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Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

 

1.         Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling
2.         Bouts of rapid heart beat
3.         Irritability
4.         Mood swings, sudden tears
5.         Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats)
6.         Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles
7.         Loss of libido (see note)
8.         Dry vagina, a general drying out that can include eyes, mouth, joints and skin. (see note)
9.         Crashing fatigue
10.       Anxiety, feeling ill at ease
11.       Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom (see note)
12.       Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
13.       Disturbing memory lapses
14.       Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing, urges incontinence (see note)
15.       Itchy, crawly skin (see note)
16.       Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons (see note)
17.       Increased tension in muscles
18.       Breast tenderness
19.       Headache change: increase or decrease
20.       Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea
21.       Sudden bouts of bloat
22.       Depression (see note)
23.       Exacerbation of existing conditions
24.       Increase in allergies
25.       Weight gain (see note)
26.       Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair
27.       Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
28.       Changes in body odor
29.       Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head (see note)
30.       Tingling in the extremities, (see note)
31.       Gum problems, increased bleeding
32.       Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, dry mouth, change in breath         odor
33.       Osteoporosis (after several years)
34.       Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier
35.       Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, 'whooshing' buzzing etc.

36.       Arthritis

37.       Autoimmune disorders such as lupus, erthematosis and thyroiditis and possible Sjogren’s     disease

38.       Breast Cancer

39.       Breast cysts

40.       Gallbladder disease

41.       High blood pressure

42.       Hypoglycemia

43.       Increased blood clotting (increasing risk of strokes)

44.       Infertility

45.       Magnesium deficiency (sugar cravings)

46.       Osteoporosis

47.       Polycystic ovaries

48.       Skin: Rosacea, rashes, and dermatitis

49.       Uterine cancer

50.       Yeast infection


Symptom 7 (loss of libido) For some women the loss is so great that they actually find sex repulsive, in much the same way as they felt before puberty. What hormones give, loss of hormones can take away.

 

Symptom 8 (dry vagina) results in painful intercourse.

 

Symptom 11 (doom thoughts) includes thoughts of death, picturing one's own death.

 

Symptom 14 (incontinence) reflects a general loss of smooth muscle tone.

 

Symptom 15 (itchy, crawly skin) feeling of ants crawling under the skin, not just dry itchy skin.

 

Symptom 16 (aching sore joints) may include such problems as carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Symptom 22 (depression) different from other depression, the inability to cope is overwhelming. There is a feeling of loss of self. Hormone therapy ameliorates the depression dramatically.

 

Symptom 25 (weight gain) often around the waist and thighs, resulting in “the disappearing

waistline”.

 

Symptom 29 (shock sensation) "the feeling of a rubber band snapping in the layer of tissue between skin and muscle.  It is a precursor to a hot flash".

 

Symptom 30 (tingling in extremities) can also be a symptom of B-12 deficiency, diabetes, alterations in the flexibility of blood vessels, or a depletion of potassium or calcium.


Some of these signs may also be symptoms of one of the following:
           
*hypothyroidism                  *diabetes                   *depression with another etiology

                        *Multiple Sclerosis                         * other medical conditions

 

 

Hot Flashes

If you've had one, there's no mistaking it: the sudden, intense, hot feeling on your face and upper body, perhaps preceded or accompanied by a rapid heartbeat and sweating, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, headache, weakness, or a feeling of suffocation. Some women experience an "aura," an uneasy feeling just before the hot flash, that lets them know what's coming. The flash is followed by a flush, leaving you reddened and perspiring. You can have a soaker or merely a moist upper lip. A chill can lead off the episode or be the finale.

What Causes A Hot Flash?

Hot flashes are mostly caused by the hormonal changes of menopause, but can also be affected by lifestyle and medications. A diminished level of estrogen has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for controlling your appetite, sleep cycles, sex hormones, and body temperature. Somehow (we don't know how), the drop in estrogen confuses the hypothalamus—which is sometimes referred to as the body's "thermostat"—and makes it read "too hot."

The brain responds to this report by broadcasting an all-out alert to the heart, blood vessels, and nervous system: "Get rid of the heat!" The message is transmitted by the nervous system's chemical messenger, epinephrine, and related compounds: norepinephrine, prostaglandin, serotonin. The message is delivered instantly. Your heart pumps faster, the blood vessels in your skin dilate to circulate more blood to radiate off the heat, and your sweat glands release sweat to cool you off even more.

This heat-releasing mechanism is how your body keeps you from overheating in the summer, but when the process is triggered instead by a drop in estrogen, your brain's confused response can make you very uncomfortable. Some women's skin temperature can rise six degrees Centigrade during a hot flash. Your body cools down when it shouldn't, and you are miserable: soaking wet in the middle of a board meeting or in the middle of a good night's sleep.

Beating the heat naturally

The best way to beat a hot flash is naturally .
Hot flashes have a lot to do with the low levels of estrogen in your body, but other factors can cause your temperature control to go out of whack. Recent studies show that medication is not always helpful. Instead of estrogen therapy, look at less drastic measures first, partly because estrogen therapy is not known to be safe for women with a history of breast cancer—but also because you should always begin with the least aggressive approach to treating your menopausal symptoms.

Avoiding triggers

If you can identify the things that trigger your hot flashes, you've made the first step in getting the upper hand. Keep a record of when they occur and what you were eating or doing, or how you were feeling at the time. Many women find that stress tops the charts as a trigger. Was that hot flash in the boardroom a random hit, or were you feeling under pressure at the time? Was it a full day of pressure without a break?

Solution: Ease the pressure. Give yourself more time to plan your work, to rehearse your presentation, to deliver your assignments, to arrive where you're going. If you are doing a series of presentations, give yourself a chance to relax and cool off between sessions. And plan your schedule so you avoid meetings or decision making when you're most likely to be in a sweat.

Other hot flash triggers:

  • alcohol

  • caffeine

  • diet pills

  • spicy food

  • hot food

  • hot tubs

  • saunas

  • hot showers

  • hot beds

  • hot rooms

  • hot weather

  • smoking
     

Progesterone & Hot Flashes

A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1999 found that natural progesterone cream significantly reduced hot flashes in about 80% of the women that were experiencing this "vasomotor symptom". This study included a small number of women but the results were significant. The women in the progesterone group experienced the disappearance of lumps and bumps in their breasts, were less depressed (experienced greater feeling of well-being), had less hot flashes. In the book "The Wisdom of Menopause", Northrup says that natural progesterone skin cream works in about 85% of perimenopausal women. As little as 20mg of this real/natural progesterone per day can ease hot flashes.

Dr John Lee (author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause) stated,

"So, I learned that every time I added progesterone to a woman already on estrogen I had to tell her to cut her estrogen at least in half. Then later she could cut it down even more because the progesterone was handling so many of her problems. She didn't need all that much estrogen. Then I had some ladies who kept cutting it down, cutting it down and pretty soon they weren't taking any, and they were doing fine. No hot flashes, no vaginal dryness, no problems, they were doing fine and I said, 'how can this be? I was taught in medical school estrogen goes to zero.' (However it only drops around 35% so a women still has over 60% of estrogen...estrogen that they had before menopause. Progesterone on the other hand drops significantly.)"

If you have reason to believe you may have one of these conditions, please see your doctor for treatment.

 
 
 

  

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