What is a hormonal imbalance?
A hormonal imbalance typically occurs when there is too much or too little of a particular hormone in the body.
Hormones are chemical messengers that are produced by various glands in the body and are responsible for regulating many physiological processes (such as metabolism, sleep, reproduction, and growth.). When hormone levels become imbalanced, they can cause a variety of symptoms, including weight gain or loss, mood swings, irregular periods, infertility, fatigue, and changes in sex drive.
Hormone imbalances can occur for a variety of reasons, including natural aging, stress, genetics, and certain medications or medical conditions. But they're not something you have to live with. A variety of techniques and treatments are available to heal your hormonal imbalance and get back to living a life you deserve.
Why is it important to know if you have a hormonal imbalance?
When your hormones are out of balance, it's possible to experience a range of symptoms that can negatively affect your short-term and long-term life, leading to a wide variety of health issues. So early detection and treatment of a hormonal imbalance is important to ensure those symptoms don't leave lasting impacts.
Here are 8 signs that you have a hormonal imbalance:
1. Feeling more irritable.
Hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol affect our brain chemistry, playing a crucial role in regulating our mood. When those hormone levels fluctuate, it can affect sleep patterns, induce mood swings, and, ultimately, increasing our irritability. Furthermore, a hormone imbalance can also affect our gut health, leading to digestive problems that contribute to increased irritability as well.
2. Bruising easily.
Many different hormones play a vital role in maintaining the health of blood vessels and the quality of blood cells. So when there's an imbalance in those hormones, it can lead to a weakening of the walls of the blood vessels — making them more prone to breaking. This results in bruising.
3. Skipping your period.
Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone regulate the menstrual cycle, and any deviation from their normal levels can cause disruption. So skipping a period can signify that the body is not producing enough estrogen or progesterone, preventing the uterus from building up the necessary tissue for menstruation. Alternatively, an excess of androgens, such as testosterone, can also affect the menstrual cycle and can lead to skipped periods.
4. Difficulty losing weight.
Hormones play a pivotal role in regulating our weight and overall health. One of the prime culprits behind the difficulty in losing weight is insulin resistance. When the cells in our body become resistant to insulin, they cannot effectively absorb glucose from the bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar levels and weight gain.
Another hormone that impacts our weight is cortisol, popularly known as a stress hormone. An excess of cortisol in our body can lead to insulin resistance and fat accumulation, especially around the midriff region.
5. Breaking out.
Hormones play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin and regulating oil production. When hormone levels fluctuate, particularly during puberty, menopause, or pregnancy, it can lead to an excess production of sebum in the skin. Sebum is an oily substance that clogs pores, creating the perfect environment for bacterial growth and inflammation. This can result in pimples, blackheads, whiteheads or cysts on the skin. Hormonal imbalances are not limited to puberty, menopause, or pregnancy though — other factors like stress, diet, and medication can also affect hormone levels leading to acne breakouts.
6. Extreme fatigue.
When hormones levels are out of balance in the body, it can lead to fatigue and exhaustion due to the body's inability to produce sufficient energy. For example, low levels of thyroid hormone can cause fatigue, weight gain, and depression, while high levels of cortisol can disrupt the sleep cycle and contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome. Additionally, imbalances in sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone can cause symptoms like fatigue, mood swings, and low libido — further increasing overall fatigue.
7. Muscle weakness.
The endocrine system plays a crucial role in regulating muscle tone and strength, and disruptions to hormone production can lead to muscle weakness. Hormones like testosterone and growth hormone are essential for building and maintaining strong muscles, while imbalances of thyroid hormone can affect muscle function. Additionally, the adrenal glands produce cortisol, which helps to regulate glucose levels and provide energy to muscles.
8. Waking up in the middle of the night.
Hormones such as cortisol, melatonin, and growth hormone play a significant role in regulating sleep. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is produced in response to stress and can interfere with sleep if it is elevated at night. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and can decrease with age causing difficulty sleeping. Growth hormone is typically released during slow-wave sleep and a reduction in this hormone can cause sleep disturbances.
How to get out of a hormonal imbalance with somatic exercise:
Starting a somatic exercise program can be a beneficial solution to get your body out of a hormonal imbalance.
Somatic exercise is a low-impact form of gentle movements and they allow your physical body and your emotional mind to finally communicate with one another so you can heal from years of physical and psychological trauma, stress, and anxiety
These exercises are a great way to re-balance hormone levels in the body by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming the body. Additionally, somatic exercises can help to reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and boost the immune system. Finally, these exercises can help to improve mental health and emotional well-being, as well as reduce anxiety and depression. All of these benefits can help to balance hormones and improve overall health.
Somatic exercises can be done by anyone and can also be done anywhere. With no equipment necessary and no limitations to how much exertion you can handle, somatic exercises are the answer to so many problems.