Hormones are an area that all of us ladies are quite familiar with, and in my opinion, every one of you deserve the right to know how to tell if your estrogen levels are imbalanced, so you can remain your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous self! Estrogen can seem like the devil at times, and other times, when we don’t have enough, it can be a saving grace. Estrogen is a confusing issue, especially when it comes to hormonal balance. We all know that estrogen is the female hormone, but what many women don’t know is that we have different types of estrogen in our bodies, and they all work differently. Some of them work for our benefit in higher amounts, while others can be detrimental in high amounts. Without getting various tests run from your OBGYN, there are some pretty fantastic ways your body speak to you on how to tell if your estrogen levels are imbalanced. Read on to find out the typical symptoms, and what you can do to give your body the balance it wants and deserves.
1. Your Period is MIA
One of the most prevalent ways on how to tell if your estrogen levels are imbalanced is if your period goes missing in action. On the other hand, if your menstrual cycle is heavier than usual, this can also be a red flag that your estrogen levels are imbalanced. When the female body isn’t producing enough estrogen, your period can stop or be inconsistent. If you notice you’ve been without a period for at least a consecutive two months, or if your periods are becoming heavier, see a doctor immediately.
2. You’re Depressed
If you’re feeling blue on a consecutive basis, chances are you’re super low in the mood-boosting hormone known as progesterone. Progesterone is the type of estrogen most responsible for a healthy mood, heightened libido, and a sense of well being. This is why during PMS, we often experience crying spells, or during menopause, we also experience the “weepies” as I like to call them, more often. Everything can seem so dramatic and we’re constantly on the verge of tears. When this happens and your period isn't normal, or you have regular depression, you should see a doctor to find out what you can do to correct the issue(s). More than likely, you're low in estrogen and things can be corrected fairly quickly through the right changes.
3. You’re Overly Anxious All the Time
If you feel like your nerves are constantly on edge and you’re always anxious, it could be estrogen related, though not necessarily. Sometimes, when estrogen levels are too high, we can suffer from estrogen dominance, which can result in edginess, anxiety, moodiness and even periods of extreme fatigue. Yet, this can also happen if we're dangerously low in estrogen too, which can make it one reason it is hard to self-diagnose.
4. You’re Not Sleeping Well
If you find yourself tossing and turning, then chances are, it’s hormonal. As the body loses estrogen towards the stages of menopause, it can decrease in the sleep hormone, melatonin. Melatonin is crucial for regulating your sleep levels, how easily you fall asleep, and how easily you wake up. It also changes the way your body sleeps throughout the night. Sufficient levels can help your body stay asleep and enter a deep sleep, known as REM sleep, while low melatonin levels will have you peeking at the clock all night to see what time it is. Don’t miss out on precious shut-eye! Your weight, mood, hormones and brain need good sleep to function at their peak level. As a bonus, that pillow time is precious to anti-aging as well ladies!
5. Your Skin is Acting up
During my early twenties, my skin was flawless, but when I entered menopause at a very early age, my skin looked like it did when I hit puberty in my teens! It was horrifying and I wasn’t able to understand how my glowing skin turned into acne eruptions within a year, until I found out it was my hormones. When estrogen levels take a big nose dive, it can result in an overproduction of testosterone, which triggers acne. It can also trigger symptoms of PCOS, which is also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, to which the ovaries are not producing estrogen efficiently, and testosterone has taken over. This can also result in weight gain, facial hair growth, and acne. If you’re unsure if you’re going through menopause, or premenopause, see your doctor to get your hormone levels tested.
6. Your Appetite is up and down
If your appetite is raging or null and void, then it coould be hormone related. Many times, a lack of appetite also comes along with depression and anxiety. This is usually due to a drop in estrogen levels, while an increase in appetite, almost to the point of being annoying, can be a sign that your estrogen levels have increased. For many women, taking birth control can lead to increased appetite, since they raise estrogen levels. Birth control can also give you better skin and even weight gain too, as a result from higher estrogen levels. Though estrogen levels help to get rid of acne and help with a bad mood, they also make you hungrier and can cause weight gain. Striving for that perfect balance is important, and you can look for hormone-free forms of birth control if you’re concerned with weight gain.
7. Hair Loss
If your body has stopped menstruating and you are also underweight, or losing weight, then chances are you will suffer hair loss. This usually happens if estrogen levels take a nose dive, but could also be a sign of a nutritional deficiency, or both. If your hair is falling out when you wash, comb or dry your hair, then get your hormone levels checked ASAP and be sure you’re getting enough nutrients through your diet. Zinc, protein and selenium all contribute to hair health, and will keep it from falling out. A diet rich in nuts, seeds, protein, and antioxidants can help by nourishing your hair and your hormones, so be sure to eat a healthy diet rich in these nutrients. These foods also help to increase your mood, prevent acne, and aid in metabolism functions as well.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with at least one of these symptoms of estrogen imbalance. I feel like I could write a book on the issue, having been all around the block with my hormones and back! What I can tell you is that balance is possible, so long as you take care of yourself. Have you ever experienced an imbalance in your estrogen?