Hormone Disorder Could Be the Cause of Your Unwanted Facial Hair

This Common Hormone Disorder Could Be the Cause of Your Unwanted Facial Hair


In my high school class, we were taught briefly about sex hormones. These hormones are responsible for growth of hair, breasts, and muscles, as well as production of the reproductive organs. Predominantly, females have the sex hormone estrogen, and males have testosterone. The picture painted seemed clear as day; your body either had one or the other. What I didn’t realize was that women also have androgens, a male sex hormone, in addition to estrogen. And, when cisgender women have an imbalance of those hormones, as statistically as many as one out of 10 women do, that can be polycystic ovary syndrome, commonly known as PCOS.

“It is important to understand that PCOS is not a disease, it is a syndrome,” explains family physician Dr. Angela Kerchner, MD. “A syndrome is when a person has certain characteristics that, when put together like pieces of a puzzle, cause certain things to happen in the body.”

Read on to learn more about PCOS — what it is, the signs, and how it’s treated.

How common is PCOS?

PCOS is an endocrine disorder that affects people with ovaries; the condition is quite common, affecting as many 5 million women in the United States.

What is PCOS, exactly?

In addition to estrogen, women have androgens, which are male hormones that females also make. With PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal, and the high levels of these hormones then affect ovulation. The imbalance of estrogen and androgens can also be seen via physical symptoms. Many people with PCOS also have cysts in their ovaries,

While the exact cause of PCOS is not entirely known, there are some factors that are known to play a role. Extra insulin — which is the hormone that the pancreas produces for your cells to use glucose — could increase the amount of androgen hormones produced in the body, thereby affecting the ability of the ovaries to ovulate, according to the Mayo Clinic. Low-grade inflammation is also suspected to be a culprit, and the condition is believed to have some genetic basis.

What are the signs of hormone imbalance?

Hormone imbalance “can be found with blood tests, or might be seen on your body,” Dr. Kerchner says. “Some of the most common things found are male-pattern hair growth, meaning hair on your chin, upper lip, chest, belly, or back. Some people may have hair loss, known as alopecia, which is also a sign of too many male hormones. Severe acne is also common.”

PCOS can also have symptoms beyond acne and facial hair. Dr. Sherry Ross, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist, says that irregular periods are a common sign: “Your periods can come every two weeks, every three to six months, or once a year. When your periods come less often, they tend to be heavier, last longer and with more painful cramping.” Some other signs include weight gain, depression, anxiety, and infertility. “Many women with PCOS have difficulty getting pregnant,” Dr. Kerchner says. “This is because in order to get pregnant, you have to ovulate, and PCOS can cause ovulation to happen less often.”

How is it treated?

While you can’t prevent it if you are genetically predisposed, you can manage it. The birth control pill is often prescribed to those with PCOS, notes Alisa Vitti, a hormone expert and functional nutritionist who is the founder of FLOLiving. And “there are androgen-blocking pills that help reduce the levels of circulating testosterone in the body, [which] helps minimize acne flares, excess face and body hair growth, and can reduce the scalp hair loss,” notes dermatologist Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, MD.

However, lifestyle changes with exercise and diet are an extremely important element in managing PCOS since they address the root of the hormone issues, Alisa says.

Courtesy of Teenvogue

Hormones Responsible For Weight Gain In Women

6 Hormones Responsible For Weight Gain In Women


Have you tried everything possible to lose weight but in vain? Why not get your hormones checked? Women are vulnerable to hormonal imbalance, food cravings and slow metabolism at all phases of their life. These may be related to pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), pregnancy, menopause or day to day stress. Research has revealed that appetite, weight loss, metabolism and female hormones are intricately linked. Study of hormone mechanisms in women can help one manage their weight better with personalized diet plan and exercise routine!

Hormones For Weight Gain In Women:

Women are more vulnerable to hormonal imbalance than men. Hormones affect women of all ages and it has a great impact on their biological cycle and daily life as well. Some of the hormones responsible for weight gain in women are:

1. Thyroid Hormone:

Deficiency of thyroid is found, especially among women. Hypothyroidism is responsible for weight gain in women. The common symptoms include fatigue, cold intolerance, weight gain, dry skin and constipation. Weight gain is the result of decreased metabolic rate of the body.

2. Estrogen:

Estrogen is the female sex hormone. During menopause, the estrogen level drops, causing weight gain, especially around the gut. Fat cells are found to be another source of estrogen that converts calories into fats. This can also lead to obesity.

3. Progesterone:

During menopause, there is a decrease in the level of progesterone in the body. Decreased level of this hormone does not actually cause weight gain. This actually causes water retention and bloating in women. As such it makes your body feel fuller and heavier.

4. Testosterone:

Some women suffer from the hormonal disorder called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This increases the level of testosterone, which leads to weight gain, menstrual disorders, facial hair, acne and infertility. Testosterone is responsible for muscle mass in women. Due to decrease in the level of testosterone during menopause, there is decrease in the metabolic rate, which consequently results in weight gain.

5. Insulin:

The hormone insulin is produced by beta cells in the pancreas. Insulin is responsible for the regulation of fat and carbohydrates in the body. Insulin allows the body to use glucose. Insulin is also a causal agent for PCOS that leads to infertility. High insulin level in the blood contributes to weight gain.

6. Stress Hormone Or Cortisol:

Weight gain has another culprit, the stress hormone, cortisol. High level of cortisol leads to increased appetite and subsequent weight gain. Stress and lack of sleep are two causes of high cortisol level in the blood. Cushing’s syndrome is an extreme condition that drives cortisol production.

Tips To Avoid Weight Gain For Women:

Losing weight has never been easy. However, implementing these lifestyle changes and food habits might help you reach your weight goals sooner than you thought!

  • Following a low-carb diet plan
  • Eating only when hungry and at regular intervals
  • Eating food wisely and staying away from junk food
  • Keeping a record and measuring the progress
  • Avoiding alcohol and aerated drinks
  • Not substituting sugar for artificial sweeteners
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reviewing the medications
  • Sleeping more or at least for 8 hours
  • Stressing less and indulging in meditation
  • Consuming less of bakery and dairy products
  • Drinking sufficient water
  • Eating foods or supplements rich in minerals and vitamins
  • Getting into optimal ketosis with low insulin levels
  • Getting the hormones checked

Hormonal imbalance in women and the consequent weight gain can be diagnosed and treated as soon as you observe the Continue reading

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