If there is one thing that most women often complain about, it would be hormonal imbalance. However, no one is going around saying "I have a hormone imbalance". Rather, I hear "My digestion is off. I'm getting night sweats. I'm gaining weight like crazy. My skin looks dull. I have all these cravings".
Hormonal imbalance is not exclusive to women as men also experience such, with the only difference being the fact that the hormone concerned is different. In the case of women, this is a huge predicament and often experienced, especially in time with their monthly period. Hormonal imbalance is also common during pregnancy and menopause. It is important to have a thorough understanding of what having a hormonal imbalance means and know some of the definitions surrounding hormonal imbalance.
But first ...
What are hormones anyway?
I'm glad you asked friend! Essentially, hormones are chemical messengers that travel throughout the body which serve to control and coordinating complex processes such as growth, metabolism, and fertility. Think insulin. Hormones are pretty important! Any disruptions in hormonal activities and levels will impact the body in various ways.
In a future post, I'll go over some options that are available that may alleviate the symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
What happens during menopause?
Menopause is the cessation of menstruation that typically occurs in women between 45 - 55. Menopause can happen before or after that range. It really is very individual. When menopause happens, our ovaries decrease production of the sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone and eventually our ovaries stop producing the sex hormones entirely. This can lead to a whole host of reactions in the body such as hot flashes, weight gain, irritability, low energy and so on. Lovely, huh? An imbalance can also be caused by stress, medications, birth control pills and health problems.
Other Consequences of Hormonal Imbalance
If you are suffering from an imbalance of hormones, one of the things that you are most likely to experience would be the presence of skin problems, like it's puberty all over again! What's up with that?!
If you notice that your acne are deep and cystic, and they do not seem to be eliminated even with the use of topical creams, it is most likely caused by androgen. This kind of hormone is the one that is responsible for the excessive production of oil, which can be considered as the culprit for your skin problems. More so, hormonal imbalance would also mean having extreme changes of mood, especially before your monthly period.
During the menopausal stage, the hormones that are responsible for the regulation of emotions fluctuate and are out of control. Out of control I tell ya!
Estrogen is either below or above the right level. It also triggers fluctuations in the production of serotonin, which is the reason why you might feel more emotionally sensitive. The fluctuations in the levels of your hormones can also have a negative impact on your sex life, especially because it is often associated with decreased libido. During perimenopause, there is a decrease in the level of progesterone and dominance of estrogen, which results into lack of sex drive. This can also lead to vaginal dryness and the lack of tension from the vaginal muscles. This explains why women in the menopausal stage often complain about their sex life. Aside from those that have been mentioned above, your hormonal imbalance can also mean being more irritable, persistently gaining weight, lacking focus, suffering from depression, and sleep issues.
It is not all doom and gloom my friends. The good news is that there are foods you can eat that can improve your hormonal health!
Watch out for a future blog post with some great tips and foods that will enable you to eat your way to hormonal health!
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Yours in health and wellness,