Here’s How Stress Can Trigger a Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances can cause a variety of complications, from mood swings to anxiety to leg cramps and more.
And according to a recent survey of 2,000 American women ages 30 to 60, nearly half of them have experienced the symptoms of a hormone imbalance.
However, 72 percent of the respondents said they weren’t aware that their symptoms were related to hormone imbalances until after they experienced them.
“Starting our periods and ending our periods is mandatory. That’s a life cycle — but suffering and symptomatic is optional, and that’s a function of hormonal imbalance, whether we’re in our teens or in perimenopause or menopause age range,” Dr. Anna Cabeca, author of “The Hormone Fix,” told Healthline.
Cabeca commissioned the survey to investigate how many women understand their hormones and the effect that a hormonal imbalance can have on quality of life.
While mood swings, hot flashes, and weight gain were understood to be symptoms of hormonal imbalance by two-thirds of the respondents, Cabeca said less than half of the women knew that urinary incontinence, brain fog, and memory loss can also be symptoms.
Other symptoms of hormonal imbalances include:
- night sweats
- leg cramps
- vaginal dryness
- sleep disturbances
- loss of interest in sex
Each symptom can have an effect on different aspects of life.
The following are areas that women reported experiencing a change due to hormonal imbalances, and the percentage of women surveyed who experienced the change.
- Energy: 50 percent
- Sex life: 39 percent
- Overall self-confidence: 27 percent
- Feeling like a woman: 19 percent
- Feeling alienated: 18 percent
“Americans are living life at 100 miles per hour, every day. It’s no wonder we have hormonal imbalances,” Dr. Jane Oh, an OB-GYN in Illinois, told Healthline. “When patients come to me for hormonal imbalance, the root cause is usually too much cortisol or stress hormone. Then [it’s a] downstream — every other hormone in our bodies is affected, including sex hormones and thyroid.”