Female Hormone Imbalance Symptoms, Inflammation, and Adrenal Fatigue – Part 2

By: Dr. Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM


Read Part 1 | Part 3

Female Hormone Imbalance Symptoms and Their Causes

Stress is a major factor that can be seen as causative in female hormone imbalance symptomsCommon female hormone imbalance symptoms and adrenal fatigue share striking similarities. Like with AFS, hormone imbalance can strike women of nearly any age – from 18 on. Many things influence hormone levels in women: age, pregnancy, some medications, poor diet, and lack of exercise.

One major factor can be seen as causative in both the female hormone imbalance symptoms and AFS. That common major factor is stress.

Hormone imbalance in women is much more common than once thought. Up to 80 percent of women may experience female hormone imbalance symptoms in their lifetime. These symptoms can be seen well in advance of menopause, during the time of menopause, and after menopause.

Even though these female hormone imbalance symptoms may be clear, they’re not easy to fix. Plus, they ravage your emotional, physical, and reproductive health.

Normally, women have an approximately 28 day menstrual cycle in which hormones play an important part. A normal balance among the female hormones readies the body to release an egg for fertilization and the uterus for optimum implantation of the fertilized egg. If the egg is not fertilized, it and the lining of the uterus are expelled during the several days at the end of this normal cycle. Then it all starts over.

During this normal cycle, even balanced hormones lead to some of the female hormone imbalance symptoms. However, normally these symptoms last only a short while. This balance is necessary for a woman’s body to work the way it should and to stay stable. In cases of an imbalance in these hormones, severe and long-lasting symptoms may occur.

There are a number of female hormone imbalance symptoms that must be considered. Some of the common ones are:

Sleep Problems

A drop in progesterone levels may be the culprit leading to sleep problems. These may include difficulty going to sleep, not getting restful sleep, or waking up early and not being able to resume sleep. Of course, not getting sufficient sleep can bring on other problems.

Stubborn Cases of Acne

Even though many women experience acne breakouts during menses, these typically clear up in a few days. With imbalanced hormones, the acne may become deep, cystic acne which is hard to clear up. This kind of acne may appear on the face, neck, or the trunk and may be due to an overabundance of testosterone. The higher the level of testosterone, the more severe the breakout.

Foggy Thinking

Stress and female hormone imbalance symptomsAn estrogen deficiency may be the cause of poor memory and concentration during menses, perimenopause, and menopause. The stress fighting hormone, cortisol, can also be a part of this problem. If you find yourself forgetful when under stress, cortisol may be the reason.

Food Cravings

One of the common female hormone imbalance symptoms and in AFS is craving for certain foods. Craving sweets is often an indication of lack of sleep due to imbalanced hormones. This can occur in both males and females. Craving salty foods points more to adrenal gland fatigue and may be an indication of minerals being lost through urination.

Problems With Digestion

During menstruation, flare-ups of symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome are common. This may be due to the variations of estrogen and progesterone during that time. It is possible that problems with the thyroid hormone may play a part as well.

Overwhelming and Continuing Fatigue

In both AFS and imbalanced hormones, fatigue is a factor. Not sleeping well results in feeling unrested in the mornings and throughout the day. Poor sleep patterns are seen frequently with both of these conditions. Hot flashes and night sweats may be brought on by a deficiency in estrogen, while insomnia may be an indication of out of balance progesterone levels.

Swings in Mood, Anxiety, Depression

All of these are seen within female hormone imbalance symptoms as well as AFS. Often, they are the result of low testosterone levels.

Weight Gain

High levels of estrogen can bring on significant weight increase, especially in the abdominal area. When progesterone levels are out of balance, an unexplained weight gain that is hard to lose may occur. If you have AFS and your adrenals are fatigued, your thyroid may slow down metabolism. When this happens, your pancreas may respond by storing fat around your midsection.

Check out this easy to understand infographic about female hormone imbalance symptoms

Headaches

Progesterone that is out of balance may be the culprit behind your headaches, especially during menstruation.

Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

Every woman who is going or has gone through menopause knows what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat or to suddenly be overcome by a feeling of absolutely burning up for no apparent reason. These female hormone imbalance symptoms have been thought to be due to a lack of estrogen. Some practitioners now think they’re caused by a surplus of estrogen and lack of progesterone or possibly an imbalance of other hormones from other organs in your body. Whatever the cause, women know (and men do, too) they are very uncomfortable.

Vaginal Dryness

Lack of estrogen is the most likely cause of this symptom. Of course, this makes intercourse painful and can lead to difficulties in your relationships.

Changes In Your Breasts

It is common to have female hormone imbalance symptomsDuring menopause especially, women can experience a higher than normal level of estrogen. This can lead to breast pain, lumps in the breasts, fibroid tumors, and cysts. With progesterone levels out of balance, painful breasts also can occur. The lumps often cause concern for women, so periodic mammograms are recommended during this time.

Loss of Sex Drive

Low estrogen levels can lead to lack of interest in sex. The vaginal dryness and painful breasts frequently seen during times when hormones are out of balance also add to this lack. No one wants to engage in intercourse when it’s painful or when foreplay brings discomfort.

Increased Susceptibility to Infections

Estrogen levels that are either too high or too low can lead to more infections. Too much estrogen can lead to chronic yeast infections and too little estrogen can lead to more urinary tract infections.

Many of the female hormone imbalance symptoms seem to be found mostly in menopausal women, but it’s not the only time this imbalance can hit you.

Age is often a causative factor in these symptoms, but medications like birth control pills can also have an effect on your body chemistry. Of course, pregnancy pushes your hormones in directions you don’t often expect. Other things can lead to hormonal imbalance as well. Some women are genetically likely to have this kind of situation. Irregular sleep patterns, not enough exercise, and diet can all cause your hormonal imbalance. Researchers and clinicians are also seeing stress as a contributing factor to female hormone imbalance symptoms.

Read Part 1 | Part 3

 
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Female hormone imbalance symptoms