Hormonal imbalance: symptoms, causes and solutions

Hormonal imbalance: symptoms, causes and solutions

Hormonal imbalance is a disorder of the body's hormones. Our body secretes several different hormones, each with a different function. 

What is hormonal imbalance? 

Hormones affect a number of factors, including the menstrual cycle and reproductive functions, stress levels, mood, sleep, metabolism, appetite and many other factors...

When hormones are perfectly balanced, they are responsible for our body's basic functions. But when there is a hormonal imbalance, thepsychological and physical balance is disturbed, and various symptoms appear.

What are the possible causes of hormonal imbalance?

Hormones can be out of balance for several reasons:

Hormonal imbalances: PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common disease in women of childbearing age, affecting 1 in 10. PCOS is a disorder caused by an excess of androgens created by the ovary. The disorder is characterized by irregular cycles, hirsutism (excessive hair growth),acne and sometimes weight gain. 

Eating disorders

Eating disorders such as bulimia oranorexia are also responsible for hormonal imbalances. In fact, a healthy, balanced diet is essential for a regular menstrual cycle. This can lead to ovulation disorders and anovulatory cycles, resulting in irregular periods , and even amenorrhea in some cases of severe anorexia. An estimated 1-2% of the population suffer from eating disorders associated with hormonal imbalances.

Thyroid imbalances

Thyroid disorders are more common in women than in men. They can be characterized in different ways:

  • Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism is due to an excess of thyroid hormones. Symptoms include accelerated heart rate, anxiety, weight loss, tremors and nervousness. In short: the body's engine is running at full speed. Hyperthyroidism is less common than hypothyroidism.
  • Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is, conversely, a lack of thyroid hormones. Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, slower heart rate, coldness, weight gain, irregular periods and loss of libido.
  • Goiter: A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. It can occur as a result of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. 

Diabetes

Diabetes is a hormonal disturbance of the hypothalamus. Diabetes disrupts your insulin hormones and can cause chronic fungal infections, since it raises blood sugar levels and the fungi responsible for these infections crave sugar.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a drop in blood glucose levels. Most of the time, hypoglycemia occurs in people with diabetes. 

Having too low a glucose level can create difficulties in the proper functioning of certain organs. To ensure a sufficient level of glucose in the blood, the brain stimulates several organs, such as the adrenal glands for adrenaline and cortisol, the pancreas for glucagon and the pituitary gland for growth hormone. Sometimes, these hormones are unable to raise blood glucose levels sufficiently.

What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women?

How can you tell if you're suffering from hormonal imbalance? There are several symptoms:

Menstrual cycle disorders in women

In the case of hormonal imbalance, menstrual cycle disorders are very common. periods irregular (in terms of flow, but also cycle length and duration), premenstrual premenstrual syndrome with greater pain, increased breast sensitivity...

During premenopause, it's common to experience symptoms of hormonal imbalance: it's a time of great upheaval in our bodies.

Physical and psychological symptoms

Hormonal imbalance can also be felt through physical symptoms such as weight fluctuations, acne or abnormally dry skin, excessive sweating, headaches, frequent urination, bloating, stress, difficulty concentrating...

Finally, psychological symptoms can also occur, such as reduced libido, sleep disorders, fatigue, anxiety and irritability.

Hormonal imbalances and the contraceptive pill: what are the effects?

Some contraceptives, such as the contraceptive pill, can create or resolve hormonal imbalances.

On the contraceptive pill

When taking the contraceptive pill, an artificial menstrual cycle is created. These hormones mimic the menstrual cycle. So there's no hormonal imbalance. For women with irregular cycles, the pill helps regulate them. This is often the solution proposed to young girls with irregular periods .

When stopping the contraceptive pill

However, whenstop taking the contraceptive pillwhether to change contraceptive method or to plan a baby, it is common to experience fluctuating hormone levels. This results in anovulatory cycles and secondary amenorrhea. But don't worry, in most cases everything returns to normal after a few months. If things don't go back to normal, this means that the hormonal imbalance was already present before you started taking this contraceptive. The important thing to remember is that the pill treats the symptoms but never the cause of hormonal imbalance.

When taking the morning-after pill

The morning-after pill provides a high dose of progestin, which can upset the menstrual cycle. If you take the morning-after pill, it is common to notice symptoms such as a temporary disturbance of the periods, spotting etc...

What are the hormonal changes following a miscarriage?

Miscarriage is a very common phenomenon, affecting one in four women. A miscarriage does not cause hormonal imbalance. However, there is no need to s'worry until 3 or more miscarriages have occurred: after this number, hormonal imbalance is considered to be one of the possible causes of the miscarriage. 

A number of hormonal disorders can lead to miscarriage: a lack of progesterone or estrogen, thyroid disorders, excessively high prolactin, PCOS...

What treatments are available to relieve changes in hormone levels?

Fortunately, changes in hormone levels are not inevitable: there are solutions.

Before treatment: take blood tests

Before considering any treatment, it's important to take a blood sample so that we can prescribe the right treatment. Treatment will depend on the cause of the problem. A blood test provides a complete hormonal profile.

Treatments based on natural solutions

Natural solutions exist to regulate hormonal imbalance (depending on the cause), such as changes to your eating habits, activities to reduce stress, regular physical activity, improving the quality of your sleep, etc.

Drug treatments

However, if the cause of the hormonal treatment is more profound, you may be prescribed a drug treatment, such as contraception or a hormone-based medication. Consult your doctor for the right medication.

FAQs on female hormonal imbalance

What are the signs of hormonal imbalance?

Hormonal dysregulation results in a disturbance of the menstrual cycle with irregular periods , more or less intense PMS, pain, weight loss or gain, but also psychological symptoms such as stress, anxiety, irritability, reduced libido, etc...

What can be done to restore hormonal imbalance?

Fortunately, there are solutions to rebalance hormonal imbalance. To determine the cause and suggest a suitable treatment, it's important to consult your doctor and take a blood sample to get an overall analysis of your state of health.

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.