You can think of hormones as your body’s messenger service. Hormones fall under the purview of your endocrine system, produced by glands throughout the body, and they deliver chemical messages that transmit your brain’s instructions. Sometimes, however, your hormones shift out of balance.
Most commonly, women undergo these hormonal changes at some point in their forties or fifties when after menopause your estrogen and progesterone levels drop significantly. Although it is part of your body’s natural change, it can come with mild or even major symptoms that affect your daily life.
You can often find clues indicating a hormonal imbalance in the way you feel or through the changes you experience. If you notice any of the signs of hormonal imbalance below, schedule an appointment with Alexandra Pellicena, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist in Houston, for an exam and diagnosis. Dr. Pellicena has a lot of experience treating women with this common condition and offers therapies to bring your body back into balance so you can feel like yourself again.
Often, you know when to expect weight gain or loss. Holiday indulgence or increased gym attendance can explain swings in either direction. Yet, there may be times when you haven’t changed your diet or activity, but are still gaining or losing weight.
In each case, hormonal changes could be to blame. Menopause, thyroid issues, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are all hormonally based conditions typically associated with weight gain. Weight loss is less common, but when it occurs, it can sometimes be sudden and dramatic.
Hot flashes and night sweats
In addition to their other duties, estrogen and progesterone help with your natural sleep cycle. So when their production changes, you may start to experience changes in sleep patterns, such as insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats which can be severe enough to disturb deep sleep. In fact, many women leading up to, or going through, menopause wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. They can also have hot flashes throughout the day, which can be uncomfortable if they happen at work or during a social function.
Though acne is usually left behind once you emerge from your teen years, adult acne results when the balance between estrogen and androgen hormones changes. It’s a common sign of polycystic ovary syndrome. On the other hand, menopause can cause dry, itchy skin.
Anyone who knows the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) knows how hormone changes can affect emotions. Mood changes are also common symptoms during perimenopause and menopause.
If you have brain fog that never seems to lift and you have trouble concentrating on more days than you can count, you may have a hormonal imbalance.
Hormonal imbalances are one of the primary reasons for female infertility. Certain hormones signal to the ovaries when to release an egg, so when they’re in low supply, that communication chain may be disrupted.
Though generally thought of as a male hormone, testosterone is also present in women, and when it falls out of balance, your libido may be a victim. Low sex drive is common during perimenopause and early menopause as your body settles into its new hormonal state.
Hormonal imbalances can occur through many stages of life. When you notice signs and symptoms that may stem from hormone issues, contact Alexandra Pellicena, MD to investigate your concerns. Call the office directly or request an appointment using the link on this page. Learn more about your treatment options in a personal consultation with Dr. Pellicena. Book your session today.