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28th Mar 2024

From headaches to low libido – ten signs you have a hormonal imbalance

Sophie Collins

Hormonal Imbalance

A hormonal imbalance can lead to a variety of unwelcome symptoms; from fatigue and weight gain to itchy skin and low mood. 

These imbalances come about when there is an excess or deficiency of certain hormones, which then disrupts the body’s natural rhythm. 

Hormones are chemical messengers produced by glands in the endocrine system and they play a crucial role in regulating lots of our bodily processes. 

They can affect things like appetite and metabolism, sleep patterns, reproductive cycles, sexual function, body temperature, and mood. 

Therefore, even if there are minor disruptions in our hormone levels, it can have noticeable effects on overall health and well-being. 

Knowing what to look out for can is key, so has listed out the top ten warning signs of an imbalance.

1. Mood Swings

Fluctuations in estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, can affect neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, which regulates mood. 

Changes in estrogen levels can lead to conditions like premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or depressive symptoms during perimenopause and menopause. 

2. Heavy or Painful Periods

Fibroids, non-cancerous growths in or around the womb, may cause heavy or painful periods, along with symptoms like abdominal pain, frequent urination, lower back pain, constipation, and painful intercourse. 

Estrogen stimulation and genetic factors are believed to contribute to fibroid development. 

3. Low Libido

Decreased libido, particularly common during perimenopause and menopause, can result from declining estrogen and testosterone levels. 

Other menopausal symptoms like night sweats, fatigue, low mood, and anxiety can also impact sexual desire. 

4. Insomnia and Poor-Quality Sleep

Declining estrogen and progesterone levels during perimenopause and menopause can disrupt sleep patterns. 

Estrogen deficiency may also cause night sweats, further affecting sleep quality and contributing to fatigue. 

5. Unexplained Weight Gain

Hormonal conditions such as hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and menopause-related hormonal changes can lead to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen.

6. Skin Problems

Hormonal imbalances can manifest as chronic adult acne, indicating low estrogen and progesterone levels and high androgen hormone levels. 

Pregnancy or menopause-related hormonal changes may cause itchy skin, while dry skin can be a symptom of menopause or thyroid issues. 

7. Fertility Problems

Hormonal imbalance is a major cause of female infertility, with changing hormone levels affecting fertility, especially after the age of 35. 

High levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and low levels of luteinising hormone (LH) can impact ovulation and fertility. 

8. Headaches

Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause can trigger headaches in many women. 

9. Weak Bones

Decreased estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can lead to bone loss and weaken bones. 

10. Vaginal Dryness

Reduced estrogen levels, especially during perimenopause and menopause, are a common cause of vaginal dryness. 

Hormonal changes due to contraceptives or antidepressants can also contribute to this issue. 

Understanding the role of hormones and recognising the signs of hormonal imbalances is essential for maintaining overall health and addressing potential underlying issues. 

Consulting a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment is crucial for managing hormonal imbalances effectively.