Related: 5 Everyday Food Chemicals That Could Be Making You Gain Weight
And that’s just one type of toxin. Your risk of weight gain and disease from exposure to toxins may be greater than you realize. A survey by the CDC demonstrated that 93% of the population has measurable levels of bisphenol A , a chemical found in store receipts and canned foods that disrupts estrogen, thyroid, and androgen hormones. Endocrine disruptors have been shown to interfere with the production, transportation, and metabolism of most hormones.
Now you know the “whys” of your broken metabolism, the reasons regular diets don’t address the root cause of your weight gain. Hormones dictate what your body does with food. Fix your hormones and your body will slim down without any extra effort from you.
Warning Signs You May Have A Hormonal Imbalance
No-one wants to be a slave to their hormones but how do you know if they are out of sync and what can you do to restore the balance?
Hormonal imbalances may be to blame for a range of unwanted symptoms from fatigue or weight gain to itchy skin or low mood.
Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in the endocrine system and released into the bloodstream. An imbalance occurs when there is too much or too little of a hormone.
Your hormones are important for regulating many different processes in the body including appetite and metabolism, sleep cycles, reproductive cycles and sexual function, body temperature and mood.
No surprise then that even the slightest imbalance may have a noticeable effect on your overall health and wellbeing.
Levels of hormones naturally fluctuate at various life stages, most noticeably during puberty and in women during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the menopause. They can also be affected by lifestyle and certain medical conditions.
What is important is to notice any symptoms and get them checked out by a qualified health professional so that you receive appropriate treatment, whether that involves using medication or complementary therapies, or making lifestyle changes, to restore the balance and your good health.
Here are 10 signs of hormonal imbalance to look out for and what you can do about them:
8. Headaches: Many women suffer headaches due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause.
S You Can Take To Support Hormone Health
Here are seven things you can try to keep some of your key hormones in healthy ranges:
Drink water. This keeps everything smoothly flowing throughout your entire systemgetting rid of bad stuff and delivering vital nutrients.
Breathe. Your cells love oxygen. Breathing draws in the oxygen. It also helps calm your nerves to promote a feeling of well-being. Mindfulness-based stress reduction can teach you to harness breathing to reduce levels of those stress hormones!
7 tips for working WITH your hormones for good overall health
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Indications Of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal disequilibrium emerges in myriad ways and affects everything from how often you eat to your emotional state. Even a slight shift can cause big symptoms.
Here are eight signs that point to hormonal imbalance. We hope the list can help you understand just how influential hormones are.
1. Weight fluctuations: Your thyroid controls how your body uses energy from the food you eat. When it goes out of whack, you can either lose or gain weight.
Hyperthyroidism means your thyroid is overactive and you may have trouble maintaining your weight, while hypothyroidism makes your thyroid sluggish, and you tend to put weight on, even when trying to lose it.
2. Skin woes: If your body makes too much of the male hormone androgen, your oil glands go into overdrive and you suffer acne breakouts. Conversely, lower estrogen levels in later life contribute to skin dryness and a loss of elasticity.
3. Lowered libido: If your testosterone levels are lower than they should be and this includes women because they make it too your sex drive can plummet.
For women in perimenopause, lower progesterone levels also contribute to a loss of desire, while low estrogen during menopause causes vaginal dryness.
4. Raised blood sugar levels: A host of hormones contribute to higher blood glucose levels, but the most well-known is insulin, which is made by your pancreas.
6. Persistent sleep problems: If you have insomnia or dont sleep well night after night, the cause could be hormonal.
How To Treat Hormonal Imbalances
There are lots of things you can do to correct your hormone levels. Treatment will depend on whats causing your hormones to be imbalanced in the first place.
In some cases, you might need to work with your GP or a specialist to correct your hormones levels. Treatment might include:
- hormone replacement therapy
- vaginal oestrogen
Dont underestimate the positive effects that lifestyle changes can have on correcting your hormone levels. Lowering your stress levels, making sure youre getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising can get your levels back on track and improve your mood as well as being good for your overall health.
Read Also: What Hormone Stimulates Penile Growth
Trouble With Sleep Digestion Or Focus
These types of symptoms could be a sign that you have higher-than-normal levels of cortisol the stress hormone running through your body. If youve been stressed out lately, you might have noticed stomach issues, difficulty sleeping or muscle weakness. It can also affect your ability to focus, as well as your mood and energy levels.
Can You Correct Hormonal Imbalances
Yes. We treat hormone imbalances of all kinds with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy . This treatment works to restore your hormonal profile to the way it looked before a major transition like menopause.
These plant-based hormones are called bioidentical because theyre chemically identical to the estrogen and testosterone your body makes.
When you come to us for treatment to address any type of hormone imbalance, we discuss your medical history and perform blood tests so we can learn as much as possible about whats going on. Armed with this information, we create a customized BHRT treatment plan for you.
When you receive BHRT, we carefully insert hormones into your body via pellets placed under the skin in your hip or buttocks area, after your treatment area is numbed.
This safe treatment takes just 30 minutes or less, and you enjoy results starting anywhere from a few to 10 days post-treatment. The pellets remain in your body for several months and release hormones gradually over that period.
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How To Test For Hormone Imbalance
Instead of self-treating your symptoms with social media-influenced products and diets, you can make informed decisions about diet protocols, supplements, and lifestyle interventions to properly address your concerns.
Hormones are downright complex. Different doctors and healthcare professionals will have their own opinions and preferences with how and what they test and typically are based on a patients specific set of symptoms.
Testing for hormones can be done in several ways, and there are pros and cons to these different types of tests. Here is everything you need to know about how to test for hormone imbalance:
Belly Fat And Persistent Weight Gain
Because hormones are connected with your weight, imbalances in hormone levels can make it more difficult to lose weight.
Dr. Natasha Turner on the Doctor Oz Show said that any hormonal imbalances will make it difficult to lose weight. For example, high levels of estrogen, cortisol, and insulin along with low testosterone and DHEA can cause you to put on extra belly fat.11
In fact, researchers from Harvard say that having excess abdominal fat can also disrupt your hormones even more. They found that excess fat around your belly can also produce hormones that can affect your health.12
The European Thyroid Journal also reported that low thyroid hormones slow down metabolism and can lead to weight gain.13
There are many great ways to lose belly fat naturally. For example, certain foods can help to shed a few inches from your waist while other foods should be avoided, or you can try some my 12 simple tweaks for weight loss.
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Think My Hormones Are Still Out Of Whack
I am going to make an appointment to get them checked but wondering if anyone else is feeling the same way. My little guy is 16 months now and I finally got my cycle back at 14 months pp. They have been regular in timing…but weird. Before they were always 6-7 days and started off quickly but I have spotting mid cycle , and 4 days before the actual flow. Then I get the normal amount of flow days that I always had before except this time. This time I had 5 days, nothing for a day, and then it started heavy again this morning .
I feel fine despite not being able to drop weight as easily as with my first two. I BF longer this time so that might be why things are still crazy . With my other two I stopped around the 6 month mark. I also went on birth control at 6 weeks post with my first two but not this time . I know my ormones were fine at this point with my first two babies because this was about the time I got pregnant after them and was tracking cycles for a bit before we tried and everything was great. I just have no clue what is going on this time and it is a little annoying not knowing what to prepare for and when.
Anyone else still feeling a little off? Or know they are not back to normal? I am going to give it a couple more months and if things are not back to normal I am going to ask my doctor for some bloodwork or something to figure out what is up.
Signs Of Hormone Imbalance
Men and women may experience similar symptoms when hormones are out of balance. You may have trouble sleeping or struggle to get up in the morning, even if youve had a full night of sleep. You rely on caffeine to get you through the morning and afternoon.
Your emotions are erratic. You get cranky and irritable often, and you have energy crashes. Stress seems overwhelming sometimes, and youre prone to depression or anxiety.
Hormones are also important to your sexual function. Men with hormone imbalances may experience a and erectile dysfunction. Women may also feel less than amorous in the bedroom and experience vaginal dryness that makes intercourse uncomfortable and even painful.
Weight gain is common with hormone imbalances. Women may start to see pounds pile around their middle, and men find it harder to build muscle while fat accrues. Hunger is uncontrollable at times.
Physical symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, and increased sensitivity to temperature.
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Muscle Weakness And Joint Pain
If you feel like it takes extra effort to move your body, or your joints are stiff and uncomfortable, this may be a symptom of hormonal imbalance. There are several different hormones that contribute to the strength of your musclesthink estrogen, testosterone, even your thyroid hormoneand could be behind your muscle weakness. Declines in both estrogen and testosterone have been associated with loss of strength, and muscle weakness and stiffness are often signs of a thyroid disorder, due the thyroids role in breaking glycogen into glucose, a main source of energy for your muscles.
Signs Your Hormones Are Off Balance
Hormones are tricky little suckers. They love us of course, but when we dont give them what they want, theyre like a kid on halloween with unattended candy they go wild and can easily get out of control.
Hormones arent simple dang. Hormones are blissful when theyre balanced, and do wonders keeping you on track, but can wreak havoc when theyre not. And when I say wreak havoc, I mean seriously devastating consequences to your body, mind and quality of life. The reality it doesnt take much these days to throw them off, and were faced with hormone disruptors all around us things that enter the body that arent natural. And as you continue the aging process, you become even more sensitive to disrupting them. Boo, right!?
Its important to understand our hormones, what they are, and what they do, in order to support them. When disruptors come into play, things like BPA from plastic, they mess up communication the body needs to function at its peak. This can happen by the disruptor confusing our bodies or even by it disguising itself as a good guy. See, I told you theyre trickey, and sneaky too! Dont be too fooled though, they arent the only thing causing imbalance. Stress plays may be the biggest factor of all.
These are some common symptoms that show up with imbalance:
- Negative changes to cholesterol levels.
- Negative changes to blood glucose levels
- Mood swings
Read Also: Will Birth Control Regulate Hormones
Decreased Libido: Low Testosterone
While excess testosterone is associated with higher aggression, testosterone lack can contribute to irritable male syndrome. Low testosterone levels are tied to higher amounts of cortisol the bodys stress hormone.
Resulting behaviors include anger, sarcasm, frustration, sadness, depression, being withdrawn, hostile, and/or anxious, and dissatisfaction, says Richard Giannoto, MD, a metabolic wellness physician.
Low sex drive often accompanies testosterone deficiency as well.
Hormonal Imbalanced Brains Work Differently
Hormonal imbalances can affect brain function in numerous ways. For example, hypothyroidism decreases brain activity, chronic stress produces more white matter and fewer neurons , estrogen imbalances negatively impact activity in the hippocampus , and progesterone issues can affect production of the neurotransmitter GABA.
Recommended Reading: Which Hormone Helps Hot Flashes
Why Are There So Many Hormonal Imbalances In The Body
Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream. Because of their essential role in the body, even small hormonal imbalances can cause side effects
Many OB/GYNs know the latest evidence for the benefits and risks of hormone therapy, but others do not. Bedside manner also matters. If your medical professional is not helping you, find another one! says Ellen Dolgen, a speaker, author, and health and wellness advocate who blogs about menopause. The first doctor I went to didnt help me.
What Is A Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalances occur when there is not enough or too much of a certain hormone being produced by the body. And because a hormone imbalance often presents as tiny inconveniences or mimic other conditions such as constipation or diarrhea, losing or gaining too much weight, hot flashes, sweating, exhaustion, and infertility, many people brush off the symptoms and do not seek medical treatment.
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All You Can Think About Are Snacks Snacks Snacks
Think of those few food-crazy days leading up to your period. You know, the ones where everything looks like pizza and donuts and chocolate? It’s totally normal to feel extra hungry during PMS, but cravings that never go away may be a sign of a bigger problem.
As Dr. Sara Gottfried said on MindBodyGreen.com, “If you find yourself ravenous on a consistent basis, your hormones could be to blame. High cortisol or insulin, for instance, can cause those intense urges for sugar or wine, while adrenal dysregulation can lead to electrolyte imbalances that make you reach for salty snacks.” While there’s nothing wrong with snacking, it’s definitely something worth keeping an eye on if it feels out of control.
Your Hormones Your Health
Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? Shifts in your hormones could be to blame. Hormones are chemical âmessengersâ that impact the way your cells and organs function. Itâs normal for your levels of them to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause your levels to go up or down, too.
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How To Keep Hormones Balanced Before Things Go Awry
What’s easier than figuring out how to balance hormones? Keeping them at healthy levels to begin with. To keep your hormones from getting out of whack, eat right, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. And take time to relax and unwind. Women with a lot of job stress are 38 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease, in part because of chronically high cortisol levels, a study in the journal PLOS One found. Luckily, healthy lifestyle habits can offset the effect that stress has on your ticker, other new research revealed.
What’s more, your gut microbiome does way more than aid digestion. It affects your brain, stress, sex, metabolism, immune system, and hormones, according to a report in the journal FEMS Microbiology Reviews. “The bacteria in our guts release chemicals and hormones that influence our health and how we think and feel,” says Marc Tetel, Ph.D., a neuroscience professor at Wellesley College. The key is to keep your bugs healthy and balanced so they perform at their optimum level. Get started with this three-point plan.