Hormonal imbalance: how to recognize and prevent it

Making friends with hormones is not always easy, but it can be learned.

Гормональный дисбаланс: как его распознать и предотвратить

Every woman faces fluctuations in the hormonal background. PMS, pregnancy, menopause and many other factors can disrupt the balance of hormones, but if you can’t clearly identify the cause of the failures, then this is a cause for concern. In our material, we understand how to recognize the enemy in person and take care of health in a timely manner. 

Hormonal imbalance — what is it?

Hormones are substances that secrete organs and tissues associated with the endocrine system. With blood, they enter the most remote parts of the body and deliver with them the information necessary for their well-coordinated vital activity. In other words, they “say” what, where and when to do and how fast. 

Hormones regulate a huge number of processes in the body: metabolism, sleep cycles, heartbeat, mood, temperature — and this is just a small list of everything that is under the strict supervision of hormones. But their work is often disrupted, and most often the reason for this is a decrease or increase in the amount of a particular hormone in the body. 

Гормональный дисбаланс: как его распознать и предотвратить

A person can have both falling and rising levels of insulin, cortisol, thyroxine, estrogen, progesterone, but each such change seriously affects the overall state of health. If you cook dinner and add too much salt or pepper to it, then your dish does not turn out the way it should have been — exactly the same thing happens to your body when a hormonal malfunction occurs in it. 

But how do you understand that you are at risk? 

Irregular menstrual cycle

In most women, the gap between menstruation is from 21 to 35 days. If you observe that they come at different times every month or, worse, do not come at all, it may mean that your body either lacks certain hormones, or, conversely, their level is too high. Most often this is due to the ratio of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. 

If you are 40 or older, then the failure may be caused by the so—called perimenopause – the period before menopause, or the last independent menstruation of the female body. But in general, an irregular cycle can be a symptom of serious problems with the health of the reproductive system, so in such a situation, the best tactic is to contact a gynecologist, pass all the necessary tests and start treatment, if necessary. 

Sleep problems

If it takes you several hours to fall asleep, and this happens regularly, then it may well signal a hormonal failure. Progesterone, a hormone secreted by the ovaries, plays an important role in maintaining stable deep sleep. If its level drops, it can affect both the quality of sleep and the speed of its arrival. Moreover, low estrogen levels can lead to nightmares, so it is very important to be diagnosed by a specialist in a timely manner. 

Гормональный дисбаланс: как его распознать и предотвратить

Chronic acne

Rashes often occur during menstruation (or in the days before their onset), but if they terrorize your skin on a regular basis, this indicates a serious hormonal failure. An increased amount of androgens — “male” hormones that are present in both the male and female body — can cause the processing of sebaceous glands, as well as affect the function of cells around hair follicles. All this leads to rapid clogging of the pores, and in the worst case — to the development of acne. 

Memory clouding

The effect of hormones on brain activity has not yet been fully investigated, but it is known for sure that a change in the amount of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can cause memory clouding. Some experts also agree that estrogen can affect chemicals in the brain — the so-called neurotransmitters. Well, in general, memory problems can be directly related to negative hormonal changes in the body — such as, for example, thyroid disease. 

Stomach problems

Гормональный дисбаланс: как его распознать и предотвратить

There are a huge number of receptors in our intestines that respond to estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones become less or more than normal, then you may notice significant changes in digestion. Diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea — all this can suddenly overshadow your well-being if the work of hormones has been disrupted. If at the same time you observe frequent rashes and rapid fatigue, then it’s time to consult a specialist. 

Breast changes

Reducing the amount of estrogen — the main female sex hormone — can lead to breast tissue becoming less dense. But an increase in its amount can work in the opposite, but not always in a positive way: breast tissue will gain density, but in the process there is a risk of cysts and other formations. 

Rapid weight gain

If you feel sad or annoyed, which often happens when the estrogen level drops, your appetite can play out in earnest. A decrease in the amount of the hormone can lead to a noticeable weight gain: it is known that if this happens with estrogen, it can also affect the performance of another hormone — leptin, which helps regulate food intake. 

Гормональный дисбаланс: как его распознать и предотвратить

How to prevent hormonal failure?

1. Add polyunsaturated acids to your diet: omega-3 and omega-6 will help reduce appetite and the risk of obesity. These acids trigger the production of leptin, so with their help you are unlikely to gain extra weight. 

2. The next time you’re going to take a break with coffee or matcha tea, think about adaptogenic herbs. Plants adaptogens affect the physiology of the body, normalizing its internal processes, including the work of the hormone cortisol. 

3. Taking probiotics will help maintain the balance of microflora and the normal ratio of “bad” and “good” bacteria. The more of the latter in the intestines of the body, the easier it is for it to process the food consumed. It has also been proven for a long time that hormonal disruptions associated with estrogen can be eliminated with the help of probiotics that restore stocks of estrobol – bacteria responsible for the processing of estrogens. 

4. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common diseases on the planet. However, it has much more negative consequences than it might seem at first glance: vitamin B plays a decisive role in a number of body functions, including immune and anti-inflammatory. Low levels of this vitamin can lead to hypothyroidism – a lack of thyroid hormones and a decrease in the intensity of its work. 

5. In the atmosphere of urban life, the first thing we sacrifice when it comes to lack of time is sleep. However, 3-4 hours of sleep is critical for the body. With this amount, he begins to experience real hormonal stress: an increase in the amount of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for appetite, and a simultaneous decrease in the hormone leptin, which is responsible for the feeling of satiety, leads to the risk of gaining excess weight and worsening metabolism. That is why normal sleep is one of the main components of health. If there is enough of it, the secretion of growth hormones increases in the body, which help restore cells and produce new ones with greater intensity. 

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