Health Care

Signs of Hormonal Imbalance in Women

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It’s normal for your hormone levels to shift throughout life, including your menstrual cycle, when you’re pregnant or during menopause. But sometimes these hormone fluctuations can also be caused by underlying issues.

If you’re feeling irritable, fatigued or anxious and notice unexpected changes in your weight, frequent headaches or persistent adult acne, you may have a hormonal imbalance. These are just a few of the many unwelcomed signs of unbalanced hormones. Thankfully, you don’t have to live like this; tests and treatments are available to help you on your journey to balanced hormones.

If you suspect you’re suffering from imbalanced hormones, keep reading to learn all the symptoms to look for and how to get back to feeling your best.

What Is a Hormonal Imbalance?

Your body creates over 50 hormones, which all play a big role in your daily life. Their functions vary, but your hormones control everything from your mood and metabolism to your sleep-wake cycle and reproductive system. When one or more of these hormones aren’t functioning properly, it can lead to a hormonal imbalance.

Potential Signs of Hormone Imbalance in Women

There are many signs of a hormonal imbalance, and these symptoms can affect nearly any part of your body. The following symptoms can be your body’s way of telling you to get your hormone levels checked:

  • Anxiety
  • Bloating
  • Brain fog
  • Changes in your breast tissue
  • Chronic acne on your face, chest or upper back
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive hair growth (hirsutism)
  • Frequent urination
  • Hair loss or thinning
  • Headaches
  • Heavy, painful periods

While you likely won’t experience more than a few of these symptoms simultaneously, knowing what to look for is important. Additionally, though these symptoms can be a sign your hormones are off balance, many can also be linked to various other health issues as well.

If you’re concerned about any symptoms you’re experiencing, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. Together, you can get to the bottom of what’s causing you to feel unwell, whether it’s hormone-related or otherwise.

Tests for Hormonal Imbalance

Since your endocrine glands release hormones directly into your bloodstream, the first step to check for hormonal imbalances is to test your blood. Your physician can order lab work to check up on all your hormone levels, including the following:

  • Cortisol
  • Estrogen
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Ghrelin
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Melatonin
  • Progesterone
  • Serotonin
  • Testosterone
  • Thyroid hormones

Additionally, your health care provider may also suggest any of the following tests:

  • Imaging — to check for cysts or tumors that could be affecting your hormone levels
  • Urine testing — to measure levels of hormones specifically related to your menstrual cycle

Causes of Hormone Imbalance

Many health aspects could be affecting your hormone levels, including:

Your primary care provider and any relevant health specialists, such as an endocrinologist, will work with you to understand what’s causing your symptoms and how to treat their root cause.

How to Treat Your Hormonal Imbalance

Your treatment options will depend on the cause of your hormone imbalance, but may include:

Assisted Reproductive Therapy

Your provider could suggest in vitro fertilization (IVF) if you have PCOS complications and are trying to get pregnant.

Hormonal Birth Control

If you’re not currently trying to get pregnant, your health care provider might prescribe a method of birth control. Hormonal birth control contains forms of estrogen and progesterone that can help regulate your menstrual cycle and reduce some of the symptoms you may experience from hormonal imbalance. Birth control is available as an injection, intrauterine device (IUD), skin patch, pill or ring.

Medications

Some conditions, such as certain autoimmune diseases, could require additional prescription medication to help relieve your symptoms. As you work to get your condition under control, your hormone levels can also begin to correct themselves.

Radiation Therapy

If you have higher-than-normal hormone levels due to a tumor, your provider might prescribe some form of radiation therapy, a type of treatment typically used to treat cancer that uses X-rays, gamma rays and charged particles to target cancerous cells. These rays shrink and kill cancer cells while trying to avoid surrounding normal cells.

Expert Care for the Whole You

We know hormonal imbalances can take a toll on your life. Our women’s health specialists want to help you start feeling like your normal self again. Choose compassionate, whole-person women’s health care and start your healing journey today.

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