What are Hormones?
A hormone is a chemical made by cells, which is then released into the bloodstream to send a message to another part of the body. Hormones provide an internal communication system where one gland releases a hormone which stimulates another target gland to change the levels of hormones that it is releasing. They also target organs, for example the pancreas releases insulin which causes muscle and fat cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream. When you have too much or too little of a certain hormone a hormone imbalance is created – and even slightly irregular levels can create big problems.
Generally, when we talk about “hormones” we are talking about ‘women’s problems’ from puberty to menopause and all in between, and in this post we are concentrating on these. In women, the most common hormone imbalance is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), but I’ve also commonly treated many women with other menstrual problems, menopause problems, and infertility. However, many of us may have a hormone imbalance and not realise it yet – eventually of course symptoms will increase and the problem will be diagnosed, but here are 10 common signs that you may have a hormone imbalance so that you can do something and get them in balance again before real problems occur. Sometimes you can correct the imbalance with lifestyle changes or natural remedies such as homeopathy before a larger problem occurs.
Ten Indications you May Have a Hormone Imbalance
- Anxiety, Depression & Mood swings: Oestrogen levels constantly fluctuate during our reproductive cycles and low oestrogen levels enhance emotional stress and anxiety. Low levels of cortisone are usually found in women suffering with fibromyalgia and symptoms of depression.
- Sleep Problems: A sharp rise in progesterone just before a period can make falling, or staying asleep more difficult. Also shortly after childbirth oestrogen and progesterone levels drop which can make sleep more difficult.
- Brain Fog: We joke about senior moments when we forget where we’ve put something or why we’ve gone upstairs – but it is actually often a drop in hormone levels once you reach the menopause that can cause this. It is not a normal part of aging and should be addressed naturally.
- Constant Fatigue: If you feel constantly tired you might have an imbalance of thyroxin, the thyroid hormone but other changes in hormone levels can also cause this.
- Acne: Commonly teenagers begin to get acne as their hormones change, but some women consistently suffer with it because of hormonal imbalances and this can usually be cleared by a healthy diet and a homeopathic remedy, or other natural therapies.
- Weight Gain: Because hormones are connected with weight, imbalances in our hormone levels can make it more difficult to lose weight. Excess fat around our bellies can also produce hormones which affect our health adversely.
- Hot Flushes and Night Sweats: This is a common menopausal symptom which affects sleep and so affects our quality of life. There are far healthier options than HRT to eliminate this symptom. Herbal remedies such as evening primrose oil and red clover might bring some relief. Some common homeopathic remedies to cure this symptom can be found here.
- Low Sex Drive: Any imbalance in our hormone levels can affect our sexual desire. Oestrogen is associated with increased sex drive, and progesterone associated with reduced desire. Our desire for intimacy commonly fluctuates during our menstrual cycle because of this.
- Headaches: Hormone fluctuations may cause headaches and even migraines which can be eased when oestrogen levels are stabilised.
- Vaginal Dryness: Oestrogen is needed to keep the vagina moist so, childbirth, a hysterectomy or menopause may cause this.
If you have any of these symptoms, or another reason to believe your hormones are not balanced get in touch with me to see how homeopathy can help.