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How to check if you have a hormonal imbalance

Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on August 11, 2020. 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.


Whether it’s unexplained weight gain or hair loss, fatigue or skin issues, many different symptoms can result from a hormonal imbalance. So maybe you suspect it’s hormones that are causing your symptoms, too, but you’re not sure how to know if you have a hormonal imbalance. If so, keep reading—because here you’ll learn what you can do to find out if your hormones are out of balance, including one of the easiest but most effective options: hormone test kits you can take at home.

To begin, let’s go over some of the symptoms that a hormone imbalance can cause.

Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance

Knowing the possible symptoms associated with hormone imbalances is one step you can take if you’re interested in learning how to know if you have a hormonal imbalance.

But first, a disclaimer: hormonal imbalance symptoms can be different for everyone and often depends on factors like age, medical history, and more. So if you’re experiencing symptoms of some kind and don’t know why, make it a priority to discuss it with your healthcare provider.

Here’s a rundown of symptoms that can occur due to a hormonal imbalance:

  • Fatigue or feeling tired
  • Weight gain
  • Increased body fat
  • Irregular periods
  • Cold intolerance
  • Heat intolerance
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Low sex drive
  • Mental fatigue
  • Lack of concentration
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Hair loss
  • Infertility
  • Skin issues
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain

Testing for a hormonal imbalance

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 if it’s instead because of hormone levels that are affecting their mental health. That’s why consulting with a healthcare provider is a good idea any time you aren’t sure what’s going on with your health.

Hormone testing may also be worth considering if you’re curious to learn whether you have a hormonal imbalance. Everlywell makes testing your hormones easy with at-home test kits that come with everything you need for collecting your sample and sending it to a lab (the kit even includes a prepaid shipping label). Plus, you can view your results on our secure, online platform in an easy-to-understand format. This can be a simple—but powerful—way to see if hormones are balanced in your body and learn your personal levels.

As an example, consider a Women’s Health Test to check for a hormonal imbalance in women.

At-home Women’s Health Test: an easy way to check 10 key hormones

The at-home Women's Health Test is our most comprehensive hormone panel for women. It tests 10 key hormones—a comprehensive range of hormone levels that can give you a broad overview of your health and reveal potential imbalances that may be keeping you from feeling your best.

Here’s what this hormone test measures.

Estradiol

This is the main form of estrogen in women and—prior to menopause—is primarily produced by the ovaries. Estradiol is a key sex hormone that helps with ovulation and supports the overall health of other sexual/reproductive organs (like the breasts, vagina, and uterus). Estradiol can decline significantly after menopause.

Progesterone

Progesterone is a sex hormone in women that helps maintain the endometrium (or lining of the uterus) and supports uterine function during pregnancy. During menopause, when a woman stops ovulating, production of progesterone will drop significantly.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)

LH is a hormone that’s responsible for ovulation. If the level of LH is normal in the second half of your menstrual cycle, this is usually a good indication that you have no major hormonal imbalances interfering with your reproductive system.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

Located in the ovaries, follicles are the source of estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are vital for a normal menstrual cycle. FSH is the hormone responsible for the growth and maturation of these follicles. When your FSH level is normal, this may indicate that you have a normal number of eggs for your age.

DHEAS

This androgen hormone is produced by the adrenal glands and the ovaries and helps produce other hormones (like testosterone and estrogen).

Cortisol

Our bodies release cortisol naturally each day. It’s not only the body’s main stress hormone, but it also regulates glucose and helps with energy levels. When your stress levels are too high, cortisol can be affected.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

TSH is an important hormone to consider when wondering whether you have a hormone imbalance. It helps control the thyroid gland’s hormone production and is often the most sensitive marker when testing for thyroid-related diseases.

Free T3

This is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. If you have an under or overactive thyroid, levels may fluctuate.

Free T4

The predominant hormone produced by the thyroid gland, levels of free T4 also fluctuate when you have an under or overactive thyroid gland. Checking your thyroid hormones may be a good idea if you are experiencing hormonal imbalance symptoms.

Free testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone that’s produced in a woman’s ovaries. Free testosterone is the active form of this hormone, which occurs when testosterone isn’t bound to any protein.

Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOab)

These antibodies can bind to thyroid enzymes and suppress thyroid function. In Hashimoto's disease, the most common type of hypothyroidism in the United States, these antibodies may be elevated.

Check your hormone levels from the convenience of home

If you’re concerned about your hormone levels, you can use the information here on how to know if you have a hormonal imbalance—plus speaking with a healthcare provider—to help inform your next steps. If you’re interested in hormone testing at home, consider the following tests (or browse all our tests here):

  • Women’s Hormone Test - Lets you learn your levels for 10 key hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, and thyroid hormones.
  • Thyroid Test - Check the 3 main thyroid hormones (TSH, T3, T4), plus thyroid antibodies.
  • Women’s Fertility Test - Test your levels for 5 hormones that help support ovarian function and pregnancy.
  • Men's Health Test - Check your cortisol, DHEA-S, estradiol, and testosterone.

What is a hormonal imbalance?

A brief guide to hormonal imbalances in women

21 possible symptoms of a hormonal imbalance


References

1. Endocrine Diseases. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

2. Estrogen Levels Test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

3. Progesterone Test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

4. Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Levels Test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

5. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Levels Test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

6. DHEA-sulfate test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

7. Cortisol Test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

8. TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone) Test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

9. Triiodothyronine (T3) Tests. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

10. Free T4 test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

11. Testosterone Levels Test. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.

12. Thyroid Antibodies. Medline Plus. URL. Accessed August 11, 2020.