These Signs Show You Clearly Have a Hormonal Imbalance
Natural hormonal changes can be difficult. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional flux, but a true imbalance has severe consequences, says Medical Daily. These are the more common symptoms of a hormone imbalance. One memory-related issue is actually quite treatable — but you need to recognize it (see page 10).
1. Weak nails
Hormone issue: a cortisol imbalance
Adrenal glands secrete numerous hormones, and they can get fatigued just like you. Adrenal fatigue disrupts your cortisol rhythm, causing your glands to produce too much or not enough cortisol, according to Mind Body Green. Brittle nails that break easily are one signal that something’s off with your cortisol production.
Next: Growth is great — unless it’s in your mouth.
2. Growths on your lips and tongue
Hormone issue: a disorder called multiple endocrine neoplasia II
If growths appear around the nerves of your mucous membranes — like your tongue and lips — this could signal a rare, genetic disorder called multiple endocrine neoplasia (type II). As your endocrine system overproduces hormones, this disease increases your chance of developing thyroid cancer to 95%. Medecine and surgery can help treat this disorder.
Next: You may want to lose weight but you don’t want to lose this.
3. Hair loss
Hormone issue: too much testosterone
This hormonal imbalance often involves a drop in hair-growth-related hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, and a spike in hair-loss-related hormones, like testosterone. Although both men and women experience this imbalance, men deal with it more often because they naturally have more testosterone.
Next: The worst kind of nighttime activity
4. Night sweats
Hormone issue: low testosterone or low progesterone
Both men and women may experience night sweats due to a hormone imbalance. It happens in men when testosterone levels are low; it occurs with women when progesterone levels are low and estrogen levels rise, says Medical Daily. This is reason enough to work on your stress levels.
Next: Your face will look funny with this odd symptom.
5. Thinning of the outer third of your eyebrows
Hormone issue: hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
Abnormally sparse eyebrows often accompany other symptoms of an over- or underactive thyroid. If you’ve backed away from the tweezers and still notice your eyebrows significantly thinning, especially on the outer edges, check in with your doctor. With the right prescription, you can have your eyebrows back in a few months.
Next: Unless your arm is asleep you shouldn’t feel this sensation.
6. Tingling limbs
Hormone issue: changes in estrogen
This symptom is much more common in women. Many report feeling tingling in their extremities, especially around menopause. The Australian Menopause Centre says hormone fluctuations, especially changes in estrogen levels, are to blame for this uncomfortable feeling. In addition to that pins-and-needles feeling no one wants, you may also experience numbness or a burning or crawling sensation.
While you’re more likely to notice this symptom around menopause, that’s not the only time your estrogen levels can change, so be wary.
Next: Do you love caffeine a little too much?
7. Dependence on coffee
Hormone issue: insulin resistance
This hormonal resistance pattern can cause you to reach for four, five, or even six cups of coffee during the day. You may know insulin resistance in connection with type-2 diabetes, but it’ll also throw your body off-whack when your body creates ineffective insulin, resulting in fat storage and excessive caffeine consumption.
Next: Bigger isn’t better when it comes to your health.
8. A puffy face
Hormone issue: hypothyroidism
When your thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones, your face may appear swollen, according to Healthline. It may be easier to attribute puffy eyelids to a poor night’s sleep, but it should be taken seriously if you experience facial swelling in addition to other symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Next: Aspirin won’t help this hormone issue.
Hormone issue: low testosterone or changes in estrogen
Waking up with serious headaches? For men, research suggests low levels of testosterone could be to blame. Testosterone replacement therapy isn’t viable for all men, but you can talk to your doctor about options. As for women, changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can trigger migraines, Everyday Health reports, so don’t be surprised if you start reaching for the Advil around menopause.
Next: This memory-related issue is treatable if you can recognize it.
Hormone issue: progesterone and estrogen fluctuations
Forgot the year you graduated high school? Your hormones could be to blame. According to WebMD, experts believe progesterone and estrogen changes can cause hormone-induced brain fog. This could be worse for menopausal women, as fluctuating hormone levels can cause unclear thinking.
Next: Fighting with your bathroom scale?
11. Weight gain
Hormone issue: leptin resistance
If your body develops a resistance to the hormone leptin, your brain may trick itself into thinking you’re starving, which causes inappropriate fat storage. Jill Coleman, C.P.T., tells Prevention when your hormones are balanced, your metabolism will function properly, which helps keep your weight in a healthy range.
Next: Another scary issue with your limbs
12. Frozen shoulder syndrome
Hormone issue: low estrogen
This condition causes your shoulder to stiffen over time, according toWebMD. Thankfully, you eventually regain mobility, but the process can take up to three years. Those between the ages of 40 and 60 are most likely to develop frozen shoulder syndrome, but hormonal conditions increase your risk, too. If you have thyroid disease or diabetes, you may be more likely to get it.
Next: Is your sex life in trouble?
13. Low sex drive
Hormone issue: imbalance of estrogen and progesterone
Couples can attribute a fizzling sex life to a loss of connection, but hormones affect many women’s low libido. Dr. Sara Gottfried, M.D., explains the cause of a low sex drive in 70% of cases is hormonal. While rising stress levels and an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone can be a female’s culprit, fluctuating testosterone levels can be problematic in both genders.
Next: This is why you feel tired 24/7.
Hormone issue: thyroid imbalance
If you’ve been sleeping at least eight hours and you still carry a huge mug of coffee around with you every morning, you may have imbalanced hormones. BodyLogicMD explains an imbalance can make women feel tired, especially around menopause. Fatigue may come on more gradually for men if it’s a sign of a hormonal issue. If you’re noticing you’re consistently drowsy, this is worth considering.
Next: An explanation for how big your belly feels right now
Hormone issue: progesterone imbalance
Hormone changes can disrupt digestion in either gender, leading to gas and constipation (aka bloat). However, Nanette Santoro, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist, tells Shape an imbalance involving progesterone is likely the culprit for women. While you sort out your hormones, avoid cruciferous and high-fat foods, which can make bloating worse.
Next: Does it feel impossible to shake the sadness?
Hormone issue: too much cortisol and adrenaline
If you can’t shake the dark cloud over your head, ask your doctor about a hormonal imbalance. According to Clinical-Depression.co.uk, an excess of cortisol and adrenaline can lead to depression, as those with this mental disorder have an increased level of these hormones in their blood.
Next: You need a vital hormone to relieve this symptom.
17. Muscle loss
Hormone issue: low testosterone
Muscle loss is a huge sign your hormones are out of whack. An imbalance involving too little testosterone in the body can lead to muscle loss, weight gain, and a loss in bone density, says Bodybuilding.com. Women can have this imbalance, too; age and stress have a lot to do with declining testosterone levels.
Next: There may be a medical reason behind your increasing anxiety.
Hormone issue: increased cortisol
The stress hormone, cortisol, can help you stay prepared and alert when faced with danger, for example. But the Calm Clinic explains an issue with your thyroid, the gland that produces hormones, can actually cause an overproduction. If cortisol is being produced at high speed, then your anxiety symptoms are going to skyrocket.
Next: Is your junk food habit ruining your hormones?
Hormone issue: adrenal fatigue or leptin resistance
If you’re craving sugar or salt more than usual, it’s time to pay attention. Mindbodygreen says hormone issues like adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, or excess leptin are typical reasons you’re reaching for the junk food.
Next: This alarming symptom is more common than you think.
20. Fibrocystic breasts
Hormone issue: changes in estrogen and progesterone
If you suddenly notice your breast tissue feels tender, lumpy, or rope-like in texture, don’t panic just yet. The Mayo Clinic says you could have fibrocystic breasts, which over half of women experience. And many women actually have fibrocystic tissue with no symptoms whatsoever. If you’re in your 50s or around the time of menopause, the hormonal changes can cause this.
There’s good news for women past this age — you’re highly unlikely to get this annoying symptom. So if you’re over the hump of menopause and you notice breast tenderness or lumps, check with your doctor.
Additional reporting by Meg Dowell.