Contrary to popular belief, both men and women have the same chance of suffering from hormonal imbalance. Hormones are just chemicals produced by glands in the endocrine system and released into the bloodstream. Nevertheless, there are some differences. The main one is that AFAB people tend to have much higher estrogen levels, while AMABs bodies produce more testosterone.
Hormones are responsible for regulating many processes in your body like metabolism, sleep cycles, sexual functions, etc. So do you want to understand how does hormones affect libido? Or maybe you have insomnia, and you want to know the reason? Below you will find out how to handle low libido, persistent weight gain, hair loss, and other signs that might suggest you have a hormonal imbalance.
Your Weight Has Been Changing
Hormonal imbalances might be responsible for weight gain and weight loss. If you are noticing that your body is gaining weight, it may be due to the fact that your estrogen levels have increased. In women, this may cause them to develop a larger appetite and put on extra pounds of fat.
On the other hand, if your estrogen levels are low, your body may start to produce more visceral fat. Visceral fat is known as “apple-shaped” body fat, which is responsible for an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
You Have Hair Loss
Hormonal imbalance may lead to hair loss because one hormone, called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), interferes with hair growth. Certain hormone treatments used for cancer patients and other conditions can increase DHT levels, leading to hair loss in men and women.
Additionally, androgenic alopecia, or pattern hair loss, can be caused by excessive levels of male hormones known as androgens, such as testosterone. Some other events that may lead to hormonal changes and affect your hair are childbirth, menopause, and thyroid problems.
You Have Acne
Many things can cause acne, but it can also be a consequence of hormonal imbalance. Hormones can lead to acne outbreaks by increasing oil production in the skin. It can make skin look shiny and oily. Acne is common in teens who have just started their periods, but hormones can continue to affect adult skin as well.
It’s important to mention that acne can also be a symptom of something else, like inflammation or bacterial infection. That’s why, if you suffer from chronic acne, or you experience acne aggravation, you should visit your doctor or take a test for hormone levels yourself. You can take a blood test or saliva test at home to check hormone levels in your system.
You Have Trouble Sleeping
Insomnia can be the result of hormonal imbalances that affect melatonin production in your body. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep patterns, so if your body doesn’t produce enough of it, you may find yourself waking up during the night and unable to fall back asleep.
You Have Irregular Periods
Irregular periods may be caused by hormonal imbalance in three ways:
- Estrogen can stimulate the uterine lining, which leads to excessive bleeding during menstruation.
- An imbalance between FSH and LH hormones may lead to lower levels of estrogen and hence irregular periods.
- Low levels of progesterone can cause your period to stop altogether.
You Have No Interest in Sex
Low libido is a common sign of hormone imbalance that usually affects women. Men also suffer from it, but in a much more subtle way.
Sexuality is strongly linked to your hormones, especially testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. When these hormones are out of balance, they can affect your sex drive. It is the reason why many people experience diminished libido when they start going through perimenopause or menopause.
You Have Trouble Getting an Erection
Men who have erectile dysfunction (ED) may have a hormonal imbalance. The main reason for ED is low testosterone levels in men, but hormonal imbalances can also play a significant part. For example, some hormonal treatments used to treat prostate cancer can reduce testosterone levels, leading to ED.
You Are Moody or Irritable
Hormonal imbalance can cause mood swings in both men and women. Women who suffer from PMS often experience mood swings and irritability, as well as painful cramps. Mood swings can also be caused by the use of hormonal birth control methods like IUDs.
You Have Excessive Body Hair
If you experience excessive hair growth (hair on the face, arms, back), then you might want to check your hormone levels and make sure they are balanced. It is especially crucial if you are a woman, and you don’t have any male pattern baldness.
Excessive hair growth is most commonly associated with elevated levels of testosterone. However, some types of excessive hair growth are linked to higher levels of estrogen too. For example, during pregnancy, women tend to have full, thick hair.
You Suffer From Breast Pain
Most women experience tenderness, swelling, or enlargement of their breasts before their period starts (premenstrual breast changes). However, these symptoms usually go away soon after their period is over.
If you are experiencing pain during your period or if your breasts are swollen more than usual, you should consider checking your hormone levels to make sure that everything is fine. The main culprits causing painful periods and breast enlargement are high estrogen levels combined with progesterone deficiency (estrogen dominance).
Now you know which symptoms you need to look out for to discover if you have a hormonal imbalance. Nonetheless, keep in mind that the symptoms we mentioned don’t have to suggest that your hormones got out of balance. Various other conditions can cause them as well.
Moreover, as everybody may react differently to hormonal changes, remember that the symptoms can be highly varied in your case. When in doubt, contact your doctor and seek treatment as soon as possible. This way, you will stay in good health for many years to come.