Can Hormones Make You Lose Your Mind?
What are hormones?
Everyone has hormones. But only few people actually know what hormones are and what they do. Women tend to be more aware. This is largely due to dealing with menstrual issues, pregnancies, and later on, menopause. Men might not be any less affected. But they tend to be a little more oblivious to hormone issues.
Simply said, hormones are chemical messengers secreted into the bloodstream. They are involved in our body functions. Hormones are involved in pretty much everything that happens in our body.
You’ll find hormones are part of functions like:
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
- Sleep cycles
That’s just a few examples.
Why are hormones important?
It’s obvious that our bodies could not function without hormones. As hormones carry messages throughout our body, we breathe, think, digest, and sleep. Our body works like a well-oiled machine. Hormones are critical for our survival and so is the proper function of the glands that produce them.
There are a number of places that hormones get produced in our body. Most of them are glands, but there is also the thyroid, the pancreas, and the testes or ovaries. With so many systems depending on hormones, it is easy to understand why proper function is essential. We need them to live healthy and happy lives.
The hormone nightmare
The problem occurs when glands over or under-function. Whether you have too many or too little of one or several hormones can be very dangerous. For example, if a gland cannot function properly due to injury or illness. Most of these issues can be addressed with medication, which either add hormones, or slow down hormone production. That is, of course, assuming that you know you have a problem in the first place.
And what about pregnancy? The hormone roller-coaster is a normal part of being pregnant. There are no medications you can take to do anything about that. The same happens during menopause, when estrogen and progesterone production changes. The effects on the body can be quite extensive and can last for years. Women complain about hot flashes, loss of libido, sudden weight gain, and many other problems during this time.
Hormones and your mind
While women can often anticipate changes in hormone levels at certain times in their lives, imbalances can happen any time to men and women. You might not even realize that something is going on, which is the worst part. Hormones can literally make you feel like you are losing your mind. One thing to be especially mindful of is the birth control pill.
Often, it is prescribed to young girls to combat period pains and acne. Although the cramps usually get better and your skin clears up, there can be dire side-effects. Hormones can affect your mood and in extreme cases, these hormone imbalances from the pill can lead to severe depression and even suicidal thoughts.
Many young girls and women are not aware of this and it is only listed as a rare, possible side effect on the box. So, it can last for years, as hormones might not even come to mind as a possible cause. This is not to say that you have to stop taking it. Just be mindful that this can happen and try a different combination of hormones that might work better for your body.
Even without the pill, a hormone imbalance can make your life hell. There might be a myriad of symptoms, none of which are obvious enough to scream hormones. You could be constantly exhausted, for example. Most people would write this off as a stressful job, not enough time off, or simply being a parent. Few people stop to think that they might have a hormone imbalance and get themselves checked.
Excessive weight gain is another one of those symptoms. Again, this could be chalked up to a sedentary lifestyle, or just getting older. But, if you have a hormone imbalance, you can put on the pounds quickly. In that case it’s also very difficult to lose the weight. You might eat less food and exercise without ever seeing any difference in weight.
Since hormones affect your brain and mood, you could end up depressed. You might feel like crying suddenly during the day, or even experience panic attacks and anxiety. The brain fog can interfere with you life and the things you enjoy doing. On top of that your joints and muscles ache constantly. All of a sudden you go from seemingly healthy, to not knowing what hit you.
The random symptoms
There are a variety of other symptoms that might seem very random. A hormone imbalance can cause hair loss. It can also make it very difficult to sleep. Some people experience low mood and depression. Your sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures might change. You could experience skin problems, like rashes. Your heart rate and blood pressure could be affected. And also your fertility.
It’s not always obvious that hormones are behind these changes. It is safe to say though that these symptoms can completely change someone’s personality over time and make it difficult to function normally. If you become severely depressed, you might not be able to work or take care of your family. If you suddenly gain a lot of weight, you might withdraw from your family and friends and avoid having to socialize.
A hormone imbalance can affect every area of your life. Some people have mild symptoms that barely cause a hick-up in their lives. Other people are affected to a degree where they don’t even recognize themselves anymore. It’s a scary place to be and you are often left without answers and without any real solutions.
Balancing your hormones
Gathering facts is an important step toward understanding what is going on. Learning about hormones and how they affect you, will give you insight into what symptoms you might have. But the most important step is to balance your hormones, so you don’t have to suffer any longer. Many people go see their doctor at this point, just to be told they are fine.
What do you do then? Keep suffering?
It’s time to take your hormone health into your own hands. Start by taking this short quiz. It will go through your symptoms and give you a report at the end. Stop guessing and start understanding what is happening in your body. You have the power to change it. Feeling low, exhausted, and not like yourself is not normal. And now is the time to get you back to feeling fabulous!