The common hormone test that may be appropriate is for the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to help determine if a woman is in menopause, especially for women who do not have a uterus and thus cannot tell by their menstrual pattern that they are menopausal.
- Weight Gain/Low Metabolism
Underlying hormonal imbalances make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
- Fatigue/Insomnia/Loss of Energy
Can’t make it past mid-morning without some sort of pick-me-up? How about that mid-afternoon crash? It isn’t normal to feel sluggish, scattered or mentally foggy.
- Mood Swings
Many experience mood swings and feel anxious in situations that they used to handle calmly before.
- Mental Fog
Brain fog is typically characterized as an inability to focus, poor memory functioning, and difficulty learning new things.
- Decreased Libido
Another noticeable symptom of hormonal imbalance is low libido, which starts with disturbed sleep. Without quality sleep our sex hormone production can diminish.
Depression and anxiety are well-known symptoms of low testosterone.
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. Produced in the endocrine glands, these powerful chemicals travel around your bloodstream telling tissues and organs what to do. They help control many of your body’s major processes, including metabolism and reproduction.
When you have a hormonal imbalance, you have too much or too little of a certain hormone. Even tiny changes can have serious effects throughout your whole body.
Think of hormones like a cake recipe. Too much or too little of any one ingredient affects the final product. While some hormone levels fluctuate throughout your lifetime and may just be the result of natural aging, other changes occur when your endocrine glands get the recipe wrong.
There are many possible causes for a hormonal imbalance. Causes differ depending on which hormones or glands are affected. Common causes of hormonal imbalance include:
- hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid
- hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid
- Cushing syndrome
- hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules
- hormone therapy
- tumors (benign or cancerous)
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- eating disorders
- adrenal insufficiency
- pituitary tumor
- injury or trauma
- cancer treatments
How to Identify?
Your doctor may ask you questions such as:
- How often are you experiencing symptoms?
- Does anything help relieve your symptoms?
- Have you lost or gained weight recently?
- Are you more stressed than usual?
- When was your last period?
- Are you planning to get pregnant?
- Do you have trouble getting or maintaining an erection?
- Do you have vaginal dryness or pain during sex?
Common hormonal conditions affecting both men and women could cause any of the following symptoms:
- weight gain
- increased sensitivity to cold or heat
- constipation or more frequent bowel movements
- dry skin
- puffy face
- unexplained weight loss (sometimes sudden)
- increased or decreased heart rate
- muscle weakness
- frequent urination
- increased thirst
- muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
- thinning hair or fine, brittle hair
- increased hunger
- decreased sex drive
What to Do?
Hormones are responsible for many of your body’s major processes. When hormones get out of balance, the symptoms can be extremely varied. Hormonal imbalance can cause a variety of serious complications, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.