Hormonal imbalance symptoms often crop up for almost every woman during their reproductive years. While a cleanse such as the 21-Day Clean Program can be extremely beneficial for balancing hormones, we recommend speaking with your doctor first to get to the bottom of any hormonal imbalances or existing conditions they may represent. Sticking to a Clean diet for daily meals, shakes, and snacks may help relieve symptoms.
I remember getting my first period at 12 years old. It was definitely not normal, but I didn’t know that at the time. My flow was extremely heavy and I had to change my super pads every chance I could — every recess, lunch break, and several times at home (about once every 1-2 hours). I also experienced intense cramping and often felt dizzy when I stood up.
The good news for me at the time was that my periods were irregular. I would get one, and it wouldn’t come back for another four to six months sometimes.
Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms or Something More?
It wasn’t until my early twenties that I discovered I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a disease that affects women of reproductive age wherein the ovaries become enlarged and form cysts on their exterior. Hormonal imbalance symptoms such as acne, facial hair, and prolonged periods may occur.
After my diagnosis, I finally had an explanation for all those years of suffering. There’s no reason for you to suffer as I did, and if you are, I’m here to help.
I’m sharing some of the top hormonal imbalance symptoms so we can all know what is and isn’t normal. Remember, even though many women may experience this, and your doctor may say it’s typical, it’s not normal.
Top Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
There are over 150 symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and many of those indicate a hormonal imbalance — the most common include absent or irregular periods.
A normal, healthy cycle should range between 21 and 35 days, the average being 28 days. If you are outside of this window, that might be a hormonal imbalance symptom. Stress, poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyle, and conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, and others can reduce your period frequency.
Heavy Periods and the Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
I was changing pads or tampons constantly through the day, and often staining my underwear with blood — my flow was too heavy. I helped developed an infographic on menstruation that shows visually the number of pads and tampons you may go through if your flow is considered heavy.
Heavy menstrual flow often is related to estrogen dominance, or when estrogen is too high in relation to its sister hormone, progesterone. This estrogen connection is why heavy periods are often associated with estrogen dominant conditions like endometriosis, fibroids, and PCOS.
Unexplained Weight Gain May Be Caused By a Hormonal Imbalance
Is your belly, or butt and thighs suddenly bigger than you remember? Maybe zipping up those skinny jeans isn’t just hard anymore — it’s impossible. If you’ve been going about life as usual, with a decently healthy diet and level of activity but you’re gaining weight, it could be a sign of hormonal imbalance.
One of the main hormones affecting this weight fluctuation is insulin — the hormone that regulates blood sugar. When insulin is imbalanced, our ovaries aren’t able to produce the right hormones at the right times — estrogen can become too high and our bodies can go into fat-storage mode.
This type of hormonally active fat can be the most difficult to shake, but balancing insulin to regulate weight and other hormones is possible.
Constant Fatigue and Low Stamina from Imbalanced Hormones
Cortisol, a stress hormone, is made in the adrenal glands and is released to aid our fight-or-flight response when we become stressed out. Chronic, long-term stress can deplete our adrenal glands, making them less effective in regulating our stress response, causing fatigue.
The thyroid gland, also intricately connected to the work of the adrenal glands, can cause fatigue or low stamina as well. The thyroid gland is the seat of our metabolism — it has a big responsibility in allowing our bodies to create energy from the foods we eat. Chronic stress, poor diet, and exposure to environmental toxins can create an underactive thyroid gland.
Mood Swings, Anxiety, and Depression
One of the most common symptoms I hear women complain about is mood. There are many different hormonal reasons that anxiety and depression run rampant. Occasional mood dips and spikes is totally normal — when we get a pay raise, our mood will be awesome. If a relationship ends, naturally, we will be sad. However, if you notice that your moods throughout the day and throughout your cycle are very erratic, your hormones could be to blame.
Everything from estrogen dominance to low progesterone to imbalances in cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormone could contribute in a big way. Beyond these five most common hormonal imbalance symptoms, here’s a list of others you may experience:
- Sore breasts
- Thinning hair
- Trouble sleeping
- Acne or skin problems
- Low libido
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Lumpy breasts
- Digestive issues
- Excess facial and/or body hair
- Water retention
- Excessive anger
- Crying spells
- Headaches and migraines
- Joint or muscle pain
- Lower back ache
- Poor memory or concentration
Although these symptoms may seem severe and numerous, we do not have to suffer. This is not part of life as a woman. There are many natural remedies (such as taking an EPA-DHA supplement) that are quite effective in balancing hormones and reducing or eliminating these bothersome symptoms.
Written by Robyn Srigley