Natural Ways To Support Healthy Hormones
While you should always speak to your doctor if you have hormonal imbalance, he might not have to give you any kind of medication to restore the balance. This is particularly true if the imbalance is caused by something like diet or stress. In general, people who have the following criteria are at higher risks of developing hormonal imbalances:
- Being overweight or obese
- Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol
- Being exposed to pesticides and toxins
- Experiencing high stress levels
- Not sleeping enough
Many of these risk factors are easily controlled when you’re mindful of your diet, exercise routine, and daily habits. If you quit smoking, moderate your drinking, or avoid exposure to pesticides, you can help reduce your risk factor for hormonal imbalances and naturally keep them moderated.
Changing the way you eat can go a long way towards improving your hormonal balance. For example, when you exchange carbohydrates for healthy fats, like coconut oil and avocado, you can lower your bodys inflammation and help maintain your hormone at the right levels. Consuming enough proteins will help control the ghrelin hormone that makes you feel hungry. This gives you the feeling of fullness and then, you will stop eating at the appropriate time and maintain a healthy weight.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance
Your hormones have to work together in balance to help your body thrive. However, hormone ups and downs in women are very common, so if you feel that you have a hormonal imbalance, you are not alone.
Doctors from WebMD say that some of the common causes of an imbalance in hormone production in women are pre-menstrual syndrome, pregnancy, and the menopause. However, other lifestyle factors can cause hormones to fluctuate. Being overweight, not getting enough exercise, or a lack of sleep can all throw your hormones off balance.3
Other reasons for hormone fluctuations are an underactive thyroid that doesnt produce enough thyroxine . Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that hypothyroidism can leave you feeling lethargic, cause changes in your menstrual system, or make it difficult to lose weight.4
Also, diabetes is a common cause of hormonal imbalances and can affect, not just the insulin hormone, but also other blood sugar-related hormones, sex hormones, and growth hormones.5
The Bottom Line On Hormonal Imbalance Symptoms
It is important to seek the advice of a qualified medical professional as soon as possible if you believe you might be experiencing a hormonal imbalance. This will help you get the support you need to get your body back to functioning at its best and may prevent long-term issues. It will also help you get to the bottom of why your hormonal balance occurred so you can avoid another in the future.
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Natural Ways To Balance Your Hormones
Most natural remedies for hormonal imbalance in females can be found in widely available supplements. Many people also experience relief from certain lifestyle changes, including:
- Managing weight
- Getting enough sleep
Hormones have a great role in many processes in our bodies. As weve seen, disruptions of these hormones can cause a variety of symptoms. Sometimes, a hormonal imbalance can have several serious effects. If you seek treatment as soon as possible, youll have the best chance of managing any complications.
The Major Effects Hormonal Imbalance Can Have On Your Well
Are you having tummy troubles lately? Maybe youre struggling to sleep, or you regularly forget where you last put your purse. Your hormones may be to blame.
Hormones act as chemical messengers in your body. Theyre powerful chemicals that are produced in your endocrine glands and travel around the bloodstream telling your organs what to do. In fact, hormones control the bodys major processes, including reproduction and metabolism.
If you suffer a hormonal imbalance, you likely have too much or too little of a hormone. Even the smallest fluctuations can have serious effects on your well-being.
While its normal for some hormones to fluctuate throughout your life, other changes occur when something isnt right with your endocrine glands, and an imbalance can affect your overall health and wellness.
Here are 5 things that happen when your hormones are imbalanced.
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Youve Gained Weight Around The Hips
If youre naturally more of an hourglass- or pear-shaped woman, and feel like youve been gaining weight recently, its probably accumulated around your hips. This is where body fat is predominantly distributed in women, but even more so in pear-shaped or estrogen-dominant type women. As estrogen levels climb too high, youll experience irritability, heavier menses, breast tenderness, weight gain and worsening of premenstrual symptoms. If youve gained weight, body fat also produces estrogen, adding to the severity of your symptoms.
The Fix: Your liver and digestive system play a key role in metabolizing excess estrogens. Make sure your bowels are regular every day by incorporating lots of veggies and fruit, and be sure to keep hydrated. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, and natto miso are fantastic additions. To support a healthy liver, add more cruciferous veggies rich in sulphoraphone, which help to support liver detoxification and clearance of excess bad estrogens.
You Get Serious Cravings Throughout The Day
There are a lot different reasons why you could get cravings during the day. One hormone in particular is responsible for keeping you full leptin, your satiety hormone signal and when life gets busy or you make the wrong food choices, your leptin signal gets scrambled and cravings ensue.
If you feel like youre always grazing on fruit, craving sweets, or looking for that post-dinner sweet fix, then your leptin levels are likely low. How do they get out of balance? Well, high insulin levels block the leptin signal, leading to more cravings . Its a vicious cycle because the more sugars and simple carbs you eat , the more insulin output and the more you suppress leptin. Stress scrambles the satiety hormone leptin, making you reach for sweets when youre feeling the crunch.
Stress also blocks leptin. Its no wonder when you get stressed the first thing you reach for is a sweet treat or dessert . This three-headed monster of insulin and cortisol problems disrupting your leptin levels is the perfect storm for sugar cravings.
The Fix: In the short-term, aim for dark chocolate as your go-to treat when you get afternoon cravings. Take a handful of frozen grapes or berries in the evening to give you a little sweet rush without the usual big sugar hit. For long-term resolution, see solutions #1 and #2.
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Hormone Restoration: How Do Hormones Get Restored
Each individual has a unique balance of hormones. During perimenopause and menopause this unique balance can be disrupted. Getting back into balance and feeling more yourself can be a tough task for many.
We encourage you to read through our Symptoms & Solutions section of our website for additional information on achieving better hormone balance, as there are many things you can do on your own, including: life style choices, reducing stress, and eating more nutritiously.
Signs Your Hormones Are Off
Your hormones are a key modulator of health, so its unsurprising that they provide you with signs and warnings when theyre off-balance. Many hormones, like the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, are associated with mental health and your day-to-day experiences. Here are some of the top signs your hormones are out of whack:
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Eat Enough Protein At Every Meal
Consuming an adequate amount of protein is extremely important.
Dietary protein provides essential amino acids that your body cant make on its own and must be consumed every day in order to maintain muscle, bone and skin health.
In addition, protein influences the release of hormones that control appetite and food intake.
Research has shown that eating protein decreases levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates the production of hormones that help you feel full, including PYY and GLP-1 .
In one study, men produced 20% more GLP-1 and 14% more PYY after eating a high-protein meal than after eating a meal that contained a normal amount of protein.
Whats more, participants hunger ratings decreased by 25% more after the high-protein meal compared to the normal-protein meal .
In another study, women who consumed a diet containing 30% protein experienced an increase in GLP-1 and greater feelings of fullness than when they ate a diet containing 10% protein.
Whats more, they experienced an increase in metabolism and fat burning .
To optimize hormone health, experts recommend consuming a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal (
This is easy to do by including a serving of these high-protein foods at each meal.
Consuming adequate protein triggers the production of hormones that suppress appetite and help you feel full. Aim for a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal.
Commonly Asked Questions About Female Hormones
What is the lifelong role of estrogen in female health?
Most people think estrogen is primarily responsible for reproduction, but it also helps with bone, skin and cardiovascular health. In addition, it affects thyroid hormone production. During menopause, estrogen levels decline along with the production of progesterone and testosterone. Hormone replacement therapy , which means replacing lost hormones by re-introducing them into the body, is often suggested to offset the positive benefits of estrogen and can be helpful in reducing common symptoms of menopause. But some studies show that artificial doses of estrogen carry risks and have been linked to cancer, dementia, strokes and arthritis. Never assume that hormone replacement therapy is the right thing to do without consulting your healthcare provider.
What is Puberty? Hormones that control puberty
Puberty is the time in life when children begin to show changes through hormone secretions that indicate they are about to become adults physically. In girls, the most obvious sign of puberty is the onset of menstruation. It can happen anywhere between the ages of 9 17, with a median age of 12. The menses, or monthly cycle, is interrupted during pregnancy and typically ends when the ovaries stop secreting steroid hormones a stage known as menopause.
What are the hormonal milestones in a females life?
What Causes Hot Flashes?
Why do I feel so different during my monthly cycle?
Why dont men have monthly cycles?
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How To Treat Hormonal Imbalances
There are lots of things you can do to correct your hormone levels. Treatment will depend on whats causing your hormones to be imbalanced in the first place.
In some cases, you might need to work with your GP or a specialist to correct your hormones levels. Treatment might include:
- hormone replacement therapy
- vaginal oestrogen
Dont underestimate the positive effects that lifestyle changes can have on correcting your hormone levels. Lowering your stress levels, making sure youre getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercise can get your levels back on track and improve your mood as well as being good for your overall health.
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Mood Swings Anxiety And Depression
A hormonal imbalance can cause you to experience mood swings and heightened anxiety just before your period or during the menopause.
Estrogen levels constantly fluctuate during the reproductive cycle. Researchers from Harvard found that women with low estrogen levels are more prone to feeling the effects of emotional stress. They found that in clinical trials, higher levels of estrogen helped to calm the fear response helping you to be less fearful.8
Other studies have found that fluctuations in the hormone cortisol and hormones produced by the pituitary, hypothalamic, and gonadal glands can cause depressive symptoms. Researchers found that low levels of the cortisol hormone were found in women who have fibromyalgia and symptoms of depression.9
If you suffer from mood swings and anxiety during the menopause, you can find some helpful advice in my article on 10 herbs and supplements for menopause. If depression and anxiety is a result of hormonal imbalances, then you can help relieve these symptoms naturally by trying some natural treatments for depression after consulting with your doctor.
Testing For A Hormonal Imbalance
Although a hormone imbalance may bring some obvious symptoms, thatâs not always the case. For example, it can be challenging for someone to decipher whether the depression theyâre experiencing is related to a life event or if itâs instead because of hormone levels that are affecting their mental health. Thatâs why consulting with a healthcare provider is a good idea any time you arenât sure whatâs going on with your health.
Hormone testing may also be worth considering if youâre curious to learn whether you have a hormonal imbalance. Everlywell makes testing your hormones easy with at-home test kits that come with everything you need for collecting your sample and sending it to a lab . Plus, you can view your results on our secure, online platform in an easy-to-understand format. This can be a simpleâbut powerfulâway to see if hormones are balanced in your body and learn your personal levels.
As an example, consider a Womenâs Health Test to check for a hormonal imbalance in women.
Signs And Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
Low testosterone has many similar symptoms to excess estrogen, with more muscle weakness and fatigue being the main difference, whenever you think of male hormone imbalance you usually think low testosterone is the cause.
- Similar to excess estrogen, low testosterone can cause low libido and erectile dysfunction.
- Muscle weakness and poor recovery from exercise.
- Fatigue and lack of energy, this can be caused by many things and low testosterone is one of them.
- Mood changes and depression.
- It can lead to weak bones and osteoporosis as you age.
Hormone Imbalance And Hormone Level Testing
Last Reviewed Date: Nov 18, 2021 Nov 18, 2021 Dec 05, 2018
Chapter 1: Hormone Imbalance Introduction Chapter 2: Causes and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance Chapter 3: Hormonal Imbalance and Men Chapter 4: Hormonal Imbalance and Women Chapter 5: More about Cortisol
Your entire endocrine system is composed of glands and hormones. It is one of two systems that help coordinate all the functions of your body.
This managerial role, of maintaining hormone levels over time and in various situations, is important for both your survival and well being. Hormone testing has shown that hormone levels decrease with age and that hormone replacement therapies may be helpful in maintaining youthful vigor.
The other critical system that regulates the functions of your body is the nervous system. Both the endocrine and nervous system work closely together to control a number of important functions:
- Your bodys growth and development
- Your metabolism
- Your mood and sleeping patterns
How Do I Know If I Have A Hormone Imbalance
The following list of common complaints can often be helped or eliminated by improving hormone health. The challenge is often finding out the starting place of your hormone imbalance to ensure you are treating the root of the problem rather than just the symptoms. And thats where hormone testing comes in.
- Menstrual irregularities
- Poor immune function
When assessing a hormone imbalance, its important to evaluate the endocrine system as a whole. This is because the endocrine system is complex and hormones and their actions are intricately linked this means that hormone imbalances originating from different areas can cause the same symptom.
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What Are The Signs Of Hormone Imbalance In Men
Many concerns surrounding a man’s bodily changes can be answered by fluctuations in the male hormonal makeup. If changes are being identified, it may be a good idea to see whether there are any deficiencies or overabundance in the body’s chemistry.
1- Low Testosterone: This is also known as Low-T and is defined by the American Urology Association as testosterone in the blood accounting for less than 300ng/dL .
Signs of Low-T include:
- Hot Flashes
- Trouble Concentrating
2- Increased Estrogen: An increase in estrogen production in a mans body can cause a condition called gynecomastia. This is where you begin to develop breasts. Increased estrogen levels can also cause problems with your prostate organ that is in charge of producing one of the fluids that make up semen. Obesity can increase the production of estrogen in a mans body.
3- Low Cortisol/Adrenal Fatigue: Men suffering adrenal fatigue often have difficulty focusing mentally and are excessively tired.
4- Hyperthyroidism/Overactive Thyroid: Signs of high levels of thyroid hormone in your body include:
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Increased Sensitivity to cold
What Are Female Hormones
Estrogen and progesterone are the primary sex hormones in females. Most of the body’s supply of these hormones is produced by the ovaries, although small amounts are supplied by other tissues in the body. While best known for their primary function of regulating the reproductive system, female hormones also play a role in other aspects of women’s health, including cardiac function, metabolism, bone health, skin thickness and elasticity, urinary tract health, emotional health and brain function, among others.
Cortisol and the thyroid hormone can become imbalanced for various reasons and affect both men and women. Ensuring a healthy profile means keeping abreast of your body’s levels. A comprehensive hormone test can provide much needed insight.
The three primary sex hormones in women are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
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What Causes A Hormone Imbalance
Hormone fluctuations are normal during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. However other factors like stress, poor diet or eating disorders, and underlying health problems can also upset the normal balance of your hormones.
A blood test and exam can usually tell whether youre dealing with a hormone imbalance. If youre experiencing symptoms of a hormone imbalance or are going through menopause and would like more information about hormone replacement therapy, schedule an appointment with us to learn more.
For more information about hormone health and other womens health issues, contact Memorial Women’s Specialists today to schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN at our office in Houston, Texas, or you may also request an appointment online.
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