Blame It On the Hormones: 9 Effects Hormones Can Have on Women
From PMS to pregnancy to menopause, hormones those messengers of womanhood can affect everything from your complexion to your mood to the size of your midriff. Here are at least 9 things you can blame on hormones.
Hormonal imbalance can make you feel like a different person. Like Kenny Loggins in the 80s or Yanni in the 90s. What I’m trying to say is that hormonal imbalance can give you a mustache, or even a beard. In particular, hormone-related hair growth can be due to an overproduction of androgens, the male sex hormones which include testosterone which both men and women produce. Fun stuff.
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Sweating so much that you feel like you could row a gondola through your sweat puddle? Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and also during menopause can turn your body into a hot flashing, sweat machine. And although I’d like to think that during my hot flashes I looked like Britney in her “Slave 4 U” video donning sexy dance sweat, I’m pretty sure I looked more like Kristen Wiig post food poisoning in Bridesmaids.
Did you just eat a pint of Cherry Garcia for breakfast? Are you dipping everything that’s edible in ranch dressing? Do you have to hit the Taco Bell drive-thru for a crunch-wrap supreme or you will die? Hello, pregnant lady! Oh, and Hello to you too, woman with PMS. Fluctuating hormones lead to these intense cravings. These fluctuations can mess with our insulin levels, which makes us crave sugar. Additionally, when serotonin levels are low at times such as PMS we crave carbs because our body uses carbs to make serotonin. That makes sense as I can think of nothing that would depress me more than a world without carbs.
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How about the hair loss that occurs as a result of hormonal changes? Particularly post-pregnancy. Yep, you find five minutes to hop in the shower while baby is asleep, and you notice that as you lather up that mane (which has been in a low-montainence pony tail for days) gobs of hair start coming out. As if bloody, cracked nipples weren’t awful enough! Then you dramatically cry in the shower because of hormones. And also, you are soooo tired!
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And I mean emotional. Like anything’s game to make you tear up. For me, my emotions get so on the edge that once, even lyrics in a Pitbull song made me cry. As unacceptable as that may sound, I can blame that ridiculousness on estrogen. Estrogen loves to meddle throughout your body, and it has an effect on those parts of your brain that control emotion. Shifting hormones, especially during pregnancy, can send women on a roller coaster ride of emotions.
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Headaches, and especially migraines, can be due to, that’s right—hormone shifts. It happens when estrogen levels fall and that could be just prior to having your period and at different times throughout your pregnancy. Women are known to have severe postpartum headaches too, as estrogen levels tank right after giving birth. So men should take note that those times of the month, extra strength Excedrin and a neck massage will be much more appreciated than Barry White and your “come hither” raised eyebrow look.
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Wondering why you are wearing two sweaters and a parka in the middle of summer? Or piling on the blankets on your side of the bed at night while your husband sleeps sprawled out above the covers in his boxers? Yup, hormones. And specifically, a hormone deficiency which is common during menopause.
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Hormonal shifts can wreak major havoc on your skin. The increase in levels of progesterone that happens during pregnancy, post-pregnancy and pre-period (um, so when is this not happening?) stimulates the production of sebum, which leads to sebum buildup which leads to zits. You haven’t used so much Clearasil since well, the last time you had your period. Argh. No you’re not 14 again, you’re a woman.
When hormone levels wildly fluctuate, women can experience anxiety, irritability and yes, even anger. And hormones during pregnancy and post-childbirth are wild about fluctuating. So yes, this is probably the reason you flew off the handle at your husband when he used your special, hair-cutting shears to cut the tags out of his t-shirts. Or when he whistled the theme song to Full House three times in a row while shaving. Or it could be that those things were just truly irritating.
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