Your energy level, mood, and metabolism are all influenced by your hormones. Though fatigue, irritability, and difficulty losing weight can be caused by a number of issues, these common problems can also be signs of a hormone imbalance.
Before you dismiss your weight gain and low energy as an unfortunate side effect of aging, consider having your hormone levels checked.
At MS Family Medicine Health Care PC, with New York City offices in Rosedale and Garden City, we take an integrative approach to care. When our primary care patients come in with concerns about feeling more tired than usual or struggling with weight loss, we look at more than just lifestyle habits.
Our team of health experts, led by medical director Michele Reed, DO, FAAFP, investigate all possible causes that might explain these symptoms, including a check of hormone levels.
Here, we want to talk about common signs of a hormone imbalance.
1. Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
Your metabolism refers to the chemical reactions that turn the food you eat into energy. Your body uses this energy to not only get you through your workout, but also to maintain your body temperature, keep your blood circulating, and digest food.
There are many hormones that influence how your body uses food for energy, including insulin, stress hormones (cortisol and epineprhine), thyroid hormones, and sex hormones. An imbalance in any of these hormones may slow down or speed up your metabolism, affecting your weight.
Sex hormone production naturally declines as you get older. This includes testosterone in men and estrogen in women. That’s why you may find yourself gaining weight as you get older, even if your diet and exercise routine hasn’t changed.
2. Poor concentration
Do you find yourself tuning out during meetings? Are you having a hard time getting your work done because you can’t seem to focus? These symptoms may be signs of a hormonal imbalance.
Hormones are chemicals that regulate many body systems, including your brain. An imbalance in stress or sex hormones may affect your memory, concentration, or problem-solving skills.
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Stress, travel, or a change in routine can lead to insomnia. However, hormones also influence your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Many women experience insomnia because of fluctuations in estrogen levels during their menstrual cycle or during menopause. An imbalance in thyroid hormones can also cause insomnia.
4. Aches and pains
Aches and pains are common symptoms of the aging process. However, achy muscles and painful joints can also be a symptom of hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone production.
Declining testosterone levels can also affect muscle mass and strength.
5. Changes in hair or skin
Many adolescents struggle with acne because of the hormonal changes that occur during puberty. However, a hormonal imbalance can also cause acne in adults. Namely, an overproduction of adgrogen, which is a male sex hormone that regulates the oil glands in the skin.
An imbalance in thyroid and female sex hormones may also cause dry skin and thinning hair.
Your hormones regulate numerous body functions and systems. Many of the symptoms you may dismiss as a normal part of the aging process may, in fact, be signs of a hormone imbalance. We can help you sort out the cause of your symptoms.
If a hormone imbalance is causing your fatigue or difficulty losing weight, we may recommend hormone replacement therapy to restore balance and ease your symptoms.
To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with MS Family Medicine Health Care PC today.