Health & Wellness

Hormonal Imbalance: Everything You Need to Know

This article may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Privacy Policy.

This article was written by a guest contributor. For guest contribution guidelines, please visit this page.

Aaron Smith is a writer, copy strategist, and consultant who works with several companies and non-profits. He covers developments in various industries, ranging from health and technology, and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and spending time with his three pups: Buddy, Roxy, and Kaya.

Do you suffer from acne or weight gain that does not resolve from usual means such as exercise and a healthy diet? It can be frustrating, and, in most cases, it’s not because you’re doing things incorrectly. 

More often than not, these issues (among many other problems) arise due to a condition called hormonal imbalance. 

What is Hormonal Imbalance?

As the name suggests, this issue is caused by too high or too low hormone levels. 

Hormones are chemical messengers created and released by endocrine glands/tissues. They send messages to various organs, tissues, and muscles, essentially commanding them with what they need to do and when to do them. 

There are about 50 hormones in the body that help promote and/or maintain the following processes:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism
  • Homeostasis (internal balance)
  • Sleep-wake cycle
  • Mood
  • Reproduction

Since hormones greatly affect the body, having too much or too little of them can lead to changes that require treatment. In some cases, this may not harm overall health, but it can adversely affect quality of life.

Hormonal imbalance can be temporary or long-term (chronic).

What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?

Hormone levels increase and decrease regularly. However, more pronounced changes occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. 

Irregular yet temporary hormonal imbalances often result from stress and the use of certain medications and steroids. 

Chronic hormonal imbalance, meanwhile, can be caused by tumors and autoimmune conditions. It can also occur due to endocrine gland issues resulting from blood loss, surgery, radiation, and bacterial/viral infections. 

What Are the Common Symptoms Linked With Hormonal Imbalance?

It depends on the process affected by the hormones. 

Those that affect metabolism may lead to symptoms such as fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, weight gain/loss, poor skin health, cold/heat intolerance, and depression or anxiety, to name a few.

An imbalance of sex hormones could lead to heavy/no periods, hair loss/growth, vaginal changes, and infertility in women. As for men, sex hormone imbalance may lead to erectile dysfunction, loss of sex drive, and fertility problems. 

What Conditions Arise From Hormonal Imbalance?

Woman looking right into the camera with brown eyes

Since hormones affect various parts of the body, fluctuating levels can lead to: 


Although commonly caused by clogged pores, acne can also result from hormonal changes during puberty. 

Meanwhile, acne can occur in adults due to increased oil production on the skin. This often occurs due to the hormonal fluctuations associated with pregnancy, menopause, or testosterone therapy. 


The most common hormone-related condition in the US is diabetes. This occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 1) or if the body fails to use insulin properly (type 2). In pregnant women, gestational diabetes may occur because the placenta prevents the proper utilization of insulin.  

Thyroid Disease

Low thyroid hormone levels may lead to hypothyroidism, which can result in the slowed function of most organs. Hyperthyroidism, meanwhile, can speed up the body’s metabolic rate due to excessive thyroid hormone levels.

Obesity/Weight Issues

Black and white photo of a woman measuring her stomach with a tape measure

Low thyroid hormone and high cortisol levels can lead to obesity. These hormones affect how the body craves food and uses it for energy, thus resulting in fat storage and eventual weight gain.  

Irregular Menses

Hormones regulate the menstrual cycle in women. As such, hormonal imbalance can lead to the absence of menses (amenorrhea) or irregular periods, as experienced by women diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). 


In women, the leading cause of infertility is hormonal imbalance-related conditions, such as PCOS and the absence of ovulation (anovulation). 

Hypogonadism, which results in low testosterone levels, can lead to fertility issues in men. 

How is Hormonal Imbalance Diagnosed?

Generally, your healthcare provider will request for blood work to check which hormones are imbalanced. They may also order diagnostic/imaging tests to look for tumors or injuries that affect the endocrine system. 

On top of lab testing, there’s also an option to check your holistic balance at home. All you need to do is submit your hair and saliva samples to know your current hormonal and nutritional status.

How Do You Treat Hormonal Imbalance?

Depending on the underlying cause, chronic hormonal imbalance may be treated with:

Hormone Replacement Therapy

If you have low hormone levels, the physician may replace them through oral or injectable hormones. For example, if you have hypothyroidism, you may be prescribed thyroid hormone pills. And if you have a growth hormone deficiency, you may be given injectable growth hormones. 

Medication, Surgery, or Radiation Therapy

High hormone levels may require any of the treatments mentioned (or a combination of them).  For example, if you have high prolactin levels due to a tumor, your doctor may prescribe you medication or radiation therapy to shrink the mass. They may also recommend surgery to remove the growth. 

How Do You Prevent Hormonal Imbalance?

If you are prone to temporary hormonal imbalance due to your lifestyle choices, you can prevent it from happening by following these fixes:

Manage Your Stress

Woman with her mascara running and a smiley face on a piece of paper

Constant stress can keep cortisol levels high, which can often lead to high blood pressure and weight gain, among many other symptoms. It can also keep adrenaline levels elevated, which can result in anxiety. To keep these hormones at bay, make sure to actively practice some sort of stress management techniques such as exercise, focused breathing, and hypnotherapy, to name a few. 

Sleep Well

Sleep helps regulate hormones, especially those that trigger stress and hunger. Sleeping for 7-9 hours may help prevent cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones from fluctuating. 

Don’t Smoke/Use Steroids

Smoking and tobacco use can affect the production of cortisol, thyroid, and reproductive hormones. Steroids, when used incorrectly, can affect the production of sex hormones. Avoiding these can help prevent the onset of thyroid problems, menstrual disorders, and fertility issues. 

Drink Tea

Apart from being refreshing, the regular consumption of herbal teas may prevent hormonal changes. Matcha, for example, is rich in antioxidants that improve hormone balance by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. 

Hibiscus tea, likewise, helps balance hormones by fighting inflammation and improving glucose sensitivity. This makes it ideal for diabetics and those suffering from metabolic problems. 


Hormonal imbalance occurs when the endocrine glands produce too few or too many hormones. Such can be caused by life changes such as puberty and pregnancy, but it may also result from stress, medication use, and tumors. 

Hormonal imbalance presents with various symptoms. It can eventually lead to conditions such as acne, diabetes, thyroid disease, obesity, and infertility. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Your healthcare provider may recommend medications, surgery, or radiation as needed.

Preventing hormonal imbalance is possible with stress management, adequate sleep, and the consumption of herbal teas. 

You might also be interested in: 

Guest Contributor

view post

More from Health & Wellness category