These chemical messengers are certainly important for a healthy body and mind. While there are various hormones being produced by the endocrine system, each hormone has a different role to play when it comes to your health.
For women, estrogen and progesterone are the two main hormones to consider when it comes to sexual health, menstruation, and pregnancy. While it is normal for hormone levels to fluctuate a bit here and there, if your hormones are completely off kilter this could lead to fertility issues, painful heavy period and other health problems.
So, what can cause a hormonal imbalance? There are many factors that can play into your hormone levels. These factors include:
- Chronic health problems (e.g. diabetes)
- High levels of stress
- A poor or lacking diet
- Thyroid issues
What are some signs that you could be dealing with a hormone imbalance? While the problems below can also be indicative of other issues, it’s important to talk to your gynecologist about checking your hormone levels if you are experiencing:
- Sleep disturbances (e.g. insomnia)
- Irregular periods
- Excessive fatigue
- Difficulty with memory (feeling “foggy-headed”)
- Gastrointestinal issues (e.g. bloating; nausea; stomach discomfort; diarrhea)
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Increased appetite
- Decreased sex drive
As you can see, if your estrogen or progesterone levels are off this can lead to a lot of issues, both physically and mentally. While dealing with a hormonal imbalance can certainly be frustrating, it’s important to know that you aren’t alone. You don’t have to just put up with these symptoms. There are many ways in which your gynecologist can help get your hormones back on track. There are medications, lifestyle adjustments and alternative therapies that can all aid in improving your imbalance.
The most common medication prescribed for treating a hormonal imbalance is a synthetic or bioidentical hormone. Hormone replacement therapy is often recommended for menopausal women, as estrogen and progesterone production begins to slow considerably around this time.
If you suspect that you have a hormonal imbalance, it’s important that you have an OBGYN in which you can trust to get to the bottom of the symptoms you are experiencing. It’s important to listen to your body so you know when things are amiss.