Would you know if your hormones were out of balance?
Sign 1: Hot flashes
One might think this only happens during menopause, but it can happen to women of child-bearing age and at any stage thereafter, if their hormones levels are not balanced, as well as men going through hormonal changes. This is usually a feeling of intense heat that starts in the chest region, up the neck and progresses to the face. This intense feeling of heat may also trigger sweating and faster heartbeat and may last up to 30 minutes. These hot flashes can be caused by an imbalance of estrogen in women and falling testosterone levels in men.
Sign 2: Trouble losing weight and/or increased weight gain
Changing hormone levels or imbalances can stimulate appetite. Added to this, fluctuating estrogen levels can also affect how your body holds onto fat making it very difficult to shed the extra kilos! Hormones can also interfere with those signals in the brain that tell you when you are full and have had enough to eat. If your thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormone, it can also lead to weight gain and difficulty losing weight – which goes to show just how important correct hormonal balance is!
Sign 3: Mood swings and fatigue
Hormones that are in sync and correctly balanced fluctuate as and when they should throughout the month. However, when mood hormones are not balanced, certain hormones can hang around in the body and wreak havoc on your emotional state all month long! An example of this is hormone imbalance that creates elevated estrogen levels in women that lead to mood swings and feelings of depression and irritability. Low estrogen and progesterone in women is associated with fatigue, while in men low testosterone reduces energy and leads to tiredness.
Sign 4: Hair loss
Low levels of progesterone and high levels of estrogen in women can lead to hair loss and hair thinning. Furthermore it can even cause unwanted facial hair! In men, the hormone dihydrotestosterone known as DHT (rather than testosterone) is to blame.
Sign 5: Low sex drive
Testosterone is the sex hormone – low testosterone can induce disinterest in sex and low progesterone levels may make it difficult for a woman to become aroused or achieve orgasm. Added to this a decrease in the hormone estrogen can affect the lubrication of the vagina and lead to vaginal dryness. In men, low levels of testosterone can inhibit erectile function as can high levels of the female hormone estrogen.
A sign in the home:
An interesting phenomena is the instance of white plastic toilet seats turning blue! This has been known to happen with pregnant women. It is believed that hormones in the body change the Ph of the skin. This altered Ph balance in the skin then interacts with the plastic of the seat. If you notice a slight blue tinge on your toilet seat it doesn't necessarily mean that you are pregnant, but it may warrant a closer look at your hormone levels!
What to do if you suspect your hormone levels are out of balance:
There are various hormone tester kits in pharmacies that calculate your hormone levels by testing your saliva. This is not foolproof and the best way to check your hormone levels is to see your doctor or health care provider. He/she will be able to conduct the appropriate tests to determine the exact hormonal imbalance and the cause thereof.