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Hormone Imbalance Symptoms in Women

by
author image Devin Dupre-Neary
Based in Northern California, Devin Dupre-Neary has a bachelor's degree in nursing from UC Davis. Rather than move towards a master's or work in a hospital, he chose a different route. In 2009, he wrote professionally, part-time, writing articles on a host of subjects from health issues to gardening.
Hormone Imbalance Symptoms in Women
Hormonal imbalance disorders accelerate as a woman ages. Photo Credit smiling old lady with flower image by Daria Miroshnikova from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Hormone Imbalance symptoms in women may begin to show as early as the late 20s to as late as the 40s. According to HealthGuidance.org, symptoms of hormone imbalance tend to increase as women age. If the symptoms are ignored in younger years, they are likely to accelerate in the following years. A mismatched relationship between two key female hormones--estrogen and progesterone--is the primary cause of hormonal imbalance.

Fibrocystic Breasts

Breast tissues of a woman are affected by hormonal changes during the menstrual period. Breasts may become swollen, lumpy and painful. According to Medline Plus, more than 60 percent of women are affected by this condition due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. It occurs most commonly in women in the age group of 30 to 50. Symptoms may be more pronounced in women who undergo hormone replacement therapy. Women using birth control pills may show fewer symptoms.
Causes of fibrocystic breasts are not known definitively. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that eating chocolates, drinking coffee, or taking a high-fat diet may result in fibrocystic breasts, Medline Plus suggests.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis represents a condition in which tissue similar to the uterus lining is found elsewhere in the body. A common symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain. The pain may or may not be correlated to the menstrual cycle. In many cases, the pain can be excruciating and hampers the patient's life significantly. Other symptoms may include diarrhea or constipation, bloated stomach, heavy or irregular menstrual bleeding and physical exhaustion.
According to Endometriosis.org, the causes of endometriosis remain unknown, although several unproven theories exist to explain the causes. However, most researchers agree that endometriosis is aggravated by estrogen. Therefore, most treatments aim to balance estrogen levels in the body in an attempt to reduce the symptoms.

Hirsutism

Hirsutism involves abnormal facial hair growth in women. The patient's body tends to produce increased levels of androgens, the male sex hormones, from their ovaries and adrenal glands. Male pattern hair growth on the abdomen, breasts and upper lip constitute the primary symptoms. Other symptoms may include irregular menstrual periods, acne, signs of masculinity in voice and loss of feminine body shape. As per the figures provided by the University of Maryland Medical Center, nearly 50 percent of women with hirsutism have elevated levels of androgens.

Migraines

The Mayo Clinic says the imbalance of female hormones estrogen and progesterone may also have an impact on headache-related chemicals in the brain. Lower levels of estrogen in the blood may aggravate headaches; higher levels may improve the condition. Fluctuating hormonal levels may affect headache patterns. The drop in estrogen levels just before a period may cause a headache and heighten the patient's sensitivity to pain. Up to 60 percent of women with migraines complain of headaches before or during their menstrual periods.
The patient may use over-the-counter pain-killers to seek relief from menstrual headaches. An active lifestyle, regular exercise, balanced diet, sufficient sleep and a relaxed state of mind may also help to reduce the headaches.

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