What Happens When These Hormones Become Imbalanced
When there is an excess of estrogen in your system, this can lead to heavy and painful periods, sore breasts, PMS, and weight retention around thighs and hips. The causes of estrogen excess include higher production from ovaries and poor metabolism and detoxification.
Low estrogen can also have negative effects on your health, which include low libido, missing periods, or very long cycles. The causes for low estrogen include under-eating, over-exercising, stress, and smoking.
The consequences of low progesterone include PMS, spotting before period begins, anxiety, and prolonged bleeding. The causes of low progesterone include stress and not ovulating.
Having high testosterone can cause acne, male pattern hair growth, hair loss, and irregular cycles. It is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome , which is associated with irregular cycles and excess androgens .
Hormonal Imbalance And Fatigue
Fatigue is a common symptom that may have many potential underlying causes. Just as too little progesterone can make it hard to sleep, too much progesterone can make you more tired. Another common hormonal imbalance that causes fatigue is low thyroid hormone levels . This condition is easily diagnosed with a blood test. If your levels are low, you can take prescription medication to bring your levels back up to normal. Regardless of any hormone imbalance that may exist, practice good sleep hygiene to optimize your sleep. This involves going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and exercise from the late afternoon on to avoid interfering with sleep. Establish a relaxing nighttime routine to give your body the message that it’s time for sleep. Take a warm bath, sip a cup of chamomile tea, or listen to relaxing music.
Risk Factors For Vaginal Atrophy
Some women are more likely than others to get atrophic vaginitis. Women who have never given birth vaginally are more prone to vaginal atrophy than women who delivered their babies vaginally.
Smoking impairs blood circulation, depriving the vagina and other tissues of oxygen. Tissue thinning occurs where blood flow is decreased or restricted. Smokers are also less responsive to estrogen therapy in pill form.
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Balance Your Hormones With 5 Simple Diet And Lifestyle Tips
When was the last time you took a moment to think about your hormones?
Many of us dont even give them a second thought, going about our everyday lives and forgetting how hard these incredible chemical messengers work. For the rest of us, its likely that we only pause to think about hormones when they are causing chaos perhaps when youre riding the monthly hormonal rollercoaster or if youve just had a baby and you find yourself bawling one minute, and beaming the next. And lets not even talk about the symptoms that can come with the change!
Unfortunately, there are also those of us who find just the word hormone fills them with dread, with symptoms from conditions like PCOS and endometriosis governing lives. Yet, whatever we may think of them , our hormones are there all day, every day.
In fact, theres very little that our amazing hormones dont do. From our gorgeous curves to our quality of sleep and even our digestive system, there are all sorts of things which they are involved with.
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.
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Support Hormone Balance With Metabolic Hydration
Did you know that Dr. Howard Murad, the skincare expert and creator of Murad skincare, does not recommend drinking 8 glasses of water per day? Instead, he suggests eating your water obtaining nutrient-rich water from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Although were told from every corner of the internet to consume 8 glasses of water per day, there is actually no evidence that drinking this much water is beneficial. As Dr. Murad acknowledges, drinking this much water can actually deplete electrolytes and therefore cause dehydration and premature aging of the skin.
I practice metabolic hydration, which I explain here, a very simple and intuitive method of hydration to optimize cellular hydration. Metabolic hydration is an important step for many individuals to help balance hormones naturally, because it supports the thyroid and adrenal glands.
Take Care Of Yourself
If you are constantly stressed out, your bodys detox pathways wont function effectively. Here are some stress reducing tips.
1. Do deep breathing exercises. Take some slow, deep belly breaths and concentrate on the air going in and out. Do this for 5 minutes twice daily
2. Learn to meditate. A great app is called Calm it is available for free on your phone!
3. Start doing yoga. Yoga stretches your muscles and relaxes your brain so it helps both physically and emotionally a two-for-one!
4. Pet your dog. Or cat. Or watch your goldfish swimming. Caring for a pet helps with stress reduction!
Besides your liver, your skin is another important organ of detoxification!
1. Exercise helps you in many ways! When you sweat, you are releasing toxins through your skin. Make sure you shower promptly so they are not reabsorbed.
2. A sauna is another good way to release toxins through sweat. Look around they dont have to be expensive
ADD DETOX SUPPORT SUPPLEMENTS
Many cleanses at the health food store are mostly laxatives or fiber supplements that cause loose stools . Thats not what were talking about..
A detox program is supporting your liver function, which is different. However, it IS important to avoid constipation while you are detoxing: your liver is doing all that work to excrete unwanted substances into your gut and if you are constipated they are more likely to get reabsorbed back into your system, defeating the purpose.
Yours in Health!
Reduce Or Eliminate Sugar And Other Food Sensitivities
Sugar keeps insulin elevated, knocking other hormones out of balance and paving the way for insulin resistance. Food sensitivities, including gluten intolerance can also increase inflammation and contribute to hormonal imbalances, including elevated cortisol. Research shows that a healthy gluten-free diet can reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. Consider working with a chiropractor or other healthcare professional to develop an elimination diet to see if your symptoms improve.
Dealing With Early Menopause
What is early menopause?
As women age, their bodies produce less estrogen and progesterone, the main hormones involved in female reproduction. When these hormones reach a low enough level, a woman will permanently stop having a menstrual cycle.
Menopause officially begins 12 months after a womans last period. Most women begin menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, with an average age of 51 in the United States. But for some women, menopause comes early.
If youre between the ages of 35 and 45 and have missed your period for three months or more, you may be going through menopause earlier than normal. Read on to learn why this happens and what treatments are available.
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Your Circadian Rhythm Is Off
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland that is located in the brain. It produces melatonin, which affects circadian rhythm and the levels of other hormones in the body. A pineal cyst is a disorder of the pineal gland that may not produce any symptoms. If the cyst is large, it may produce symptoms including water on the brain , headache, eye problems, and vision problems. Large pineal cysts that cause problems usually affect women who are in their second decade of life.
Dim Sulforaphane And Calcium D
DIM has gained much attention as the estrogen buster that can help with estrogen dominance. It is only partly true because its also an incomplete view of estrogen dominance. Estrogen gets cleared at various stages in the body and DIM helps with Phase I liver detoxification. Most women need support in Phase II liver detox as well this is where sulforaphane and calcium d-glucarate come in. I feel like sulforaphane is another underestimated substance not only does it clear estrogens but also activates the NrF2 pathway and literally kills cancer stem cells. Calcium d-glucarate supports the glucoridination liver pathway which is also highly involved in clearing estrogens. So there you have it: The perfect combo. We put them together in the Estrogen Reset Kit.
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What Influences Appetite And Weight
When Estrogen Drops, Hunger Increases
A decrease in estrogen levels during a woman’s monthly cycle may trigger mood changes in some women. Some females may reach for comfort foods that are high in fat, calories, sugar, and salt in an effort to feel better. Sadly, eating these foods backfires and makes women feel worse. Sodium increases water retention and bloating. Sugar, excess fat and calories will lead you to pack on the pounds. Falling estrogen levels also affect leptin, a hormone that inhibits hunger. Combat hormonal weight gain by adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan. Stick to lean meats, healthy fats, complex carbs, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables to help prevent PMS and encourage healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss.
Supplemental Calcium And Vitamin D
Supplementary calcium and vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis if you arent getting enough of these nutrients from your diet.
Women ages 19 to 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day through food or supplements. Women over age 51 should get 1,200 milligrams per day.
A recommended daily amount of vitamin D is around . For adult women, most doctors recommend 600-800 IU through food or supplements.
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Are Post Menopausal Symptoms A Normal Part Of Aging
Contrary to popular belief, Julie says that the physical symptoms that occur during and after menopause are not inevitable. Or, at the very least, we can influence them through simple lifestyle changes.
For example, lets consider constipation, which many older women experience. Julie explains that there is a simple reason that this may be a problem for many women. As our bodies get older, they produce less bile. This contributes to soft stools.
This means that it is even more important for older women to make sure that they are getting the right amount of fiber in their diets. There are many ways to do this, but, Julie suggests we look into flax seeds, also known as linseeds, which can help to keep our bodies regular. Be careful though. They need to be prepared in the right way.
Balancing Hormones Naturally With Diet & Lifestyle
Rather than masking imbalances and symptoms with drugs, functional medicine focuses on restoring your bodys natural hormone balance through lifestyle changes.
This can include optimizing your diet by minimizing inflammatory foods like sugar, caffeine, and alcohol while increasing healthy fats that keep hormone levels in check.
If testing reveals youre estrogen dominant, meaning your estrogen levels are too high relative to your other hormones, you may also want to reduce your exposure to xenoestrogens. These are chemicals that mimic estrogen and can be found in items such as personal care products and plastics.
Supplementing with key nutrients that help balance hormones and support optimal hormone production can also be very helpful.
And finally, relieving stress and getting plenty of sleep plays a big role in any hormone-related health issues.
If youre tired of the ups-and-downs of a hormone imbalance, know that you can take back control and restore balance without putting yourself at risk from synthetic hormones.
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Hormone Balance And Tummy Trouble
Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. Levels of these hormones change throughout the course of a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. When they do, they impact the function of the gastrointestinal system. Women often experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and nausea before or during their periods. These symptoms can also occur with many other conditions. If a woman experiences them along with mood changes and fatigue before or during her period, it may be more likely that the GI disturbances are occurring due to monthly hormonal fluctuations.
Continue With A Hormone
None of the above can be temporary measures, but need to be a whole lifestyle change in order to keep hormone levels in balance. Take it from a recovering perfectionist, though baby steps are just fine!
Once you master these tips make the changes stick by supporting your body with a whole foods, hormone-friendly diet. For in-depth guidance, I recommend my friend Magadalena Wszelakis Cooking for Balance e-course. Its targeted for this purpose and leads you through every step of the process.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
The infographic below is a quick overview of steps to balance your hormones. Pin it or share it to save for later!
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Have you struggled with hormone problems? What helped you? Share below!
Boycott Soy For Hormone Balance
Did you know that soy:
- Disrupts hormones by looking like estrogen to the body
- May cause inflammation and leaky gut by inhibiting trypsin, a protein-digesting enzyme
- Is most likely genetically modified
Soy milk, soy meat, soy protein, soy-based cereal all these foods touted as healthy wreak havoc on the body. The Weston A. Price foundation has also collected and summarized a list of studies showing the toxic effects of soy consumption on hormone balance and general health.
Fermented soy, such as miso and tempeh, have the detrimental effects reduced, but I believe these should be only eaten in strict moderation. If you are currently trying to balance hormones, I strongly recommend avoiding even fermented soy.
Breast Health And Your Hormones
Healthy breasts are greatly dependent on your hormone status. If your hormones are out of balance and you have estrogen dominance, youre insulin resistant, and you have high cortisol levels, it is going to eventually impact your breast health. Having good breast health is really about having good overall health.
The ongoing Nurses Health Study has found a strong link between hormonal imbalance and breast cancer. In this study, important hormones were measured in women who had gone through menopause. The hormones studied were estrogen, androgenic hormones, DHEA, prolactin, and insulin-like growth factor . As soon as more than one hormone level was elevated, the risk of breast cancer doubled. When several were elevated, it tripled. The hormone that made the biggest impact on breast cancer risk turned out to be estrogen. While we need estrogen to function, too much of the wrong kind can set us up for cancer.
Of course, cancer is on the extreme end of the breast disease spectrum. Lets not wait until it gets to that point. Or, if youve already struggled through breast cancer, lets do what we can to keep you in permanent remission.
That brings us to first addressing feminine health on a larger scale. After all, some breast maladies like lumps and fibrocystic breasts can actually be early signs of estrogen dominance. Below are some links to articles and resources on the Hormones Balance website to get you started.
What Is The Endocrine System
The endocrine system is in charge of coordinating the relationship between different organs and hormones, which are chemicals that are released into your bloodstream from cells within your endocrine glands.
Hormones are secreted by various glands and organs, including your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas. The entire endocrine system works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout your body, and if one or more is even slightly imbalanced, it can cause widespread health problems affecting growth, sexual development and function, sleep, metabolism and hunger.
Once your hormones are in circulation, they target specific tissues or cells by binding to receptors that are located inside the cell or on its surface. These hormones work as chemical messengers and play a key role in your bodys daily functions.
The endocrine system is made up of many glands, including the pituitary gland or master gland thats responsible for sending information from your brain to other glands in your body. The pituitary gland also produces many hormones that travel throughout the body and have different important functions.
The pituitary gland is made up of two different tissue types: the anterior pituitary that synthesizes and releases classic hormones, and the posterior pituitary gland that secretes neurohormones that are made in the hypothalamus.