What are Symptoms of a Hormone Imbalance? Could you Have One?
Some health issues are easy to diagnose and fix. If you fall and break a bone, the treatment is fairly clear. The same is true for most infections. Even diseases such as cancer and diabetes can be discovered through symptoms and tests.
Hormones are a different story. If your hormones are off, you might experience a multitude of symptoms that can be misdiagnosed. We don’t have a clear “hormone level” the way we have a safe blood sugar range. There are symptoms and tests, but surprisingly many physicians don’t think to check.
So What are Hormones?
Hormones are chemicals in our bodies that enact changes. They’re messengers, created in our endocrine glands, that travel through our bloodstream and send messages to other cells. Those messages control many of our most basic functions. This includes hunger to our more intricate and delicate systems like reproduction, as well as our emotions and moods.
What are Symptoms of a Hormone Imbalance?
There are many different types of hormones and therefore many different ways for them to become imbalanced. If you feel that something is off or not right, it’s a good idea to check if you’re experiencing symptoms of an imbalance. Let’s look at a common hormone imbalance with the thyroid gland.
The thyroid regulates metabolism, which is the process of your body breaking down food and converting it into energy. Your thyroid controls the rate in which this process happens. A slower metabolism means your body may not be able to break down all the food you eat in a day and convert it to energy – it stores it as fat instead. Your thyroid can be under or over active. Here’s a few symptoms for each.
- Hair loss including outer 3rd of eyebrows
- Dry skin/hair
- Brittle fingernails
- Weight gain/difficulty losing weight
- Muscle/joint aches
- High cholesterol
- Constipation Heavy periods
- Depression or moody
Hyperthyroid (Overactive) Weight Loss
- Muscle weakness
- Hand tremors
- Mood swings
- Rapid heartbeat – tachycardia
- Vision Changes
- Light periods or missed periods
A doctor can run a blood test to check your thyroid function, and there is medication to correct the problem. However, there is also a natural way to correct the imbalance and feel good again, without being dependent on medication. You can do a few things to help your thyroid function properly, such as:
- Banish the sugar in your diet.
- Eat a thyroid friendly diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
- Cut down on caffeine and drink more water.
- And lastly, check how much soy you’re consuming.
Many people don’t realize that having too much soy in your diet can give you symptoms that mimic a thyroid problem, but it won’t show up on a test.
Soy is in soy milk, but it’s also in many packaged foods. Read the labels of the food in your home and you might be surprised how much soy you’re ingesting without realizing it.