25 Hormone Imbalance Symptoms
Writer: Wan SofaSyifa
Reviewed by: Fenny Lim, BSc. (Hons) Nutrition, UKM
What is hormone imbalance? Hormonal Imbalance happens when your body produces too much or too few hormones at a time. Earlier, we covered why hormone imbalance is something you should be concerned about. This time, we will delve into the top early symptoms of hormone imbalance in both men and women, as well as the early precautions you can take.
Hormone Imbalance in Men
While there are more than 50 hormones in the human body, the primary hormone is testosterone for men. In men, testosterone is primarily produced by the testicles, and while women do produce them as well in the ovaries, the amount is significantly lesser . Testosterone is the hormone responsible for;
- Sperm production
- Red blood cell production
- Muscle size
- Muscle strength
- Bone mass
- Fat distribution
Typically, there are four types of hormone imbalance in men ;
- Andropause is a form of male menopause. It is associated with decreased sexual satisfaction or a decline in general well-being due to low testosterone levels.
- Adrenal Fatigue is when you experience multiple fatigue symptoms because of low cortisol levels.
- Hypothyroidism is a condition when your thyroid gland is not as active and produces low thyroids.
- Hyperthyroidism is a condition when your thyroid is overactive and produces too much thyroid.
Hormone Imbalance in Women
Women have all the hormones in the male body, but the primary ones are estrogen and progesterone. Both hormones are produced in the ovaries and are responsible for women’s reproductive system. The functions of estrogen and progesterone include;
- Controlling cholesterol levels
- Protecting bone health
- Regulating mood
- Regulating growth and development
- Regulating the menstrual cycle
- Controlling fat distribution
For women, your body will naturally produce less hormone as you age, and common hormone imbalance conditions are;
- Menopause is when your body significantly produces less estrogen and stops producing progesterone. This condition marks the end of your childbearing cycle.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormone condition for women of childbearing age. It happens when your body produces too much estrogen.
- Adrenal Fatigue is also a condition women may experience due to low cortisol levels.
- Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are also common in women when your body under or overproduces thyroid hormones.
25 Hormone Imbalance Symptoms
Hormone imbalance symptoms can typically be divided into metabolic-based and sex-based categories .
Metabolic-based Symptoms – various hormones can cause metabolic-based symptoms and are not exclusively reliant on primary women or men-based ones. Metabolism, in general, is the chemical reaction that happens when your body changes the food you eat into energy, and it may involve more than ten hormones at a time.
Sex-based Symptoms – are predominantly caused by an imbalance in estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone – the three hormones related to sex and reproduction. Some symptoms may only apply to men or women, while others may overlap depending on the hormones’ functions.
Combined, some of the common hormone imbalance symptoms are;
- Irregular heartbeat – either slow or fast
- Irregular weight loss or weight gain
- Frequent fatigues
- Regular constipation, diarrhea, or bowel movements
- Unnatural hand numbness or tingling
- Regular episodes of depression or anxiety
- Intolerance to cold or warm temperatures
- Dryness, coarseness for both skin and hair
- Unhealthy skin – thin, warm, and moist
- Irregular body fat
- Darkened armpit or neck skin – particularly on the back and sides
- Small skin growths or skin tags
- An extreme thirst that causes frequent urination
- Acne on parts of the body – face, chest, upper back
- Hair loss
- Decreased libido
- Excess body hair (for women)
- Hot flashes (for women)
- Irregular period (for women)
- Vaginal atrophy (for women)
- Vaginal dryness (for women)
- Erectile dysfunction (for men)
- Enlarged breast tissue (for men)
- Loss of muscle mass (for men)
Individually, these symptoms might lead to a different diagnosis. Still, if you are experiencing them regularly or have multiple symptoms overlapping, you should see your doctor and ask for hormone testing.
Early Precautions You Should Take
When you are diagnosed with any conditions related to hormone imbalance, you will normally be treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). To avoid this, a good diet and exercise are key in managing hormone imbalances.
Several ingredients are linked to hormone balancing for diet, and taking them might help manage the condition or reduce the symptoms. These ingredients are then formulated into commercial dietary supplements. Some of these ingredients include; sheep placenta, deer placenta, ginseng, red clover, and evening primrose oil.
Before subscribing to regular dietary supplement intake, you should understand how they work, read their labels properly, and consult your regular practitioners. Dietary supplements are meant to supply your existing diet with nutrients that you might lack and should not be treated as preventative or treatment drugs.
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