Hormonal Imbalance in women
- Published on March 31, 2022
Whenever you miss your period, the first thing that comes to your mind that scares the life out of you is, Am I pregnant? Why did I miss my period? What could have gone wrong? And no matter what, you start panicking without even realizing there could be several reasons why you missed your period. One such most commonly known word is hormonal imbalance.
At some point in their life, everyone – women more than men – experience a hormonal imbalance. Whether we like it or not hormonal imbalances are a part and parcel of a woman’s life. So, in this article, with insights from Dr. (Prof) Vinita Das, we will analyse all reasons women go through these hormonal imbalances, what are its symptoms and what can be done to manage them.
So, let us start by understanding what hormones are?
Hormones are substances produced by the endocrine system’s glands. They are also called our body’s chemical messenger, as they travel in our bloodstream and get transported to our tissues and organs. They are required for the regulation of the majority of the body’s functioning. And when there are too few or too many hormones in our bloodstreams, that is when we suffer from hormonal imbalance. Because as mentioned above, hormones play a significant role in the functioning of the body and when there is even a slight fluctuation in the hormones, it can cause side effects on the whole body. Hormones are known to aid in the regulation of:
- Blood sugar
- Blood pressure
- Reproductive cycles and sexual function
- General growth and development of the body
- Managing the mood and stress level
Complications of hormonal imbalance in women
Hormonal imbalance in women is associated with many chronic and long-term health conditions. If left untreated, you could be at risk for several serious medical conditions, such as:
- Diabetes (type 1 & type 2)
- Diabetes insipidus
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Kidney damage
- Depression and anxiety
- Endometrial cancer
- Breast cancer
- Loss of muscle mass
- Urinary incontinence
- Sexual dysfunction
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women
The symptoms of hormonal imbalance varies according to the gland affected in male or female.
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Frequent constipation or diarrhea
- Sudden weight gain
- Rashes on skin
- Severe pain in lower back
- Excessive facial hair growth
- Hair loss
Below are some of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalances :
Acne is one of the most common and early signs of hormonal imbalance in women. The excess oil gets clogged in the pores and attracts bacteria which affects sebaceous glands in a person’s skin. Women may experience acne post menopausal, due to the fluncations in the estrogen and progesterone levels. In addition, females detected with PCOS are more likely to experience severe and persistent acne.
Hormonal imbalances can affect the body on several levels which can lead to weight gain. Decrease in the thyroid hormones can slow the metabolism resulting in weight gain as hormones play a significant role in imrpvijg and regulating the metabolism and helps to kepe the body healthy and energised. Imbalanced hormones can affect the fucntioning of the body and also cause cushing’s syndrome, which occurs when the body has too much of hormone cortisol.
When a women is pregnant, her body changes on many levels because creating an entire humam being is not a cake walk. In order to feed a growing foetus, hormone levels keep changing during the full period of pregnancy. Among them are changes in progesterone, oestrogen, and testosterone levels. Hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy, but they aren’t always unbalanced.
Hair loss can happen due to several reasons, out of which genetic is most common. It may appear due to any underlying condition that may affect the production of hormones. Androgen is ahormesn that is known to play an important role in hair loss.
Causes of hormonal imbalance in women
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a hormonal disorder in which there are small to large cysts on the periphery in the ovary. Though the exact cause if PCOS remain unknown, but as per various research and studies it may be caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors. When you start to miss your periods or have sudden and excessiv facial hair growth, acne it might be an indication of hormonal imbalance caused due to PCOS.
There are several ways to manage hormonal imbalance caused by PCOS, doctors prescribe certain medication and exercises to help rescue the effect of PCOS.
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
POI happens when a woman’s ovaries stop working normally even before she hits 40-45 age. POI in simple terms is called early menopause. In POI, the ovaries don’t create enough oestrogen or release enough eggs on a regular basis during early menopause.
Tests for diagnosing hormonal imbalances largely depends on the what causes the condition.
- Blood testing: Certain hormones, such as oestrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormone, can be tested by healthcare experts.
- Urine tests: Urine tests helps to determine the amount of hormones associated with the menstrual cycle like follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
- X-rays: Healthcare experts perform imaging tests like ultrasound, X-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look for cysts or tumours that could cause the body to create excess hormones.
How to fix a hormonal imbalances
- Hormone replacement medication may help reduce the severe symptoms that are connected with early menopause, sudden night sweats and hot flashes.
- Hormones medication may help to reduce the excessive facial hair growth in women.
- Doctors prescribe medicines to help regulate the irregular menstrual cycles and treat the signs ans symptoms of hormonal imbalance
- If the patient is having vaginal dryness, doctors sugges testrogen tables to help relieve the dryness
- Anti-androgen medication is given to block or limit the severe acne and facial growth
A change in lifestyle may help to reduce the symptoms of hormonal imbalance:
- Exercise regularly
- Manage a healthy balanced weight
- Practise good personal hygiene
- Eat healthy and nutritious rich diet
- Use anti-acne and medicated creams, face washes and oils
- Avoid eating too spicy or hot foods
- Limit the intake of caffeinated ans sugary drinks
- Do meditation and practice yoga
- Listen to songs to help reduce and manage stress
- Avoid consuming packed food items like frozen foods and nitrogen filled chips
Every women in their lifetime must have experienced several episodes of hormonal imbalances.
Hormonal imbalance is common in females above the age of 12-13 age i.e when the hit puberty and they get their first periods.
But is also common in women who are older and reach early menopause. Some people have persistent and irregular hormonal abnormalities.
Hormone imbalance can be caused by medical diseases and should be treated by an expert. Dr. (Prof) Vinita Das,a leading Infertility Specialist can help diagnose the cause of hormonal imbalance and help you to manage its growing symptoms and assist you in your pregnancy.
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Dr (Prof) Vinita Das
Dr. Vinita Das is a renowned name in the ﬁeld of reproductive health. She is a Former Dean & HOD ObGyn KG Medical University, Lucknow, She has extensive international experience and has visited Infertility Units at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, Liverpool women’s Hospital, Bristol University, in UK in an exchange program. She introduced IVF in the state of UP by creating the ﬁrst IVF facility in public sector at an aﬀordable cost
Over 40 years of experience
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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