Hormones? What are they?
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers that help control many different processes, including reproduction and metabolism. Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands and travel through the bloodstream to tell the body’s muscles, tissues, and organs what to do.
When the hormonal balance is slightly disturbed, it seriously affects the whole body. Although some hormones naturally change with age, some fluctuations occur because the endocrine glands are not producing enough. Hormonal imbalances are accompanied by a wide range of symptoms, so you’ll usually know when it’s happening.
What happens when your hormones are out of whack?
Your body will tell you when your hormones are out of balance. You may experience a combination of symptoms depending on what causes and what doesn’t. Some of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance include:
- Gaining weight
If you’re unintentionally gaining weight without changing your diet or exercise, you may have a hormonal imbalance. Unintentional weight gain can be intermittent, continuous, or rapid, depending on the cause. Weight gain associated with hormonal changes occurs from time to time, which causes constant fluctuations in weight.
The most common cause of hormone-related weight gain is menopause. Women between the ages of 45 and 55 enter a phase of their lives where the level of estrogen in the body decreases. A decrease in estrogen generally leads to unintentional weight gain around the hips and abdomen.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) often gain weight unintentionally. PCOS is a condition that causes the body to produce more male hormones than normal.
Additionally, menstruation can cause periodic weight gain due to fluctuating estrogen levels.
Other hormonal causes of unintentional weight gain in men and women include:
Increased production of cortisol
Increased production of aldosterone
A weight loss plan with the help of a doctor can help you manage your weight, especially if it is related to a hormonal imbalance.
If you are constantly tired and exhausted, you may have chronic fatigue syndrome. When you are tired, you may have no motivation or energy to do anything. The condition can range from mild to severe. If you eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly, but your fatigue symptoms persist, a hormonal imbalance may be the culprit.
Fatigue is often caused by lifestyle factors, physical health conditions, and mental health problems, 1 of 3. Hormonal imbalances fall under the category of physical health conditions and may occur if you have any of the following conditions.
- Irregular menstrual cycle
For menstruating women, periods occur every 24 to 38 days and usually last 2 to 8 days. Although everyone is different, if your hormones are in balance, your period will match these parameters. If they are unpredictable, something is probably wrong.
Irregular menstruation is when the period between periods varies, with more or less bleeding each time and varying in duration. The body produces the hormones estrogen and progesterone to regulate menstruation, which is why teenage girls and premenopausal (or perimenopausal) women experience irregular periods.
Hormones and other factors that affect menstrual regularity include:
Having an intrauterine device (IUD)
Change birth control pills
Exercising too much
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Pregnancy or breastfeeding