The causes of hormonal imbalances vary widely according to the specific hormone involved. In general however, they are likely due to changes in a hormone-producing gland .
Signs and Symptoms Include:
- Low libido
- Frequent miscarriages
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes or feeling cold all the time
- Unintentional weight gain or weight loss
- Heavy or painful period
- Acne and other skin problems
- Loss of bone mass
- Insomnia, anxiety, depression, and mood swings
- Inability to lose weight
- Digestive issues and change in appetite
- Hair loss or thinning, skin, and nails
- Infertility and irregular periods
Some specific problems associated with hormonal imbalances include:
- Adrenal fatigue: fatigue, muscle aches and pains, anxiety and depression, trouble sleeping, brain fog, and/or reproductive problems.
- Estrogen dominance: changes in sleep patterns, changes in weight and appetite, higher perceived stress, slowed metabolism
- Low estrogen: low sex drive, reproductive problems, and/or menstrual irregularity
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): infertility, anxiety, weight gain, higher risk for diabetes, acne, and/or abnormal hair growth
- Hypothyroidism: irregular periods, slowed metabolism, weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, and/or digestive issues
- Low testosterone: erectile dysfunction, muscle loss, weight gain, fatigue, and/or mood changes
- Hyperthyroidism: anxiety, thinning hair, weight loss, IBS, insomnia, and/or irregular heartbeats.
- Diabetes: An insulin imbalance can lead to other related hormonal imbalances such as disrupting estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, progesterone, and cortisol. Weight gain, nerve damage (neuropathy), higher risk for vision loss, fatigue, trouble breathing, dry mouth, and skin problems.
Risk Factors & Causes of Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal imbalances can sometimes mean there is a specific deficiency of a hormone. Other times, there may be a hormone overflow. Either way, we know that hormone imbalances are multi-factorial disorders combining diet, genetics, medical history, age, stress levels, and/or exposure to toxins from your environment. Some of the major contributors to hormonal imbalances include:
- Food allergies and gut issues
- Being overweight or obese
- Poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle
- Genetic susceptibility
- Toxicity (exposure to pesticides, toxins, viruses, cigarettes, excessive alcohol and harmful chemicals)
When the endocrine system is functioning correctly, its exact and timely release of hormones work to promote optimal health. If there is a problem with any of the glands, hormonal imbalance will incur, causing a variety of problems.
The good news is, there are ways to balance your hormones naturally which we will discuss in my next blog post!
1. Aydin B, Winters S. Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin in Children and Adolescents. J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol. 2016 Mar; 8(1): 1–12.