If you regularly feel like something is just not right with your body, or that you are just "not feeling yourself" more frequently than you'd like, you may be suffering from a hormone imbalance.
Here are a few signs and symptoms to help you determine if your hormones may be out of whack:
Consistent fatigue may be caused by an imbalance in our stress hormones (cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine) that are produced when your body experiences either acute or chronic stress. Believe it or not, your body tends to release excessive cortisol in response to an unhealthy diet, especially one with excessive daily consumption of sugar. (Who would have thought sugar could stress you out! lol.) This fatigue may even make you feel a little depressed and lethargic and can cause your to experience brain fog or brain fatigue, a temporary condition in which your brain's nerves are simply not firing as quickly leaving you feeling it's harder to even perform the simplest task.
The stress hormone cortisol not only makes you feel tired but can also hinder your body's ability to maintain or lose weight by slowing down your metabolism. Your stress hormone cortisol can impact your thyroid's ability to do it's job - a problem which can result in a slowed or inefficient metabolism. Furthermore, the self-preservation mode that your stress hormones initiate promotes fat storage that can lead to difficulty losing weight or straight up weight gain.
An increase in cortisol can cause you to have crazy and insatiable cravings for sugary foods. So can out of whack blood sugars. You may feel ravenous and/or get abnormally cranky if you are unable to satisfy those cravings. I'm not just talking about an everyday "hangry" here... but crankiness that a friend or loved-one would comment on.
When your hormones are out of whack, you may feel as if you are on an emotional roller coaster. One minute you are happy and having the time of your life and in the next, you may feel incredibly depressed. Hormonal imbalances can cause you to experience extreme, inexplicable highs and lows in your emotions.
Hormonal imbalances can also contribute to digestive problems like abdominal spasms, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, excessive flatulence and burping, nausea and discomfort. There are more connections here than one would expect!
Your thyroid hormones can cause you to sweat excessively when they are out of whack, as in when someone is experiencing hyperthyroidism or sometimes generalized anxiety. This symptom is usually overlooked but can be discussed with your naturopathic doctor in the event your excessive sweating leads to axillary hyperhidrosis, which is profuse sweating over your entire body and underarms.
If any of the signs and symptoms above sound like you and you want expert help, you can learn more about working with me to address them, just click here.
Laura Nurse, BBA, ND
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