6 Signs You Have a Hormonal Imbalance
You Struggle to Get Out of Bed in the Morning
If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning or hit snooze multiple times before starting your day, then it’s a clear sign your circadian hormone output is out of whack. Specific hormones are produced in a cyclical or circadian pattern every day, and if their rhythm gets altered you’ll start to feel sluggish, fatigued or fail to thrive.
You Crash After a High-Carb Meal
Stop me if this sounds familiar: you eat a tasty lunch, get back to the office and by the mid-afternoon, you can barely keep your eyes open? Or maybe it’s the high-carb cereal or oatmeal breakfast you knock back to start your day, only to be struggling to stay sharp by mid-morning? If you notice a significant crash after a high-carb meal, then you likely have poor insulin function.
You Get Serious Cravings Throughout the Day
There are a lot different reasons why you could get cravings during the day. One hormone in particular is responsible for keeping you full – leptin, your “satiety” hormone signal – and when life gets busy or you make the wrong food choices, your leptin signal gets scrambled and cravings ensue.
You’ve Got High Belly Fat
High belly fat reflects high levels of visceral fat, which is the fat that accumulates around your organs. It is very pro-inflammatory and dangerous for your overall health. The vast majority of your cortisol receptors are located around your mid-section.
If your belly fat is high, your cortisol stress levels will be out of balance and leading you down the path to weight gain, poor health and lack of vitality. Cortisol is the “yang” to insulin’s “yin,” responsible for increasing blood sugar levels by breaking down your muscle mass. If you have a cortisol problem, it can create an insulin problem.
Your Libido Is Low
A classic sign of a hormone imbalance is low libido. If you’re training intensely and pushing yourself to the limits, one of the primary signs of overtraining is losing your mojo. Similarly, if you’re burning the midnight oil and working long hours, your libido can hit rock bottom as stress levels increase.
In men, as cortisol stress levels go up, testosterone goes down. In women, stress levels lower the female hormone progesterone, which is one of your primary libido hormones.
You’ve Gained Weight Around the Hips
If you’re naturally more of an hourglass- or pear-shaped woman, and feel like you’ve been gaining weight recently, it’s probably accumulated around your hips. This is where body fat is predominantly distributed in women, but even more so in pear-shaped or estrogen-dominant type women.
As estrogen levels climb too high, you’ll experience irritability, heavier menses, breast tenderness, weight gain and worsening of premenstrual symptoms. If you’ve gained weight, body fat also produces estrogen, adding to the severity of your symptoms.