Hormone is a word that is typically associated with women, but hormonal changes have real effects on everyone throughout their entire lives.
Women see the biggest changes when they reach their 40s and 50s, but in some women changes can come as early as their mid-30s. Hormonal changes are being seen earlier and earlier because of our lifestyles and diets, but also as a result of pollution, toxins, and xenoestrogens that we are exposed to. These can lead to a hormonal imbalance, which have several key symptoms to look out for.
The first of these symptoms is a persistent weight gain. Aside from lifestyle, diet, and exercise (or lack thereof), hormonal imbalances can make it extremely difficult to stay at a healthy weight. One of the most common forms of these imbalances is emerging insulin resistance. Luckily, you can make appropriate changes in your diet to counteract this problem. Removing processed foods, sugars, and wheat can be a great first step. Additionally, when the endocrine system is stressed, some hormones see an underproduction while others see an overproduction. These hormones lead to the body storing more fat for future use, meaning more belly fat.
Another sign of hormonal imbalance is lowered libido. Hormonal imbalances can disrupt our quality of sleep. If you are lacking proper sleep, the production of the sex hormone can be diminished. They key to boosting your libido back up is to try to get more sleep.
Fatigue can also be an indicator of a hormonal imbalance. If you begin to feel sluggish or mentally foggy in your day to day, something may be off. These may be from a hormonal imbalance. The fix is as simple as making appropriate dietary changes. Try to stabilize your blood sugar by removing wheat and grains from your diet.
Mental issues such as anxiety, irritability, and depression may also be signs of a hormonal imbalance. These mental issues can also mean that you are overworked, stressed out, and may not be providing your body with the proper nourishment that it needs. Take whatever actions you think are necessary if you have these problems. Try proper eating and exercise, working less, or seeking help from friends, family, or a doctor.
Finally, sweating can be an uncomfortable warning of a hormonal imbalance. Sweating and hot flashes can be a big clue that there may be a problem. You do not need to take drastic measures, such as hormone replacement therapy, but you should begin monitoring what you are eating and drinking, your emotions, and your physical health. Emotions are generally what cause the rise in internal temperature. During future hot flashes, be sure to try to carefully monitor the emotions going through your mind.
Hormonal imbalances can cause many problematic symptoms, but they can be managed or fixed. Working on your diet, digestive health, stress management, sleep, and physical activity can help keep you healthy and in the clear. Keep in mind that these symptoms on their own do not necessarily indicate a hormonal imbalance, as they can be signs of other physical problems. If some of these symptoms appear, it may be a good idea to get a simple blood test to find any concerns.
Aimee Harris-Newon, Psy.D., D.A.B.P.S., C.Ht