Hormones are a big fucking deal.
We’ve all had those days — when we feel a bit “off.” But often, we don’t know exactly why, or we attribute it to a specific time of the month. The reality is, hormones affect women all month long, and most of us don’t realize it. According to a OnePoll survey commissioned by Dr. Anna Cabeca, up to 50% of women suffer from a hormone imbalance.
Produced by our endocrine glands, hormones are like the body’s messengers, telling it what to do so that everything goes according to plan and your systems are in sync. A hormonal imbalance can be the result of an underactive or overactive thyroid, stress, diabetes, birth control, poor diet or exposure to endocrine disruptors from diet and environment.
“The reality is, hormones affect women all month long, and most of us don’t realize it.”
Knowing you have it is the first step. These are the most common signs:
If you feel exhausted even after a good night’s sleep, it could be a symptom of adrenal fatigue, one of the most common hormone disruptions.
In women, low levels of estrogen can heighten the fear response. Women’s estrogen levels change with their cycles, which can lead to mood instability throughout the month.
Fluctuations in weight
When the body is under stress, it releases cortisol, which is the “fight or flight” hormone. In an effort to protect us from perceived threats, cortisol holds on to fat as an energy source. In prehistoric times, this was a useful mechanism, but now it can make it especially hard to lose weight, in spite of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Our endocrine system directs the brain to release sleep hormones melatonin and cortisol, so any kind of endocrine disruption can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Hormone dysregulation can affect the number and quality of healthy bacteria in the gut leading to diarrhea, bloating or constipation.
Low sex drive
When your estrogen or progesterone are low, it can translate into a low libido.
Skin and hair issues
Acne and hair loss are two common signs of hormonal imbalance, and are sometimes linked to thyroid disorders.
When your estrogen or progesterone are low, it can translate into intense or irregular periods.
Does this mean if you have any of the above symptoms, it’s a hormone imbalance? No. However, most women don’t realize that the root cause of many of the symptoms above is hormone related. We suggest you talk to your doctor, and perhaps consider some of the evidence-based supplements supporting hormones.