In the bodies of women and men are hormones, two of which are estrogen and progesterone. For women, the level of estrogen is more dominant. When entering puberty, pregnancy and menopause, women experience hormonal changes. If estrogen levels in a woman's body is too low or high, we will feel significant changes throughout our bodies and this can often result in hormonal imbalances.
What are hormones?
Hormones serve as chemical messengers in the body, besides that hormones have tasks such as; development of the human body, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, and also maintaining our mood. For women, estrogen serves to regulate the menstrual cycle and keep cholesterol levels stable. When estrogen does not do its job properly, a hormonal imbalance arises which causes the function of other organs in the body to not work properly.
What are the signs of a hormonal imbalance?
In general, hormonal imbalances in a woman's body come from high or low levels of estrogen, here are other signs that you can recognize:
Irregular menstrual cycle
Whether menstruation is too early or late, or also if it’s too short or too long is a sign of a hormonal imbalance. This is usually followed by several other signs such as menstrual blood flow that is too heavy or too light.
The appearance of hormonal acne
In general, acne can occur at all ages for women who have entered or passed the age of puberty, but usually hormonal acne will appear on the lower part of your face such as the bottom of your cheeks and around your jawline.
Excessive pain during menstruation
During menstruation, the body will experience many changes starting from more sensitive breasts, increased appetite and thirst, flatulence, feeling weak or dizzy. However, if you are experiencing hormonal imbalances, these changes will be more severe, especially in the abdominal area, where you will feel more cramps or excessive headaches. Immediately consult a doctor if the pain you experience is hindering you from carrying out your daily activities.
When should you consult a doctor?
If you notice the following changes in your body, consult a doctor immediately:
- Hair growth on your face or other areas where hair is not commonly found
- Excessive menstrual bleeding that makes you faint or leak through your menstrual pads or other products
- Menstrual bleeding that is too little and or short in duration
- Early or late menstruation
- Difficulty sleeping while menstruating
- Severe mood swings that hinders you from daily activities
Generally, doctors will recommend a lifestyle change such as a healthy diet and exercise, or in more severe cases, hormone therapy. Hormone therapy can help your body restore estrogen levels back to a stable level but a natural solution will be more holistic, and cheaper!
Is there anything that can be done from home?
There are a few things that you can try at home to address your hormonal imbalance, especially if you are unable to see a doctor right away. Things that you can try are:
- Changing your diet. You can start to provide your body with better nutrition through increasing intake of vegetables and fruits. Drinking soy milk and consuming more seeds such as flaxseed.
- Supplements. Taking Vitamin D in low doses or fish oil.
- Managing stress. Remember to give yourself time to rest and relax. Pick up a hobby or try meditation.
- Exercise. If you don’t already exercise regularly, start with 15 minutes of exercise and gradually build from there. Start with easy cardio and explore various workouts to find what works for you.
Hormonal imbalance disorders can trigger other problems with your health, by being more aware of the changes in the body during your menstrual cycle, we can better prepare ourselves to address them and notice any changes immediately.