalance persist, it could be because of an underlying medical condition. That’s a rare occurrence but it’s good to stay aware of the possibility.
Whatever the cause, there are always some key signs to look out for to know that your hormones are acting up.
9 Telling Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
It’s convenient to blame your hormones when you feel on edge, irritable and just plain ‘off’. But before you write yourself off as hormonally imbalanced, here are some important signs to look out for that should confirm your suspicion:
1. Fatigue and Constantly Feeling Tired
Declining hormones in the body can make you feel excessively tired and fatigued throughout the day. You might also experience an increased dependency on coffee or sugar to function properly.
2. Sleep Disturbances
If you’ve started counting up to thousands of sheep before you finally fall asleep, the problem could be your hormones. Insomnia and restless sleep are one of the earliest signs of hormonal imbalance, even menopause.
3. Unexplained Weight Gain
Putting on a couple of pounds is normal and can easily happen because of the brownies you binged on last month. But when you’re gaining weight without a discernable cause, that could just be your hormones’ doings. An even more telling sign is failing to shed the extra pounds as easily as you would have before.
4. Mood Swings and Irritability
The premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is notorious for bringing out your inner demon but when you’re experiencing PMS-like emotional fluxes even when your periods are well away, your hormones may be off for another reason. Any kind of hormonal imbalance can make you irritated, anxious, angry and sad just like how it would feel in PMS.
5. Brain Fog
This term is used to describe trouble in concentrating and recalling especially around the time of menopause. The declining level of estrogens in the body can make it hard for you to concentrate but other hormonal imbalances (such as a thyroid hormone imbalance) can also cause a similar effect.
6. Low Sex Drive
If you’re not feeling it in bed with your partner for a while it’s probably not because you’ve lost interest in them; it’s possibly because your hormones are falling. When there is a decline in hormone levels such as around the time of menopause, the prospect of sex just doesn’t feel exciting anymore. In fact you might have vaginal dryness that could make sex painful as well.
In men, declining hormones could also produce a low libido and problems in achieving erection.
7. Joint Pains and Weak Bones
In women, estrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining good health. When menopause or other hormonal shifts happen, it can cause your joint to ache and your bones to weaken. You might also notice brittle nails and hair.
8. Abnormal Hair Patterns
When testosterone in your body is abnormally high or low you might start experiencing strange hair growth patterns. This could be excessive facial hair in women or loss of axillary or pubic hair in both sexes. Any deviation from the normal hair growth pattern is a good indicator of hormonal imbalance.
9. Night Sweats and Hot Flushes
Hot flushes and night sweats are the classic symptoms of menopause. Most women will easily pick up these two obvious signs in their early 50’s – a clear indicator of hormonal imbalance.
The Way Forward
Fluctuating hormones happen to each and every one of us. In fact the term ‘hormonal imbalance’ has become so generic now, you’ll see it thrown around relentlessly everywhere. For a proper clinical diagnosis, however, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a health care professional. Many people will find relief through proper medication, lifestyle changes and counseling.
Not sure how to manage your hormonal imbalance symptoms? Get a free consultation from Dr. Fleischman!