Lifestyle Desk: Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a particular hormone in the bloodstream. Because of their essential role in the body, even a small hormonal imbalance can cause side effects. Read the following checklist to take note and ensure healthy hormone health.
Dr Anjana Singh, Director, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, Noida shares more information.
Hormonal imbalance is a state when there is a shift in the levels of female hormones like estrogen, progesterone, thyroxine, prolactin and cortisol levels.
A normal shift in their(hormones) levels may occur during a normal menstrual cycle or close to menopause. PCOS and thyroid disorders are the most common forms of hormonal imbalance.
Generalized symptoms include fatigue, irritability, mood swings, fluctuating blood sugar levels, problems in concentrating, sleeplessness and weight gain.
Weight Gain & Facial Hair: This is the commonest forms of hormonal imbalance which results in, abnormal weight Gain and increased facial hair. This also increases hair in areas like upper lips, chin and chest.
Irregular periods: Sometimes resulting in cycle of 60 -90 days with very low flow.
An ovulation leading to infertility.
There is impairment of ovulation due to which one may find difficulty in conceiving
Acne: Increased levels of androgens in PCOD females lead to acne and abnormal weight gain.
Fatigue: It is a common symptom that may occur due to hormonal imbalance.
If progesterone levels are low, they can cause lack of sleep and if very high, can cause increased tiredness.
Hypothyroidism: A situation in which the TSH(thyroid stimulating hormone) is high and T3 &T4 is low can cause fatigue weight gain, backache, hair loss, husky voice, constipation lack of concentration and increased sleepiness
Hyperthyroidism: A case in which TSH is low and T3&T4 are high can cause loss of appetite, weight loss, palpitations, purging of eyes and heart failure.
Estrogen imbalance: Decrease in estrogen levels during monthly cycle triggers mood changes. Females may reach for comfort foods that are high in fat, calories, sugar and salt to feel better. Sadly, all these food backfire and makes females feel even worse. Sodium in such food increases fluid retention and bloating, sugar increases fat and calories leading to back on pounds.
Headache may also precipitate by decrease estrogen levels. Vaginal dryness occurring in the perimenopausal age group also happen due to low entropies.
Low Testosterone: Testosterone through typically a male hormone also has a vital role in females. Low testosterones may cause decrease in libido and sex drive.
Breast changes: High estrogen may cause heavy and lumpy breast and increase in cysts.
Unstable Blood Sugar level: Insulin and glucagon imbalance may lead to abnormal sugar level like diabetes.
Infertility: This is the commonest by product of hormonal imbalance, especially PCOD.
Skin ageing and bone loss: Decreased estrogen levels lead in perimenopause, which leads to skin ageing, makes skin thinner and drier & less elastic.
Mental health issue: Estrogen has a positive impact on the brain by regulating the neurotransmitters, cognition and ability to withstand stress. Decreased estrogen leads to psychosis risk.
Osteoporosis or thin bones: Loss of estrogen leads to thin and weak bones, increasing the risk of fracture in perimenopausal age group.
Breast, ovarian and uterine cancer: Estrogen dominance can lead to cancers in the ovaries, breast and uterus.
It is very important to regulate one’s hormonal levels. Thus, hormonal replacement therapy of the desired hormonal imbalance can really help. Apart from that, leading a healthy lifestyle also helps in overcoming effects of hormonal imbalance.