Hormones. From our early teenage years, they have persisted to impact us, often annoyingly. For women in their 40s and 50s, hormones can have as pronounced effect as those teen years, albeit in a vastly different way. However, it is not only women of that age group that are affected by hormones. For women (and men!) in their 20s and 30s, hormones are problematic when they are out of balance. This is not uncommon, because we are exposed to increasing levels of environmental factors that are tipping our hormones to levels where they shouldn’t be.

Let’s run through a common list of the consequences of unbalanced hormones:

  1. Weight concerns.

Have you noticed a difficulty with your weight lately? It may be your hormones’ fault.

Hormones such as cortisol impact our production of fat cells, so when they are out of balance we might notice increased difficulty in losing or maintaining a healthy weight. This can sometimes increase our stress levels which, frustratingly, adds to the irregularity of cortisol production, adding to the weight problem. Exercise helps the stress, but further actions such as eliminating added sugar and other dietary considerations are likely required. Not all diets suit all body types, however, so it’s worthwhile getting advise on what is required for you.

  1. Sleeping problems.

Laying awake, exhausted but cannot seem to sleep… we all know this is a huge problem for concentration the next day, but why is it happening? Oftentimes it is due to a stressor that we can identify, sometimes not. Either way, it may be a symptom indicating a hormonal imbalance.

Adrenaline during the day and push your nice, smooth cortisol production into a frenzy of spikes, which wake you during the night, and make you exhausted during the day. Sound familiar? This one may require attention to treat the hormones along with the root-cause.

  1. Low libido.

Uh oh. From bad nights’ sleep to lack of energy and interest in sex. Now this really is frustrating, and not just for you!

Our sex hormones are directly impacted by the imbalance in cortisol and the resulting lack of sleep.

  1. Daily fatigue.

So if you’re not sleeping, you’ll be feeling the daily fatigue already. But if your night sleeps are ok, why are you feeling tired?? No, it’s not just a busy life, and it’s not something you need to put up with.

Fatigue can still impact those who are sleeping relatively well and is a potential indicator of hormonal imbalance. Stop turning to caffeine and sugar to give you a boost of energy, these actually make the problem worse. If you want to address the root-cause of this, focus on balancing those hormones. Start with a simple diet plan of eliminating sugar and reducing excess gluten, and if the problem persists, seek help to get the balance right.

  1. Low mood and anxiety.

Is it all too much? When emotions and negative thoughts start dominating, it’s time to take action. Please don’t turn to medication straight away (or if you already have, look for help to remove this from your life). There are a number of physical states that produce feelings of depression, anxiety and irritability and yes, imbalanced hormones is one of the more common underlying factors.

If what you are experiencing is mild, get some more exercise, fresh air, and eat healthy for a while to notice the difference. If it persists or if it’s too overwhelming, get some help. Get your hormone levels checked and discuss with a practitioner qualified to help you regain the balance. For those with particularly chronic emotional concerns, you might consider a health psychologist working with a naturopath and/or nutritionist.

  1. Gut problems.

Sore stomach after eating? Feel bloated? Toilet troubles? Too much gas? Gut health is often associated with what we’ve recently eaten or what diet we need to be focusing on. While this may be true, don’t rule out that gut problems can be a symptom of hormones out of balance. What you are used to eating may have limited some nutrients essential for your hormones. A review of your nutrition can help balance the hormones and heal the gut.

  1. Sweats and hot flushes.

A clear sign that the hormones are readjusting and likely out of balance, night sweats and hot flushes are common for many women as they approach menopause. There are a range of treatment approaches offered by various practitioners, from medical to complementary, naturopathic and dietary. Bioidentical hormones are becoming another contender in the evidence-based treatment options. Consider all your options, or choose an integrative medicine approach where the practitioner can offer a combined perspective of various treatments to find the mix that is perfect for you.

  1. One or more of the above, plus more.

The symptoms above may be linked to imbalanced hormones, but they may also be indicating other underlying health concerns. If improving your diet, exercise and stress management does not clear up your concerns, please seek professional help.

Now that you’ve read the list and would like help with balancing your hormones, we recommend seeing either an Integrative Medicine practitioner or a practitioner with more than one related qualification to provide multiple perspectives. At River Tree Health, we offer Integrative Medicine programs which provide a multi-qualified lead practitioner who then case-conferences with the experts in our team, providing our clients with input into their treatment from various perspectives, including:

  • Bioidentical hormone treatment qualified practitioner
  • Health psychologist
  • Clinical Naturopath
  • Nutritionist
  • Medical practitioner

 

Based in West End, Brisbane, Integrative Medicine appointments are available in person at River Tree Health’s relaxing and retreat-like premises, or via Skype for those who can’t attend in person. Call +61 (0) 7 3036 2744 for more information or to get started.