Breast Changes Might Be An Estrogen Imbalance
Estrogen that is too high or too low may lead to changes in breast tissues. High estrogen may cause lumpy or dense breast tissue, even cysts. Estrogen levels that are too low may cause decreased breast tissue density. In one study, postmenopausal women who took estrogen plus progesterone hormone replacement therapy experienced an increase in breast density compared to women who took a placebo. Xenoestrogens are compounds that mimic estrogen function in the body. They are naturally occurring in some plants and fungi but they are also found in some drugs, industrial by-products, and pesticides. Non-naturally occurring xenoestrogens may produce a number of harmful effects in the body, including effects on breast density and the risk of breast cancer. They may also disrupt the endocrine system. If you notice any breast changes or are concerned about your estrogen levels, see your doctor for an evaluation.
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Effective Ways To Maintain Healthy Hormonal Balance
Men and Women both need to maintain a healthy hormonal balance. Hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and insulin play important roles in helping both sexes maintain good health and longevity. Hormones affect your appetite, weight, sex drive, and mood meaning any imbalances can put you at risk for health issues such as weight gain, infertility, depression, and more. Achieving and maintaining a healthy hormonal balance is key to staving off these types of conditions and improving your overall quality of life.
Here are 7 effective ways to regulate your hormones and reduce your risk for health problems associated with hormonal imbalances.
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.
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Hormonal Imbalance And Weight Gain
People with Cushing syndrome have high levels of cortisol in their blood. This leads to an increase in appetite and fat storage.
Hypothyroidism, if the condition is severe, can also lead to weight gain.
Slight hormone imbalances can happen during menopause. During this transition, many people gain weight because their metabolisms slow down. You may find that even though youre eating and exercising like you usually do, you still gain weight.
The only way to treat weight gain from a hormone disorder is to treat the underlying condition.
During a typical pregnancy, your body goes through major hormonal changes. This is different from a hormonal imbalance.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalances
Throughout your life and even throughout the day your hormone levels naturally rise and fall.
Certain periods of life cause more dramatic changes and fluctuations in hormones, including:
However, there are several other reasons why your hormone levels may be irregular at unexpected times. Some of the most common causes of fluctuating or imbalanced hormone levels include:
- Certain medications.
These hormonal imbalances are more likely to be temporary or fixable with a change in medication or properly managing stress.
Chronic hormone-related conditions can have several different possible causes. In general, the main conditions or situations that cause medically significant hormone imbalances include:
Tumors, adenomas and growths
Any kind of growth on a gland or organ that produces hormones, such as a tumor, adenoma or nodule, could affect its ability to do so.
Rare endocrine tumors form in glands or in cells that produce hormones and can cause hormone imbalances. Some of the rare endocrine tumors include:
An adenoma is a benign tumor. Many adenomas are nonfunctioning, meaning they dont produce hormones. But some can produce excess hormones. These are called functioning adenomas. Adenomas that affect your endocrine system and cause hormone imbalances include:
Damage or injury to an endocrine gland
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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.
Avoid Foods That Wreak Hormone Havoc
Sugar and refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes and mess with your insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps turn glucose into energy and keeps your blood sugar stable. Too much sugar causes your body to release more and more insulin to help control blood glucose levels.3 This can lead to insulin resistance and eventually to type 2 diabetes. Keep refined carbs to a minimum and save sweet treats for special occasions. Choose natural sweetenersthat wont send your blood sugar on a roller coaster.
Another hormone-wrecking food to watch out for is soy. Soy contains phytoestrogens known as isoflavones that mimic estrogen in your body. These estrogen-like compounds have been shown to increase tumor growth in animals, leading researchers to speculate that they may have a harmful effect on a developing human as well. Avoid giving an infant soy-based formula, as they are rapidly developing and are especially sensitive to hormones and hormone-like compounds.
Eating the right fruits and veggies is a great tool for balancing hormones. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious hormone-balancing foods that you can incorporate into your daily diet. If you need some inspiration, I have a ton of recipes that incorporate foods to support healthy hormone levels on my blog that are FREE for you to enjoy.
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Eat More Fruits And Vegetables
Separate studies have found that a plant-based diet is associated with fewer menopause symptoms and that an omnivore diet rich in fruits and vegetables is inversely proportional to menopause symptoms.
Our Tip: Since the recommended dietary intake for adults in the US is five portions of fruits and vegetables per day, consider drinking vegetable juice to help you get your greens in and balance hormones naturally.
Try Stress Reduction Techniques
Stress harms your hormones in several ways.
The hormone cortisol is known as the stress hormone because it helps your body cope with long-term stress.
Your bodys response to stress activates a cascade of events that leads to cortisol production. Once the stressor has passed, the response ends. However, chronic stress impairs the feedback mechanisms that return your hormonal systems to normal .
Therefore, chronic stress causes cortisol levels to remain elevated, which stimulates appetite and increases your intake of sugary and high fat foods. In turn, this may lead to excessive calorie intake and obesity (
In a review of 21 studies in 2,250 people, those assigned to a short sleep group showed higher ghrelin levels than those who got the recommended amount of sleep .
Plus, your brain needs uninterrupted sleep to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle. This is especially important for the release of growth hormone, which occurs mainly at night during deep sleep .
To maintain optimal hormonal balance, aim for at least 7 hours of high quality sleep per night.
Poor sleep has been shown to decrease fullness hormones, increase hunger and stress hormones, and increase insulin resistance.
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What Is A Hormonal Imbalance
A hormonal imbalance happens when you have too much or too little of one or more hormones. Its a broad term that can represent many different hormone-related conditions.
Hormones are powerful signals. For many hormones, having even slightly too much or too little of them can cause major changes to your body and lead to certain conditions that require treatment.
Some hormonal imbalances can be temporary while others are chronic . In addition, some hormonal imbalances require treatment so you can stay physically healthy, while others may not impact your health but can negatively affect your quality of life.
Causes Of A Hormonal Imbalance
There are lots of different possible causes of a hormonal imbalance. It depends on which hormones or glands are affected in the body. Some common causes of a hormonal imbalance include medications, cancer treatments, eating disorders, stress, injury or trauma, hormone therapy, and more. Additionally, conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome, Addisons disease, thyroiditis, and others can lead to hormonal imbalances.
Unique to women, hormonal imbalances may be related to reproductive hormones, including common causes of menopause, premature menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, PCOS, and hormone drugs.
To determine if you have a hormonal imbalance, meet with an obgyn in Lake Success to answer questions and take one or more diagnostics tests. Blood tests, pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and more may be used to diagnose you with a hormonal imbalance.
Dont Forget Vitamins B And D
Taking a high-quality vitamin B-complex supplement can help when youre in the throes of hormonal ups and downs. This is one group of vitamins that you might want to supplement with in addition to eating foods high in these vitamins. Vitamin B-complex is involved in both the production of testosterone and the regulation of energy production in the body. There are nine B vitamins in total, and certain foods contain specific B vitamins.
For example, wild-caught salmon is an excellent source of many B vitamins. Leafy greens, like spinach, kale, collard greens, and even romaine lettuce contain B9also known as folate. Other foods with notable amounts of B vitamins are eggs, sunflower seeds, milk, yogurt, and animal protein. Vitamin D is essential, too. In fact, numerous studies show its importance for mitigating symptoms of PCOS.
Image by Belathée Photography
Avoid Plastic Containers And Bottled Water
When plastic freezes, it tends to break down into smaller particles that become toxins, our bodies inadvertently consume them when they seep into water or food they contain. The body takes these compounds as xenoestrogen, and it adds to the hormonal imbalance, not to mention the strain on your liver for detox.
Xenoestrogens also make it hard to lose weight. Learn more about the female hormone weight loss connection.
Our Tip: Balance hormones naturally by simply ditching plastic! Switch to a reusable glass or metal water bottle.
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Muscle Weakness And Joint Pain
If you feel like it takes extra effort to move your body, or your joints are stiff and uncomfortable, this may be a symptom of hormonal imbalance. There are several different hormones that contribute to the strength of your musclesthink estrogen, testosterone, even your thyroid hormoneand could be behind your muscle weakness. Declines in both estrogen and testosterone have been associated with loss of strength, and muscle weakness and stiffness are often signs of a thyroid disorder, due the thyroids role in breaking glycogen into glucose, a main source of energy for your muscles.
Essential Vitamins And Supplements That Help Balance Hormones
Hormones can cause issues for many women, especially upon entering perimenopause. All sorts of frustrating fluctuations can occur, and these fluctuations impact nearly every aspect of a womans life. When our hormones are imbalanced, we may experience major mood swings and irritability. We might have trouble sleeping. We may experience a . We might gain weight. We may lose our energy and zest for life. As a result, our relationships may suffer, and we may feel as if our quality of life has suddenly dropped dramatically as well.
Fortunately, there are all sorts of tried and true ways to help balance hormones. One such way is by ensuring youre getting all the right hormone-balancing nutrients from your diet. Supplementing with certain vitamins and supplements may help as well. Relief is possible, with the right approach.
What Causes Hormone Imbalance
Virtually everyone experiences imbalanced hormone levels at some point in their livesparticularly us women! These imbalances are often a result of natural changes that occur with age, such as puberty and menopause. When you were growing up, hormones triggered bone and muscle growth. They also set in motion the reproductive changes that led to menstruation and fertility in young women, and sexual maturity in young men. This surge of hormones is behind the acne, mood swings, and other teen issues that affect most adolescents.
Your Hormones Your Health
Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? Shifts in your hormones could be to blame. Hormones are chemical âmessengersâ that impact the way your cells and organs function. Itâs normal for your levels of them to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause your levels to go up or down, too.
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What Can You Do To Increase Your Shbg Levels
Treatment of a low SHBG depends on the cause. Any underlying conditions will have to be addressed.
Your doctor will explain the results of your SHBG test and what your treatment options are, if treatment to address this is necessary. You should always follow your doctors recommendations.
Research has found that the following may increase SHBG levels:
Balance Your Hormones In Seven Natural Steps
10 Sep 2022
Hormones have a huge influence on our health and wellbeing, but there are ways you can manage them, naturally.
Hormones are chemical messengers that help regulate different processes in the body. From feeling hungry to when its time to sleep, we need hormones to keep our bodies on track.
But what happens when your hormones are out of balance? Discover seven natural ways to help prevent the hormonal see-saw.
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Symptoms And Signs Of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances often present in numerous ways. Hormonal imbalance symptoms in men and women may include:
- Weight loss or gain
Additionally, some signs and symptoms are specific to men and women, such as erectile dysfunction in men and amenorrhea or menorrhagia in women.
If your practitioner suspects that you have a hormonal imbalance or a condition affecting your hormones, they may order a blood or urine test to examine your reproductive, thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary hormones.
Prioritize Sleep And Relaxation
In addition to a hormone balancing diet you can help balance hormones naturally with simple lifestyle changes, starting with a sleep routine and schedule that spans over the weekend. Theres a significant relationship between cortisol and sleep, the infamous stress hormone can leave your adrenal glands depleted when its overactive.
Our Tip: Leave the phone one hour before bed, avoid caffeine after 2:00 PM, and make relaxation time part of your schedule.
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Have Some Sweets If It Makes You Feel Better But Don’t Use Food As A Long
“Sometimes, eating something carby or sweet because we’re stressed is just what’s going to happen,” says Anabelle Clebaner, MS, RD, RYT, registered dietitian and founder of Wellspring Nutrition.
“The problem is when we continue to use food as a coping mechanism for stress. Taking a mindful moment to ask yourself why you are craving a donut before going for it can be helpful too. Perhaps what you really need in that moment is to call your mom, get a hug or massage from your partner, or take a calming bath. Relying on sweets to manage stress is not effective for reducing stress, or making us feel better for more than a few minutes. Of course, sometimes all you need is a sweet treat to move onand if that’s the case go for it. Just be aware that it is not your only way to deal with stress, and that you have other tools in your toolbox to help manage stressful situations.”
Whats Normal And Whats Not
Like any other part of the body, things can go wrong with hormones. If your hormones are out of balance, you might notice different symptoms, depending on which hormone or hormones are affected, says Bhavini Bhavsar, MD, a PeaceHealth endocrinologist in Vancouver, Washington. Discuss this with your doctor so that the right testing can be done.
Its also important to remember that it will be normal for hormone levels to fluctuate at different times in your life, she notes.
While you can try to affect specific hormones with certain foods or activities, remember that hormones typically rely on and play off of each other. Rarely can you affect just one hormone without having an impact on others since they work in concert with each other. If you want to effect a positive change in your hormones, its best to choose actions that help them all.
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