We all know the usual suspects when it comes to hormonal takeover. The tears, the irrational anger, bizarre cravings and so on. But while these perks of being a woman are things we can laugh about with our girlfriends, a hormonal imbalance can really throw your body out of whack, and have some serious health complications.

First of all, it’s important to know the main players when it comes to the female hormone lineup. The three main ones are estrogen-the primary female sex hormone-which is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system; progesterone, which is involved with the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the production of other sex and stress hormones; and testosterone, which stimulates muscle growth, body hair, sexual desire and is responsible for fat gain.

Any imbalance with any three can cause signs and symptoms both externally and internally.

Weight fluctuation
Both high estrogen and low testosterone can lead to weight gain and trouble losing weight, especially in the belly or chest. Low testosterone can also mean loss in muscle mass or an inability to gain muscle and decreased strength; and high estrogen levels could also cause water retention and decreased energy and fatigue.

This might seem like something to blame testosterone on, but high levels of estrogen can cause an increase of body and facial hair in women. You may also notice it thinning, as a sign of low testosterone is actually hair loss.

Higher levels of estrogen are also often a cause for acne as well as thinning skin. Low testosterone will cause your skin or face to be pale. A hormone imbalance can also contribute to acne on the chest or upper back as well, along with skin tags, darkening of the skin in areas like neck creases, groin and underneath the breasts.

Menstrual cycle
Hormones that are out of sync or imbalanced can be the cause of heavy or irregular periods. Low testosterone can lead to infertility, while high estrogen is connected to PMS, cysts in the ovaries and heavy menstruation.

There are many treatment options to choose from if you are suffering from a hormone imbalance, but the first step is to see your doctor to get tested.