You can’t stay out of the fridge
If you’re way more ravenous than you used to be, hormone imbalance symptoms might be to blame – specifically, thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones help regulate your metabolism, so if you’re hyperthyroid, you’ll burn through kilojoules faster and be left craving more. On the other hand, if you’re stressed, too much of the stress hormone cortisol could signal you to eat up to fuel you through a fight or flight. “The body is perceiving that it’s under stress and needs to build a reserve,” says Dr Pauline Camacho, FACE, a professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology and metabolism.
You’re losing hair where you want it
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) stimulates an overproduction of testosterone. It can cause hair loss in women that may resemble male pattern baldness with unwanted hair growth on the body. PCOS often first appears in adolescence, so your symptoms might have started after you first got your period. “You would know even in early teen years that they have manifestations,” says Dr. Camacho. “They have irregular periods, heavier than usual compared to other peers.”
Your weight is changing
Whether you’ve lost or gained kilos, weight change when your diet has stayed the same could signal a hormone imbalance. “The weight changes go beyond what people perceive would be expected for their activity or eating,” says Dr Camacho. “They’re eating the same, but weight goes up over weeks or years.” Extra cortisol or testosterone – for instance from PCOS – might lead you to pack on kilos. On the other hand, excessive thyroid hormones might trigger sudden weight loss.