Are you having tummy troubles lately? Maybe you’re struggling to sleep, or you regularly forget where you last put your purse. Your hormones may be to blame.
Hormones act as chemical messengers in your body. They’re powerful chemicals that are produced in your endocrine glands and travel around the bloodstream telling your organs what to do. In fact, hormones control the body’s major processes, including reproduction and metabolism.
If you suffer a hormonal imbalance, you likely have too much or too little of a hormone. Even the smallest fluctuations can have serious effects on your well-being.
While it’s normal for some hormones to fluctuate throughout your life, other changes occur when something isn’t right with your endocrine glands, and an imbalance can affect your overall health and wellness.
Here are 5 things that happen when your hormones are imbalanced.
1. Brain fog
Are you struggling to focus and seem to forget stuff more often? This is common for so many women at different stages of the menstrual cycle or even during menopause. Forgetting where you last put your keys or walking to the kitchen only to forget what it was you needed are common signs of a hormone imbalance and brain fog.
2. Difficulty sleeping
When you go through perimenopause and menopause, your ovaries stop producing the progesterone hormone. But this is the hormone that promote sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that disturbed balance in your progesterone levels can cause difficulty sleeping and falling asleep.
What’s more, lower estrogen levels mean you’re more likely to be influenced by environmental factors, like temperature, which feeds sleeping difficulties.
3. Tummy troubles
Cells that line your gastrointestinal tract have receptors for progesterone and estrogen. These hormone levels tend to change during the course of your menstrual cycles. As they change, they impact the function of your stomach.
When these hormones are imbalanced, it’s common to experience bloating, stomach pain, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you experience these symptoms in conjunction with fatigue and mood changes either before or during your period, it’s likely that the tummy troubles are the result of hormonal fluctuations.
4. Insulin resistance
Insulin is a hormone that works to maintain your blood sugar levels. Foods break down into glucose and it’s up to the insulin to transport the glucose into the cells, turning it into fuel for energy.
Insulin resistance happens when your body is flooded with more sugar than it can manage, and delivering the glucose to the cells is met with resistance.
What’s more, an insulin imbalance, or resistance, goes hand-in-hand with diabetes and obesity. To go a step further, excess carbohydrates like refined sugars are stored as fat. Increased body fat increases your estrogen levels and that leads to an increased risk for breast cancer.
5. Mood swings
We may be able to blame hormonal imbalance for mood disturbances, too. Many women experience mood swings, irritability, anger, anxiety, and depression before and during their periods.
These fluctuations may be associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or a more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Women who suffer from PMDD or PMS seem to be more sensitive to changes in hormone levels, and estrogen tends to affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Avoiding alcohol and not smoking, as well as staying away from sodium, caffeine, and sugar, can help with these hormonal imbalances. Aim to get adequate exercise, sleep, and calcium for an added boost.
If you’re struggling with hormonal imbalance, call Dr. Morales today or book an appointment online to discuss your treatment options.