Everything You Need to Know About Hormone Imbalance

woman seems worried about hormone imbalance
Medically Reviewed
April 6, 2022

If you’re feeling different than your usual self lately and experiencing symptoms that persist, it could be a sign of a hormone imbalance. Hormonal changes in women are common and can cause a wide range of symptoms, including mood swings, fatigue, weight changes, and sleep disturbances, among others.

Learning about how to correct hormonal imbalance and its symptoms is crucial to your well-being. If you notice changes in your health and persistent symptoms, it’s vital to seek medical advice from a healthcare provider, regardless of what you think may be causing the issue. Here’s all you need to know about hormonal imbalances and their causes.

About hormone imbalance symptoms

What is Hormone Imbalance?

Your hormones are responsible for regulating many different bodily functions. An imbalance occurs when they get out of sync with each other. There are many kinds of hormone imbalance, but the most common ones are related to estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones. So let’s deep-dive into the main types of hormone imbalance you might be experiencing.

5 Most Common Hormone Imbalances

1. How to Balance Estrogen?

Estrogen is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle, so an estrogen imbalance can cause irregularities in your periods. You might also experience weight gain, fatigue, mood changes, and hot flashes.

The fact is that 95% of women don’t have a significant estrogen abnormality until they start going through menopause. However, elite athletes and those suffering from eating disorders may experience extremely light or nonexistent periods (amenorrhea). In contrast, too much estrogen could cause your period to be heavy and prolonged. High body fat levels can sometimes cause this.

2. Testosterone Imbalance

Testosterone is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism and sex drive, so a testosterone imbalance can have a significant effect on your sexual health. It can cause symptoms like weight gain, low libido, and fatigue.

Research also shows that a lack of sleep can impair your testosterone levels. This may contribute to insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to type 2 diabetes. You probably know that women, too, produce testosterone (one of the androgen hormones). However, they have smaller amounts than men. In women, ovarian failure or prolonged use of oral birth control (for example) can create a  testosterone imbalance.

It is crucial for both men and women to seek treatment for hormonal imbalances as soon as possible, as this can prevent the development of severe medical conditions such as obesity and heart disease later on.

3. How to Balance Thyroid Hormones?

The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolism, so an imbalance can cause a wide range of symptoms. Signs of hormone imbalance in your thyroid can be weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, and mood changes. However, the imbalance might be either producing too little or too much of the thyroxine you need. This leads to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, which are easily confused.

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid produces too little thyroxin hormone – which can cause you to feel constantly tired. Sometimes this leads to weight gain. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, occurs when there’s excessive production of thyroxine. This can be due to either genetic mutation or tumor growth. In this case, your metabolism increases which could cause weight loss or increased energy levels. However, eating more to make up for the increased energy expenditure can lead to weight gain.

During perimenopause, women may mistake symptoms of thyroid problems with those of menopause. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a doctor if you are concerned about your symptoms.

4. Adrenal Imbalance

The adrenal hormone regulates the body’s stress response. Therefore, an adrenal imbalance can cause you to feel constantly stressed out. You might also experience severe fatigue, anxiety, and a gain in weight.

Stress can have a cascading effect on the body, like a line of dominoes falling. If your adrenal gland doesn’t properly regulate your stress response, it can result in an imbalance of hormones such as hydrocortisone or adrenaline, leading to negative consequences throughout your body.

5. Pituitary Gland Hormones

The pituitary gland, a small organ in the brain, is responsible for producing important hormones such as growth hormone and luteinizing hormone (LH). Additionally, it oversees all other hormones in the body and determines when they should be released.

Since the pituitary gland has a dual function of producing and regulating hormones, any imbalance can cause various effects. Common symptoms associated with a pituitary hormone imbalance include weight gain, stunted growth during adolescence, high blood pressure, fatigue, and low libido.

woman with fatigue learning about hormone imbalance

Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

Signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance show up in many ways, and the specific signs and symptoms you experience may depend on the type of imbalance present. Nevertheless, some of the most prevalent indications include:

Hormone Imbalance Fatigue

Do you often feel tired and lack energy even after a good night’s sleep? It could be a sign of a hormone imbalance. However, women may also experience sleep problems during perimenopause due to hormonal changes.

As the ovaries produce less estrogen or progesterone, symptoms of progesterone deficiency like night sweats and mood swings can lead to disrupted sleep. This can continue until post menopause when the ovaries stop producing these hormones altogether. Lack of a proper night’s sleep will certainly contribute to your fatigue levels during the day. But hormone imbalance is still at the root of the problem.

Weight Gain

Unexplained weight gain can be another sign of hormonal imbalance. If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, despite diet and exercise, it may be because of an underlying hormonal issue.

The change in hormone levels during menopause leads many people to gain weight around the abdomen area. That’s because you’re now more prone to storing calories than burning them off as you used to.

Several other hormone-related conditions can cause you to pack on the pounds, including an under-active thyroid – when your body doesn’t produce enough hormones to regulate metabolism, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – also known as “polyps.” This condition affects women’s reproduction by causing small cysts on their ovaries.

Low Libido

Hormonal imbalances can cause a decrease in libido for various reasons. Fluctuating levels of estrogen and testosterone are one possibility, but it’s important to note that this isn’t always the sole cause of low sexual desire. Other factors can also contribute to decreased libido, including night sweats, fatigue, mood changes, and anxiety.

On the other hand, low libido is often due to a hormonal imbalance, and it’s best to seek medical advice before taking any medication or undergoing other interventions to improve low libido.

Heavy or Painful Periods

If you’re experiencing heavy or painful periods with other symptoms such as abdominal pain, a frequent need to urinate, and lower back problems, it’s possible you could have fibroids.

Fibroids, non-cancerous growths in or around the womb, and cause overproduction of estrogen. Fibroids can also interfere with the normal functioning of the ovaries, which can lead to hormonal imbalances.

While the exact cause of fibroids is sketchy, they are more likely to occur in individuals with a family history of fibroids. They can also be detected by chance during routine pregnancy scans.

Since fibroids are a pesky nuisance and won’t go away on their own, seeking medical advice can help you determine the best course of action to manage the effects of hormonal imbalance and prevent any potential health complications. Understanding how to cure hormonal imbalance in menstruation is important, as it plays a crucial role in a woman’s overall health and well-being.  

Mood Swings

Fluctuations of estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can cause changes in your mood – one minute up, the next minute down, like a rollercoaster! This is because the female sex hormone affects neurotransmitters such as serotonin (a chemical that boosts feelings). These fluctuations can therefore result in premenstrual syndrome or low mental states, maybe even a true depression.

It’s quite common to find these hormone-caused mood swings among women after their childbearing years and before their periods stop completely at around the age of 45-50. This period of time, of course, includes the perimenopause years!

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are a common symptom of estrogen imbalance and are a sudden feeling of warmth or heat that spreads over the upper body, particularly the face and chest. If you’re experiencing hot flashes, it’s a sign that your estrogen levels are too low.

Other common symptoms of hormonal imbalance are:

  • Hair loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia

What Does Hormonal Weight Gain Look Like?

It’s no secret that America is in the midst of an obesity epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of American adults are obese, and that number is increasing. While there are many factors contributing to our nation’s weight problem, hormonal imbalance may be one of the biggest culprits.

If you’re struggling to lose weight and think this might be due to a hormone imbalance, you can do a few things to get back on track. Firstly, see a healthcare professional who can help diagnose the cause of your imbalance and its effects on your weight.

Secondly, once you know what’s causing hormonal imbalance weigh gain, work with your healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan that will help restore your hormones and preferred weight.

Many different treatment options are available for unwanted weight gain, so it’s important to find one that suits you. But it also needs to be one your health provider has tailored specifically for you. Over-the-counter options are rarely a good choice!

Hormonal Imbalance in Women

While hormone imbalances can affect anyone, some groups are more likely to experience certain forms of hormonal imbalance. Hormonal changes in women are due to the constant fluctuations of hormones they experience during their lifetime.

As previously stated, the decrease in estrogen levels is the primary cause of hormonal imbalance in women. These imbalances can lead to various symptoms, including weight gain, fatigue, changes in mood, hair loss, and hot flashes.

Primary symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women include:

  • heavy or irregular periods, including missed periods, periods stopping altogether, or a frequent period
  • hirsutism– a condition that causes too much hair on the face, chin, or other parts of the body
  • vaginal dryness
  • acne forming on the face, chest, or upper back
  • night sweats
  • a change in the color of the skin, often on the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts
  • pain during sex
  • skin tags
  • vaginal atrophy
  • headaches

Hormone Imbalance in Men

Men can experience hormonal imbalance due to various factors. Hormone imbalance in men causes symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, low libido, and mood swings.

Primary symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men include:

  • gynecomastia, or the development of breast tissue
  • breast tenderness
  • erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • decrease in beard growth and body hair growth
  • loss of muscle mass
  • loss of bone mass, otherwise known as osteoporosis
  • difficulty concentrating
  • hot flashes

Causes of Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalances can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes is age, as hormone production naturally declines as we get older. Women, in particular, may experience hormonal imbalances during perimenopause and menopause due to changes in estrogen and progesterone levels.

Stress also plays a crucial role in hormonal imbalances. When we experience stress, our bodies produce cortisol, which can interfere with the production of other hormones. A poor diet and lack of exercise can also contribute to hormonal imbalances.

Certain medical conditions can also cause hormonal imbalances, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women and hypothyroidism in both men and women. Environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins and pollutants, can also affect hormone levels. For example, exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) found in plastics and pesticides can interfere with the body’s hormone production and regulation.

Overall, hormonal imbalances can be caused by several factors, so it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider if you feel that you may be experiencing symptoms of a hormonal imbalance.

Experience Hormone Imbalance Relief With Nava

Learning about hormone imbalance can help you recognize the signs and symptoms early on. If you are experiencing any of the signs mentioned, it’s time to take action. The only way to find out if you’re suffering from a hormonal imbalance is to get complete and accurate testing and diagnostics. The journey to wellness starts with you!

At Nava Center, our practitioners are experts in hormone health and integrative wellness. We understand that hormonal imbalances can cause severe health problems if left untreated, and our hormonal imbalance doctors will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your symptoms and gets you feeling your best again.

We offer various hormone treatment options, including Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy  (BHRT) and lifestyle suggestions, and provide comprehensive hormone therapy services, including regular follow-ups and ongoing support, to ensure you get the best possible care.

Contact Nava Center today and let us help rebalance your hormones so you can rediscover yourself.

Article Name
Everything You Need to Know About Hormone Imbalance
It's all here! From what causes a hormone imbalance and the five most common ones, to signs and symptoms and weight gain issues, plus what causes it in men or women.