Fifty percent of women over the age of 35 will experience high hormone levels. The symptoms and signs for high hormone levels are varied and often so general that women who experience them mistake them as signs of menstruation or aging. There also are more serious health-related symptoms related to high hormone levels. Therefore it is important for any woman experiencing these symptoms to consult with her doctor to determine their cause.
High hormone levels can affect a woman physically. Some of these symptoms include changes in her menstrual and premenstrual cycle. Women with high hormone levels may experience irregular periods, cramps and water retention. Unexplained weight gain, acne, breast tenderness, migraines or other headaches, hot flashes, thinning hair, facial hair, allergies, oily skin and basal body temperature irregularities are other symptoms associated with high hormone levels.
Women with high hormone levels can experience symptoms that affect them emotionally, psychologically and neurologically. These symptoms can include: mood swings, depression, anxiety and memory loss. Women who suffer from high hormone levels also might experience a low sex drive.
There are more serious, health-related symptoms and signs associated with high hormone levels. These problems include osteoporosis or thinning of bone density, endometriosis, urinary tract infections, high blood pressure and miscarriages. Since any of these health problems can be diagnosed independent of a diagnosis of a hormonal imbalance, it’s important to keep track of these health issues with a doctor, and to document whether there is a recurrence of some of these health problems over a long period of time.
Hormonal imbalances can be caused by any number of disorders. Glandular problems, such as with the hypothalamus, thyroid or pituitary glands, can cause high levels of hormones in the body. Problems caused by ovulation also can be a cause. High levels of androgens, or male sex hormones, or prolactin can affect ovulation and create an imbalance in a woman’s hormones. Another cause, polycystic ovary syndrome, occurs when a woman generates male hormones at levels that are abnormally high. But a more common cause for hormonal imbalances is premature menopause.
Any woman diagnosed with high hormone levels should consult her physician for possible treatment. Herbal and homeopathic remedies, such as chasteberry and black cohosh, can alleviate some of the symptoms for high hormone levels, but a woman should consult her physician to determine what types of treatments are safe and effective for her.