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Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance - What you need to know (part 1)


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Hormones are chemical messengers that coordinate various functions in your body. Several glands, organs, and tissues produce and secrete hormones, many of which make up your endocrine system. Hormones have indispensable functions in the regulation of temperature, mood, weight, reproductive abilities, sleep and many more processes. When they are in imbalance, we say that there is a "hormonal imbalance". This health problem can be noticed by certain symptoms, which we will analyze in this material.

What are hormones?

Hormones are chemicals that coordinate various functions in your body, carrying messages through the blood to organs, skin, muscles, and other tissues. These signals tell your body exactly what to do and when to do it. So far, scientists have identified over 50 hormones in the human body that regulate these processes in both men and women.

Hormones and most of the tissues (mainly glands) that create and release them make up the endocrine system. Hormones control many different bodily processes, including:

  • Metabolism
  • Homeostasis (constant internal balance), such as regulation of blood pressure and blood sugar, fluid balance (water) and electrolytes, and body temperature
  • Growth and development
  • Reproductive function
  • Sleep-wake cycle
  • Mood 

Characteristic of hormones is that their levels naturally vary at different stages of life, most noticeably during puberty and in women during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause. They can also be affected by lifestyle and certain medical conditions.

What is important is to know what are the symptoms pointing to hormonal imbalance and which you should not ignore. 

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men and women

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance can vary depending on which gland is affected and whether it is a man or a woman.

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women

In women, symptoms of hormonal imbalance usually include: 1

  • Mood swings - the female sex hormone estrogen has an effect on neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin (a chemical that boosts mood). Fluctuations in estrogen can cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or depressed mood during perimenopause (the phase before menstruation stops completely) and menopause.
  • Reproductive problems hormonal imbalance is one of the leading causes of female infertility, and with changing hormone levels, a woman's fertility naturally declines after the age of 35. High levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) can reduce a woman's chances of getting pregnant, while low levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates the ovaries to release an egg and start producing progesterone, can also cause fertility problems.
  • Irregular menstrual cycle, pain in the abdomen or back during menstruation - if the irregular cycle is accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain, frequent need to urinate, pain in the lower back, constipation or painful intercourse, then there may be fibroids. Fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in or around the uterus. An examination at a gynecologist can confirm or reject this diagnosis.
  • Low libido - weak or absent libido is especially common in women going through perimenopause or menopause due to falling estrogen and testosterone levels (although it is known as the male hormone, women also have testosterone).
  • Insomnia During perimenopause and menopause, the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen and progesterone, which promotes a full night's sleep. A decrease in estrogen levels can also contribute to night sweats, which disrupt sleep.
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss A number of hormone-related conditions can cause weight gain, including decreased thyroid function, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and menopause. 2
  • Bone fragility - A decrease in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause in women can cause bone loss, respectively, an increased risk of bone fragility.
  • Hirsutism or excessive body hair - this symptom is associated with increased levels of androgenic hormones such as androstenedione and others.
  • Skin problems Chronic acne in adults may be a sign of low estrogen and progesterone levels and high levels of androgenic hormones, and may also indicate polycystic ovary syndrome in ladies. Similarly, hormonal imbalance during pregnancy or menopause can cause itchy skin, while dry skin is a symptom of menopause or thyroid problems.

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men

Hormonal imbalance symptoms in men can be the following and are usually due to reduced testosterone levels: 3

  • Decrease in sexual desire.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Loss of muscle mass.
  • Thinning hair and reduced growth.

Causes of hormonal imbalance

There are several main causes of hormonal imbalance. First, medical conditions, as well as medications or treatments for these conditions, can affect your hormones.

For example, some treatments for breast cancer may reduce estrogen levels, while Cushing's syndrome or Addison's disease are characterized by too high or too low (respectively) levels of the hormone cortisol. 

Other causes of hormonal imbalance may include type 1 and 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia, and thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. In women, conditions such as menopause or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can cause hormonal fluctuations. In men, hypogonadism can lead to low hormone levels.  [ref. 1] 

Other causes include injury, trauma, or eating disorders. In fact, one of the most common causes of hormonal imbalance, however, is stress - which, unfortunately, is not unknown to anyone.

  1. What are hormones?
  2. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men and women
  3. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women
  4. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men
  5. Causes of hormonal imbalance


In case of symptoms of hormonal imbalance, it is important to seek medical attention to do the necessary tests. Then determine the mode of treatment and therapy, which may include hormone replacement therapy, medications, herbal and other means. We will talk about them in another article, looking at the possibilities of using herbs and natural remedies for hormonal imbalance.


The author

Bettina Tzvetkova has a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and a Master's degree in Entrepreneurship, a fan of healthy eating, power sports and cycling. Author of over 1500 scientifically based articles, product texts and advertising materials on health topics for Bulgarian and foreign websites. 


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