Hormones are chemicals that soar through your body, delivering different messages. Estrogen and testosterone are two of the most familiar to most of us. Both males and females have them both in differing amounts. Melatonin, serotonin, and cortisol are a few more you’ve probably heard of.
It’s normal for these hormones to change over time. Over the years, they shift, but even in a day, hormones change. Sometimes, due to stress or health reasons or even natural biological changes, they can become imbalanced. If you’re producing too much melatonin in the morning, you could feel sleepy. Not having enough at night makes you toss and turn. Hormone imbalances can create intense problems for even relatively healthy people.
Here are three signs you might have an imbalance in hormones.
Estrogen and progesterone control the arrival of your period. If you find that your period isn’t arriving consistently, it could be a sign of a hormone imbalance.
Though keep in mind, it’s not uncommon for some variability in the menstrual cycle to occur in most women. Only a small percentage of women’s menstrual cycles are consistent throughout their life.
Androgens are hormones that are associated with the male. They are a category of hormones that include testosterone. The steroids bodybuilders use, illegally, promote or mimic androgens to help build muscle. A common side effect is acne.
If you break out, don’t immediately worry. It’s not uncommon for everyone to occasionally experience acne, which is not always linked to a health issue. Sometimes, after exercising, excess sweat can lodge in pores. Our diets can cause a mild acne breakout, too. The first small breakout doesn’t mean a serious problem or a hormone imbalance.
You don’t have to be taking steroids to have an increase in androgens, though. An acne outbreak could be a sign that your androgen levels are higher than normal for some reason. Still, it’s probably just something you can fix with a good facial cleanser and a better diet.
Problems with Sleep
Progesterone can affect your sleep. If your progesterone levels are low, you might find it hard to sleep. Low estrogen levels can also cause sleep problems.
Melatonin also plays a role in sleep, but it’s not entirely clear what effect melatonin has on the body. It is highly correlated with the sleep cycle. Ten times the amount of melatonin is secreted in your body at night.
Hormone imbalances can be challenging to identify and just as difficult to deal with, but finding the problem is the first step.