14 Signs Of Hormone Imbalance Most Women Ignore

by Karen Boyle last updated -

Do you feel tired all the time? Or maybe feel a heaviness in your breasts? If you, as a woman, have been suffering from irritability or sudden insomnia spells or a combination of all of this, your hormones may be out of balance.

How Hormones Work

Hormones work in the body as messengers and regulate many natural functions, including the growth, digestion, respiration, sleep, stress, reproduction, metabolism and reproduction. We all have hormones, and women have “male” as well as “female” hormones (and vice versa). These hormones include progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, HCG, growth hormone as well as others that regulate all aspects of life. These are carried in the blood system.

A woman looking distressed, sitting in her pajamas on a bed

Sadness and depression are not the same things. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Causes of Hormone Imbalance

Hormone imbalances are caused by several external and internal factors. Aspects such as exercise and diet play a major role in the hormone levels. Another possible cause of hormone imbalances is the stress and demands that modern life plays on the body. Artificial lights and processed foods play a part in disrupting natural cycles in the body that, prior to this century, had remained close to their natural balanced state. Some medications also interfere with hormone levels as well. The hormones are regulated by the endocrine system. This involves a system of glands and organs. The glands of the endocrine system are:

  • Hypothalamus
  • Pineal Gland
  • Pituitary Gland
  • Thyroid
  • Parathyroid
  • Thymus
  • Adrenal
  • Pancreas
  • Ovaries

14 Signs Of Hormone Imbalance

So how do you know if your hormones are out of balance? There are a few key indicators. You might experience physical symptoms or feel out of it. Here are 14 signs of a potential hormone imbalance.

Chronic Fatigue

Hormones help regulate the circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. If you are constantly tired, then your hormone levels may be the reason. Thyroid dysfunction or progesterone imbalance can lead to this feeling of tiredness. When your progesterone levels are too high, then you might feel tired all the time. In order to properly determine the cause of your fatigue, you might need to ask a doctor for a blood test in order to measure the hormone levels.


Are you having trouble getting to sleep? Your hormones might be the culprit. When progesterone levels are too high then you might be tired. At the other end of the progesterone spectrum, if your levels are too low then you might have trouble falling asleep.

Memory Problems

Progesterone and estrogen changes can influence memory. If you have trouble remembering things like where you parked your car or feel foggy then you might have a hormone imbalance. Estrogen and cortisol work together with neurotransmitters, and when this balance is interrupted then you can have memory lapses.


Androgen levels affect skin cells. If you experience skin issues such as inflammation or dryness, a hormone imbalance might be the cause. This hormone influences oil levels. Any irregularities in your skin such a breakout can be because of a hormone imbalance, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. [1]

Weight Gain

You might eat more because of mood disruption and gain weight as a result. Estrogen levels can also affect the body’s levels of leptin, which helps you to naturally regulate food intake. An increase in cortisol can cause an accumulation of fat and decrease in muscle mass.

Sweet Cravings

The body releases cravings in response to foods that you eat, including a sweet tooth. This is a classic sign of adrenal fatigue. If you find that you’re craving sugar, then it could be a sign that your hormones are out of balance. You may also be craving salty foods.

Stomach issues

Stomach issues can be pain, indigestion or diarrhea. The endocrine system is connected to appetite and digestion, and this can affect your stomach in different ways. The belly is lined with cells that absorb the hormones progesterone and estrogen. When these hormones are lower or higher than normal, digestion can be affected. You might experience nausea, bloating or stomach pain.


Hormones help to regulate our moods and reactions. If you find that you are more prone to feeling angry or annoyed, then you might have a hormone imbalance. This can also manifest as anxiety. Changes in estrogen affect serotonin and dopamine levels. This could lead to mood swings.

A well-dressed woman looking stressed and holding her forehead

Stress at work is common and can lead to burnout, which is linked with depression and anxiety. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Breast changes

When estrogen levels go down, there can be changes in the breast tissues. They might look stretched or sagging. Also, if they are more swollen than usual than that is another sign the hormone levels are off. Breasts contain many fluids and are closely linked with the lymph and endocrine systems and are especially sensitive to hormone fluctuations.


Sweating is a cue to women that their hormones are off. Internal body temperature can rise because of mood changes. Hormones are closely linked to the cardiovascular function and the temperature of the body.


After childbirth or menopause, a woman’s sex drive might decrease because of the lower levels of estrogen. The reproductive urge is intricately linked with hormone levels, and if this is changed then it can be because of hormone changes. There might also be physical symptoms in the vagina with a difference in comfort and fluids.

Irregular periods

A healthy period cycle is every 21 to 35 days, and a disruption in this could be caused by a hormone imbalance. Too much or too little estrogen or progesterone could cause this. Measuring the length of your cycles will help you determine if your cycles fit into the window of healthy periods. [2]

Hair loss

Both estrogen and testosterone can affect hair loss in women. Increased testosterone could mean less hair on the head and more on the body. If you’re finding more hair in the shower than usual, take notice. It could be a sign that your hormone levels are off.

A woman looking upset with hair loss as she holds a comb with hair strands

Hair loss can be an upsetting condition to deal with. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Hot flashes

The sudden feeling of being warmer than usual is a hot flash and it is something that many women experience during menopause. Hormones regulate the body’s temperature, and when they are off then you could experience a hot flash.
Hormones help us with many different functions throughout the day. They flow through our body with every heartbeat, and when the levels are off-balance then there are several cues that can bring our awareness to our hormones.

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About the Author

Karen Boyle is the owner of Amchara Health Retreats (Somerset, UK & Malta) which has been voted ‘Top 10 wellbeing retreats in the world-2017′ by CNTraveller.com & ‘Top 10 retreats for health in the world-2016′ by Telegraph.co.uk. Amchara Health Retreats have been featured in Vogue, Independent, Porter, Marie Claire, Health & Fitness, Channel 4, and many more. Follow her on Instagram @amcharahealth

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