“Brain fog” is a common complaint even though this is not a true medical term. It is a commonly reported symptom with many potential underlying causes. Women in perimenopause and after menopause report more memory complaints and difficulty concentrating than premenopausal women. Declining estrogen levels may be to blame, but other factors may play a role. Perimenopausal and post-menopausal women often have trouble sleeping and experience hot flashes and increased depression. These, in turn, may contribute to brain fog. Thyroid disease is another common cause of brain fog. See your doctor if you are experiencing brain fog so you can find out and treat the root cause. If declining estrogen levels are to blame, hormone replacement therapy may offer some relief and restore hormonal balance.
Read on for some of the most common things that can happen when your hormones are not in balance.  Some of these hormonal imbalances can diagnosed by clinical symptoms or after a physical exam; others require simple blood tests. But remember, there could be reasons other than hormones for these conditions, so always check with your health care professional to explore other causes and rule out other problems.   
Fatigue, mood instability, weight gain, foggy brain/memory loss, adult acne, hair loss/facial hair, lower sex drive, extreme PMS slide. These symptoms do not just reduce quality of life but they also increase chances of stroke, heart disease, cancer and of course gynecological problems (endometriosis, fibroid, tumors and cysts). There are solutions, don't just acquiesce to lower quality of life. And even if you accept such low standards of functionality, this might amount to truncating your life.  
There are many reasons why someone may be having difficulty sleeping.  But if it’s persistent, it’s likely related to your hormones.  Melatonin, the well-known sleep chemical, is a hormone released by the pineal gland in the brain.  As a hormone, it is intimately related and affected by the other hormones.  You can think of the different hormones as pieces in a complicated game of chess.  If you move one, it affects all the others and they have to move accordingly.  With certain moves, things can get dangerous.  If you are not sleeping well, it would be wise to have a professional assist you in holistically determining why.  Conversely, if you are imbalanced for other reasons, appropriate rest is necessary to help bring things back into balance.
For both genders, too much sugar, refined carbs and alcohol spikes estrogen. Keeping your gut healthy also cultivates healthy sex-hormone metabolism. Too little fiber or too many antibiotics damage the gut, triggering estrogen spikes because your body can’t properly detoxify or excrete waste. Environmental toxins thrive on pesticides called xenoestrogens, because even at lose doses, they act like estrogen in your body.                                              

Many women experience monthly breakouts before or during their period. However, chronic acne is something different. Acne that does not go away may be due to excess androgens, male hormones like testosterone that both women and men have. Excess levels of these androgens make oil glands extra productive. Androgens also affect skin cells that line hair follicles. Excess oil and skin cell changes clog pores, leading to acne. A doctor may prescribe birth control pills, corticosteroids like prednisone, or anti-androgen medications to treat hormonally influenced acne. High androgens may sometimes indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS may experience infertility. High insulin levels can stimulate the production of androgens and may be associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss can help reverse insulin resistance.
"Women can be, and many are, greatly affected by hormone fluctuations. Sometimes it gets to the point of feeling totally overwhelmed - as if for a time they have lost control of their life," says Christiane Northrup, MD, author of The Wisdom of Menopause and Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom.Dieting, stress, anxiety, depression - even exercise -are all among the factors that can create a hormonal tailspin. So there are plenty of opportunities for things to go awry.
Get the right tests. Ask your doctor to check your thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH  and free T3 and T4, as well as thyroid antibodies including thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies. I cover this extensively in my e-book. Some people may need to dig deeper and get a special test called reverse T3 to learn if something like heavy metals (mercury), pesticides, yeast or nutritional deficiencies like selenium, vitamin D, zinc or even iodine could block thyroid hormone function. Reverse T3 is the brake that stops your thyroid hormone from working at the right times. Unfortunately, toxins and inflammation increase levels of reverse T3. Even if regular thyroid tests appear normal, high levels of reverse T3 mean your thyroid is not working properly!
Dairy is one of the biggest triggers of hormonal imbalances because of all the hormones found naturally in milk and because of the hormones and antibiotics added to milk. Even organic milk can come from pregnant cows, jacking up hormone levels. In fact, dairy has over 60 hormones that can contribute to imbalances. Dairy and gluten are among the most common food sensitivities that you might benefit from eliminating from your diet.
Beauty products are another source of chemical exposure for many people. There are tens of thousands of chemicals in the personal care products we encounter daily, and most of these chemicals have not been tested for long-term safety. Avoiding these products can make a tremendous difference in achieving hormone balance. Start by making simple switches like homemade deodorant, and homemade lotion and even DIY makeup if you’re feeling adventurous. Check out my full index of natural beauty recipes here.
"Women can be, and many are, greatly affected by hormone fluctuations. Sometimes it gets to the point of feeling totally overwhelmed - as if for a time they have lost control of their life," says Christiane Northrup, MD, author of The Wisdom of Menopause and Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom.Dieting, stress, anxiety, depression - even exercise -are all among the factors that can create a hormonal tailspin. So there are plenty of opportunities for things to go awry.

Both men and women are subject to irregularities related to their sex hormones.  And both men and women have relatively appropriate levels of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone.  Women that are experiencing irregular menses (too long, too short, unpredictable, heavy bleeding or cramping, etc.) are more clearly demonstrating some type of abnormality in the quality, quantity or function of their sex hormones.  Although women have a more obvious gauge of hormone balance with their monthly menses, both sexes can experience sexual dysfunction or issues with libido (sexual desire) due to the complex intricacies and interactions of these powerful substances.
If you do all those things but are still not finding relief, Goldstein says a low dose birth control pill might be the answer. The Pill works differently than hormone replacement therapy, which adds more hormones on top of the ones that are already fluctuating, sometimes making the imbalance worse. "The Pill," he says, "shuts down your hormone production completely and gives you a small, even, metered dose that is the same day in and day out. That way, he says, "you don't feel the bumps in the road as much."

Hi, I am 62 year old african american femal and have hypothyroidism i take Levothyroxine 1 tablet daily which my doctor said i will be taking for the rest of my life. I have had a partial hystorectomy which means i still have my overies. I have severe hot flashes, trouble getting a good nights sleep because of the hot flashes and have noticed i am getting several dark patchy spots on my body could these spots be the result of hormonal imbalance?
Estrogen that is too high or too low may lead to changes in breast tissues. High estrogen may cause lumpy or dense breast tissue, even cysts. Estrogen levels that are too low may cause decreased breast tissue density. In one study, postmenopausal women who took estrogen plus progesterone hormone replacement therapy experienced an increase in breast density compared to women who took a placebo. Xenoestrogens are compounds that mimic estrogen function in the body. They are naturally occurring in some plants and fungi but they are also found in some drugs, industrial by-products, and pesticides. Non-naturally occurring xenoestrogens may produce a number of harmful effects in the body, including geffects on breast density and the risk of breast cancer. They also disrupt the endocrine system. If you notice any breast changes or are concerned about your estrogen levels, see your doctor for an evaluation.

Was diagnosed of hyperthyroidism 2013 was on thyroid medication, 2014 i had a radioactive iodine months after I became hypothyroid and have being on levothyrosine as I was told I would take it for life,I didn’t have it for a week in April as I wanted to try fruits so I had a breakdown,with emotional issues in my relationship, lots of thinking and crying, stressed out and depressed, hotness in my head ad legs,then I ran a thyroid test t3 low,t4 low,the extremely high I’m back on my medication but still feel horrible, lack of interest, hotness… Symptoms of hormone imbalance. What can I do please, I’m losing it
I am so tired it’s awful. I am in a stressful situation and I am cold a lot also. I use low dose vaginal progesterone and half a mg. of divigel, I work out and my cortisol is high I think. I try increasing progesterone but get tired on it. Now my breasts are bigger and I am bloated all over. My doctor doesn’t help. I think I have high and low cortisol and I feel like I will never recover from this, help!
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Here’s a rule of thumb: Steer clear from oils high in omega-6 fats (safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut), and load up on rich sources of natural omega-3s instead (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass-fed animal products). I also want to mention that there is a type of omega-6 fat that you want to get in your diet called GLA. GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) can be taken in supplement form by using evening primrose oil or borage oil, and it’s also found in hemp seeds. Studies show supplementing with GLA can support healthy progesterone levels. (4)
Hi, I am suffering from hormonal imbalance and my periods are irregular. My doctor advice me two tablets one is a contraceptive(I’m 21 by the way) and he told me I should excersie. But the thing is I get so sad that I just want to cry out loud for hours, I feel so depressed and I get angry or irritated at people around me.Also my lower back hurts a lot everyday.I have acne, hair fall, migraine sometimes, stomach aches everyday, I have gained weight,I go through most of the symptoms listed above. I just don’t know what to do. And the worse thing is I feel as if none understand me or nobody cares what I’m going through. You think I have cysts? Or something bad is wrong with me? Is there a possibility?
Proper nutrition is essential to maintain a healthy endocrine system, which regulates hormones in the body. Try to eat a diet rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These are found in fish oils, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Also, consume a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Buy organic foods when possible, and avoid foods with added hormones and chemical additives such as commercial meat, eggs and dairy products. Hormone-free and organic options are available in most supermarkets. Although soy, which has naturally occurring estrogen, can help increase estrogen levels, too much estrogen is not healthy. High estrogen levels have been associated with cancer and tumor growth.
A professional writer since 2008, Tracey Planinz writes articles on natural health, nutrition and fitness. She holds a doctorate and two professional certifications in her field, and continues to develop her education with additional classes and seminars. She has provided natural health consultations and private fitness instruction for clients in her local community.

Xenoestrogens tend to accumulate in body fat such as breast tissue, and play a dangerous role in the initiation and progression of breast cancer. They mimic the actions of estrogens by barging in and knocking naturally occurring estrogens right off the receptor sites of the cell. They are directly toxic to our DNA and are widely acknowledged to be contributing to the rising rate of breast cancer in western countries. After the 1976 banning of organochlorine pesticide use in Israel, breast cancer rates have come down.
Food allergies and gut issues: An expanding field of new research shows that your gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation. If you have leaky gut syndrome or a lack of beneficial probiotic bacteria lining your intestinal wall, you’re more susceptible to hormonal problems, including diabetes and obesity. That’s because inflammation usually stems from your gut and then impacts nearly every aspect of your health. (1b)
If you suspect that you might suffer from hormonal imbalance, the first step is to consult with a medical doctor. It is possible that your lab results are within the normal range but you still have many of the above symptoms, some of the tests are not sensitive enough to pick up on all indications of imbalance.  This just means that your journey to find alternative treatments will be a long one, but very much worth it.
Using essential oils for a quick massage or simply diffusing them in your surroundings is another great way to treat a hormonal imbalance. Give yourself a timeline when using essential oils. If you don’t notice that they are helping within 3-4 weeks, discontinue and try another essential oil but don’t use too many at once and don’t use them indefinitely.
If you can't sleep or you don't get good quality sleep, hormone balance may be to blame. Progesterone is one compound released by the ovaries that helps you sleep. Low levels may make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. A small study in postmenopausal women found that 300 milligrams of progesterone restored normal sleep when sleep was disturbed. Estrogen levels decrease in perimenopause and after menopause. This may contribute to night sweats and hot flashes, which often disrupt a woman's ability to sleep. See your doctor if you believe an imbalance in hormones is contributing to sleep problems.
Therefore, a diet high in sugar can have significant effects on the reproductive hormones and can help explain the link between conditions such as PCOS. Sugar is intrinsically linked to estrogen, a hormone responsible for many processes in the body. Estrogen has many beneficial effects, including regulating the reproductive system as well as helping optimize the action of insulin, the hormone that prevents high blood sugar levels.

Hormones are essential to your overall wellbeing. They relay chemical messages throughout the body, helping to keep your emotions and body systems in check. One of the key body systems affected by the balance of the hormones in your body is the reproductive system. A female hormonal imbalance could cause heavy periods, infertility, and endometriosis. (Imbalances can affect other body systems, as well.)

Weight gain is a common indication of excessive estrogen production in men, especially in the chest area. This can lead to condition called gynecomastia, or development of breasts in men. This frequently happens in men struggling with obesity because estrogen can be produced by fat cells, leading to a cycle of overproduction that can quickly become vicious and difficult to break out of without pharmacological intervention. Sexual dysfunction is another common symptom.


Dr. Hotze: Low thyroid and imbalance of the female hormones, but low thy-, that’s a classical finding in hypothyroid patients. Unfortunately, most physicians don’t think about thyroid problems, and if they do, they use a blood test only to make the diagnosis and the blood test is so broad, so wide, so large, that 95% of the people fall within the range, so there’s literally millions of people, I’ve figured 70 million people walking around America today that are hypothyroid …

Hello! I’m 43 years old.i have an 8yr history with hormonal imbalance.it started with me getting periods every 15days. When I went to the doctor she said I had a cyst in my ovary. Over the years it just kept getting from bad to worse with me getting periods within 15 days to now when I don’t get a period for 3-6months..! Two years ago my doctor decided to put a marena for me and soon after that I started to put on weight and had a total loss of libido. I got it removed after 4 months. So now I have weight that I gained since the marena which is around my belly and mentally I feel like I’m going crazy most of the time! Very extreme emotions of sadness,depression etc
Eating a variety of foods high in short, medium and long-chain fatty acids is key to keeping your hormones in check. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol. Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. Healthy fats have the opposite effect of refined carbohydrates, which lead to inflammation and can mess with the balance of your hormones.
Dr. Jolene Brighten is a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Medical Doctor and the founder and CEO of Rubus Health—a root cause women’s medicine clinic specializing in the treatment of hormone disorders, including adrenal, thyroid, and hormonal birth control related conditions. She is a recognized as an expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome and the long term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is a best-selling author, speaker, and clinical educator.

Hormonal imbalances can occur in men and women of almost any age.1 A variety of factors can be related to these imbalances, including high insulin levels from diets high in refined foods and sugar, exposure to environmental toxins (xenoestrogens), high consumption of hydrogenated fats, and lack of physical activity leading to weight gain.2-5 Age is also a factor in reduced levels of hormones, creating feelings of imbalance in everyday pursuits. For example, testosterone levels in women begin going down after age 20. By age 40 a woman's testosterone level will be half of what it was when she was 20 years old. This is why getting hormone levels checked even while in your 20's may be necessary if you aren't feeling yourself. For women between the ages of 40–60, testosterone levels can remain pretty constant. After menopause testosterone declines once again.1


In the years preceding menopause, a woman may suffer from decreased testosterone as her ovaries and adrenal glands slow the production of sex hormones. This may explain why many women experience a drop in libido during this period of their lives. Excess testosterone, however, may be the result of a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); possible symptoms include irregular periods, male-pattern baldness, a deepening voice, and excess body hair.
If you have hypothyroidism, a daily thyroid hormone replacement pill can help correct the imbalance. You might also want to consider eating more onion. This veggie contains kaempferol, a compound that may kick-start production of the hormone. If you have an overactive thyroid, your doctor may prescribe one of several treatments, from radioactive iodine—to slow hormone production—to surgical removal of the gland; most patients respond well once they get the proper care.

Are you tired all the time? Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of a hormone imbalance. Excess progesterone can make you sleepy. And if your thyroid -- the butterfly-shaped gland in your neck -- makes too little thyroid hormone, it can sap your energy. A simple blood test called a thyroid panel can tell you if your levels are too low. If they are, you can get treated for that.
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