How Do You Know If You Have a Hormone Imbalance?

Hi there, ready to talk hormones again? Our last blog covered the key hormones that affect women’s health: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and insulin. 

The need to keep these hormones in balance is one of the keys too feeling vibrant and healthy. 

So how do you know if you have a hormonal imbalance? What’s normal, what’s not?

I am going to go over a list of symptoms – think about how many apply to you either in the past or currently:

  • Period shorter than three days, longer than 7
  • Painful ovulation
  • A cycle shorter than 25 days, longer than 35 
  • Heavy clotting
  • Acne along the jawline
  • Absent periods
  • Heavy periods
  • Painful periods
  • Heavy clotting
  • Cyclical migraine headaches 
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Mid Cycle or breakthrough bleeding
  • Infertility
  • Light periods ex. Less than 25 ml, less than 3-5 tampons a day
  • PMS or PMDD
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression

Often we are told these symptoms are ok because they are a common occurrence among many women.  But I’m here to tell you that  these symptoms are not normal because they are signs that your body is out of balance. (PS: Women are often told these symptoms are normal by their male doctor who has never even had a period!) It’s important to stay alert to things that aren’t normal for YOU.   

The most dangerous thing about a hormonal imbalance is not the symptoms but what they may represent. Each symptom alone may not seem like a cause for concern, but a few together is a red flag that something is off. 

What you need to know: 

  • Regular cycles should consist of fresh bright red blood, starting heavier during the first couple of days and tapering off toward the end of your cycle. The average woman will use 3-5 tampons or pads a day. 
  • Less than normal bleeding could represent anovulatory bleeding, which is having a period but not releasing an egg. This is common for women on birth control or women who over exercise.
  • Heavier bleeding, known medically as menorrhagia, is defined as a loss of 80 ml or more of blood during your period. How do you know if you are losing too much blood? You are bleeding through a pad/tampon every 1-2 hours. Conditions associated with are endometriosis, polyps, fibroids, or copper IUD. When estrogen is out of balance: we may feel paranoid or experience emotional issues, put on weight, have PMS, irregular cycles, or heavy bleeding. Excess estrogen can suppress our thyroid hormone and predispose us to uterine and breast cancer.
  • Estrogen and Progesterone work well together and balance each other out. If you have more estrogen and not enough progesterone, estrogen dominance can occur. Signs of estrogen dominance are weight gain, decreased libido, heavy bleeding, and fibroids. It is important to keep these two hormones in harmony.
  • PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, better known as PCOS, is linked to having too much testosterone resulting in irregular cycles, ovarian cysts,  acne, male pattern hair growth and infertility.  Insulin levels are also affected which lead to weight gain. It affects 1 in 10 women and they do not even know it.

If you are feeling like some of these signs apply to you-

Stay tuned/next up on the blog: So what if you think you have a hormone imbalance? 

-Nurse B

Leave a Reply