By Shakuntala Sinha

Hormones are like harbingers which affect functioning of cells and organs of our body. Sometimes hormone levels can change – e.g. during periods, menopause or pregnancy. Due to this you may feel some discomfort or may not be at your best. This is normal. But frequent changes or imbalance in hormone levels is not good. This may be due to other health issues or medications. This imbalance can be known by some signals they give. Watch Your Hormonal Imbalance; Keep Yourself Fit.

Sleep problem: If there is a problem in the quality or quantity of your sleep, it may be due to the hormonal factor. The progesterone hormone is released by the ovaries. If its level is low, you may have a sleep disorder. Sometimes it may cause sweating at night.

Irregular periods: If your Oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels are up or down you may face on problem like irregular periods. A woman’s period cycle is normally between 21 and 35 days, but if you do not have periods in this time span or you skip (exclude pregnancy) it may be due to the hormones. It may be due to perimenopause or before menopause also in women between the 40s and 50s. But irregular periods might be due to PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) also, you need to visit doctor.

Memory problems: Changes in Oestrogen and progesterone may lead to your memory or attention problems making it difficult for you to remember. This may be also due to a thyroid problem. Consult your doctor.

Digestive problems: If the aforesaid hormone level is high or low you may have problems with your digestive system like nausea, bloating, diarrhoea particularly during your periods.

Acne: Acne during puberty or periods can come and go. It is normal. But chronic acne may be due to an imbalance in androgen hormones level. If it is high, your oil glands can overwork or skin cells can be affected causing acne.

Mood changes and depression: Significant changes in oestrogen level can cause mood swinging. Some chemicals in the brain like dopamine, serotonin are affected by oestrogen. Other hormones or neurotransmitters can also affect your mood.

Vaginal dryness: You feel it occasionally, but if it is quite often it may be due to a drop in oestrogen level. It reduces fluids that soothe the vagina thereby causing dryness and tightness and irritation.

Fatigue: If you feel tired or fatigued most of the time, it may be due to excess a progesterone hormone level. Fatigue is one of the most common signs of hormone imbalance. Also if the thyroid gland is unable to release an adequate amount of thyroid hormones it can sap your energy level.

Weight gain: Drop in oestrogen levels may make you eat more causing weight gain. Oestrogen also affects hormones called leptin which controls our food intake.

Changes in boobs: A drop in oestrogen level can make breast tissues less dense while an increase will cause tightness . This may lead to cysts or lumps in breast. Talk to your doctor.

Headache: A drop in oestrogen level can trigger headache. If you regularly feel it before or during your periods , it is an indication of hormonal imbalance.

Sex urge: A drop in testosterone hormones (there is a misconception that it is found in men only) will reduce your urge for sex. Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. Watch Your Hormonal Imbalance; Keep Yourself Fit.