Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Hey Choma, have you ever had the experience where your body feels like it’s changing or you suddenly feel a change in your emotions; it could be due to hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that your body produces in order for your body’s important organs to function, so that you can do certain things - like go through puberty. They also influence things like your behaviour, state of mind, eating habits, emotions and how to react to stress. Hormones are extremely important in making you feel healthy and balanced. But what happens when your hormones are out of balance, leading to what’s called ‘hormonal imbalance’? Here’s more:
What is hormonal imbalance and what causes it?
Hormonal imbalance means that you either have too much or too little of a certain hormone in your bloodstream, and it can be triggered by almost anything - be it puberty, toxins or even the lifestyle that you’re living. Hormonal imbalance is most common during puberty, menstruation and pregnancy, because of the changes your body is going through at this time. However, for some people hormonal imbalance is continuous. Generally, the major causes of hormonal imbalance are:
Any form of stress is the biggest and most common cause of hormonal imbalance. Stress, whether it be in your relationship, school or living situation, can lead to irregular sleeping habits, interrupt your menstrual cycle and can negatively affect your mental health. All this can throw your hormones off balance.
Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS occurs every month when your body goes through hormonal shifts as a way to prepare for your period. You may experience mood changes, irritability, anger or anxiety but these symptoms normally go away after your period.
Believe it or not Choma, a poor diet can contribute towards the imbalance of your hormones.
When you consume things like a lot of sugar, processed foods, alcohol (and don’t do any form of exercise) this can negatively affect your health by raising your insulin (a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in your blood) levels. This means that over time, your body will struggle to regulate blood sugar levels – which could lead to a slow metabolism, weight gain and even diabetes.
Birth control pill is used to suppress ovulation by producing fake versions of oestrogen and progesterone, so that it tricks your body into thinking that it’s pregnant all month; that way, ovulation doesn’t take place. This change in your body can lead to hormonal imbalance.
Signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance
Hormone imbalance symptoms usually depend on which glands and hormones are affected but common symptoms may include:
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Hot flashes or excessive sweating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Fatigue and headaches
- Tender breasts
- Irregular periods
- Low sex drive
Treating hormone imbalance naturally
Although getting your hormones balanced may require some prescribed medication from your doctor, there are ways that you can restore your hormone balance naturally. Here’s how:
Exercise and eat healthy
Regular exercise is a vital building block for hormone production. It’s great for balancing your hormones because it reduces inflammation, keeps stress levels low and helps with sleeping patterns. Eating a balanced diet helps you boost your metabolism and manage your weight - which helps prevent hormonal imbalance.
Eat more healthy fats
As much as you need to be healthy, your body also needs a variety of fats in order to keep creating hormones. Healthy fats can be found in avocados and coconut oil. These healthy fats keep inflammation low, boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss.
If you’re not getting the recommended 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night, you’re actually doing your body more harm than good Choma, because a lack of sleep disturbs your hormones’ natural work schedule. Sleeping enough keeps stress hormones balanced and it allows your body to recover properly by building energy.
At the end of the day, remember that it’s normal for your body to experience changes caused by hormones in your body. Hormones can also sometimes cause mood swings and changes in your body are normal and doesn’t last forever However, when those mood swings and body changes start to affect your life or become too excessive then it’s time you speak to a healthcare worker at your nearest clinic.
Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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