Before even thinking of trying to conceive, it is important to become in tuned with your hormones. Figuring out if you have a hormonal imbalance and working towards treating it before trying to get pregnant can be very beneficial.
Most women can admit to saying – “I think my hormones are going crazy.” I know I have been there. Wondering if my symptoms/problems are related to the fact that I am a women who has a plethora of complex hormones causing a hormone imbalance. Maybe it is that time of the month again, realizing that you just want to yell at every person that gets in your way or cry at every sad commercial that pops up on the TV. Many of us feel like these are normal symptoms because we should all experience PMS. Right? WRONG!
What if I told you that your hormones do not have to be so out of whack (literally!), and that there are things you can do in order to maintain a sound balance. Sound a little far fetched?
I am here to give you some tell-tale signs that you may have a hormone imbalance and how to effectively confirm it.
Constant weight gain
By now you must have heard that diet, lifestyle and physical activity plays a major role in keeping your weight intact! But, hormones play a huge role in helping you to maintain a healthy weight. I often hear – “It must be because I am aging.” This is not something you should accept! Because there may be an underlying hormonal balance that needs to be addressed in order to get you over the weight loss plateau. Your thyroid and digestive system need to be investigated!
One of the more less talked about but important part of figuring out if you have a hormone imbalance is your libido. This can be due to imbalances in estrogen and testosterone.
Are you struggling to get out of bed? Do you experience the 3pm carb crash? We all experience days getting through the day is difficult. However, if this is something you experience daily there may be an imbalance with your thyroid, adrenal glands or other hormones that can be contributing.
Your cravings mean something! If you are craving salty foods it typically means your adrenals need some support. Cravings can also contribute to an imbalance with insulin and other hormones.
Are you staring at the ceiling at night or caught up in planning your week? Insomnia can be due to an imbalance with cortisol (your stress hormone). It can also be due to a drop is progesterone that occurs right before your period.
Feeling anxious, irritable or depressed? Sounds like you may not be feeling like your normal self. Mood changes can be a strong sign of an underlying hormone imbalance that can be investigated and treated!
It is very common to see women who experience breakouts before their period. This can be related to estrogen and progesterone. If the acne is deep and cystic without a pattern then androgens (testosterone) can be the cause of your acne. It is also important to think of some foods that can be contributing!
Have you ever been caught mid sentence and forgot what you were about to say? Or not sure if where you placed that important document you brought home with you the other day? This can be a sign that your cortisol is imbalanced or your thyroid needs some support.
Headaches and Migraines
Headaches and migraines can be a direct reflection of a hormonal imbalance, especially if they occur around the time of your period. A drop in estrogen right before your menstrual cycle can be the culprit. Also, it can be related to dietary foods that might be aggravating to your immune system.
Last but not least – the digestive system. Cortisol (our stress hormone) is produced in high amounts in the morning and it gradually decreases throughout the day and into the evening. High amounts of cortisol can contribute to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) leading to an imbalance of serotonin (our happy hormone). Bloating before your period is related to a rise in estrogen and a decrease in progesterone – balancing these hormones can really help!
In order to find out if you truly have a hormone imbalance urine, or saliva testing can be completed. Some of the treatments to balance hormones using naturopathic medicine include acupuncture, botanical medicine, diet and lifestyle counselling, as well as professional supplementation.
Dr. Samina Mitha, Naturopathic Doctor