These 7 symptoms can clue you to a hormone issue
Having your hormones in sync is the difference between balanced mood and weight, easy digestion, silky skin and hair and, well, the opposite: stubborn pounds, disrupted sleep, zapped energy, constipation, and dry hair and skin.
Hormones are chemical messengers that communicate signals all throughout the body. They are in charge of relaying important information that ranges from body temperature, to our sleep/wake cycle, to digestion, to signaling danger. The web that connects them is pretty complex, but an analogy I find helpful is that of an orchestra.
Each instrument should come in at the right time and stop playing at the right time in order for the piece to sound synchronized and on rhythm.
The following are common symptoms that may be a sign that your hormonal orchestra is playing off-key:
Fatigue: Perhaps a vague symptom, but you know when you feel it. This isn’t normal tired from an early rise or extra busy day or hard workout, but more the insistent feeling of carrying around a heavy lead cloak or not having a zip in your step. It also may be the scenario of doing all the right things and still dragging. This is heavily influenced by adrenals and thyroid.
Stubborn pounds: Exercise and diet are super important. But they’re not the whole story. If your hormones are out of imbalance, especially in regards to cortisol, weight loss can be virtually impossible because the body is getting a constant signal of stress. And a stressed out body does not shed weight.
Low mood or anxiety: The most common reason women stop taking oral birth control is because of its depressive side effects which is to say that mood and hormone levels are connected. Low blood sugar and high stress can feel very much like anxiety or panic attacks.
Insomnia: trouble falling asleep and staying asleep can be caused by many things, but if insomnia has persisted there’s very likely a hormonal component. Ever noticed if there’s a pattern to your insomnia? Say sleep gets funky a few days before your cycle or right in the middle? Not a coincidence, but a sign of hormonal fluctuations that may need some attention.
PMS, irregular or heavy cycles: women have the lucky fortune of a monthly hormonal barometer; her period! Heavy periods, crampy periods, irregular cycles, PMS, low libido are all signs that sex hormones are out of balance.
Digestive issues: constipation is common with a low functioning thyroid gland. And gut flora is heavily influenced by hormonal levels and visa versa. There’s new research explaining, for example, the interaction between estrogen and gut bacteria and how unhealthy gut bacteria might lead to estrogen being recycled and recirculating through the body (no bueno)!
Hair and skin trouble: dry or dusty skin and increased hair loss are both signs that thyroid and/or estrogen may need some attention.
As you can see there are a lot of moving parts!
More than anything, I want you to know that these symptoms flag an underlying imbalance. They're not just 'in your head' or a case of 'getting older-itis.' With nutrition, lifestyle, and good natural remedies they can be changed for the better and brought to balance.
In good health,