Hormones play significant roles in a woman’s body. And the presence of some specific chemical components initiates several bodily functions. Therefore, the lack of or too much of any hormone can impact health. Unfortunately, statistics show that 80% of women have diverse hormonal issues, making it a common health problem worldwide. It is necessary to know this information to be able to seek the appropriate help for management or treatment. Here are a few ways hormones impact women’s health.
1. Persistent pimples and acne in adulthood
Teenagers deal a lot more with acne and pimples due to overactive oil glands. Their bodies undergo intense changes, and during this period, there is a buildup of excess oils and dead skin cells. Throw in some surface skin bacteria, and you have the perfect environment for pimples, acne, and inflamed skin. For women, there is evidence that there is a lot more at play regarding this issue. According to a research finding published on the Science Daily website, females are more at risk of pimples and acne due to the functions of estrogen and progesterone. Women across all age groups (from the teen years) experience these skin conditions more raises vital questions. For example, how do those two hormones work against the skin through the adult years?
Progesterone increases in a woman’s body and elevates basal body temperature. Consequently, women sweat more than usual. At this stage also, there is an increase in estrogen levels which leads to excess oil buildup. The combination of sweat and excess oils clogs the pores. The result is often acne and pimples. Due to the continuous fluctuations of these two hormones, females have an increased risk of developing this issue, even in adulthood. When comparing age groups, the Science Daily reported that women are five times more likely to deal with it after age sixty. For this reason, women more prone to acne resort to medical care to treat the skin condition. This is often the last resort when over-the-counter topical creams fail to work.
2. More headache episodes
The World Health Organization says three out of four adults have experienced at least an episode of splitting headache in the last twelve months. More revealing is that three out of these four adults are female. So, what have hormones got to do with a woman’s likelihood of experiencing more headaches? To answer this, the Hopkinsmedicine.org website states that a dip in estrogen could be the cause. The report indicated that most women complain of headaches a few days before the menstrual cycle. Among older women, most headaches occur during the period leading up to menopause.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, women who have undergone hysterectomies also experience more headaches. That’s because the removal of the uterus causes a radical fluctuation in estrogen. Women who have had this major surgery sometimes need hormone replacement therapy to manage persistent headaches. In more severe cases, taking over-the-counter analgesics may not be helpful because they only block pain signals for a few hours. Until the underlying hormonal problem is addressed first, the headaches will be triggered often.
3. Insomnia during the last stages of pregnancy
One in four women experiences insomnia every six months. In addition to that, this sleep-related disorder affects females aged eighteen to seventy-five. The range indicates how common it is among women of all ages. Once again, hormones are usually the cause. Apart from the main functions of estrogen and progesterone, they play other significant roles in the body. They influence other vital internal processes that regulate sleep. This is why insomnia is almost a given at certain points in a woman’s life.
For example, in the early stages of pregnancy, sleep appears to be a woman’s companion at all times of the day. However, at some point in the last trimester, it seems elusive. This is because so much is happening in the body to support new life, so sleeping can become quite difficult. In this case, it will be prudent to learn all you can about managing a healthy sleep pattern to ensure your health and your baby’s. You can start by reading about The third trimester: What to expect for you and your baby. It teaches vital pointers on how to rest and get the pregnant body well-rested for the delivery. You can also seek help from an expert.
4. Infertility and conception
There is a lot of information about hormones’ role in a woman’s fertility, and several of them come to play here. These include the Luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, estrogen, and progesterone. They all work in harmony to create a healthy internal environment for conception to take place. Unfortunately, the story is not the same for everyone. Infertility is a topical issue in the US and worldwide. The CDC reports that the rates continue to rise in the country, and women seem to be the most affected.
The absence of adequate hormonal functions can impact fertility. Indeed, the outcomes are different in women. While some can still conceive via the traditional way with limited hormones, others may require assistive methods. Infertility has significant effects on a woman. For example, it can trigger mental health issues like depression. When this happens, the cortisol hormone (responsible for stress) is triggered and produced in excess. Stress and trying to conceive are terrible co-partners, which is why it is advisable to deal with any existing anxiety first.
5. Drastic weight gain and weight loss issues
A woman’s physiology is characterized by more fatty tissue. And the main female hormones function better when there is a healthy level of fat in the body. They are also known as sex-specific fat, primarily responsible for core functions. As expected, having too much or too little fat impacts these hormones. For example, excess weight gain induces the body to produce more estrogen than necessary. As a result, more ghrelin (hunger hormone) is produced, causing your body to demand more food. In no time, it becomes a cyclical process of weight gain and excessive estrogen production.
The other side of the coin is weight loss. Usually, targeted weight loss is not a problem if it occurs within a healthy period. For example, the CDC has stated that losing 1 – 2Ib weekly for a month is safe and will not cause health problems. However, excessive weight loss is a cause for concern when you shed more than 5% of your body weight between six and twelve months. For a woman, excessive weight loss can negatively impact her hormones. It causes rapid absorption of sugar into blood cells. The large amounts of sugar absorption can overburden the pancreas and its insulin production. Even worse, drastic weight loss destabilizes the hormones and can cause hair loss in the long run. Some women who lose excessive weight also experience dry skin due to the impact on collagen. In effect, the problem is far-reaching and goes beyond weight.
6. Hot flashes in peri-menopausal and menopausal women
Often, peri-menopausal women experience hot flashes because of the rapid reduction of the crucial hormones estrogen and progesterone. The body’s natural thermostat, the hypothalamus, becomes oversensitive at this stage. Indeed, the aging female body is undergoing a huge change, and so much is happening within a short time. For many older women, this uncomfortable phase can trigger other health issues.
A 2020 health report on this subject stated that 80% of menopausal women experience persistent hot flashes throughout the day. The sensation is often worse at night because hormonal fluctuations among menopausal women are more drastic at that time. Fortunately, some medications help reduce hot flashes to make you feel more comfortable.
7. Increased rate of brittle bones in old age
Osteoporosis is a health condition that impacts the bones. And statistics indicate that 80% of the eight million osteoporosis cases in the US are women. This is because women naturally have less dense bones than men. Additionally, the monthly hormonal fluctuation during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause contribute to thinner bones. The condition becomes more pronounced when aging sets in and natural bone mineral levels are depleted. Many physicians say brittle bone is a common complaint among women aged fifty and above. Therefore, if you are within that age range, you may want to set regular appointments to check your bone density.
Furthermore, many women diagnosed with the condition are treated using a combination of medical approaches. Some are treated with hormone replacement therapy in addition to boosting vital mineral intake. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fluoride are crucial minerals that help strengthen the bones when osteoporosis hits.
It is advisable not to take any chances with your health as it can impact your quality of life. And when it comes to hormones, too much or too little of your female hormones can negatively affect your overall well-being. It pays to know your risks to help you take proactive measures against them. Seeking professional opinion is also the best way to manage any issues.