Although we may not give much thought to our hormones on any given day, these chemical messengers are always busy at work within our bodies. In fact, when hormones are doing their jobs correctly, we can go about our daily lives without even noticing their influence.
Unfortunately, when fluctuations in our hormone levels lead to an imbalance, we notice the negative symptoms quite quickly. From weight changes to skin irritation, hormonal imbalances can easily throw off the natural processes of the human body.
Luckily, there are hormone tests you can take to assess your hormone levels and identify if they’re causing any issues. Read on to learn more about the relationship between hormones and acne and see how hormonal imbalance testing can help you seek effective treatment.
Understanding Hormones: An Introduction
Hormones are small but powerful chemicals that work to send messages to different parts of the body. Like any good messenger, hormones sometimes have to travel quite far to relay instructions to different organs and tissues, including the skin and muscles. Their roadway of choice is the bloodstream.
Before entering the bloodstream, sex hormones are created and released by endocrine glands to serve crucial functions like:
- Maintaining metabolism
- Influencing mood and emotions
- Promoting healthy sleep
- Regulating sexual function
- Impacting growth and development
Given that hormones play a vital role in coordinating the complex functions of our bodies, it’s not surprising that a blip in the hormone production process can cause some noticeable ramifications. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly might cause a hormonal imbalance.
Causes of Hormone Imbalances: Exploring the Factors
Just like any biological system, sex hormones aren’t always perfect. Sometimes, our glands produce an excessive amount of a certain hormone. Other times, a particular hormone might not be produced enough.
No matter which way the scale tips, the end result is hormonal imbalance.
It’s important to understand that hormonal imbalance is a rather broad term. This is because the scope of its causes and symptoms is wide and varied.
For instance, some hormonal imbalances only last a short while. Others can have a chronic impact on one’s physical health. It’s crucial to identify the type of hormonal imbalance you may be experiencing so that you can determine the proper path (and urgency) of treatment.
Although hormones are small, they’re mighty. Even the slightest variation in hormone level present in one’s body can stimulate big (and often unwanted) changes. In fact, some common consequences of imbalanced hormone levels include:
- Menstrual cycle issues
So, how can you find out if you’re suffering from an imbalance?
Let’s dive into how hormones are tested.
Hormone Imbalance Testing
The best way to take any guesswork out of the equation and get concrete answers to your questions is to seek the help of a medical professional. Healthcare providers can perform functional lab testing to measure hormone levels like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone contained within certain bodily fluids. Common hormone imbalance testing includes:
- Blood test
- Urine test
- Saliva test
Because hormones travel straight through the bloodstream, testing for any imbalances of these chemical messengers by collecting blood is a convenient and quick method to reach an accurate diagnosis.
Hormone Testing in Action: What You Need to Know
Before attending your hormone test appointment, make sure you’re properly hydrated so that any necessary fluids can be collected easily and with few adverse side effects. You may also be asked to fast before arriving, especially if you are doing a blood test.
If you’ve ever completed a blood or urine test before, you’ll be familiar with the general setup of the process—it’s relatively quick and painless, and you’ll be all set to resume your normal activities as soon as you’re done.
You can expect to receive the results of your hormone test anywhere between a few business days to a few weeks after your sample has been collected.
Treatment Options: Managing Hormone Imbalances
If you think that a hormone imbalance could be at the root of a new or persistent health problem, it’s important to do a hormone test. Because hormone imbalance symptoms can manifest in different ways, the mode of treatment right for your needs will depend on the specific condition you’re experiencing, making an accurate diagnosis crucial to your recovery.
Even though the spectrum of hormonal imbalance symptoms is wide, treatments generally fall into two main categories:
- Treating overproduction – In cases where hormones are being pumped out at an abnormally high rate, effective treatment options can range from medication to surgery to radiation therapy, depending on the type and severity of the condition.
- Treating underproduction – If your body fails to produce enough hormones for a particular function, the solution is often hormone replacement therapy in the form of an oral or injectable medication.
Preventing Hormone Imbalances: Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Although some hormonal fluctuations are out of your control, you can make certain lifestyle changes to help your hormones help you. In fact, the following tips will not only positively impact hormone regulation, but they can also serve to improve your overall health and well-being.
To support your bodily functions and reduce the chances of hormone imbalance, try:
- Setting (and sticking to) a sleep schedule – Failure to consistently enjoy quality sleep may lead to hormone imbalances that can cause appetite disturbances and more severe conditions like obesity and diabetes. Help your body get into a healthy rhythm of sleep by adopting restful pre-bedtime habits like avoiding phone screens, drinking warm tea, reading, or taking a bath.
- Eating a healthy diet – Evidence suggests that avoiding overeating, especially when it comes to sugars, can help alleviate hormonal imbalance. You’ll also want to consume plenty of healthy fats and fiber. Fuel your body with nutritious foods to feel and function your best.
- Staying active – Regular exercise can support hormone regulation by reducing your risk of storing excess body fat, boosting energy levels, and improving your emotional well-being. Find a mode of exercise that you genuinely enjoy, and fulfilling this step will become a whole lot easier.
- Reducing stress – Allowing your body to exist in a state of constant stress is detrimental to your overall health as it causes the release of the stress hormone cortisol. A common sign of this is stress acne, which is caused by hormone fluctuations due to stress. Do your best to combat the impact of life’s stressors by practicing mindfulness and adopting hobbies to help you decompress, such as journaling or yoga.
- Supplements – Certain ingredients can give your body a big boost. For example, hormonal acne supplements can offer digestive support, liver detoxification, and hormone regulation. Even better? Our MINDBODYSKIN® supplement can provide results for both males and females in just 7-10 days.
By intentionally incorporating these strategies into your everyday life, you can help your body function at a more optimal level. While these wellness techniques may not completely put an end to the possibility of experiencing hormone imbalances, they can greatly help the cause.
When to Seek Medical Advice: Professional Guidance
If the hormonal imbalance symptoms detailed in this guide sound familiar to you, then it might be a good idea to receive professional assistance.
But keep in mind that hormonal imbalance can be expected to occur naturally during certain times, such as:
- Before or during your menstrual cycle
- Before or during pregnancy
- During menopause
Significant hormonal changes may be inevitable during these events, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to minimize any unwanted effects.
If you aren’t experiencing a time of natural hormonal fluctuation but you’re still noticing adverse symptoms such as sudden weight changes, ongoing fatigue, or acne, it may be in your best interest to take a hormone imbalance test.
Even if it turns out that you aren’t undergoing any significant hormonal imbalances, seeking help from a medical professional is a great first step toward determining what is causing your symptoms.
Treating Hormonal Acne
Whether or not you elect to schedule a hormonal imbalance test for acne, using treatments specifically formulated to improve hormone regulation is wise if you wish to resolve your skin issues.
Look for products that contain key ingredients like:
- B vitamins
- Liver-enhancing nutrients
Research suggests that DIM (diindolylmethane) stimulates the production of good estrogen and promotes enzymes that can detoxify your gut and liver. Thus, it’s believed to be a powerful anti-acne ingredient for those affected by hormonal breakouts at any age.
Fortunately, all the effective ingredients listed above are featured in our natural supplements for hormonal acne. If you're still suffering from skin issues even after you’ve tried following a healthy lifestyle, contact a professional dermatologist to help with your acne.
Overcome Hormonal Acne with CLEARSTEM Skin Solutions
Now that you know how to test for hormonal imbalance, you’re one step closer to identifying and resolving any problems you may be experiencing.
If you suffer from persistent or painful acne and are worried that hormonal imbalance could be the instigator of these issues, use our powerful line of science-backed CLEARSTEM non-comedogenic skincare solutions.
From topical treatments that will keep your face clean and hydrated to acne supplements specifically formulated to rebalance your hormone levels, our dermatologist-designed products can completely transform your skin from the inside out. Reach out to us today to learn more.
Cleveland Clinic. Endocrine System. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21201-endocrine-system
Endocrinology Consultants, P.C. Adult & Pediatric Wellness Center. Hormone Panel Testing. https://www.endocrinewellness.com/hormone-panel-testing/
Cleveland Clinic. Hormonal Imbalance. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22673-hormonal-imbalance
National Library of Medicine. The Impact of Sleep and Circadian Disturbance on Hormones and Metabolism. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377487/
MedicalNewsToday. How can I balance my hormones? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324031Denver Vein Center. DIM and Hormonal Acne: We Can Help! https://denvervein.com/dim-and-hormonal-acne/