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6 Main Hormonal Types

By Dr. Janine MacKenzie

Type 1: High Cortisol

Your adrenal glands produce cortisol in response to acute stressors. We've all heard of fight or flight. Ideally, we use this function when needed and then when the situation resolves, we can calm down and disengage. The issue is we generally do not ever turn this response off. We are constantly stuck in a physiologic fight or flight response.

Symptoms of high cortisol include:

  • Possible hypertension

  • Sleep deprivation – feeling wired but tired

  • Daytime fatigue

  • Migraines

  • Moodiness and irritability

  • Hungry all the time

  • Midsection weight gain despite eating well and exercise

Type 2: Low Cortisol

This hormonal type evolves out of the High Cortisol type. Your body production of cortisol may be low, or your cortisol maybe being shunted out to your body tissues and not available for use leading to exhaustion all day.

Symptoms of low cortisol include:

  • Exhaustion that lasts all-day

  • Emotional fluctuations and heightened emotions

  • Night waking for no known reason

  • Low immunity

  • Increased allergies or new allergies

  • Brain fog

Type 3: Progesterone Deficiency

This hormonal type is prevalent. Progesterone is a calming hormone for women and helps balance estrogen.

Symptoms of progesterone deficiency include:

  • Emotional

  • Night sweats or hot flashes

  • PMS symptoms

  • Spotting before your period

  • Anxiety

  • Energy lacking

  • Excess weight around your midsection

  • Increasing age – progesterone naturally declines at age 35

  • Fertility issues

  • PCOS

Type 4: Low Estrogen

Estrogen typically declines with age; sudden drops or change in progesterone's balance is where you'll get symptoms.

Symptoms of low estrogen include:

  • Hot flashes or night sweats

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Low libido

  • Insomnia

  • Depression

  • Memory loss

  • Joint pain

  • Bladder issues including incontinence, UTIs, inflammation

  • Bone loss

Type 5: High Estrogen

This type of imbalance is usually examined as estrogen-related to the progesterone levels. It can be due to high estrogen and low progesterone.

Symptoms of high estrogen include:

  • PMS

  • Drastic mood changes

  • Feeling as if you only have one good week per month

  • Heavy periods

  • Cramping with your cycle

Type 6: Hypothyroid

Your thyroid is the master regulator of your body. How "fast" your body runs is dictated by your thyroid function.

Symptoms of low or hypothyroid are:

  • Loss of eyebrow hair

  • Slow heart rate

  • Depression

  • Skin, hair, and nail brittleness or dryness

  • Weight gain with difficult weight loss

  • Cold feelings or inability to tolerate temperature changes

  • Constipation

  • Clotting or heavy periods


Dr. Mackenzie works with her patients to help them achieve balance in their lives and their health. Her medicine and health approach involves digging a little deeper and looking for the root cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms.

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