Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones are chemicals that function as tiny messengers between organs and tissues in our bodies. Basically, they tell our organs and tissues what to do. This is called the endocrine system. Some hormones that are produced by the endocrine system are: adrenaline, cortisol, estrogen, insulin, melatonin, oxytocin, testosterone,thyroid hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, glucagon, prolactine, luteinizing hormone, parathyroid hormone, and progesterone. When you have too much or too little of a certain hormone, you have a hormonal imbalance. Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance are not pleasant and can sometimes be mistaken for other issues.

symptoms of a hormonal imbalance

This is the reason why I am including this topic on my website. Some symptoms appear to be mental health issues when in fact they can be a consequence of a hormonal imbalance. That’s why it is important to see a doctor and avoid self-diagnosis.

The following are common symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, for men and women:

  • Weight gain fatigue
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Infertility
  • Frequent urination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Depression
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased thirst

Some of these can undeniably be mistaken for symptoms of another condition. A doctor consultation can save you months of misdiagnosis, pain, confusion, and wrong self-medication. A hormonal imbalance isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when you present any of those symptoms, so it is easy to conclude something else.

The following are symptoms for a female hormonal imbalance:

  • Heavy or irregular periods, frequent periods, missed periods, stopped periods angry
  • Excessive hair on face, chin, or other parts of the body
  • Weight gain
  • Trouble losing weight
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Palpitations
  • Mood swings
  • Problems with blood sugar
  • Night sweats

Symptoms for a male hormonal imbalance

  • Low energy
  • Sleeplessnesslow mood
  • Decreased sexual performance
  • Weight gain
  • Brain fog
  • Abnormal heart conditions
  • Decreased bone density
  • Elevated blood sugar
  • Low mood
  • Anxioussness
  • Inability to maintain muscle mass

A hormonal imbalance can occur as early as in a man’s early thirties. For both men and women, puberty is a big culprit behind hormonal changes (we all know about that one, don’t we?). Women experience strong hormonal changes during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause as well.

What Causes a Hormonal Imbalance?

Extreme stress or stress that is ongoing for years will certainly have an effect; it is a major factor which may unbalance cortisol (this hormone plays an important role in stress response).

don't push yourself

Certain lifestyle factors may also cause a hormonal imbalance.

Other causes can be: hormone medication (abuse of steroids, for example); type 1 and 2 diabetes; poor nutrition; being overweight; anorexia; exposure to toxins, pollutants, and endocrine disrupting chemicals; severe allergic reactions or infections; hormonal replacement or birth control pills; poor diet; and other medical conditions, such as under active or overactive thyroid, solitary thyroid nodules, pituitary tumors, Addison’s Disease, Cushing’s Syndrome, benign tumors and cysts, cancers that involve endocrine glands, iodine deficiency, hereditary pancreatis, …

eat healthy
Eat healthy

In Conclusion

Having too much or too little of one hormone can have serious consequences for the body. It literally unbalances you. You may go through irritable moments or mood swings you cannot explain, you may feel like you want to lash out at someone before you get a hold of yourself. You feel bloated as if you were pregnant. It could be anything, but the ramifications are felt throughout the body.

pregnant

When we experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, I believe that most of us – myself included – do not always think of a small chemical in our body that suddenly got things wrong and may be behind those profound changes in us, (unless you’re going through pregnancy, puberty, menopause, or you are breastfeeding). For some it can take months before the finger is finally pointed at the real offender.

As tiny as these hormones are, they do affect our bodies. This is why it is important to let your doctor get to the bottom of this.

==> Click here for more info on balancing your hormones naturally <==

Sources:

Healthline

Healthline – the Endocryne System

OnHealth

bioT. eMedical

Medical News Today

14 thoughts on “Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance”

  1. Thank you for this post Christine. I am fifty five and currently going through menopause. I call it menostop! Everything just seems to come to a halt. Now I know it’s hormones unbalanced all over me. In pregnancy you get over it when baby comes. With menopause is there a time it gets better? 

    Reply
    • Hi Juliet,

      Menopause can last a few years, it’s different for each individual. For some it lasts up to 4 years, for others even up to 10 or 12 or also less … 

      My doctor once recommended me to eat more soy, he explained that soy eases menopause symptoms. When I feel my hormones out of control, I eat soy about 3 times a week. I would suggest a healthy, balanced diet. Yoga and meditation have also been suggested as natural ways to balance your hormones. There is, of course, medication as well, which is very effective, but I prefer natural methods.

      I hope that helps a little … 

      Reply
  2. Great article and very true. Hormones play a huge part in our lives, much bigger than we realize. I for one am very aware that hormones can really affect me in so many ways and i’m always looking for ways to help keep them in balance. Do you have any recommendations of ways to naturally keep hormones balanced?

    Reply
    • Hi Maddie,

      My doctor recommended me to eat more soy, since soy eases menopause symptoms. Meditation and yoga are also recommended, and then there are natural supplements that you can also take.

      Reply
  3. Hi Christine,

    Thank you for this informative post! You mention that we should be diagnosed by a doctor – but, do you know what doctors recommend for those who are diagnosed? Do you take hormonal supplements to balance your hormone levels back out?

    Reply
    • Hi Jade,

      My house doctor was the one who gave me the great recommendation of eating more soy to ease menopause symptoms. My gyneacologist tends to prescribe strong hormonal medication which is also really expensive, so I prefer natural supplements, and a regular intake of soy (not every day, but more often than usual when the symptoms act up).
      I recommend seeing a gyneacologist for a diagnosis.

      Reply
  4. Hi Christine,

    Thanks for this article to remind us of our hormonal condition. It’s impressive that this tiny chemical could affect our minds and emotions, so we all need to pay attention to body changes. For men, is it easy to know which factor causes the hormonal unbalance?

    Matt

    Reply
  5. Hey Christine, clear explanation, thanks! Part of the symptoms you describe were mine in my 20s and 30s. My upbringing was one of: don’t fuss, work and you’ll feel good. So ‘a little bit of belly pain’ was no reason to go to a doctor and let him check if this pain was really normal. If I knew then what I know now I would have done things differently.
    That’s such a pity, isn’t it. We learn while we age, but lack the knowledge at times when we need it.
    I was grateful my menopause started at age 42 and most of my problems were gone after age 46. Although it did surprise me that the ‘hormonal wave’ remained. It’s not a regular term, but I don’t know how else to describe it. There is a TED video about how women should divide their energy over a period of 4 weeks depending on the state of their period. And although the obvious signs are not there anymore I still feel that in some weeks I can do anything and in other weeks I’d better stay low.

    Reply
    • Hi Hannie,

      I am interested in seeing that TED video. It sounds like a good recommendation to divide our energy over a 4 week period depending on the state of our periods.
      It is true that we learn while get older. Especially with hormonal issues, it isn’t always clear what is the matter with us, is it?

      Reply
  6. Christine,

    Thanks for this article. I deal with Hypothyroidism, or more accurately Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, among other health issues. It is one of the many issues caused by hormonal imbalances. The exhaustion and brain fog can hit hard at times and can lead to other issues. The condition may have even led to my Heart Attack when I was 44.

    This comment is really more of a plea to the readers of your blog.

    If you’re experiencing the symptoms that Christine described above, please visit your doctor and get things checked out.

    Thanks,
    Sean

    Reply
    • Hi Sean,

      It must be hard to deal with the symptoms you described …
      Having a heart attack at 44, that is pretty scary. I am glad you got through it!
      Thank you for sharing your story and for reminding my readers how important it is to visit the doctor if anyone is experiencing any of the described symptoms.

      Reply
  7. Christine,

    I love this! I think that I am starting pre-menopause. It could be full-blown menopause, I don’t know. But about 2-3 weeks ago, I noticed that my temper was flaring up for no reason. I had an odd moment of lashing out at my daughter, who I usually never do that to. And it was over the dumbest thing!

    I know she doesn’t like to do the dishes, I get that. What teenager (she’s 13) wants to stand around and wash the dishes. So, we live in what I call a tiny house. However, it’s really the upstairs to my parents home so that we can be here to help them with the house, and help my Dad who falls a lot. It used to just be we would drive over here at 2am, or whatever time they would call us to come help pick him up. There was a time when they couldn’t afford to call anyone, so we would come over. It was exhausting to get up in the middle of the night, drive across town — which only took us 20 minutes — but in the winter when it’s like -10 degrees F, you’re instantly awake after that bitter cold hits you in the face. Anyway, driving over, helping him back into bed, then back home somewhere around 4:30am, and knowing I had to be up in 2 hours, I just couldn’t go back to sleep more often than not.

    Well, their house – which isn’t huge – has a loft upstairs, 2 bedrooms, a bathroom and a bar. The bar had a small bar sink. Slowly, over the 8 years we’ve been here (thank goodness), I’ve transformed the upstairs. We took out the tiny sink, and put in a large farmhouse sink. Added actual kitchen cupboards and a counter, a pantry, a convection over which fits a 9 x 13 pan and an induction stove top that boils water in like 3 mins. I have a fully functioning house up here now, it just took a long time. But now we’re here for them to mow every week, take out the trash every week, help Dad and Mom (I drive her to work every day, since my Dad got to a point where I told him, don’t drive Dad, I’ll drive) and anything else they need every day.

    Before the actual sink, we had a tiny little bar sink for my kids to do the dishes. They always try to bring the dishes down to Mom’s dishwasher, but they lose my dishes and I’m OCD. So, I told them no more. They can’t remember what they bring down and I always find my stuff down there weeks later, so I said by hand. Besides, it teaches them good lessons, dishes by hand is a tried and true way of washing.
    So, I tell my daughter it’s her turn to wash and she disappears into the room for a while. I tell her again and she said she didn’t want to do them.
    I don’t know what happened, but I saw red. I was in a rage for some reason, and I wanted to lash out at her. I didn’t, I could never do that – I never discipline angry – but I don’t know what came over me. In order to not lash out, I washed the dishes, but I was slamming them around for some reason like a child myself. I’m surprised I didn’t break anything!
    Then, I went in my room, blasted my music (which the entire family hates my metal music) and acted like such a kid and scrubbed my room clean. And I mean clean. It was my go to as a kid to clean when I was angry. Always has been.

    But I didn’t know what got into me, why I was so angry over nothing and why I lost my temper like that. It wasn’t an abnormal thing for her to NOT want to do the dishes, she’s like that all the time. But for some reason that day, I lost it. And in order to not do something that would hurt her, I had to walk away. It was crazy and scary. I told my husband about it, but he thought that our daughter should be more respectful and had a talk with her. She wasn’t afraid of me, so that’s good that she didn’t see what I saw, but what can cause that?

    I’ve been sweating at night, super tired all the time, my sleep cycle is terrible, and I feel angry, a lot. The only thing I can think of is hormonal imbalance. It’s terrible!

    Anyway, sorry this was so long. I wanted to share with someone. Thanks for listening! I love this article!

    Katrina

    Reply
    • Hi Katrina,

      Thank you for sharing this with me. 🙂 Sweating at night, being very tired, having a terrible sleep cycle, and sudden anger sounds like it could be a hormonal imbalance. It isn’t easy to handle this. I also went through it for a while, and my behavior at that time was as confusing and baffling to me as it may be to you now.
      Some recommended natural ways to lessen it a little are the following:
      – eat enough protein with every meal
      – consuming soy also easens the symptoms of menopause and/or perimenopause
      – drink green tea (I drink several cups of green tea per day and it seems to help – Bonus: green tea is also great for your skin)
      – avoid sugar and refined carbs
      – eat healthy fats
      – exercise regularly

      Although I am not a doctor, the above recommendations can help. In case it doesn’t do much for you, then I would recommend seeing a doctor.
      I hope that helps! And I am glad that your husband had a chat with your daughter about the dishes. He sounds like a very supportive husband 🙂

      Reply

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