How To Balance Your Hormones With Food
In addition to maintaining lifestyle habits that minimize stress and promote optimal health, eating a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet can be critically important to achieving and maintaining a healthy hormonal balance. This also includes knowing what foods and drinks may be triggering imbalances in your body.
Heal Your Gut And Aim For Healthy Digestion
An unhealthy gut can wreak havoc on your digestive system and cause hormonal problems, too. To clean up your gut, avoid processed foods, added sugars and hydrogenated oils. And eat plenty of foods to restore gut balance, these include bone broth, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and high-fibre foods like leafy greens.
To Help Determine If Your Hormones Are Out Of Balance You Must Pay Attention To The Symptoms That You Have It Is Important
Then, be sure to address your concerns with your healthcare provider.
There are many other symptoms of hormonal imbalance. To discuss them, join me in our hormone support group which you can get access to through our free Hormone Reboot Training. That way, if you have any questions about what might be going on in your body, I can answer them for you.;
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Skin And Hair Changes
Acne. A sudden increase in acne is one easy way to identify a possible hormonal imbalance. One of the few hormones involved is androgens. Androgens, typically referred to as male hormones, but found in both males and females, regulate your skins sebum production. If your body produces androgens in excess, sebum can build up in your pores and cause a pimple to surface.
Hair loss. The quality and vitality of your hair is also directly related to your hormones. Thyroid abnormalities, for example, may cause dry hair or skin, thinning hair, or brittle nails. Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and parathyroid disorder can also cause hair loss.
Ways To Balance Your Hormones Naturally
If you think you might have a hormonal imbalance, start by talking to a healthcare professional about your symptoms and potential underlying causes. At Parsley Health, we work with our members who have hormone imbalances to naturally bring their hormones back into balance. Typically, this starts with advanced hormone testing to help you and your doctor determine where your hormone levels are at. Working closely with your practitioner and health coach, you can resolve the underlying cause of hormonal imbalance with a personalized plan, including changes to your nutrition, lifestyle, and stress management practices.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of hormonal imbalance, there are some general steps we recommend to start feeling some relief. Here are some of our tried and true strategies.
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Learn How Your Hormones Work Together
The first half of the menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase and is where you experience a rise in follicle stimulating hormone as several of your follicles begin their final race to ovulation. These growing follicles release the hormone estrogen in higher and higher amounts. Luteinising hormone then triggers ovulation the bursting open of a dominant follicle.
Following ovulation, there is a steep decline in estrogen. The sack which contained the egg begins to secrete another hormone: progesterone which increases and becomes our dominant hormone in the second half of the menstrual cycle which is known as the luteal phase.
Each of these two phases last roughly two weeks in a typical cycle. If your cycle is longer than 28 days, the first half of the cycle will be longer, with the second half usually remaining around two weeks. After this second two-week phase, if your egg is not fertilised, the lining which has grown to support a potential pregnancy will be shed in the form of your period. The is accompanied by a sharp drop in all hormone levels as you return to baseline. This bleed becomes day 1 of your new cycle, and the process begins again.
Keep Your Cycle Humming
The gut makes and metabolizes estrogens. Certain microbes produce them, while others break them down, says Tetel. Having the right levels of estrogens is important since they affect your fertility, menstrual cycle, mood, weight, and risk of certain diseases, like heart disease and some cancers.
To keep estrogens at the ideal level, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and manage your stress, experts say. Also, avoid taking antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, because they can throw off your microbiome and decrease estrogens effectiveness, says Tetel.
Top Diet Tips To Balance Hormones Naturally
Food as medicine is the foundation of balancing hormones naturally. Hence, consuming a nutrient dense diet which is a perfect combination of carbohydrates, proteins and good fats becomes essential. So, let’s look at 5 food categories that you can find in your kitchen which will help you regulate hormone imbalances.
Increase Progesterone With Vitamins And Minerals
Foods high in Vitamin C, E, B, Zinc, and Magnesium, could stimulate or balance progesterone production. You can find them in berries, coconut, wheat bran, eggs, citrus fruits, and some seafood like fish and oysters.
Our Tip: try the Mediterranean diet and our berrylicious superfood drink Red Juice which has types of berries and an 8:1 Reishi mushroom concentration.
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How To Test Your Hormone Health
If you are concerned about your hormone health, you can have your hormone levels tested in the following ways:
- Saliva testing: Saliva testing measures your bodys hormones levels at the cellular level. A saliva test can measure your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol and DHEA levels. When you provide and test multiple samples over time, your healthcare provider can formulate charting changes in hormones with saliva testing.
- Blood testing: This type of hormone test requires that your blood is collected at a lab and then measured for hormone levels. A blood test can measure free and total hormone levels, which saliva and urine testing cannot do.
- Urine testing: A urine hormone test requires that you collect every drop of urine for a 24-hour period. Then your urine is tested to identify each hormone that is present and at what levels on that particular day. This is the most extensive hormone health test because it measures your hormone levels throughout the entire day, instead of the levels for a moment in time, which is the case for blood and saliva tests.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone testing: This type of test is commonly used to measure the hormonal status of premenopausal women who are beginning to experience symptoms of menopause.
If Youre Finding That Youre More Irritable Stressed Anxious Or Depressed That Could Be A Sign Of A Hormonal Issue
Before starting my integrative practice, I noticed many women being put on antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication when it was actually hormonal imbalance. Your sex hormones affect your brain chemistry, so if your estrogen levels are low, it affects serotonin production. If progesterone is low, it affects GABA production. If testosterone is low, it affects dopamine production.
In other words, depression and anxiety can be a sign of low hormone production.;
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Treating Imbalance With Medications
Treatments for hormonal imbalance are often specific to the type of hormone in question and its related effects. Doctors use medications to treat imbalance because there are a variety of medications that can either stimulate or even replace hormonal chemicals in the body. These treatments are often referred to as hormone therapy.
Medications to balance female hormones, like estrogen and progestin, can alleviate symptoms like hot flashes and even increase fertility. Women with high androgen, a male hormone, can take medication to suppress high levels. Meanwhile, testosterone supplements can help men experience relief from fatigue, muscle loss, and other symptoms of âLow Tâ. Medications can even stimulate puberty in teenagers with delayed puberty.
There are a variety of other medications used to relieve other hormone imbalances, including insulin to treat Type I and Type II diabetes. Hormone therapy medications are available in pill, patch, injection, and topical cream form, depending on the treatment you need.
What Are Hormonal Imbalances
Your body secretes about 50 hormones that control many critical functions including metabolism, homeostasis , sexual activity, and contraction of the heart muscle.
Think of hormones as messenger molecules that one part of your body makes and then transports elsewhere. Your pancreas, for instance, secretes insulin, a hormone that helps your body utilize glucose for energy.;
Hormonal imbalances occur when too much or too little of a hormone exists in your bloodstream. Even small hormonal imbalances can create side effects that resonate throughout your body.
Consider insulin. Eating too many sugary, processed foods can elevate this hormone, overwhelming your cells so they dont hear its call. Your pancreas continues to secrete insulin, but your cells cant easily take up glucose from your blood.
In other words, your cells become resistant to insulins message, so your pancreas tries to make more of this hormone, in hopes the increased production will cause the message to get through. Insulin resistance can eventually lead totype 2 diabetes with all its related symptoms including disease, disability, and early death.;
Insulin resistance, like any hormonal imbalance, doesnt exist in a vacuum. It can knock other hormones like cortisol out of balance. Elevated levels of this stress hormone contribute to obesity, lead to adrenal burnout, and trigger inflammatory diseases including chronic fatigue syndrome.
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Keep Stress Levels Low
Studies show that women who participate in a daily meditation or yoga experience less hormonal swings than those who do not mediate stress in some fashion . Rest is also important. Many women have such hectic lifestyles that they give their body little time to re-adjust from life’s demands. This disrupts the natural hormones cycles in women. Find small ways to incorporate rest and relax throughout the day.
What Is Organifi Harmony
Organifi Harmony is a delicious cacao and chocolate-flavored superfood blend designed by some of the worlds top herbalists , for women.
Its not just for your time of the month! Harmony contains a daily dose of balancing herbs that supports you pre AND post menopause.
- After 15 days of consuming this: Increased energy!
- After 30 days of consuming this: Cycle regulation, aids in reduction of PMS symptoms, such as bloat, moodiness, breast tenderness.
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Do You Ever Find Yourself Saying This
- No matter how much I exercise or eat right, I cant lose this excess weight.
- As Ive been getting older, my metabolism has slowed and I keep gaining weight.
- Once I lose the weight, the fat comes right back to me.
If you can relate to the above, you may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance.
As a Nurse Practitioner, and a Doctor with experience in weight management and bioidentical hormone therapy, I can tell you firsthand that your weight affects your hormones and, on the flipside, your hormones affect your weight. So, which came first? The chicken or the egg? Its kind of hard to tell, but there are things you can do to help both at the same time and lead to a leaner body and put your hormones back into balance. Even if youre going through menopause, you can help relieve hot flashes, weight gain, and other symptoms of menopause by changing your diet.
First, its helpful to know what hormones are, what role they have in the body, and what the major players are.
So, what are hormones?;And how to balance your hormones to lose weight? Hormones are chemical messengers that are made in the body and are responsible for almost every bodily function. We cant survive without them! Without hormones, we would never experience hunger and may possibly starve to death. Without hormones, we wouldnt be able to make babies and mankind would end. Crazy, isnt it?
Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
One of the most common symptoms of perimenopause is hot flashes, which often coexists with night sweats. Almost 80 percent of people who are in perimenopause or transitioning into menopause have hot flashes. Also, most women who receive chemotherapy or undergo surgery to remove their ovaries will experience hot flashes.
Scientists know that hot flashes occur as a result of low estrogen levels. Each hot flash involves a sensation of heat that starts in the chest area and travels to the neck and the head. It can last for a few minutes and may cause sweating. Some women also develop a faster heart rate during hot flashes.
If a hot flash happens during sleep, they are called night sweats. Women who have night sweats often wake up in the morning feeling tired.
Some people experience redness along their neck and face during a hot flash. This is called a hot flush.
On average, each hot flash lasts for about three to four minutes. Hot flashes can occur for a few months to several years. In a few rare cases, some people had hot flashes for 10 years.
Other signs of hormonal imbalance include:
- Heavy or irregular periods, missed periods, frequent periods, or stopped periods
- Vaginal dryness and itching
- Weakened muscles
- Pain in the muscles, tenderness, and stiffness
- Pain and swelling in the joints
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Get Your Probiotics And Prebiotics
Pamela D McAdams/Getty Images
Making sure your gut is healthy is crucial, Palma says, because unbalanced hormones can affect your gut barrier and microbiome . If left unchecked, it could cause inflammation problems. Eating foods with probiotics and prebiotics foods can help maintain a healthy gut.
That might also include taking supplements for gut health. Palma says supplements like cod liver oil , glutamine, aloe, and curcumin can help the gut barrier.
How To Know If Hormones Are Imbalanced
“During reproductive years, women can look to their cycle to give them signs that their hormones are out of balance. Infertility, ‘period problems’ like PMS, heavy, painful periods, and migraines all can be signs that hormones are out of balance,” says Ayla Barmmer, M.S., RD, LDN, owner of Boston Functional Nutrition and creator of Full Circle Prenatal.
Sudden weight fluctuations or changes in energy levels could also signal a hormonal imbalance. “But, really, the best way to know for sure is to get tested,” says Azzaro.
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How Menopause Disturbs Our Hormone Balance
Wondering how hormones send their messages to different parts of the body? Heres a rundown of the process!
The whole process begins when hormone production takes place in your glands. Your hormones travel via your blood to the different cells and organs in your body. When they reach their destination, they knock on your cellsgatekeepers, called receptors, where they will relay their message.
If your receptors feel like your cells need them, they allow entry to dock into your cells, and they will turn on a specific function. This is how your hormones keep the body balanced. But
During menopause, your hormone production changes big time. In the early stages, your ovaries start to falter, but they will still produce normal amounts of estrogen. On the other hand, progesterone production reduces. This causes an imbalance called estrogen dominance where estrogen is higher relative to progesterone. In the later parts of menopause, you experience declining hormone levels, which can make you deficient.
As the receiving end, your receptors will accept whats coming to them. Excessive estrogen in your body will hyperactivate your organs and the lack of progesterone may affect some body functions. Hormone deficiencies on the other hand slows down the majority of your body functions and you may experience symptoms such as:
- Changes in your monthly periods
- Slow digestion
- Sluggish metabolism
Learn How To Balance Your Unique Hormonal Imbalance Naturally
Balancing your hormones is a complicated process and takes time. It will often take up to 3 menstrual cyclesto fully experience the benefits of bringing your hormones back in to balance. Unfortunately, there isnt one quick fix or magic solution which will fix all of your period problems. Addressing diet, lifestyle, stress, exercise, mindset and emotional and spiritual health are the cornerstones to improving your hormone health.
In my 8 Week Hormone Harmony Digital CourseI teach the exact protocols that I use with clients to help them return to vibrant, balanced health. The protocols I teach are beyond the scope of this blog post and are aimed to educate and empower you to take control of your health. If you are truly ready to take back the reins on your hormonal health,learn more about Hormone Harmony Academy by signing up to my free Heal Your Cycle webinar and coming along live!
To get you started, Im sharing my top 6 tips to begin balancing your hormones naturally. These are a great place to start if you are new to hormonal imbalances, and will give you a taste of addressing your symptoms naturally.
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Consider Supplements And Alternative Medicines
There is some evidence that alternative therapies or supplements may address some hormonal issues.
For instance, a found that a Chinese herbal therapy routine resulted in doubled pregnancy rates among female participants with infertility when compared to Western, drug-based treatment.
A reports that Nigella sativa, known as black seeds or fennel flower seeds, helped raise estrogen levels in an animal model.
If studies in humans confirm these findings, the supplement may be beneficial for people going through menopause.
The following tip may benefit males: