Hormones are chemical messengers that affect our body’s processes and play an important role in our wellbeing. They are produced by endocrine glands, including the pancreas, pituitary gland, and the thyroid, thymus, and adrenal glands. Additional hormones are produced by women in the ovaries, and men in the testes.
What is hormonal imbalance?
Hormonal imbalance happens when certain hormones increase or decrease, disrupting the balance of chemicals in the body. When left unchecked or untreated, it can result to medical conditions like diabetes and growth disorders like acromegaly and gigantism. It only requires a small amount of hormones to cause significant changes throughout the body. Its common causes include stress, use of birth control pills, overuse of cosmetics, and consumption of non-organic animal products. Other causes include genetics, obesity, pregnancy, and sedentary lifestyle.
Hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc in the body in so many ways, and most of these are manifested physically. The following are five telltale signs your hormones are going haywire:
1. Continuous Weight Gain
Diet is often blamed for those extra pounds, but sometimes, the real culprit is the stress hormones called cortisol. When cortisol production is disrupted, weight gain may ensue. Increased cortisol levels can result to increased insulin in your blood, which often leads to increased appetite.
2. Increased Belly Fat
When you’re accumulating fats even with a healthy diet and exercise, hormonal imbalance is to blame. Stress can result to underproduction of certain hormones and over production of others (cortisol in particular). This makes your body lose muscle mass and accumulate or store fats for future use, resulting to increased belly fat.
3. Low Libido
Low sex drive can be caused by a number of factors, but primarily, it has its roots in hormonal imbalance. During menopause, reductions in levels of estrogen, androgens/testosterone, and progesterone can result to the reduction in sexual drive and energy.
4. Anxiety and Depression
Those persistent feeling of sadness, sudden loss of interest, and unpleasant sense of inner turmoil accompanied by nervousness could be more than just a mood problem. They could be a sign of hormonal imbalance, especially if you are overworked, stressed out and not nourishing your body properly.
After eating a whole tub of ice cream or guzzling a bottle of wine, do you look back and ask yourself why? Hormonal imbalance may be partly to blame. This is because when life is not going smoothly or when facing stressful a situation, your hormones can go haywire. And for the most of us, the immediate response is grab our comfort foods and surrender to our cravings.