Hormonal Imbalance And Fatigue
Fatigue is a common symptom that may have many potential underlying causes. Just as too little progesterone can make it hard to sleep, too much progesterone can make you more tired. Another common hormonal imbalance that causes fatigue is low thyroid hormone levels . This condition is easily diagnosed with a blood test. If your levels are low, you can take prescription medication to bring your levels back up to normal. Regardless of any hormone imbalance that may exist, practice good sleep hygiene to optimize your sleep. This involves going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and exercise from the late afternoon on to avoid interfering with sleep. Establish a relaxing nighttime routine to give your body the message that it’s time for sleep. Take a warm bath, sip a cup of chamomile tea, or listen to relaxing music.
Hair Loss And Weight Gain: What Is The Link
Excess weight gain and high body mass index are associated with multiple health issues and metabolic syndromes that may trigger hair loss. Numerous studies have found a connection between weight gain and hair loss:
- A study on Taiwanese men reported that higher BMI could increase the severity of androgenic alopecia .
- Metabolic syndromes like waist circumference and hypertension also trigger female pattern hair loss. A study demonstrated that the severity of pattern baldness increased with weight gain .
- A study on middle-aged women concluded that insulin resistance could increase the risk of androgenic alopecia , especially in women with a family history of AGA . Obesity is also one of the causes of insulin resistance .
Multiple underlying conditions can trigger unexplained weight gain or vice- versa. This complex process can cause an avalanche of issues, including hair loss. In the next section, we take a deeper dive into the possible causes of sudden weight gain and hair loss.
Does The Patient Experience Fits
If they also describe specific attacks of extreme anxiety, palpitations, abdominal pain or collapses, consider phaeochromocytoma.
If they have also developed heat intolerance, palpitations, tremulousness, weight loss, diarrhoea or oligomenorrhoea consider thyrotoxicosis.
If they describe an association with fasting, extreme hunger, or the collapses are relieved by eating, or the patient has gained weight attempting to prevent attacks, consider insulinoma.
If the patient describes a feeling of dry warmth rather than sweating, flushing of the face or diarrhoea, consider carcinoid syndrome.
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Has The Patient Experienced Weight Loss
If they have also developed anxiety, tremulousness, diarrhoea, or oligomenorrhoea consider thyrotoxicosis.
If they have developed a deep tan, have a low serum sodium, and feel nauseated and dizzy consider Addisons disease.
If they feel nauseated and dizzy, have a low serum sodium, and have also lost libido or stopped having periods consider hypopituitarism.
If they have also developed thirst, polyuria and nocturia, consider diabetes mellitus.
If there are any other warning symptoms always consider malignancy.
Natural Remedies And Supplements
There are many nutritional supplements on the market that claim to treat menopause and hormone imbalance. However, few of them are backed up by scientific evidence.
Many of these supplements contain plant-derived hormones. These are sometimes called bioidentical hormones because they chemically resemble the bodys natural hormones. Theres no evidence to suggest that they work better than regular hormone therapy, though.
Some people find that yoga helps treat symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Yoga is excellent for your strength, flexibility, and balance. It may also aid in weight loss, which can help regulate your hormones.
You can also make the following lifestyle changes:
- Lose weight. A
The primary cause of acne is excess oil production, which leads to clogged pores. Acne is most common in areas with many oil glands, including the:
- upper back
Acne is often associated with pubescent hormonal changes, but theres actually a lifelong relationship between acne and hormones.
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Symptoms Of Hirsutism In Women
The symptoms and signs of hirsutism depend on the underlying cause, but may include:
- a sudden change in hair colour, rate of growth, thickness or distribution
- excessive body hair in typically male areas of the body such as the face, back, abdomen, inner thighs and buttocks.
Additional symptoms may include:
Hormone Problems That Start In The Brain
The hypothalamus is the portion of the brain that lies near the pituitary gland. It helps regulate hormone secretion in various parts of the body, controlling functions like body temperature, mood, hunger, thirst, sleep, fatigue, sex drive, and circadian rhythms. Dysfunction of the hypothalamus may produce many symptoms depending on which hormone systems are affected. Supplementing hormone levels that are low may help relieve symptoms. If the hypothalamus is malfunctioning due to the presence of a tumor, treating the tumor may provide relief.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hormone Imbalance
When you think of hormone imbalance, what do you think are common symptoms? For most, its menopause or erectile dysfunction. While these are two common symptoms, there are many more that may affect the entire body. Men and women may have similar symptoms, though there are some that are specific to each gender. The most common symptoms for men include:
- Mood changes
- Discomfort during intercourse
Endocrine and reproductive conditions are usually caused by imbalanced hormones. Some of the most common endocrine conditions include PCOS, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Cushings disease and more. However, there are also some lesser-known symptoms that people may not consider signs of hormonal imbalance. These can include hair loss, cold extremities, trouble sleeping, depression or anxiety and skin conditions.
Has The Patient Experienced Weight Gain
If the patient has developed central weight gain as well as thinned, reddened skin, acne, hirsuitism, muscle weakness, diabetes, hypertension, hypokalaemia or osteoporosis, consider Cushings syndrome.
If the weight gain is long standing, onset has been very gradual, and weight fluctuates with life events and dieting, consider simple obesity.
If they have developed menorrhagia, constipation or tiredness, consider hypothyroidism.
If the weight gain was gradual, started in puberty, and is associated with hirsuitism, acne and oligomenorrhoea consider polycystic ovarian syndrome.
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Symptoms Of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
May 17, 2019
Nearly 1 in every 10 teenage girls and women of childbearing age will be diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. And, more than half of those diagnosed didn’t know they had it, according to the PCOS Foundation.
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that causes small cysts in the ovaries. Although the cysts themselves are harmless, the syndrome can cause infertility and increase a womans risk of developing uterine lining cancer, diabetes and heart disease, according to reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist Courtney Marsh, MD, MPH.
Hypopituitarism: I Couldn’t Control My Thirst
SYMPTOMS: Exhaustion, headaches and a raging thirst possibly also weight loss or weight gain and changes to appetite.
CAUSE: The pituitary gland is situated near the brain and produces many different hormones needed to stimulate the production of other hormones in the body. For example, it produces lutenising hormone, which stimulates the ovaries to produce other hormones. Sufferers of hypopituitarism don’t produce enough of these ‘trigger’ hormones, often because of a benign tumour on the gland itself, although other causes include head trauma, brain surgery and stroke. About 70,000 to 80,000 men and women in the UK suffer from it.
TREATMENT: Initially the patient may need surgery to remove the tumour thereafter they need daily hormone treatment to replace the ‘trigger’ hormones that are no longer produced. Even those who don’t require surgery will still need to take replacement hormones.
MY STORY: Youlie Giovanovits, 34, is a web designer from Dawlish, Devon. She says: Until my diagnosis I would get up as many as ten times a night to go to the loo and I was always thirsty: I could drink a litre-and-a-half of water in one go. To me, it just became normal but then, when I was 19, my periods stopped and my mum insisted I see the GP.
A blood test revealed some of the levels of my hormones were out, and I was referred to an endocrinologist. An MRI scan showed I had a tumour around my pituitary gland, which was slowly destroying it.
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Autoimmune And Medical Conditions
Hyperthyroidism is caused by a number of diseases, Wright says, with Grave’s disease being the No. 1 cause. In people with Grave’s disease, the immune system produces antibodies that bind to thyroid-stimulating hormone receptors and tell your thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone. “There is no off switch to this,” Wright says, and it requires medical treatment.
- Plummer’s disease: enlargement of the thyroid gland and overproduction of T4
- Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules: parts of your thyroid gland produce too much T4
- Thyroiditis: inflammation of the thyroid
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition that occurs when your immune system produces antibodies that attack your thyroid gland even in the absence of disease.
Excess Face And Body Hair
Waxing, laser hair removal and electrolysis can be useful measures for reducing body hair growth. Of these, laser is the treatment most likely to result in a significant reduction in excess hair growth. However, repeated treatments are needed over time, and treatment can be costly. If you are considering laser hair removal, it is important to have this performed by a trained professional who uses the correct machine or technique for your skin type. Results can vary depending on your hair colour and skin type.
Some dermatologist practices offer laser hair removal and have particular expertise in treating women with PCOS. They will be able to tell you whether laser hair removal will work on your skin type.
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Testosterone And Acne Formation
When testosterone levels are high, the pores make more oil. It can flow in such a volume that it pushes against the bottom of the pore. This makes the neck of the pore narrower.
The flakes of skin that the oil would ordinarily deliver to the surface of the pore get stuck, and the pore fills with oil. The opening of the pore gets still narrower, and skin grows over the pore, trapping the dead skin cells and sebum inside. At first this forms a whitehead. If there is just enough oxygen in the pore to oxidize the sebum it contains, it can turn into a blackhead.
If acne bacteria trapped inside the pores grow to sufficient numbers that the immune system attacks them with inflammatory compounds, the result can be a pimple or even a nodule or cyst.
But testosterone is a male hormone. Why should high testosterone levels explain acne in teenage girls?
Testosterone is not exclusively a product of the male body. Womens bodies make testosterone, too. In small amounts testosterone fuels the female libido. In larger amounts it can have the same effects as it does in males, such as the growth of hair and the increased production of oil in the sebaceous glands of the skin. More oil, larger and darker blemishes.
A womans body makes testosterone along with other hormones in the ovaries. And thats where there is a connection to the effects of insulin.
Does Stress Cause Acne
When youre stressed, your body produces cortisol. Cortisol ramps up the processes that help us deal with stressors, like converting protein to energy and releasing glycogen, and suppresses peripheral processes like digestion, cell regeneration and endocrine regulation. Unfortunately, most women are burdened with chronic, unrelenting stress, calling on the adrenal glands to continuously produce cortisol.
When cortisol is chronically elevated, the body doesnt have the opportunity to shift its priorities back to its peripheral functions and it gradually deteriorates. A host of symptoms results, including fatigue, weight gain, depression and acne.
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Filling In Patchy Sparse Eyebrow Hair
Another physical change related to hypothyroidism involves the eyebrows both overall thinning and losing all the hair in the outer third of the brows.
Makeup can help here: Use a brow pencil in a shade that matches your natural hair color to fill out and extend your brow line, drawing individual hairs with the pencils sharp point.
Most beauty stores sell eyebrow kits containing a variety of products and tools that can create a natural look.
Can Hormones Cause Acne
Many women experience monthly breakouts before or during their period. However, chronic acne is something different. Acne that does not go away may be due to excess androgens, male hormones like testosterone that both women and men have. Excess levels of these androgens make oil glands extra productive. Androgens also affect skin cells that line hair follicles. Excess oil and skin cell changes clog pores, leading to acne. A doctor may prescribe birth control pills, corticosteroids like prednisone , or anti-androgen medications to treat hormonally influenced acne. High androgen. levels may sometimes indicate polycystic ovary syndrome . Women with PCOS may experience infertility. High insulin levels can stimulate the production of androgens and may be associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss can help reverse insulin resistance.
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Dealing With Thinning Hair And Hair Loss
Hair loss from hypothyroidism is usually not a big problem, Dr. Pearce says. It should stop with thyroid treatment, although this could take several months.
Pearce adds that hypothyroidism might not be the culprit when it comes to hair loss or thinning there could be an unrelated genetic cause. Or the problem might be certain medications, stress, iron loss, or simply aging.
Hypothyroidism treatment wont help hair thats thinning for other reasons. But if thyroid issues are to blame, try these solutions:
Your Circadian Rhythm Is Off
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland that is located in the brain. It produces melatonin, which affects circadian rhythm and the levels of other hormones in the body. A pineal cyst is a disorder of the pineal gland that may not produce any symptoms. If the cyst is large, it may produce symptoms including water on the brain , headache, eye problems, and vision problems. Large pineal cysts that cause problems usually affect women who are in their second decade of life.
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Try A Variety Of Relaxation Approaches
- Keep your focus here and now: Try to live through your senses, not just your head. The more mindful you are, the more this will help to reduce your cortisol levels.
- Take a break in nature: This can not only reduce your stress hormones, but also boosts natural killer cells that increase your immunity.
- Enjoy regular touch: Through hugs, making love or enjoying a massage. Enjoyable physical contact triggers the release of oxytocin, which has calming impacts.
- Persist with meditation if its not working for you: Try visualization or listening to soothing music with your eyes closed. Chanting for just 12 minutes a day can also reduce stress levels and lower inflammation in people who are stressed.
- Slouch: Instead strike a power pose. Try the victory pose and the wonder woman pose . Research from Harvard University shows that these kinds of poses, drop your cortisol and raise your testosterone, so you feel more in control and more able to handle risks and tricky situations. Amy Cuddy, who is an expert in this area, gives a fantastic Ted talk about the impact of body language on hormones and emotional states.
Start Taking Hormonal Balance Supplements
Hormone balance pills and supplements are two of the most effective hormonal imbalance treatments you can opt for.
Since you already know which hormones are at play in hormone-related weight gain, the hormone balance supplements you choose should aim to alleviate their effects.
Here are few you can choose from:
- Ashwagandha Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that helps your body relax, de-stress, and feel balanced again – all thanks to lowered cortisol levels.
- Go With the Flow This formula of hormone balance herbs is designed to naturally balance a womans hormones, as they tend to fluctuate during the menstrual cycle and throughout menopause. Those who take this supplement report fewer PMS symptoms, as well as reduced acne, bloating, and tenderness.
- Positively Pregnant – Dad edition Positively Pregnant Dad Edition focuses on boosting male fertility, but its collection of potent herbs improve more than just libido. This natural remedy can help with weight loss by addressing testosterone levels since low testosterone increases weight and belly fat in men.
Pro-tip: If youre a woman dealing with weight gain because of hormones, you might consider trying hormone balance teas or other hormone balance drinks. These herbs, taken separately or combined, can help alleviate some of the symptoms of estrogen-related hormonal issues.
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Changes In Weight Distribution
As estrogen levels decrease in women who are postmenopausal, they may notice they gain more weight around the abdomen and arms. This central obesity, as it is known, is dangerous because it increases a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease. In one study, postmenopausal women who received hormone replacement therapy did not experience weight gain in the trunk and arm areas compared to women who did not take HRT. Women treated with hormones gained an insignificant amount of weight during the study in their legs. This pattern of fat distribution is not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The treated women had better bone mineral density compared to those who did not receive hormone therapy, too. Talk to your doctor if you notice you’re gaining more weight around your middle. Hormone therapy, if it’s appropriate and safe for you, may help.