Everyone thinks of hormones just as sex hormones; estrogen for women and testosterone for men. When in fact, hormones play a large role in the daily functions of our bodies. Hormones control almost everything we know about our bodies, — from digestion, bowel movements, sleeping, heartbeat, and mood, just to name a few.
When our hormones are balanced, our body’s chemical messengers are working in sync to keep us healthy. Hormonal imbalance occurs when there is too much or not enough of a hormone. This can be due to too much stress or a hidden health issue and that's when you may experience signs of a hormonal imbalance.
Most people think of hormonal imbalance as symptoms suffered when menopause hits. But these symptoms commonly occur in younger women too. If you are in your twenties or thirties, you can still experience symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
These Are 5 Signs to Watch For
1. Chronic Fatigue
While feeling tired all the time seems to the norm these days, it can also point to a hormone imbalance, especially if it is an ongoing issue. Our crazy schedules, processed food diet, sleep deprivation and other stressors that burden our bodies. These can lead to our adrenal glands to go off balanced and inevitably exhaust themselves. Adrenal glands pump out the stress hormone cortisol, to regulate our sleep-wake cycle. When we are stressed or overworked, the adrenal glands work like our body’s spare battery pack, increasing cortisol and adrenaline for a ‘fight-or-flight’ response. We have more energy, but the energy level plunges, and we feel extremely tired after. We cannot quite get out of bed in the morning and when it’s time to sleep at night, we are wide awake. This negative cycle can eventually wreak havoc on our health.
2. Trouble Concentrating and Memory Loss
This is another symptom that you should not ignore, or think of as something that affects only your older friends. If you can’t remember where you put your mobile phone, or what you were about to say, chances are, you are experiencing hormone imbalance.
When estrogen levels are lower than normal, it can lead to difficulty in remembering and concentrating. Of course, lack of sleep can make this worse.
3. Period Problems
Irregular periods and painful periods are sure signs of hormonal imbalance and should not be ignored or accept as a norm – even if it’s been happening to you for years. These can occasionally signal underlying health complications that may surface later in life.
The length of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. The average lasts 28 days, and 21 to 35 days is still considered normal, as long as you are menstruating regularly. As our reproductive system is regulated by estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, and when these hormones are not working in harmony, our periods go out of sync. If your cycle is often irregular or painful, you should seek advice to help you find the best method to keep your cycle regular.
4. Vaginal Dryness
Although it is especially common in older women, it is occurring in younger women as well. Vaginal dryness should tip you off to the possibility of a hormonal balance. Vaginal dryness is most often caused by low levels of estrogen. Estrogen keeps the tissues of our vaginal lubricated, healthy, and its lining thick and flexible.
As vaginal dryness can cause discomfort during sexual intercourse and increase infections, this can affect your relationship with your partner. You should lubricants during intercourse to help with dryness or visit a doctor to check for other causes of dryness.
5. Unexplained Weight Gain
Believe it or not, if you are experiencing easy weight gain and difficulty in losing weight, you may actually have a hormone imbalance. When our estrogen levels are too high in comparison to progesterone levels, our bodies tend to retain fluid and increase fatty tissue growth around the stomach and hips. If you have been unsuccessful in losing weight even though you have been working out and making adjustments to your food intake, you should include balancing out your hormones in your weight loss program.
How to Fix It
The Natural Approach to Hormonal Balance
Bioidentical hormones are often marketed as a ‘natural’ alternative to hormones replacement therapy (HRT) for the treatment of hormone imbalance symptoms. Like all medical drugs, bioidentical hormones do come with their fair share of side effects and you should consult a medical professional about the risks.
A safe alternative to bioidentical hormones can be found in Meditrina Ageless Herbal Cream. This award-winning, plant-based cream has been helping women with their hormone imbalance woes since 2009. It contains no animal or man-made hormones. This cream is made of botanical ingredients that support our body to produce its own hormones and balances its chemical messengers.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Method
Consult a trusted TCM practitioner, who will examine your pulse and general state of health. Depending on the causes of your body’s imbalance, the practitioner will select the most appropriate treatment and herbs for you. While the effects of TCM tend to take longer to materialise, there are fewer risks than conventional HRT.
Stop The Contraceptive Pill
For years, the pill has promised women greater control over our fertility, but this ‘freedom’ may come at a huge cost to our health. Pills contain synthetic estrogen and/or progesterone and they affect our bodies ability to maintain hormone homeostasis, that is, a natural state of balance. The pills disrupt our natural menstrual cycle and cause our bodies to experience a long list of hormonal imbalance symptoms. The good news is, there are many hormone-free birth control methods that do not compromise our health. You can drop the pill and still have control over your fertility.