7 Important Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance that Harm Your Appearance

With all of the environmental pollutants we are exposed to every day, the chemicals in our makeup, self care products, and other household products, along with questionable ingredients found in our food, it’s no wonder so many of us are suffering from hormone imbalances. The worst part, is that most of us don’t even realize something is wrong.

Thankfully, our body has subtle ways of telling us there is an issue, if only we know what to watch out for. These are some of the more obvious visible clues that you may have a hormone imbalance.

8 Visible Signs You Have a Hormone Imbalance

If you have any of these signs, speak to your doctor or a natural health care practitioner to learn how you can get your body back on the right track.

1. Acne

Everyone gets acne from time to time, whether it’s from puberty, your menstrual cycle, a particularly stressful week, or the occasional indulgent meal. If acne becomes chronic, with seemingly never ending deep, cystic outbreaks, this could be a sign of a larger hormonal issue. Chronic adult acne could be a sign of low levels of estrogen and progesterone and high levels of androgens, and could also signal Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Also, eating too many simple carbs such as white bread and pasta, and too much sugar (even “healthy” foods like granola bars and fruit juice!) can cause your hormones to become unbalanced and cause acne. These high glycemic, high sugar foods raise your blood sugar levels and load your body up with glucose. Your body then has to secrete insulin to collect all of that glucose, and that constant release of insulin increases the rate at which your body converts the hormone testosterone into the chemical DHT (a potent form of testosterone) in your skin.  This then triggers an overproduction of sebum which blocks your pores and causes pimples to form. (9)

While most doctors will prescribe topical retinols and birth control pills, there are natural ways to solve the problem including dietary changes, herbs, and vitamins. Read here for more info on natural acne solutions, and consider consulting a naturopathic doctor who specializes in female hormonal imbalances and skin problems.

2. Hair Loss

It’s perfectly normal for some hair to fall out each day, but if you notice more hair coming out than usual, this could be a sign of low testosterone. It can happen in both men and women, and is known as androgenetic alopecia. The resulting hair loss occurs when testosterone converts to DHT, a chemical that harms hair follicles, and can be caused by stress, birth control, pregnancy, and menopause. (2, 3, 4)

Again, there are many dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to reverse this problem. If you are still struggling, visit your health care practitioner for help.

3. Dark Eye Circles

Dark circles are often one of the first symptoms of a late night, but when they become chronic those dark circles suggest that you are experiencing adrenal fatigue. When you have adrenal fatigue, your levels of the stress hormone cortisol are elevated. This makes it hard for you to get a good nights sleep, and even when you do fall asleep, your sleep is restless and of low quality. While you may not necessarily feel tired all of the time, the dark circles under your eyes are one of the first signs that your adrenals are fatigued.

To beat adrenal fatigue and get rid of those circles, diet is key. Again, find a naturopathic doctor who can suggest vitamins and supplements that will aid the process, as well as point out what lifestyle changes you should consider making. (5)

4. Dry Skin

Chronic dry skin, no matter how much moisturizer you use, is a tell-tale sign of inadequate thyroid hormone. With hypothyroidism, blood circulation to the skin is reduced to as little as one fourth or one fifth of what it should be. This low blood supply means that the skin is not getting the nutrients it needs, and become waxy, cool, and extremely dry. (6)

If you suspect that you have hypothyroidism, visit your doctor or health care practitioner. Read here for natural solutions to hypothyroidism.

5. Yellow or Pale Skin

This is yet another sign of a thyroid problem, and most often shows up on your lower legs. This should go away once your thyroid hormones brought back up to normal. (6) Read here for more information on thyroid disorders and how to treat them.

Yellow or pale skin, particularly on the lower legs, could also be a sign of Diabetes. Known as Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, this occurs when there are changes in the blood vessels which cause the skin to become raised, yellow, and waxy in appearance. Just as a high sugar, high glycemic diet causes acne, so does the constant secretion of glucose and then insulin in the blood cause changes to the blood vessels themselves, which then causes changes to the blood supply to the skin. (10) Read here for more information on skin conditions related to Diabetes.

6. Excessive Hair Growth

If you are a woman and are experiencing excessive hair growth on your upper lip, stomach, chest, or back, you may have increased levels androgens (the male hormones), also known as Hirsutism. This can also cause acne, a deeper voice, and small breasts, and can be caused by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Cushing’s Syndrome, or tumors in your adrenal glands or ovaries. If you think you have Hirsutism, see you doctor or health care provider right away. (7)

7. Weight Changes

The hormones released by the thyroid effect your metabolism. If you have excessive thyroid hormone production, you will experience unwanted weight loss. When you have too little, weight gain will occur. It is important to speak to your doctor if you think you have either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. (8)

These are just a few of the visible signs of hormone imbalances, however there are many other signs of hormone imbalance that you cannot see on the surface. If you suspect that your hormones are out of balance, visit your doctor or naturopath to determine the right course of action for you.

Share this article with your friends and family to spread awareness of the visible signs of hormone imbalance and protect your loved ones from its dangerous health affects.

Sources:

(1) 3 Best Natural Treatments for Hormonal Acne. (2017, August 20). Retrieved August 25, 2017, from https://www.naturalacneclinic.com/naturaltreatmentofhormonalacne/
(
2) Case-Lo, C. (2016, October 03). Hair Loss and Testosterone. Retrieved August 25, 2017, from http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/hair-loss-and-testosterone#1
(
3) Androgenetic alopecia – Genetics Home Reference. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2017, from https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/androgenetic-alopecia
(
4) Association, A. H. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2017, from  http://www.americanhairloss.org/women_hair_loss/causes_of_hair_loss.asp
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5) Thompson, L. (2017, August 14). Facial Signs of Adrenal Fatigue. Retrieved August 25, 2017, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/29010-facial-signs-adrenal-fatigue/
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6) Skin signs of thyroid disease. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2017, from  http://hypothyroidmom.com/skin-signs-of-thyroid-disease/
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7) Hirsutism. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2017, from  http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/hirsutism-hair-women#1
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8) Depression, the Thyroid, and Hormones. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2017, from  http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-the-thyroid-and-hormones#1
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9) A. (2017, August 17). Here’s 9 Reasons Why You’re Still Struggling With Acne. Retrieved August 26, 2017, from http://www.alinaislam.com/natural-acne-treatment/
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10) Diabetes and Skin Conditions. (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2017, from  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/skin-conditions-in-diabetes

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Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer, a competitive runner, and a staff writer at The Hearty Soul.
Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.

Check out the history, food, and culture site she runs with her twin sister, The Taste Archives , and connect with her on Instagram , Facebook , and on Twitter!
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