Hormone Imbalance: Causes, Symptoms, and More
Hormonal imbalances occur if there are too much (or little) hormones in your bloodstream. Since they are a crucial part of your body, even the smallest changes and imbalances can cause discomfort and symptoms. Read on to learn more about hormonal imbalance, from its causes and symptoms, down to what you can do to remedy it. Everyone experiences hormonal imbalance or fluctuations during various parts of their life. There are cases unique to women, related to their reproductive hormones. Such causes include: • Pregnancy and breastfeeding • Menopause or premature menopause • Hormone drugs • Primary ovarian insufficiency • PCOS However, there are also other common causes, such as: • Diabetes • Underactive or overactive thyroid • Conditions affecting your hormones and glands • Hormone therapy • Tumors or certain cancer treatments • Medications • Eating disorders • Stress • Injury or trauma The symptoms of hormonal imbalance depend on the glands and hormones affected. The common symptoms include: • Unexplained weight loss or gain, sometimes bloating • Unexplained sweating and fatigue • Insomnia or difficult sleeping • Dry skin and/or skin rashes • Changes in blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and/or heart rate • Changes in appetite • Brittle or weaker bones and/or hair • Symptoms of depression, irritability, and/or anxiety • More or less sensitive to cold and/or heat • Increased thirst and needing to go to the toilet more or less than before • Reduced sex drive and/or infertility • A puffier face or hair growth on the face • Blurred vision • Deepening of voice in females • Breast tenderness and/or bulge in the neck If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to get checked with your doctor for a diagnosis. There is no single test for medical professionals to diagnose hormonal imbalances. During your check-up, you will need to prepare a list of all your medications, vitamins, and supplements you currently take. Furthermore, you will need to describe your symptoms, as well as their timeline. Your doctor will then suggest you take a few diagnostic tests: • A blood test • Pelvic exam and physical exam • Ultrasound • Other additional tests such as an MRI, biopsy, thyroid scan, X-ray There are also home testing kits that measure follicle-stimulating hormones in your urine. These levels would increase as you enter menopause, usually rising and falling during your normal menstrual cycle. This won’t be able to show if you have any serious hormonal imbalance issues, but it can tell whether or not menopause might have begun. Treatments for hormonal imbalance would depend on its cause. Here are some of the treatment options available: • Estrogen Therapy: Your doctor will give a small dose of estrogen, which is usually done for women who suffer from symptoms of menopause • Vaginal Estrogen: These can be in the form of estrogen cream, rings, or tablets. It’s helpful for those experiencing dryness and/or pain during intercourse • Hormonal birth control: This can help regulate your menstrual cycles, as well as improve your skin condition • Thyroid Hormone Therapy: These are for people who are diagnosed with hypothyroidism to balance their hormone levels There are also various lifestyle changes and natural remedies you can try to treat hormone imbalance. • Yoga is known to help regulate hormones while improving your overall balance, flexibility, and strength • If you are overweight, losing weight can improve your menstrual cycle and make your periods more regular • Have a balanced diet and exercise regime, which is crucial for overall health • Decrease the uncomfortable symptoms of hormonal imbalance by using targeted treatments like moisturizers and lubricants, removing unwanted new hair on the face and body, and to avoid any triggers of hot flashes You don’t need to suffer through the pain and discomfort of hormonal imbalance. For those who are experiencing any of these symptoms, do check yourself with a medical professional.
4 min read
Top 5 Causes of Vaginal Itching
Vaginal itching is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition that mainly arises due to benign causes like yeast infections. But, there are many other potential causes of itching in the vaginal area. While itching in the vagina can often be treated with over-the-counter remedies, the condition can sometimes grow more serious if overlooked. So, it is important to be familiar with possible reasons for vaginal itching other than yeast infection: Genital itching is one common symptom of many STDs. STDs can occur due to sexual contact with a person who has an infection of some type. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), STDs occur at a very high rate, with millions of cases reported annually. People can reduce the risk of suffering from STDs by: ● Having safe sex (using barrier precautions) ● Getting yourself tested for STDs before having sex● Preventative measures like the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine BV is a common bacterial infection that often affects women after puberty. It occurs when the healthy bacteria in the genitals become unbalanced. Many times, BV does not show any symptoms. But, it can cause watery vaginal discharge with a bad odor and a burning sensation around the vagina.Some known causes of BV are:● Smoking● Douching (can upset the vagina’s natural bacteria)● Bathing with antibacterial or antiseptic products● Using scented products in the vagina or surrounding areas● Using harsh clothing detergentsBV can be dangerous to pregnant women and their fetuses. So, pregnant women must see their gynecologist for any vaginal itching or discharge. The feeling of bugs crawling around any part of your body is really disturbing. This is sometimes caused by public lice, an easily transmittable infestation of tiny, crab-like creatures can make your vagina itch like crazy. Public lice may attach to any body areas covered in hair. Bites or eggs from these bugs can cause vaginal itching and irritation in the surrounding areas. You can treat public lice using store-bought lice-killing lotions. In severe cases, you may need prescription medication.Hormones fluctuate during menstrual cycles and pregnancy. This can lead to drier vaginal tissue than normal, which can result in itching. Besides, perimenopause - the time period before menopause starts, causes a dropped level of estrogen. This can further lead to dryness and itching in the vagina. OTC moisturizers that are gentle and unscented can treat vaginal itching. Your physician may prescribe you an estrogen cream for external vaginal itching if they feel it is caused by your hormones or menopause. Women sometimes have procedures like waxing done to have less hair on their vulvar area. Due to these treatments, you can develop irritation, skin injury, rashes, and ingrown hairs which can all cause itching.If you are using any new treatment for hair removal, consider that they may be causing your itching. The Bottom LineOverlooking vaginal itching is never a good idea, as you may miss a serious cause. So, it is important to consult with your physician in a timely manner to get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
3 min read