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6 Hormonal Changes You May Experience in Your Life

6 Hormonal Changes You May Experience in Your Life

Your body is a mess.

In the best way. What we mean is that your body is constantly changing, including your natural hormones. Sometimes that's a good thing, like during pregnancy or while you're ovulating.

Other times hormonal changes can leave you feeling flat out dead. Getting your hormones tested and then getting extra if need be is the best way to attack your problem.

Want to learn if you're walking the hormonal imbalance beam? Check out the symptoms below.

1. Too Much Cortisol

When you're going through a stressful time, you increase your natural stress hormone Cortisol. Cortisol is the body's main stress hormone and comes from the adrenal gland.

Too much Cortisol can cause adrenal fatigue as can too little. Adrenal fatigue is no joke, it messes up the communication between your brain and the adrenal gland.

How do you know if you have a Cortisol issue? Well, first thing if you're mentally or physically stressed. Physically stressed like working too hard at the gym or not eating well.

Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Taking a long time to wake up in the morning

  • Cravings for salt or sugar

  • An energy lag in the afternoon, followed by more energy in the evening

  • Trouble staying asleep

  • Afternoon headaches

  • Moodiness

  • Difficulty losing weight

You can get your doctor to run a cortisol lab test to check your levels.

2. Low (or High) Thyroid Levels

Another hormone that comes from your adrenal gland is thyroid, which controls your metabolism. You usually hear about hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Those are disorders where your body creates too much thyroid hormones or not enough. Too much thyroid leads to trouble losing weight and hypo is the opposite.

There are other issues that are less common with thyroid - but just as impactful to your body. Like thyroid conversion issues or even Graves disease.

How do you know if you have thyroid issues?

Well, are you . . .

  • Feeling tired

  • Feeling cold for no reason

  • Needing extra sleep

  • Gaining or losing weight

  • Feeling depressed

  • Having problems with digestion

  • See you have thinning hair

  • Have extra dry Skin

  • Get morning headaches that get better with time

All of those are signs of thyroid imbalance, which should warrant a trip to your doctor. If you have labs that come back clear, ask for some further testing - as some less common thyroid issues like to hide.

3. An Estrogen Imbalance

Did you just switch or go off birth control? Take Plan B or have an overly long/short cycle?

Even pregnancy and miscarriages can lead to an imbalance of estrogen, which comes in three types. Both men and women need estrogen to function, though yes, women need more.

The three types of estrogen are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3).

It's important to get your estrogen levels checked out because too much or too little can lead to heart disease. Imbalances are even though to lead to some cancers - or at least to progress them.

Estrogen imbalances have some of the most unique symptoms, so they're easy to identify if you know what to look for.

They include

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Painful Sex

  • Lots of UTI's

  • Hot Flashes

  • Depression

  • Rapid weight gain

  • Breast tenderness

  • Heavy periods

  • Migraines

Basically, you can have period like symptoms all month long if your estrogen is out of whack. It's unlikely your period cycle will change after years of having it, so if you notice something new - go to your doctor.

4. Progesterone Imbalance

Like estrogen, progesterone is a reproductive hormone both men and women need. It's one of the main ingredients in birth control pills. Many women are moving progesterone hormone methods, like the Mirena IUD.

Without enough progesterone, estrogen gets out of control and establishes estrogen dominance.

Estrogen dominance is a form of estrogen balance, which is the point directly above.

The symptoms of a progesterone imbalance include:

  • PMS

  • Insomnia

  • Unhealthy skin

  • Painful breasts

  • Headaches

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • Weight Gain

In women, progesterone imbalances can look and feel like estrogen imbalances. That's why it's important to be open and honest with your doctor.

Estrogen imbalances have more vaginal symptoms, but if you don't tell your doctor about those issues, they may think it's a progesterone issue.

5. A Leptin Imbalance

If you think back to the times of cave people, you'll recall that people didn't just randomly gain weight. They put on weight to store and burn energy throughout the winter.

And that's the main goal of body fat, to act as an energy reserve for when you can't find food. But now that most of us have no trouble finding food, those fat cells never get to do their job.

That leads to a leptin imbalance, which is a hormone fat cells make. It's responsible for telling your brain "hey! it's time to burn this stored fat for energy".

If your brain doesn't sense there's any leptin, then your body will go into starvation mode. In starvation mode, your body will store everything you eat as fat, since it thinks there isn't enough food.

Most people with leptin imbalances are already overweight, so that doesn't help.

If you have trouble losing weight, can't lose it, have constant cravings or are overly stressed - get your serum leptin checked.

6. Insulin Imbalance

Let's get something straight. You can have an imbalance of insulin without being diabetic. This is usually called insulin resistance.

It's like pre-diabetes and yes, you can get it under control before it becomes full blown.

Think about insulin imbalances as blood sugar issues like,

  • Cravings for sweets

  • A coffee dependence

  • Lightheadedness when hungry

  • Poor Memory

  • Frequent urination

  • Jitters or tremors

  • Sweet cravings don't go away after you eat the food

All of these are important symptoms to catch, so you can stop potential diabetes in its tracks. Tell your doctor you suspect you have insulin problems and they'll know what tests to order.

What Can You Do About Hormonal Changes?

Once you get these changes tested and diagnosed. there are hormone replacement therapy centers that can help. Have your doctor refer you to a well respected one in your community.

Or you can skip the doctor altogether and get your diagnosis at the center/medical spa. It depends on the hormonal changes you're experiencing and what that location offers.

From there, you can address the problem by losing weight with peptides or HGH hormone. Learn more here.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

6 min read