Hormones are your body’s itty bitty secret weapons that go on a roller coaster ride every month, wreaking havoc on your mood, skin and mind. The levels of these chemical messengers can determine a state of balance or imbalance in your body and thus your overall health. So, if you have been more tired than usual, feel cranky, bloated or moody lately, your hormones may have gone for a toss. These six signs may point to an unbalanced see-saw of hormones.
1. Chronic Fatigue
We’re not talking about the tiredness after a stressful night shift or university exams. If you are constantly worn out or feel groggy even after a full night’s sleep, it may indicate a hormonal change. Constant fatigue may be a result of under-active thyroid, low melatonin levels or adrenal fatigue. (Related Article: 4 Natural Remedies To Throw Fatigue Out Of The Window)
2. Poor Sleep
Have you been hardly sleeping these days? Or tend to have sudden wake-up episodes in the middle of the night? No, don’t just blame this on stress! Whacky hormones can result in poor sleeping habits which further manifests in fatigue and additional stress. While cortisol (stress hormone) does play an important role in regulating how well you sleep, your melatonin levels are also crucial. So if your sleep is crummy lately, you may want to get your hormone levels checked. (Related Article: 6 Herbs That Will Help You Sleep Better)
3. Skin Changes
So your face feels itchy and dry and your hair is unusually dull and brittle? Low levels of thyroid hormones could be the cause of your unpleasant skin and hair changes. Although not life threatening, these changes can hamper your spirits and lower self-esteem. (Related Article: 5 Natural Remedies For Winter Skin & Hair)
4. Night Sweats & Hot Flashes
Typical to menopausal symptoms, hot flashes and night sweats are often associated with changing levels of progesterone and estrogen. Progesterone regulates the internal thermostat in your body, which, if present in low levels, can make your body temperature yo-yo at night, making you wake up feeling overheated and sweaty. An imbalance of cortisol can also exacerbate these symptoms. (Related Article: Natural Remedies To Cope With Hot Flashes)
5. Reactive Eating
An overwhelming craving for carbs and sugar can mean an imbalance in insulin levels. Lack of sleep is also known to affect appetite, resulting in binge and emotional eating, which is one of the hallmarks of hormonal imbalance. You may also find that you feel heavier than usual, having gained a few extra pounds. A sluggish metabolism is often associated with unstable and out-of-place hormones, which can contribute to weight gain. All your cravings are not doing you any good, either. (Related Article: Emotional Eating: Spotting It & Stopping It)
6. Irritability & Moodiness
Ladies, you may think PMS is causing all those mood swings and crankiness, but that’s not always true. Irritability and moodiness may not always be related to your period. If your mood swings are worse than normal, your cortisol, testosterone and estrogen levels may be the culprits. (Related Article: Irritability: Our 3-Point Guide To Fix It)
Want to keep your hormones humming along? Eat right, get enough sleep, reduce stress and exercise regularly. Hormonal imbalances can add to further stress in your life, which is a bigger problem than you may want to think. So take time out to relax and unwind regularly.