Hormones don’t only wreak havoc in the lives of teenagers and menopausal women. Believe it or not, hormones can dictate your energy level and mood throughout any stage of adulthood. They can also have an impact on your weight, your memory, and even your sex life. Hormones can cause you to experience undue stress, which is alarming as some consider stress to be a leading health problem of our generation.
So – could your daily life be improved by addressing a hormonal imbalance?
First, let’s review the hormones which most profoundly impact our daily lives:
- Cortisol is produced in response to stress. It elicits a “fight or flight” response, and can cause weight gain. An imbalance can impair cognitive and immune function, as well. Disruptions in cortisol levels can also cause problems with your sleep cycle.
- Testosterone is produced by both sexes, but men produce much more of it. An imbalance in testosterone levels can inhibit male sexual drive and development. In both genders, it can cause fatigue, mood swings, and an increase in body fat.
- Insulin is the hormone that helps your body to process sugar. Insulin resistance can cause you to experience extreme hunger and fatigue. It can also increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Estrogen is produced by both men and women, although women produce it in much higher levels. An estrogen imbalance can cause mood swings, anxiety, headaches, and a slowing of the metabolism.
These hormones work in a delicate balance with one another in the wide context of your entire body. For this reason, it is difficult to pinpoint the nature of a hormonal imbalance without medical testing. However, if you experience the following symptoms, you may want to ask your doctor to investigate your hormonal framework.
1. Weight Gain
Gaining weight can be frustrating, discouraging, and even dangerous. If you are exercising and eating a healthy diet, but are still struggling to lose weight, your hormones may be at fault.
2. Mood Swings
As human beings, it is natural for us to experience a wide range of emotions. However, if your moods fluctuate wildly or do not make sense as a response to your situation, you may have a hormonal imbalance.
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3. Inability to Focus
If you are struggling to remember trivial things throughout the day – such as where you put your keys or what you were supposed to buy at the store – you may be unduly stressed and overwhelmed. You may also need to get your hormone levels checked. A hormonal imbalance can cause you to become forgetful and impair your capacity for concentration.
4. Sleep Problems
Because hormones regulate our energy levels, an imbalance can cause your sleep cycle to become abnormal. Chronic insomnia is something to see your doctor about regardless of a hormonal cause. However, it can also be the sign of an imbalance.
Fatigue can be caused by the sleep problems mentioned above, but there are other hormonal factors that can contribute to it as well. Insulin resistance, for example, can cause your body to process sugar incorrectly. This can lead you to become anxious one minute and sluggish the next.
6. Decreased Sexual Appetite
Honestly, any of the symptoms above can cause a decrease in sexual desire. However, a true hormonal imbalance can cause your sex drive to all but disappear. Because sexual desire is fueled by hormones, this should come as no surprise. Although this can be difficult to talk to your doctor about, it is an important symptom to bring up when discussing your hormonal concerns.
If you suspect you may have a hormone imbalance, I encourage you to see your doctor right away. Why live with the symptoms above if you don’t have to? Correcting an imbalance in your hormone levels can increase your quality of life and help you to become the best possible version of yourself.