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5 Signs Of Hormonal Imbalance You Need To Be Highly Aware Of

5 Signs Of Hormonal Imbalance You Need To Be Highly Aware Of

Have you ever just not felt right but couldn’t quite pinpoint the problem or experienced seemingly unrelated symptoms? From mood swings to abnormal weight gain, a hormonal imbalance can trigger a range of issues that alone may not be troubling, but when combined can truly hinder everyday life.

People often view hormonal imbalance as only impacting women, and while some signs may only be applicable to women, it is a condition that affects both sexes.

The following are five ways a hormonal imbalance may present itself:

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1. Inability to sleep well

Various stages of a woman’s life, such as her monthly cycle, pregnancy, or menopause, can cause drastic fluctuations in hormone levels. It goes both ways, however, as “sleep deprivation can also affect hormone levels in a sleepless vicious cycle,” according to WebMD.

In men, low levels of testosterone can cause fatigue during the day and disrupt his ability to sleep soundly at night. In another vicious cycle, inadequate sleep can also lower testosterone. This is partially because the majority of testosterone used during daily activities is restored during sleep.

2. Irregular menstrual cycle in women

Since what is considered an “irregular” menstrual cycle can differ widely from person to person, it is difficult for the medical community to define what it means; this must be determined by each individual and discussed with her doctor.

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However, the hormonal changes, especially an imbalance of progesterone, experienced during menopause and perimenopause (the stage leading up to menopause) could the be the culprit, since progesterone is the primary hormone responsible for regulating the level and length of menstrual bleeding.

The absence of an expected period during reproductive years, otherwise known as amenorrhea, can be caused by an under-active thyroid leading to a hormonal imbalance, though there are also other reasons for this. Always consult a doctor if you think experience amenorrhea.

3. Chronic acne

In both men and women, acne that persists beyond puberty and well into adulthood could be a sign of a hormonal imbalance. These imbalances “trigger an excessive amount of sebum, or skin oil, to be produced by the sebaceous glands, acne symptoms appear on the surface.”

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Specifically, the timing of breakouts, acne’s location on your body, its texture and appearance, and past treatments’ affects can all help you to understand whether or not chronic acne is the result of fluctuating hormones. For women, if breakouts seem to flare up characteristically at a certain point in their monthly cycle, this usually signals a hormonal component.

4. Mood swings

Short-term, cyclical hormonal fluctuations are thought to cause variations in moods and emotions in women, namely in the reproductive years during premenstrual syndrome (PMS). However, Nanette Santoro, MD. at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City cites evidence from studies of women experiencing PMS who show no hormonal imbalances.

Santoro asserts that “Some researchers believe that certain hormone metabolites in the brain cause the mood changes – or that some women just metabolize hormones differently.” Other stages characterized by hormonal changes, such as perimenopause, can also cause mood swings.

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In men, “Irritability as a result of a hormonal imbalance is a reality, especially between the ages of 40 and 60,” during what’s been coined Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS). High cortisol levels, the hormone closely related to stress and sleep regulation, may be mostly to blame, but low testosterone can also cause IMS.

5. Abnormal weight gain

For women entering menopause, weight gain is a common occurrence. Menopause causes estrogen levels to drop to a level no longer able to trigger menstruation, and “a decrease in estrogen can cause women in menopause to experience weight gain around the abdominal region and the hips.”

Conversely, high estrogen levels in men can lead to weight gain. Obesity in turn can raise estrogen levels, creating another feedback loop that can severely inhibit a man’s ability to lose weight.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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