Signs Your Hormones Are Out of Balance

I hear you, you’re working out daily, eating all the greens you can lay your eyes on and yet you’re still picking up weight and your skin has started to break out like you’re 30 going on 13.

We talk about hormones so often; whether we’re referring to an emotional woman as being “hormonal” (PSA to all men: don’t do that), or talking about our sex drives or their part in the natural progression of a woman to procreate and our ‘ticking clocks’.

As women, we’ve been brought up believing that having hormonal ebbs and flows are just a part of being female and that there’s nothing that we can do about the symptoms that come along with it. We often notice the symptoms but assume that it’s a) normal or b) something we just need to put up with. And it’s this part that really gets to me. So many women suffer year in and year out thinking that there’s nothing they can do about managing or treating the cause of these symptoms.

Our bodies are designed to work in a balanced state; so why are we okay with having a hormone IMbalance? There are so many signs that women experience but don’t attribute to their hormones because we’ve been brought up with the understanding that if it doesn’t affect our menstrual cycle, then it can’t be our hormones in trouble.

Here are a few little-known symptoms of hormone imbalance to look out for that aren’t typically associated with your menstrual cycle & PMS.


Mostly in women, hair loss & thinning is attributed to thyroid hormones and testosterone. But it can also be attributed to insulin, estrogen and certain chronic medications.  


So many hormones can be the monsters under our beds when it comes to insomnia. Estrogen is our biggest sleep-maintaining hormone, however, progesterone also plays a role in calming the nervous system and imbalances with testosterone, cortisol and serotonin can all create the perfect night light that keeps us awake.


That pesky stress hormone cortisol is usually the culprit that keeps us from hitting our weight and fitness goals but hormones including leptin (the hormone that breaks down fat), testosterone, insulin and estrogen can all play a role.


Feeling like your thoughts are a bit jumbled up? Can’t find your keys or forgot why you walked into a room? An imbalance in GABA, serotonin, cortisol, FSH or dopamine could all be playing a role here.


Most people associate night sweats and hot flushes with menopause. And it’s true that night sweats are one in a constellation of symptoms associated with it, but women in their early 20s can experience these symptoms and they are by no means going through menopause (or shouldn’t be). Previously, it was thought that having low estrogen was the problem. But more recently, we have come to understand that progesterone, cortisol and thyroid hormones can all be involved here.


When it comes to treating hormonal imbalance, there is no one-size-fits-all option.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above or more, its always best to see a registered health practitioner so that you can identify the exact cause of your symptoms and get guided, individualised treatment.

About Dr Kerry Haarhoff
Dr Haarhoff is an AHPCSA registered phytotherapist practicing in Cape Town. Phytotherapy starts to bridge the gap between ancient, traditional herbal practices and modern medical science. It’s used in  many developed countries and is often referred to as western herbalism. With over 50% (and growing) of pharmaceutical drugs being directly derived from plants, science is catching up to the fact that herbs have value in more than just pretty visuals in our gardens or old wive’s tales.

Phytotherapists are trained to diagnose and treat a broad range of diseases and includes disease prevention along with dispensing of herbal medicines. If you would like to have a consultation, do not hesitate to contact Dr Haarhoff or visit the South African Association of Herbal Practitioners website to find your nearest registered practitioner.

  • Shamiemah
    Posted at 18:55h, 05 February Reply

    I’m gaining weight, few facial hairs increasing, period is fading monthly, anxious, hair falling out not a lot though, headaches and sudden very hot at slightest movement. HELP. My weight is up and down I have water retention on and off.

    • Kerry Haarhoff
      Posted at 21:09h, 05 February Reply

      Hi Shamiemah, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling with these fluctuations. They can be very frustrating! The first step here is to always see a registered & qualified practitioner. There are many aspects that need to be looked at other than just the symptoms you are facing so seeing a practitioner is the best and most effective way to help you through what your experiencing.

  • Elaine
    Posted at 21:44h, 09 February Reply

    Yes I have the above symptoms of the hormone that’s out of balance

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