Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on November 11, 2023. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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At every moment, your hormones work overtime to help your body survive and thrive. Hormones are frequently associated with sexual function, but each system of your body needs them to perform functions from regulating metabolism to sleep.
Hormones work on a delicate feedback system—and with 8 major endocrine glands and more than 50 types of chemical “messengers,” it’s not uncommon for them to become imbalanced.1 Even if your hormone levels fall slightly outside of a normal range, you might experience side effects or symptoms that can noticeably impact your overall health. 
Whether you’re trying to find the cause of current symptoms or just eager to get a clearer picture of your hormonal well-being, knowing how to test hormone levels can offer clarity on your current state of well-being. Below, we’ll cover common hormone imbalance symptoms and how to use a hormone test to start regaining an understanding of your hormones.
Hormonal imbalances can be endogenous, originating inside your body, or exogenous, prompted by the outer world or your behavior in it.
Because there are so many hormones that govern countless physical processes, hormonal imbalance symptoms can be different for everyone. Their manifestation can often depend on factors like age, medical history, and more.
With that, the following are common symptoms of a hormonal imbalance according to the physical systems they impact.
Male hypogonadism is one prevalent example of a hormonal deficiency that impacts biological males. This condition occurs when your body can’t make enough testosterone—a sex hormone—on its own. 
Some common symptoms include :
Women and people AFAB also make the hormone testosterone, though typically in much smaller quantities. If a member of this group displays elevated testosterone levels, they might experience :
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one example of a condition associated with hormonal imbalance.  Causes can vary between individuals, but some people with PCOS express higher-than-average levels of testosterone. In other cases, they show signs of insulin resistance—the hormone responsible for helping cells use glucose as energy. 
While both of these causes involve separate hormones, they can both contribute to the same clinical condition. (This, in part, is why it’s so important to secure an assessment and accurate diagnosis from a trusted healthcare provider.)
Getting energy and nutrients from your food requires some highly complex chemical processes, which means many hormones are involved in ensuring your metabolism works efficiently.
With that, a variety of symptoms are associated with metabolic hormonal imbalances, including (but not limited to) :
A very important hormone involved in metabolic health is insulin. Insulin resistance is most commonly associated with type 2 diabetes, but it’s also possible to become insulin-resistant in the short- or long term.  You may be at risk of developing insulin resistance if you have a high BMI or lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle. 
As another example, cortisol is a key stress hormone involved in a variety of processes from metabolism to controlling your stress response.  A cortisol level imbalance can be caused by circumstances, like stressful life events, or disorders like Cushing’s syndrome.  Maintaining balanced cortisol levels can help reduce your risk of mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, as well as physical risks like heart disease and chronic digestive issues. 
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that rests at your throat which plays a critical role in your metabolic health. The conditions it’s most commonly associated with are :
Millions of Americans currently have or are estimated to develop a thyroid disorder in their lifetime.  Thyroid disease can come with a cascade of symptoms, from struggling to regulate mood to unexplained weight gain. Taking a hormone test that specifically screens for thyroid health can help determine whether or not yours may be functioning properly.
While taking a hormone test can shed some light on your symptoms, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider to ensure you can make sense of your hormonal imbalance test result and achieve a clear diagnosis.
Some hormonal imbalances are mild, or treatable with sustainable lifestyle interventions, like getting enough exercise. However, there are more severe conditions related to hormonal imbalance, such as thyroid disease or conditions with a physiological origin (like polycystic ovary syndrome).
Many of these conditions require long-term treatment protocols to help normalize hormones and reduce the resultant symptoms of an imbalance. Often, patients are prescribed daily synthetic hormone medication to mimic those the body would typically make naturally. (For instance, people who undergo thyroid hormone replacement therapy take an artificial version of TH, the thyroid hormone, if their thyroid gland can’t produce enough on its own.) 
Unfortunately, hormonal conditions aren’t rare—for instance, the American Thyroid Association estimates some 12% of people in the US will develop a thyroid illness in their lifetime.  So, if your symptoms are distressing you, it’s important to reach out to a trusted healthcare provider for a thorough assessment.
Although a hormone imbalance may bring some obvious symptoms, that’s not always the case.
For example, it can be challenging for someone to decipher whether the depression they’re experiencing is related to a life event or uneven hormone levels. The best thing you can do for your current well-being and future health is to consult with a healthcare provider. To begin to understand what might be causing your symptoms, it also helps to know how to check hormone levels—which you can accomplish with Everlywell.
Everlywell offers the at-home hormone imbalance test you need to screen for hormonal imbalances, no matter your gender. Women and people AFAB can take the Women’s Hormone Test to learn your levels of 10 key reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and more. Men and people AMAB might opt for the Men's Health Test to review their cortisol, DHEA-S, estradiol, and testosterone levels.
Hormonal health can feel like a moving target. Develop a more conscious attitude to your well-being by checking out the complete Everlywell collection today.