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Most women today, especially those who are working professionals, are so busy with their professional and social lives, that they hardly find any time to care for themselves. Even when they do notice some problem, they tend to take it casually and ignore it completely. It is only when the problems worsen that we sit and think about the possible causes. But alas, it is already quite late by then.

Hormones play an important role in regulating all the major bodily functions. So obviously, if there is even a slight disturbance or imbalance affecting them, the way the body functions can go for a complete toss. Since hormones are very important regulators, as far as women's health is considered, any health problem that they face, is in some way associated with hormones. It is therefore, essential to know the causes and effects of hormonal imbalance in women.

Causes

Estrogen and progesterone are the two most important female hormones. A hormonal imbalance occurs when the ratio of these two hormones deviate from their normal levels. Most commonly, estrogen is the one that tends to increase and this is known as 'estrogen dominance'. This may cause hormonal imbalance in teenage girls as well. So, what are its causes in young women? It is caused due to the following reasons -
  • Over nutrition
  • Malnutrition
  • Erratic lifestyle
  • Early onset of menopause
  • Phytoestrogens present in food
  • Use of birth control and contraceptive pills
  • Stress and tension
  • Thyroid problems
  • Ovarian failure
  • Environmental chemicals
In older women, it is caused mainly due to menopause and can be identified on the onset of menopausal symptoms. Women may start experiencing hormonal imbalance when they are in their 30s or 40s.

Symptoms and Effects

Listed below are some of the symptoms and effects of hormonal imbalance in young women and teenagers.
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Water retention/bloating
  • Irregular periods
  • PMS
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome or ovarian cysts
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Endometriosis
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Diminished sex drive
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Cyclical migraine headaches
  • Obesity or sudden weight gain
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Premenstrual asthma
  • Hormonal headache
  • Hair loss
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Lack of concentration
Diagnosis

Apart from the above symptoms, an accurate way to diagnose hormonal imbalance is a basic blood test. You should look for follicle stimulating hormone levels, estradiol, thyroxine and thyrotropin levels in the blood test reports.

Treatment

It is possible to treat hormonal imbalance and the associated disorders. Treatment needs to be administered, depending upon the cause. If caused due to thyroid malfunctioning, it is treated by administering a daily dose of natural or synthetic hormones. These hormones regulate the thyroid gland which then produces the appropriate levels of hormones. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is another form of treatment used to treat hormonal imbalance caused due to ovarian failure.

Other alternative treatments include consuming nutritional supplements, inculcating healthy lifestyle habits like, avoiding alcohol and smoking, consuming a healthy diet and incorporating exercise into the daily routine. It is also essential to maintain optimum weight levels to treat hormonal imbalance. Many lifestyle changes and going for a natural hormone imbalance treatment for teen girls or young women can help.

The key to recognizing hormonal imbalance is to act, as soon as any of the symptoms are experienced or observed. Do not take it lightly and wait for the symptoms to turn severe. Taking care of yourself is the key to a healthy life. So, consult a doctor and get a blood test done to check your hormone levels. With some changes in lifestyle like exercising and a good diet, and proper and safe medication, you will be able to restore the hormone levels back to normal. Good luck!