Thanks to the advances in medicine, we are living longer – but is our quality of life maintained? We know the importance of proper nutrition and regular exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but why do some of us continue to feel unhealthy and worn out? Many women suffer from memory loss, insomnia, fatigue, weight gain, hot flashes, muscle loss, bone density loss, mood swings, and decreased libido. These symptoms could be signs of hormone level changes that may require hormone replacement. Read on for more information about the symptoms of hormone level changes and whether or not this could be happening to you.
What are the symptoms of hormone level changes?
Many women experience bloating, irritability, fatigue, hair loss, mood swings, palpitations, problems with blood sugar, trouble concentrating, and more. And even worse, these compounds affect every cell and system in the body — it can be debilitating! Keep in mind that some hormonal shifts are normal, like monthly fluctuations of sex hormones responsible for menstruation and ovulation, and menopause. During menopause, many women may experience mood swings, night sweats, weight gain, and even a diminished sex drive. Let’s take a deep dive into the symptoms and the hormone shifts that may be to blame.
Bloating And Stomach Issues
If you’re experiencing tummy troubles, it should be shifting hormones! The cells lining the gastrointestinal tract have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. And as these hormone levels change throughout the course of a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle, they impact the function of the gastrointestinal system. That’s why women often experience abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation before or during their periods.
Irritability and Mood Swings
Many women experience mood shifts and irritability before and after their periods, but it also happens during menopause. That’s because estrogen has an effect on neurotransmitters including norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. If you experience irritability and other unpleasant mood swings, you may benefit from exercise, getting better sleep, and making sure you’re getting enough calcium. If the symptoms are severe, you also may want to talk to your doctor.
Because menopause affects your hormone production, it can often trigger hair loss. When your body’s production of estrogens and progestins can decline, your sensitivity to male hormones such as DHT can increase. And if you’re genetically sensitive to DHT, this can affect your hairline and hair thickness.
The thyroid gland is also be involved, as it helps to regulate the body’s metabolism by controlling the production of proteins and tissue use of oxygen. Any thyroid imbalance can therefore affect hair follicles. Another common cause of hair loss in women is iron deficiency. Iron is essential for producing hair cell protein, without it, your strands will suffer. An excellent source of iron is parsley, so sprinkle on most meals to be sure your daily intake is sufficient.
This is a common complaint that is generally attributed to shifting hormones. Women in perimenopause and after menopause may experience more “brain fog” and difficulty concentrating than premenopausal women. Why? It could be declining estrogen levels, along with accompanying sleep troubles and depression. Thyroid disease is another common cause of brain fog, so be sure and see your doctor if you are experiencing difficulty concentrating.
Simply put: when estrogen drops, our feelings of hunger can increase. This changing hormone level affects leptin, a hormone that inhibits hunger. You can combat that hormonal weight gain by sticking to a healthy diet and exercise routine. Focus on healthy fats, lean meats, complex carbs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.
Diminished Sex Drive
Testosterone is typically associated with male hormones, but both men and women have it. And low testosterone may lead to a low libido! In a study of more than 800 postmenopausal women reporting low sex drive, those who received 150 or 300 micrograms per day of testosterone reported more sexual desire.
Diminished sex drive may also be attributed to vaginal dryness, which is also due to a lack of estrogen. Estrogen thins the walls of the vagina, which can make sex painful. A doctor may prescribe synthetic hormones or bio-identical hormones to help.
The Effects of Hormone Level Changes
A major factor in how we feel involves our body’s natural hormone levels. Hormones act as chemical messengers, controlling different functions within our bodies. We need our hormones for our bodies to function properly. Women suffering from declining hormone levels or menopause also complain of hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, and forgetfulness.
What can be done about hormone level changes?
Balance Your Cortisol
This important hormone can become imbalanced by stress and/or illness. It’s secreted by the adrenal glands on top of the kidneys. Some forms of low-intensity exercise is recommended to help lower elevated cortisol levels. But research has proven time and time again that stress can impact adrenal function and hormone levels. So, it’s crucial to get acquainted with hormone imbalance symptoms and signs so you’ll be able to notice when things in your body and mind don’t seem right.
Regulate Your Progesterone
Having trouble sleeping? It could be a progesterone imbalance. This compound is released by the ovaries and is responsible for helping you sleep. One study in postmenopausal women found that 300 milligrams of progesterone restored normal sleep. It’s also important to note that estrogen levels decrease in perimenopause and after menopause. So, this may contribute to night sweats and hot flashes, which also can disrupt a woman’s ability to sleep. Be sure and see your doctor if you believe an imbalance in hormones is contributing to sleep problems.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement
The good news? Women do not have to live with hormone level changes! When we have optimal levels of these hormones, we not only feel better, but we are preventing future age-related diseases. Long-term hormone replacement therapy through bioidentical hormones can decrease the risk for heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, and osteoporosis. Other benefits include improvements in sexual health. How? A Bioidentical hormone replacement can restore the vaginal mucosa and correct the atrophy and dryness that is associated with declining hormone levels. Sufficient hormone levels will restore a healthy sexual drive and correct vaginal dryness that can result in pain with sex.
So, for women and men who desire to be and feel healthy, you cannot ignore the importance of hormones. Just because we age does not mean we have to feel the effects of aging. Bioidentical hormone replacement is performed with a small pellet placed beneath the skin on the buttocks every three to four months. It can offer life-changing health benefits and have you feeling the way you did 10, 20, or even 30 years ago.
For a long time, it was assumed women had a higher risk of Alzheimer’s simply because women live longer. But Dr. Lisa Mosconi says that women outnumber men two to one in Alzheimer’s diagnoses in every age group: twice as many women as men aged 50, and twice as many women as men aged 80 suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. The reason? Estrogen. Or the absence of it. Read more about estrogen and Alzheimer’s disease.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure any conditions. Please speak with your doctor or health care professional for treatment advice and diagnoses.