Hormones are small yet essential. As signaling molecules, they deliver key instructions to your body’s tissues and the endocrine glands. They’re role is crucial in allowing the body to self-regulate— meaning any potential imbalance can have severe impacts on your overall well-being.
Unfortunately, imbalances are common, especially in women (though both men and women may suffer from them). They occur when there is either an excess or shortage of a particular hormone in the bloodstream, causing the body’s operations to malfunction.
As a holistic healthcare professional with more than 30 years of experience in the field, Dr. Dorian Quinn LAC, PScD has seen many cases of hormone imbalances. Often, these conditions have negative impacts on the individual’s health, mental state, and overall well-being. If you are knowingly or unknowingly experiencing a hormone imbalance, you may notice that the following aspects of your health are suffering.
Hormonal changes or imbalances, especially in females, may lead to mood swings. Often, this occurs due to lowered estrogen or progesterone levels, and may cause excessive feelings of anger and irritability. Mood swings occur when your current mood swings unpredictably between several extremes. This condition, sometimes referred to as “mood swings,” may also be an indicator of a hormonal imbalance.
As noted by Dr. Dorian Quinn, depression is perhaps one of the most prominent indicators of unstable or imbalanced hormone levels. Often, the culprit is progesterone— a hormone that is linked to sex and reproduction.
Often, depression or anxiety fueled by an imbalance will occur just before or just after a woman’s menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and during menopause, though it is also known to surface spontaneously in both men and women.
Outside of impacting your mental and emotional well-being, hormonal imbalances also have the power to negatively impact your behavior. Those experiencing a hormonal imbalance may find it hard to concentrate, find their performance at work lacking, and struggle to think clearly in their day-to-day operations.
Commonly referred to as having a “foggy” brain, this side-effect can come due to drops in estrogen levels. In a similar vein, excessive memory loss is another marked symptom of an imbalance and may result in persistent forgetfulness and missing scheduled engagements.
Behaviorally speaking, an imbalance of certain hormones may also directly impact your sex life. For women, symptoms may include vaginal dryness, breast tenderness, and a general lack of libido. Generally, this happens as a result of low estrogen levels—a hormone which is intimately connected to sexual health and the reproductive system.
A hormone imbalance may leave you feeling chronically drained. While insomnia can be a symptom of an imbalance, imbalance-related exhaustion often occurs even if you’re able to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Of all the ways that an imbalance can impact your well-being, lowered energy levels and chronic exhaustion are perhaps the most difficult, because a lack of energy leads to its own slew of mental and physical health problems.
If you’re experiencing fatigue due to an imbalance, the hormone progesterone is likely to blame. Thankfully, Dr. Dorian Quinn points out that in most cases a blood test can check progesterone levels and help you to pinpoint the problem.
In addition to impacting your energy levels, emotions, and behavior, a hormonal imbalance may also have a direct impact on your appearance. Outside of their physical implications, appearance-related effects of a hormonal imbalance are also dangerous to your mental health because they’re known to lower your overall self-confidence.
The two most common appearance-related symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include weight instability and acne. Periodic blemishes are normal in both teenagers and adults, but a recurring problem with acne may be indicative of an overarching hormonal problem.
An imbalance may also cause weight instability, which most commonly manifests as a persistent gaining of weight, regardless of how much you exercise or how healthy you eat. If you hit the gym regularly, consume a balanced diet, and still struggle to maintain your weight, it’s time to see a doctor about a potential imbalance.
If you’re unsure, seek help
These impacts all greatly affect your overall quality of life. If you suspect that you may have a hormonal imbalance, talk to your doctor. In addition to traditional treatments, you may also want to consider consulting with Dr. Dorian Quinn and the professionals at Simply Wellness Clinic in order to pursue a holistic method of healing.