A hormone imbalance can be many things to different women. It can be sudden changes in mood; crying for absolutely no reason other than the cat decided your lap was a great place to nap. It can be that desperate urge for ice cream or chocolate or both. It can be full blown irrational madness or pure anger for no reason or wanting to simply hide away from everyone and everything.
Essentially, our mental state can sometimes be a little wonky thanks to hormones – especially when they’re imbalanced.
This may sound a little odd, we know. How on earth do hormones have such a profound effect on our bodies, let alone our mental state and mental health? Well, they just do. Hormones also affect our physical well-being as well and are directly in control of many of our bodily functions.
Hormones are biochemicals, produced in various parts of the body, known as glands. You’ve probably heard of the pituitary gland; it produces adrenaline and we all know the rush of adrenaline. Increased heart rate, the rush of heat, the feeling of invincibility; it’s a hormone!
Now imagine a body where biochemicals are at work. Doing what they need to do, staying on task, completing their functions like a well-oiled machine. Then introduce say a new co-worker (say stress), things can get a little distracted and off-balance with needing to get them trained up with how things work and manage them effectively.
This new co-worker “stress” causes an imbalance. This is how the likes of stress and external factors can cause a hormonal imbalance in your body. Biochemicals get messed up and don’t go back to their normal tasks, or they do but they’re a little lazy about it. Basically, hormones, when they don’t function correctly can cause a hormone imbalance and usually, we don’t even notice it because, well, we’re “supposed” to be a little hormonal but not ALL THE TIME!
What we may not always recognise as a hormone imbalance but certainly notice (eventually) in our selves when you reach for the pants with the stretchy waistband rather than cut yourself in half with your well-worn pair of jeans, are the insidious things like weight gain, extra stomach fat and loss of muscle. This then almost simultaneously meets with tiredness, libido issues and potentially, a serious effect on your mental and physical well-being. As we discussed above even stress plays a part in disturbing your body’s balance.
So how do these insidious things present themselves? Let’s break it down.
Signs Our Mental Health & Wellbeing are under attack:
We all know what mood swings are like. We experience them most of the time, most noticeably around our menstrual cycle (considered normal) when we are younger and in our mid years. Then as we transition into peri-menopause & menopause these sometimes can feel like every waking moment. So, if your mood swings seem to be lasting longer or becoming more and more a part of everyday life and having an impact on you then consider this isn’t normal and it may be that your hormones are imbalanced.
You may not notice the mood swings at first, but your loved ones probably have.
But if you have noticed the mood swings, do they hit out of nowhere or are they triggered by the smallest annoyance? Often our tolerance for situations or things can be made worse by our hormones being out of balance.
While life in general can cause a little tension and anxiety in our lives, causing us to feel even more anxious in times of doubt or high stress situations, this is a normal part of life for most people. However, if you feel you are living in a state of heightened anxiousness for no apparent or even apparent reasons then our hormones could now be out of balance.
Anxiousness doesn’t help our hormones and when you’re overly anxious it can trigger stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to over produce, adding more fuel to the hormone fire.
Overly irritated? Constantly annoyed? For no good reason? Could be hormones. When our hormones are imbalanced, the effect on our mental health can be a little overwhelming. Just like with mood swings, the irritation we feel can be caused by the smallest thing. Your zipper on your pants won’t slide properly. The plug won’t fit in the sink properly. Someone left the empty milk bottle in the fridge when you were in desperate need of liquid caffeine.
The irritation would be minor most of the time (except for the milk, that’s infuriating 24/7) but when our hormones are imbalanced, the irritation is heightened. This can tie into our body’s stress response again which doesn’t help our hormones maintain balance when they’re imbalanced.
Changes in our sex drive can be caused by our hormones and driven by our mental state. Complete lack of interest in sex is driven by our hormones. Oestrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone are the main sex hormones and they are responsible for sexual urge responses. However, when your hormones are imbalanced, these hormones don’t work the way they should.
Drinking too much caffeine and not enough water during the day can lead to cortisol being introduced and with this now the 3 sex hormones are all in disarray because they can’t complete their normal functions in the usual time frame. This adds to the imbalance, so make sure you drink plenty of water to keep that pesky Cortisol in check for the sake of balanced sex hormones.
When we’re experiencing issues like mood swings or anxiousness or highly stressed, our libido lays low and we feel a pretty distinct lack of sex drive.
Stress can play a massive role in hormone imbalance and guess what the name of our stress hormone is … Cortisol! Studies show that excess cortisol can contribute to depression in adults, so this certainly doesn’t help our mood swings either.
Excess stress hormones mean that your body is unable to process them correctly and therefore unable to process normal hormones correctly, just adding the imbalance to a point where your body throws its hands up and just goes with the “new normal”, but this isn’t exactly the best for your mental health or physical well-being. For some tips on how to de-stress, click here
The Physical Side:
Being tired happens, it’s a fact of life. However, being tired all day everyday isn’t ideal. If you experience trouble getting to sleep or trouble staying asleep more than usual or out of nowhere your sleeping pattern changes, this can be a sign of a hormonal imbalance. Lack of sleep and fatigue can further impact on your sleep and sleep hormones.
Often when we feel tired, we decide we need caffeine or sugar to help keep us awake (especially when we need to be awake) the only problem with this is that sugar hit and the changes to your blood sugar levels causes a peak in insulin then a crash which can leave us feeling even more drained after the “hit” has worn off. Lucky for you, there’s Chromium in NuWoman that can assist with those pesky sugar peaks and dips.
As women, we expect a little bit of fluctuation with our weight. This is normal and a part of life. What we don’t expect is weight gain for no reason or weight gain when we’re trying actively to get fit and healthy.
Many factors can affect our weight – that time of the month, and when that time has passed, our stress levels, first flush of a new relationship, even our hormones. Changes in our level of activeness and a change in diet (hello lockdown diet) can take you down a slippery slope to changes in your body mass.
The issue with changes in weight and whether it’s based on hormones is difficult to always pinpoint the specific cause. In some cases, it’s oestrogen causing the problem and other times it’s other hormones interfering with other hormones responsible for telling your stomach that you’re finished eating.
Changes in our weight can be incredibly frustrating but getting your hormones back into a functioning rhythm can be the best step you take to getting back on track.
And the dreaded result of weight gain;
Stomach fat and loss of muscle
Perhaps what women judge themselves most harshly on, is our body. When we notice extra stomach fat, we can sometimes despair, especially if we lose muscle mass too. When our hormones are imbalanced or disrupted, your body can end up storing fat for future use rather than burning it which can lead to extra fat in your belly area. It is unfortunately a biological response and a factor in why women lose muscle mass and gain bulk as opposed to muscle tone.
In saying this, your size or shape does not define who you are and your importance. Your vibrant personality and who you are inside are what is important.
We want you to feel well, inside and out. However, your mental well-being must be a priority. Take the time to look after yourself and put yourself first. You need time to yourself as well. It’s amazing what a little perspective can do, especially when you’re battling with a hormonal imbalance.
Now how may NuWoman help?
NuWoman BALANCE and 30 PLUS are designed to support women in all stages of life with hormonal imbalance. Modern life contributes a lot. There’s relationships, kids, work, home life, stress, all manner of possible complications in our lives. Then add in outside sources like hormonal contraceptive methods throwing your body out of whack and the extra bits and pieces used to make our food safe to eat and food containers etc, your body absorbs a lot and can be thrown off balance by that too.
NuWoman ingredients are scientifically formulated to support women and their hormonal imbalances. For some more information on NuWoman click here. NuWoman is also suitable for women in their late teens, 20s, 30s 40s, 50s, 60s and up. Hormone imbalance doesn’t discriminate by age.
However, if you find that you’re into the next stage of your life, commonly known as the “Change of Life” or Menopause, NuWoman can support you here too. As you experience menopause, physiological changes occur in your body and not just the lack of menstrual cycle. Changes to your bone health can also occur so NuWoman have a fantastic product called NuWoman Menopause + Bone to support menopause and bone health in a convenient one a day dose. For more information on NuWoman Menopause + Bone click here.