Hormones are one of the most important yet underrated molecules in the human body. While their significance may not be as obvious as molecules like water or hemoglobin, they play a key role in the proper functioning of body organs and tissues.
Like your water intake, your hormones need to be regulated. Excessive or low hormone levels can result in hormone imbalance. Hormone imbalance is associated with conditions like acne, infertility, weight gain, night sweats, depression, etc.
To determine if your hormones are at the appropriate levels, you’ll need to conduct a test. And that is where this post comes in. How do you check if you have a hormone imbalance? There are a few ways to check, and we listed them below.
Hormone Imbalance: Women vs. Men
Hormone imbalance affects women and men differently. Women with hormone imbalance experience irregular periods, excessive body hair growth, weight gain, etc. Each symptom alone may not seem like a reason to worry; however, together, they may indicate that something is wrong.
Women experience hormonal imbalance at important life stages: puberty, childbirth, perimenopause, and menopause. On the other hand, common symptoms of hormonal imbalance in men are a decreased sex drive, loss of hair, loss of muscle mass, etc. These symptoms are always seen as signs of maturing.
Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance
Early detection of hormonal imbalance can help balance it before its effects worsen.
But how do you know if you have a hormonal imbalance? What are the signs to watch out for?
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance vary per individual. It often depends on factors like medical history, age, etc. If you are experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance and aren’t sure why, speak with your doctor.
Here are some common symptoms of hormonal imbalance:
- Weight gain
- Inconsistent periods
- Fatigue or feeling tired
- Increased body fat
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Cold intolerance
- Heat intolerance
- Sleep issues
- Low libido
- Lack of concentration
- Mental exhaustion
- Headaches or migraines
- Hair loss
- Skin problems
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
Causes of a Hormonal Imbalance
You don’t just wake up to discover that your estrogen is too low or extreme. Hormone imbalance is usually a result of some factors. And of course, since there are different hormones in the body, you expect the causes to vary based on the affected gland.
Here are some of the common causes of hormone imbalance:
- Tumors, whether cancerous or benign
- Eating disorders
- Injury or trauma
- Pituitary tumors
- Cancer treatments like chemotherapy
So you know the symptoms and causes of hormone imbalance. Next, let’s look at how to check if you have a hormone imbalance.
Testing For a Hormonal Imbalance
Hormone imbalance is associated with mood swings and sleep issues, right? But how do you know if the mood swing you are experiencing is a result of hormonal imbalance or some life event? How are you sure that the reason you aren’t sleeping enough is that your melatonin—the hormone that regulates sleep is too low or because you are just stressed? That is where hormone testing comes in.
Hormone testing is crucial if you want to know whether you have a hormonal imbalance or not. Unlike some tests that require you to visit the doctor, a hormonal test can be conducted at home. The at-home hormone test is effective, affordable, and convenient. Also, you can see your results on a secure, online platform in an easy-to-understand way.
Here are other tests to determine hormone imbalance:
The ultrasound test is easy and doesn’t require injecting you with needles. It involves using an ultrasound machine to examine your body system. Doctors may ask for an ultrasound to obtain images of the uterus, ovaries, testicles, thyroid, or pituitary gland.
Here are some more advanced tests used to check for hormone imbalance.
- Sperm count test
- Thyroid scan
How to balance your hormones
Your hormone tests came out. Unfortunately, it confirmed your fears—you have a hormone imbalance. What do you do next? Do you panic? Definitely not. Hormone imbalance isn’t a cause for concern. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something about it.
Here are some common ways to balance your hormones.
- Eat enough protein
- Do exercises
- Lower sugar intake
- Consider stress reduction techniques
- Consume healthy fats
- Sleep well
- Follow a higher fiber diet
- Consider following the Mediterranean diet
If symptoms of hormonal imbalance persist, ensure you contact your doctor.
There are a variety of ways to check for hormone imbalance. We advise that you stick to the method that suits your situation. However, for convenience’s sake, you should consider at-home hormone tests. With this method, you can check your hormone levels with a kit and interpret the results without assistance.