Hormones are the cogs that keep your body functioning. But when one cog breaks down or speeds up, your body can start acting a bit strange. When your hormones aren’t functioning properly, it won’t take long to realize that something is wrong, since your system will send you signals. You just have to know what you’re looking for.
Even the slightest of changes in the way you’re feeling on the regular can indicate that there is a hormonal imbalance at play. Your endocrine system is made up of several different glands that produce all the hormones you need. These hormones regulate your metabolism, sleep, mood, libido, and development. If the glands are producing too much or too little of a certain hormone, it can negatively affect your bodily functions. All you have to do is pay attention, and your body will tell you everything you need to know.
Here are 10 signs your body will give you to let you know that your hormones are out of whack.
1Your hair stops growing/is getting thinner
According to Dr. Kathleen Figaro, who spoke to Women’s Health about thyroid disease, hair loss or a change in hair texture can be a sign of hypothyroidism, a condition where your thyroid is not producing enough hormones. Thyroid hormones are in charge of hair growth, which means where there isn’t thyroid hormones, there isn’t hair. Too much estrogen can also cause hair loss, so ask your doctor to check out what’s going on. They’ll be able to figure out what the real cause of your hair loss is.
2You’re not sleeping well
It’s said that low levels of melatonin might be to blame if you’re not getting enough sleep. Melatonin controls our circadian rhythm, and as we age, we produce less of it. Low melatonin can also lead to depression. Luckily, melatonin supplements are available and you can drink tart cherry juice to help with insomnia.
3You’re having issues with your short term memory
Thyroid hormones don’t just control hair growth. According to Dr. Figaro, when thyroid hormones are low, the brain’s metabolism slows down, therefore affecting your ability to focus and retain information. So if your short term memory has been on the fritz, ask your doctor to check on your thyroid.
Estrogen imbalance is also connected to memory loss. There are several tests your doctor can run to figure out which hormone is making your forget.
4Your blood pressure spikes
If you or your doctor have noticed a spike in your blood pressure, your aldosterone hormone might be off. This hormone regulates your body’s sodium-to-water ratio. Renal artery stenosis occurs when the blood vessels that supply the kidneys become too narrow. This causes the release of aldosterone and therefore can raise your blood pressure.
5You’re hungry all the time
Some people are just constantly hungry (believe us, we know the feeling). But if feeling hungry all the time is a new sensation for you, then your ghrelin and leptin hormones are probably to blame. Ghrelin tells your brain that you’re hungry and leptin tells your brain you’re full. But when these two hormones get out of sync, you won’t be able to tell when you’ve had enough to eat.
You can fix this imbalance by getting a full eight hours sleep, exercise, and reduce your stress levels, but speak to your doctor first before making any decisions on your own.
6Your digestive system is not your friend
If your bowel movements are happening too frequently or not frequently enough, and taking a simple probiotic isn’t helping, your thyroid might be to blame. Dr. Figaro notes that when your thyroid is producing too much or too little hormones, that can mess up your internal organs and make them work in a wonky way.
7You’re peeing way too often
When your pancreas isn’t working correctly due to diabetes, high levels of blood glucose can cause you to pee more often than usual. In turn, your body is working overtime to get rid of the excess sugar in your body. Diabetes can also affect your insulin hormone, which can cause yeast infections. If you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, but you’re peeing way too often or getting frequent yeast infections, it’s time to see your doctor.
8You’re gaining weight rapidly
Producing too much estrogen can cause weight gain and bloating. Estrogen levels have to be balanced in order to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. High estrogen levels can also cause your breast tissue to change and feel tender, as well as affect your menstrual cycle and mood. Ultimately, when your estrogen levels are out of whack, your whole life can go off the tracks.
9Even though you’re sleeping, you’re constantly exhausted
Dr. Alyssa Dweck, an OB-GYN at the Mount Kisco Medical Group in New York, talked to Health.com about how constant fatigue accompanied with weight gain or appetite change might be another sign of hypothyroidism, where your thyroid is not producing enough hormones. If you find yourself constantly exhausted even though you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep, don’t hesitate to speak with a provider and get tested.
10You’re breaking out more or growing facial hair
If your body is producing too much testosterone, this might lead to adult or cystic acne around the lower face, or facial hair. These breakouts can be treated with medication, and your doctor can help you restore the balance of testosterone with the right about of supplements.
It’s important to get your hormones sorted out. Leaving them unbalanced could lead to potential cancers, so act sooner than later if you noticed something’s awry. Plus, balancing out your hormones will make you — and everyone around you — much happier!