Hormonal imbalance is very common among people of all age groups, but the type of it depends on many different factors. For example, the imbalance of thyroid hormones is much more common in women than in men. Women usually experience more pronounced symptoms of hormonal imbalance during menopausal period than men of the same age. People of different age can also experience hormonal imbalance in a different way. For example, the lack of the growth hormone during childhood leads to lower growth speed than normal, which results in lower height after puberty than average. In adults, growth hormone deficiency can produce increased fat content, loss of muscle mass, general feeling of weakness, and even mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
Here we present some symptoms, which may be a signal that you have some sort of hormonal imbalance.
- Fatigue and Low Energy
If you often feel like you don’t have enough energy for daily activities, that you get tired more quickly than usual, or that you are sleepy more than usual, than you should think about thyroid hormone deficiency. This condition can appear due to Hashimoto thyroiditis (chronic autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid gland), and the symptoms are usually very mild in the beginning, until the thyroid hormone levels drop significantly. Detection of the specific antibodies and low levels of thyroid hormones is enough to make this diagnosis. To restore the balance, you need to take substitution therapy with thyroid hormones.
- Anxiety, Hyperactivity, and Sleeplessness
Imbalance of several hormones can contribute to developing these symptoms. Increased levels of thyroid hormones, adrenalin, and noradrenalin are just some of them. The symptoms are mild at first, but after some time they become more pronounced. You should visit your doctor in order to investigate the exact cause of the problem, and then start the appropriate treatment.
- Weight Loss and Weight Gain
If you notice quick weight loss, despite intake of enough calories, you may consider some hormonal imbalance. Similarly, excess weight gain without changing caloric intake and/or activity level is also sometimes related to hormonal imbalance. It is hard to specify which hormone is responsible for these symptoms without deeper examination, but almost all hormones are in some way involved in the regulation of your metabolism.
Here are some general recommendations on how to behave if you suspect some hormonal imbalance:
- Lifestyle Changes
Switching to a healthy lifestyle is not easy, especially in today’s modern world. However, it may be a necessary step to move towards restoring hormonal imbalance. First you should quit smoking and lower alcohol intake, if you are a kind of person who enjoys these things. Try to eat food rich in dietary fibers and vitamin, and avoid processed food with additives and artificial sweeteners. Increase your physical activity, as it has been proven that moderate physical activity is beneficial for establishing hormonal level balance.
- Take Adaptogen Food
Some herbs are well known by their positive effect on hormone levels and human health in general. This is because of their so-called adaptogene effect. In other words, they help the organism to adapt to new circumstances, partly by increasing levels of protective hormones and decreasing the levels of stress hormones. The most powerful herbs from this group include: Ashwaganda, Ginseng, Rhodiola, and Cordycep mushrooms.
- Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 acts as an immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory agent. Although the human organism requires this vitamin in low daily dosages in order to function normally, scientists have discovered many benefits of taking higher doses of Vitamin D3. Some of them include lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improved functioning of the nervous system, and balancing hormonal levels.
Morris HA. Vitamin D: A Hormone for All Seasons – How much is enough? Understanding the New Pressures. Clinical Biochemist Reviews. 2005;26(1):21-32.
Panossian A, Hambardzumyan M, Hovhanissyan A, Wikman G. The Adaptogens Rhodiola and Schizandra Modify the Response to Immobilization Stress in Rabbits by Suppressing the Increase of Phosphorylated Stress-activated Protein Kinase, Nitric Oxide and Cortisol. Drug Target Insights. 2007;2:39-54.
Ranabir S, Reetu K. Stress and hormones. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2011;15(1):18-22. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.77573.