If you're concerned and experiencing some negative changes in your health, read this article to see if you're suffering from a hormone imbalance that's harming your overall female health.
As Earth revolves around the sun and day comes after night, the transformation of things happens naturally. Human health is one of the most significant things that gets affected by this phenomenon and evolves naturally on a daily as well as hourly basis. Since you have reached the age of puberty, you might have noticed some significant changes in your mental as well as physical health. These happen because of the hormonal changes in your body.
Although there is a clear difference between men and women's endocrine organs and cycles, the impact of hormonal changes has discriminated impacts on both genders.
If you are experiencing unexplained fatigue or weight gain, mood swings, sleeplessness, or skin problems, don’t ignore those signs. You might have hormonal imbalances that would need medical attention.
Therefore, if you are dealing with such health problems and want to know their cause and treatment, you are at the right place. In this article, we have got you clear on the hormonal imbalance and its impacts on overall female health. Let’s start with some fundamentals you need to know.
Table of Contents:
- What is Hormonal Imbalance?
- Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Female Health
- Causes of Hormonal Imbalance in Female Health
- Diagnosis of Hormonal Imbalance in Female Health
- Treatment of Hormonal Imbalance in Female Health
What is Hormonal Imbalance?
In simple words, hormones are the chemicals that are released by the human body into the bloodstream, and these chemicals are generally produced by glands in our endocrine system. A hormonal imbalance usually happens when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the body. Even minor changes can have a significant impact on your entire body.
Undoubtedly, these hormones help you regulate your body functions like metabolism and appetite, sleep cycle, heart rate, sexual function and reproductive cycles, body temperature, general growth and development, mood and stress levels.
Naturally, women experience several phases of hormonal imbalance in their lifetime, including during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and breast-feeding, pre-menopause, menopause, and post-menopause. Because women have different endocrine organs and cycles than men, they are more likely to develop various types of hormonal imbalance disorders.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Female Health
There are a few medical conditions triggering irregular hormonal imbalances in females, while certain lifestyle habits and environmental factors could also play a role. These include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Cancer of the ovaries
- Premature menopause
- Hormone replacement or birth-control medications
- Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)
- Chronic or extreme stress
- Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism (underactive or overactive thyroid)
- Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
During these stages, your normal hormonal cycle also changes naturally:
Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance on overall female health include:
- Heavy or irregular periods, including a stopped period, missed periods, or a frequent period
- Pre-Mensural Syndrome (PMS)
- Darkening of the skin, especially along neck creases, underneath the breasts, and in the groin
- Hirsutism, or excessive hair on the face, chin, or other parts of the body
- Acne on the face, chest, or upper back
- Changes in blood pressure, heart rate
- Skin tags
- Pain during sex
- Vaginal atrophy
- Vaginal dryness
- Night sweats
- Hair loss
- Breasts tenderness or breasts pain (Mastalgia a severe form of breasts pain)
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance in Female Health
There are many possible causes of a hormonal imbalance. Causes differ depending on which hormones or glands are affected. Common causes of hormonal imbalance include:
- hormone therapy
- cancer treatments such as chemotherapy
- tumors, whether cancerous or benign
- pituitary tumors
- eating disorders
- injury or trauma
While the conditions below may be initially caused by hormonal imbalances, having the conditions can also lead to further hormonal imbalances:
- diabetes (type 1 and type 2)
- diabetes insipidus
- hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid
- hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid
- hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules
- Cushing syndrome, or high levels of cortisol
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which causes low levels of aldosterone and cortisol
- Addison’s disease
Diagnosis of Hormonal Imbalance in Female Health
There isn't a single test that doctors can use to diagnose a hormone imbalance. However, you should see a doctor and be prepared to detail your symptoms as well as the time frame in which they occurred. Bring a list of any supplements for hair, skin, and nail, including:
- Multivitamins for skin
- Vitamins for hair or for nails
- Beauty supplements
- Medicine for skin pigmentation etc
Your doctor may recommend one or more diagnostic tests based on your symptoms. You can also ask your doctor to run these tests for you.
- Blood test
- Pelvic exam
- Additional tests (biopsy, MRI, X-ray, thyroid scan, sperm count test)
Treatment of Hormonal Imbalance in Female Health
Depending on the cause, treatment techniques differ from person to person. The following are some therapeutic possibilities for women with hormone imbalances:
- Hormone Control or Birth Control: For those not trying for a family, doctors often prescribe medications containing forms of estrogen and progesterone to regulate irregular menstrual cycles and symptoms. Birth-control pills or an intrauterine device (IUD) are also often suggested.
- Vaginal Estrogen: To alleviate symptoms of vaginal dryness caused by changes in estrogen levels, creams containing estrogen can be applied directly to vaginal tissues. To reduce vaginal dryness, estrogen tablets and rings are also recommended.
- Primrose oil/ Capsules: To deal with the skin pigmentation, primerose oil also known as evening primrose oil is one of the best treatment that works as a supplement for skin, hair and nail. A multivitamin made out of it specially in combination of vitamin-E also helps to reduce dark circles and rejuvenates the skin.
- Hormone Replacement Therapies: Medications to temporarily alleviate severe symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes or night sweats, are commonly prescribed.
- Eflornithine: This cream is recommended for women who have excessive facial hair growth.
- Clomiphene and Letrozole: These medications aid in the stimulation of ovulation in women with PCOS who are trying to conceive. Injections of gonadotropins can sometimes help increase the chances of pregnancy.
- Assisted Reproductive Technology: In-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive techniques can help women who are unable to fall pregnant due to conditions such as PCOS.
- Metformin: In Type 2 diabetics, it aids in the management or reduction of blood sugar levels.
- Levothyroxine: Can help with hypothyroidism symptoms.
Aside from medical treatment, a few lifestyle adjustments can also assist to lessen the likelihood and symptoms of hormone imbalances. You could try some of the following:
- Avoid triggers to hot flashes, like spicy foods and warm weather
- Cope with stress better with meditation, yoga etc.
- Control refined carbohydrates and sugary foods
- Watch your weight
- Have a balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid packaged foods