I'm about to help you identify if you have a hormonal imbalance within a matter of minutes.
Whether you have too little or too much of a certain hormone - such as insulin, cortisol, thyroxine, androgens, estrogen, or progesterone - even slight imbalances can have a significant effect on your entire wellbeing.
That's right - Your hormones are not just about periods, fertility & menopause. They impact EVERYTHING about you EVERY day which is why it's so important to better understand your hormones & how to naturally balance them so that you can THRIVE all month long.
Your hormones impact your daily moods & energy, your weight & appetite, how you sleep, your brain function, libido & gut function, your motivation and drive for life and so much more! When your hormones are balanced, life is just better because you feel better - and this is what I want for you & have supported thousands of women in my community to experience this too.
When your hormones are balanced, life is just better because you feel better.
- Nikki Gonda
So, let’s get into it, I'm going to share 11 of the most common signs of hormonal imbalance starting in no particular order..
1# Changes in your energy
Now we all experience fatigue from time to time. But if you feel constantly tired there may be a few things at play, one of them being an issue with your thyroid gland.
If your thyroid is underactive (where your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones) your bodily processes start to “slow down” and you might feel tired, have memory problems, a sensitivity to cold and feel depressed.
While, if your thyroid is overactive (where the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormone), you might feel restless, anxious, have mood swings and difficulty sleeping. When it comes to your thyroid (and all hormones for that matter) always TEST, never guess!
You’ll want to download my FREE Hormone-Testing Guide so you feel empowered about the exact testing to request from your doctor to ensure you're given the most accurate information on your health.
Cortisol is another hormone that when imbalanced can impact your energy by making you feel exhausted in a "wired but tired" kind of way. When under stress, our adrenal glands produce short bursts of cortisol. However, chronic stress can drain the adrenal glands leading to a low cortisol state. This adrenal depletion greatly impacts energy and unfortunately, we now live in an environment where it’s common to feel stressed a lot so cortisol is a common hormonal imbalance depleting energy & vitality.
Low energy is not something to ignore or dismiss - it's your body's way of telling you there is an imbalance that needs to be addressed and hear me when I say that you CAN make changes in your diet & lifestyle to help feel abundantly energized again.
2. Changes in your menstrual cycle.
Signs of hormonal imbalance can show up as changes in your menstrual cycle. For example hormone imbalances may present as:
Irregular or missing periods
Heavy or light periods
Also, symptoms of PMS appear in the second half of your cycle such as mood swings, breast tenderness, fatigue, bloating, depression, headaches, cravings, acne.
It's important to know that these symptoms may be common, but they are not a normal or inevitable part of having a period.
The physical pain & emotional impact period problems can have on your life is completely unnecessary. But there is a reason for your symptoms and when you discover the root cause you can then work to bring the body back to balance.
3. Changes in weight
Perhaps its sudden weight loss, unexplained weight gain, or difficulty losing weight. Women often feel like it’s their fault they can’t lose weight. They are usually told that their bad genes are to blame, they should eat less, exercise more, have more willpower…blah blah blah, when in fact it could be your hormones - High levels of estrogen, cortisol, insulin and low thyroid function can lead to extra belly fat.
I’ll never forget many years ago in my early 20s, when I was exercising at my hardest, eating less and doing all the things I thought would help me to LOSE weight yet nothing seemed to work, I was still putting on weight, especially around my belly.
This is a common scenario for my women within this community too. What’s going on here is that you are likely burnt out from stress. Stress triggers these hormonal imbalances that are directly connected to your metabolism.
So the first thing to do if you're experiencing sudden changes in weight is become aware of the level of stress in your life - this could be anything from work deadlines, to a breakup, financial or or family stressors to name a few! Where can you make small changes in your lifestyle to help relieve stress, or build your resilience to stress?
4. Changes in your mood
Your hormones have a significant impact on your brain chemistry, mental health, and mood which is why balanced hormones are so vital for good mental health.
I'm personally someone who suffered from anxiety and depression for years - I thought it was "just me & that something was wrong with me" but when I began to dig deeper and work on rebalancing my hormones - it was like night and day. My moods & my mental health completely transformed and that big gray cloud that hovered over my head went away. So if you're someone who suffers from drastic changes in your mood, anxiety, depression, it could be your hormones.
Let's take a quick look at which hormones you need to consider when it comes to your mental health:
There is a strong relationship between female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, and the levels of neurotransmitters serotonin, GABA and dopamine - all which regulate your mood.
You may have heard of serotonin before being called your happy hormone as it plays a role in increasing positive moods and emotions.
Well, it's estrogen that plays a role in increasing the production of serotonin, as well as the number of serotonin receptors in the brain. So, when estrogen levels are LOW it's linked to lower levels of serotonin, which studies show can cause mood swings, depression, fatigue, and irritability.
Whilst high levels of estrogen along with low levels of progesterone, known as estrogen dominance, is associated with depression, irritability, fatigue, memory problems, mental fog, and anxiety as well.
Speaking of progesterone; progesterone is the key to mood stability. We love progesterone as it's our anti-anxiety, mood-enhancing hormone. BUT when progesterone levels are low, this is when anxiety, mood swings, PMS, depression, brain fog and irritability can present.
There are various factors that can cause low levels of progesterone - one of the main ones being stress.
In times of stress your body will always choose survival over procreation so cortisol production is prioritized over progesterone.
The cheeky thing about high levels of cortisol is that it not only reduces our anti-anxiety hormone progesterone, but dys-regulates our happy hormone serotonin, messes with blood sugar and causes inflammation throughout the body - all in all this is a recipe for hormonal imbalances impacting mood, causing depression, anxiety and so much more.
5. Changes in your sex drive
Everyone's sex drive is different so only you know what's normal for you but if your drive has suddenly declined or gone MIA - firstly know that there is nothing wrong with you as there are many factors at play when it comes to debunking why your libido has disappeared!
When it comes to hormones - estrogen, progesterone and testosterone work together harmoniously to promote a healthy libido.
Estrogen is responsible for vaginal lubrication & heightened sensitivity, progesterone keeps your libido elevated and testosterone plays a huge role in sexual desire & orgasm.
So, imbalance in one or all these hormones can make it very difficult to get in the mood!
The good news is that like other symptoms of hormonal imbalance there are effective nutritional & lifestyle strategies that work to rebalance your hormones so you can reclaim your sex drive.
6. Changes in your hair
Thinning, dull, dry hair, hair loss or sudden changes in texture, are all signals of hormonal issues. I personally know how devastating it can be to experience thinning hair and losing clumps of hair every time I showered due to hormone imbalances. If you're experiencing hair loss, whether it has just begun or has been going on for a while, do not delay treatment. Hair loss is a sign of a deeper imbalance and left unchecked, you may develop other symptoms or never see the return of your beautiful hair. For me, when I focused on balancing my hormones my hair revived too.
Thinning, dull, dry hair, hair loss or sudden changes in texture,, are all signals of hormonal issues.
- Nikki Gonda
The pattern of your hair loss can indicate what the underlying imbalance may be...
Is your hair loss patchy? You may have a cortisol imbalance from stress, a deficiency in B vitamins or zinc or heavy metal exposure.
Is your hair thinning? You may have a hormonal imbalance, such as low thyroid function
Are you only losing hair from the top of the head? It could be testosterone, progesterone, cortisol or estrogen out of balance.
Get testing done to help you discover what’s going on underneath!
7. Changes in your sleep (trouble falling asleep & staying asleep)
There is a vicious cycle you can get caught in when it comes to hormones and sleep because hormonal imbalances can disrupt your sleep, but then poor sleep causes hormonal imbalances.
So, focusing on how you can create a lifestyle & healthy sleep routine to support the balance of your hormones AND improve the quality of your sleep is vital for your health.
A few hormones to consider when it comes to your sleep are melatonin, progesterone and cortisol.
Melatonin is known as the “sleep hormone,” directly responsible for regulating the body’s circadian rhythm, so you can fall, and stay, asleep. Factors that can interfere with melatonin production are stress, magnesium deficiency, exposure to blue light on your phones & TV before bed, caffeine and sleeping with the curtains open or lights on. To support melatonin production one simple improvement you can make to your sleep routine is to ensure all light is blocked out, either with curtains, block out blinds or wearing a Moonbox Silk Eye Mask.
The sex hormone progesterone is another hormone that promotes sleep. It does this by stimulating your brain to produce a neurotransmitter called GABA which helps reduce stress, balance your mood, and promote sleep.
The more progesterone you have, the more GABA you’ll produce. However your stress hormone cortisol interferes with progesterone levels, so if you're stressed, you may not produce enough progesterone which then interferes with GABA production and as a result your sleep quality can suffer. Managing stress levels is really important for quality sleep.
If you're struggling with your sleep you'll want to read my in-depth blog sharing the top 5 tips to improve sleep for balanced hormones.
8. Changes in your skin
4 skin signs of hormonal imbalance are:
1. Acne & oily skin where high levels of androgen hormones, like testosterone, can cause an overproduction of oil and create an environment for bacterial overgrowth, inflammation, and acne.
2. Dry, rough, flaky skin. Dry skin commonly results from colder weather however an increase in dryness can also be a direct result of hormonal imbalance related to low levels of estrogen, as estrogen helps to keep the skin barrier strong and hydrated.
3. Eczema & psoriasis - Skin is an “immediate stress perceiver” and high stress can disrupt the balance of our hormones causing us to release higher levels of cortisol. If the immune system is disrupted it can lead to a flare-up of existing inflammatory skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis, or acne.
4. Excessive sweating is another which may result of thyroid issues
Your skin is a reflection of your internal health and often requires addressing your liver, gut and hormonal function.
9. Changes in your gut health & digestion
This one is a two way street because hormonal imbalances impact your gut health, but then your gut health impacts your hormones.
Hormones influence gut function through the microbiome and bacterial system in our intestines, so a hormone imbalance can impact the population and function of the bacteria in your gut, leading to symptoms like bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, or nausea.
10. Fertility challenges
Hormonal imbalances are the leading cause of infertility in women.
I’m going to share 5 hormonal imbalances that can lead to infertility..
Firstly, a hormone imbalance that can lead to infertility is LOW ESTROGEN. When estrogen levels are low the uterus can’t build up a thick uterine lining & therefore won’t shed a healthy period. Estrogen drives ovulation, so less than optimal estrogen levels means ovulation might also be patchy month to month, or you may not ovulate at all which is why irregular or missing periods can be a sign of low estrogen.
On the other hand, high estrogen levels is another hormone imbalance that can lead to infertility, which is usually relative to low progesterone levels.
Low progesterone levels can interfere with a woman's ability to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. Progesterone is kind of a big deal when it comes to fertility as its our “pro-gestation” hormone that aids development of the fetus throughout pregnancy and helps your body to use its fat reserves for energy. When progesterone is lower than optimal, it’s a fairly good sign that you aren’t ovulating, making it impossible to get pregnant as no ovulation = no egg = no baby.
Another hormone imbalance related to infertility is low testosterone levels! Yes, women have testosterone too, it is super important for female fertility, not just because it drives sexual desire but because it plays a role in follicular development!
Then on the other side of fertility struggles is elevated levels of testosterone. High androgens in women are commonly associated with excess insulin, which impairs ovulation and tells the ovaries to make testosterone instead. This is a major cause of PCOS.
In a nutshell, whether pregnancy is something you’re hoping for soon or in the distant future - it’s so important not to delay investigation of hormonal imbalances. The health of your hormones today impacts the health of your hormones in the future which is why it's so important to create strong hormonal foundations when you’re younger to help prevent fertility struggles later on.
Do you have any signs of hormonal imbalances?
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance can present in a variety of ways but most importantly it’s crucial you do not ignore these symptoms, or delay investigation. Leave symptoms long enough and overtime they may snowball into more serious imbalances & conditions.
If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to balancing your hormones I invite you to join my course Master Your Cycle for step by step guidance to reclaiming your health and eliminating symptoms naturally.