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9 Signs Your Hormones Are Out of Whack

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These symptoms may indicate you have a hormonal imbalance

Posted by Debra L. Somers, MD, FACOG

Does your mood seem as changeable as the weather? Do you have low energy levels or feel like your brain is in a fog? It could be due to your hormones.

Women naturally experience fluctuating hormone levels throughout their menstrual cycles that can have accompanying physical and emotional symptoms. But some women find they feel “off” in ways that are unconnected to these normal hormonal fluctuations.

Here are 9 signs your hormones may be out of whack:

1. Mood Swings

Hormonal changes before and during your period can cause irritability, depression, anxiety, and more, or premenstrual syndrome (PMS). If you experience wild mood swings or your symptoms don’t seem to coincide with your menstrual cycle, it may be a sign that your hormones are out of sync.

2. Irregular Periods

If your periods are longer or shorter than what’s typical for you (often 21-35 days) or your period starts skipping months, it may be due to a hormonal imbalance, which can make it difficult to get pregnant.

3. Poor Sleep

If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, it may be due to low levels of progesterone or estrogen, which can also contribute to sleep disruption, night sweats, and hot flashes.

4. Acne

Many women break out around their periods, but if you experience acne at other times of the month, it could be caused by high androgen levels, a hallmark sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can lead to infertility and other health issues.

5. Brain Fog

Women entering menopause may experience difficulties with memory and concentration, referred to as “brain fog,” which has been linked to declining estrogen levels.

6. Fatigue

Too much progesterone can lead to a feeling of being tired or fatigued. This could also be due to low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism).

7. Headaches

A variety of health issues may cause headaches, but a decrease in estrogen is a common cause in women.

8. Vaginal Dryness

Falling estrogen levels during perimenopause and a lack of estrogen after menopause may lead to vaginal dryness. This can cause pain during sex.

9. Low Sex Drive

While testosterone is known as a male hormone, it affects women as well. Low testosterone levels can lead to a low libido (sex drive).

Causes of Hormonal Imbalance

There are many potential causes of hormonal imbalance, including pregnancy, perimenopause, menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, or being under or overweight. Side effects of medications, such as fertility and cancer treatments, can also affect hormone levels.

Women can help keep their hormones balanced by managing stress, eating a well-balanced diet, keeping a regular sleep schedule, and limiting caffeine and alcohol.

If you have any concerns about the symptoms you’re experiencing, you can consult a Temple doctor. To schedule your consultation, call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) or request an appointment online.

Helpful Resources

Debra L. Somers, MD, FACOG

Dr. Somers is an OB/GYN at Temple Health. Her clinical interests include general gynecology from adolescence through menopause, menstrual disorders and hormone replacement therapy/menopause.

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