Hormonal imbalance can be a confusing thing to decode. Our hormones drive every function in our bodies, and when something is out of whack our bodies will let us know — frequently in the form of common symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, and painful periods. Learning how to identify imbalance gives us major power over the state of our well-being.
Dr. Jolene Brighten is a women’s naturopathic medical doctor, author and leading expert in hormonal birth control-related problems. Her latest book, Beyond The Pill is an educational guide to understanding hormonal imbalance and claiming back our hormonal health. It’s by no means anti-birth control, but rather a toolbox of information and resources to help women make the best decision for themselves and support their body whatever stage they are at.
Below is an abbreviated version of the hormone quiz Dr. Brighten uses to help determine which hormonal imbalances you might be struggling with. Once you understand your hormones you can seek out the right kind of help, and begin your journey to resetting them and reaching better health.
The Hormonal Imbalance Quiz
Here’s how to take the quiz: As you read through the eight categories, mark down the symptoms that apply to you currently. Total up your symptoms in each category, note how many apply to you and jot down the number in the box next to “TOTAL”. Once you’ve gone through each of the categories, take a look at Dr. Brighten’s results at the end.
I experience bloating or puffiness.
I feel irritable or experience mood swings.
I experience heavy, painful periods.
I have gained weight or have difficulty losing weight, especially around my hips, butt, and thighs.
I’ve been told I have fibroids.
I’m emotionally fragile and/or I feel nostalgic about the past.
I have difficulty with memory.
My periods are fewer than three days.
I struggle with depression, anxiety, or lethargy.
I have night sweats and/or hot flashes.
I experience PMS seven to ten days before my period.
I get headaches or migraines around my period.
I feel anxious often.
I have painful, heavy, or difficult periods.
My breasts are painful or swollen before my period.
I have abnormal hair growth on my face, chest and/or abdomen.
I have acne.
I have oily skin and/or hair.
I have areas of darker skin (e.g., armpits)
I’ve noticed thinning hair on my head.
I have a low libido or diminished sex drive.
I struggle with depression, have mood swings or cry easily.
I have no motivation.
I am tired or fatigued throughout the day or have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.
I’m unable to gain muscle, and I’m losing muscle mass.
I feel tired in the morning, even after a full night’s sleep.
I depend on caffeine to get through my day.
I want to take naps most days.
My energy crashes in the afternoon.
I crave salty or sweet food.
My life is crazy stressful.
I feel overwhelmed by stress.
I have extra weight around my midsection.
I have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
My body is tired at night, but my mind is going a mile a minute—“wired and tired.”
I have brain fog or feel like my memory isn’t quite what it used to be.
I’m losing hair (scalp, body, outer third of the eyebrows).
I’m tired no matter how much I sleep.
I’m constipated often and need a stimulant (like caffeine) to get a bowel movement.
I’m cold and/or have cold hands and feet.
Hormone Quiz Answer Key
0 or 1 box checked in a category = This category is unlikely to be a culprit in the symptoms you’re experiencing.
2 to 3 boxes checked = This just might be your troublemaker, meaning right now this is likely the dominant hormone aggravating your symptoms.
Category A: Too Much Estrogen
Category B: Too Little Estrogen
Category C: Too Little Progesterone
Category D: Too Much Testosterone
Category E: Too Little Testosterone
Category F: Too Little Cortisol
Category G: Too Much Cortisol
Category H: Too Little Thyroid Hormone
Dr. Brighten’s complete Hormone Quiz can be found in her book, BEYOND THE PILL:
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.
Okay this really didn’t clear anything up for me it just contradicted itself a LOT! Besides category D I have nearly EVERY box checked! How can I simultaneously have too much AND too little of these hormones? Please someone help shed some light on this, I am really struggling.
I feel the same way! This wasn’t helpful in the sense that I was checking nearly all boxes
I have both too much and too little cortisol?
Don’t worry about the ambiguous future, just work hard for the sake of clarity
I have too much and too little of everything lol. I’d suggest to anyone to not take this test seriously and see a dermatologist or visit your gynecologist.
So what do I do if this says I have too much testosterone (4) and too little estrogen (3) and I am a female
I think this is very interesting. Pay attention as its not saying u should fall under one category. You can have multiple hormone inbalance!
Laura Corona – hi. If you go watch Dr. Jolene Brighten’s YouTube video “how to balance your hormones the right way” fast forward to about 22 minute mark, she goes on to explain this..
Marlee*** not marler
I am too much and too little estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol, along with too little thyroid hormone. I had a hormone pellet placed because my hormones were off the chart and after 4 months, nothing has changed and I feel horrible.
Consider finding a functional medicine practitioner to consult with about hormones.