Hormonal fluctuations are inevitable throughout every woman’s life, and the three most common scenarios for this imbalance is during menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy. A hormonal imbalance occurs when the body’s glands produce less or too much of one or more hormones. If you begin to experience sudden hot flashes, mood swings, brain fog as well as headaches, you should visit a gynecologist immediately. Additionally, if you happen to live in or around Illinois, book an appointment with Dr. Denise Furlong in Bedford Park, a board-certified surgeon whose area of specialty is in treating hormonal issues, among other services.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
The endocrine glands are responsible for the production, storage, and release of hormones. There are several endocrine glands in our bodies, including pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands. An imbalance will, therefore, occur when any of these glands are affected.
Common causes of hormonal imbalance include diabetes, stress, tumors, medication, and hyperthyroidism. For women, the main reasons include menopause, use of hormonal contraceptives, pregnancy, as well as breastfeeding
What Are Some of The Common Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?
Stress can affect the adrenal glands causing them to secrete excessive cortisol. Cortisol is our body’s alarm system and is produced whenever we are stressed. Too much cortisol is, however, harmful as it may lead to weight gain and muscle weakness.
There are times when women may experience lighter or heavier bleeding than usual. Others may experience cramping which was not there before. Other signs of hormonal imbalance include missing your periods for three months when you are not pregnant.
The ovaries release progesterone, which helps in sleeping. Low levels of this hormone will lead to sleeplessness.
Breakouts are frequent before and during periods. However, chronic acne is a sign of hormonal imbalance. This happens when the body produces excess androgens, which then make the oil glands excessively productive. Excessive oil clogs the skin’s pores leading to acne.
This is common for women in the perimenopausal stage. Brain fog is caused by a reduction in estrogen levels, which not only leads to depression but also causes hot flashes.
If a woman experiences constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain coupled with mood changes, this could mean that they are experiencing hormonal fluctuations.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Hormonal Imbalance
There are several endocrine investigations that a doctor can carry out to determine whether a woman is experiencing hormonal fluctuations. In the absence of menstruation, the doctor will perform the Amenorrhoea Screen.
Other tests include taking an excess Hair (Hirsutism) Profile, infertility profile, screening for menopause, as well as testing the progesterone levels.
A doctor may also recommend therapeutic drug monitoring to identify the side effects of certain medications. Examples of such drugs that can be monitored include Myocrisin and Accutane.
Your doctor may prescribe birth control to help restore your progesterone and estrogen levels. Other medications include hormone replacement drugs, which mainly ease menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and excessive sweating. Additionally, androgen blockers may be prescribed for women who produce excessive amounts.
As for natural treatment options, you may want to try platelet-rich plasma therapy for enhancing sensation and rejuvenating the vaginal area.
Every woman should make it a priority to visit a gynecologist throughout their lifetime. If you begin to notice some of the symptoms mentioned in this article, you should seek immediate professional help. Dr. Denise Furlong from Bedford Park is an experienced gynecologist who offers a range of services for women of all ages.