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 cycles to 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.
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.
Sleep Dysfunction Is Another Symptom Of Hormonal Imbalance
If youre not falling or staying asleep easily, that can be a sign that your hormones are out of balance.
When your sex hormones are low, youre not going to be able to stay asleep. If your adrenals are out of balance, meaning you make cortisol at night, youre going to have trouble falling asleep. Especially if you have a discircadian adrenal function. You may wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious.
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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Signs Your Hormones May Be Out Of Balance
PMS, poor sleep, weight gain, heavy periods, irregular menstrual cycles. the list goes on. Health Space Rozelles resident NaturopathJade Bertolasi talks hormones, how to identify common imbalances and what you can do to restore equilibrium to your endocrine system.
Lets face it: womens hormones are complicated. Sex hormone levels fluctuate naturally with our menstrual cycle, and major life events such as pregnancy and menopause see significant hormonal shifts in our bodies. When we are under pressure our stress hormones can leap into overdrive, fuelling our body with the energy it needs to fight or flee. In fact, your hormone levels change on a daily basis.
So then if there is all this natural variation, what exactly do we mean by a hormonal imbalance?. Think of your hormones like an ecosystem in nature, where each one interacts and influences the other. They ebb and flow depending on factors from our internal and external environments. But with over one hundred hormones working in concert with each other, the delicate balance can easily be disrupted, leading to less than optimal health.
When we are discussing womens hormones, the key players include sex hormones oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline thyroid hormones and melatonin, a major sleep hormone.
Eat Enough Protein At Every Meal
Consuming adequate amounts of protein is extremely important.
Not only does protein provide essential amino acids that your body cant make on its own, but your body also needs it to produce protein-derived hormones also known as peptide hormones .
Your endocrine glands make these hormones from amino acids. Peptide hormones play a crucial role in regulating many physiological processes, such as growth, energy metabolism, appetite, stress, and reproduction .
For example, protein intake influences hormones that control appetite and food intake, communicating information about energy status to your brain .
Research has shown that eating protein decreases the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates the production of hormones that help you feel full, including peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1 .
One 3-month study in 156 teenagers with obesity associated a high protein breakfast with increased PYY and GLP-1 levels, which resulted in weight loss due to increased feelings of fullness .
Experts recommend eating a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal. You can do this by including high protein foods such as eggs, chicken breast, lentils, or fish at each meal .
Eating sufficient protein triggers the production of peptide hormones, some of which suppress appetite and help you feel full. Aim for a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal.
Weight Issues Can Sometimes Indicate That Your Hormones Are Out Of Balance
Because your thyroid controls your metabolism, if thyroid hormone is low, its going to be difficult for you to lose weight. When your testosterone and growth hormone levels are low, youre going to have trouble building muscle and keeping your bones dense.
If youre estrogen dominant, meaning estradiol is higher in ratio to progesterone, then youre going to see weight mainly in your breasts, hips, and thighs. You may also notice bloating because of water retention.
And, if your cortisol levels are high, at first you may lose weight. But eventually, youll gain weight, and then when your adrenals get fatigued. Your cortisol levels drop. You actually continue to hold onto that weight, which tends to be in your middle.
How Are Hormonal Imbalances Treated
Treatment for a hormonal imbalance will depend on whats causing it.
If you have lower-than-normal hormone levels, the main treatment is hormone replacement therapy. Depending on which hormone is deficient, you may take oral medication or injection medication.
For example, if you have low thyroid hormone levels , your provider can prescribe synthetic thyroid hormone pills. If you have growth hormone deficiency, youll likely have to take injections of synthetic growth hormone.
If you have higher-than-normal hormone levels, there are many treatment options depending on the cause. Options include medication, surgery, radiation therapy or a combination of any of these.
For example, if you have a prolactinoma, a benign tumor that causes excess prolactin , your provider may prescribe a medication to shrink the tumor or you may need surgery to remove it.
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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:
If Youre Having Trouble Getting Pregnant You May Have A Hormonal Imbalance
Typically, this means that your hypothalamus is out of balance. So youre not ovulating regularly to produce enough progesterone, and oftentimes are not producing enough estrogen. This is the same with men. If theyre not producing enough testosterone or an adequate amount of follicle-stimulating hormone to stimulate sperm production, theyll have issues with fertility.
Now, barring mechanical issues like a malformed uterus or scar tissue blocking fallopian tubes, the majority of fertility issues have to do with hormonal balance. When women balance the hypothalamus with Genesis Gold®, they will often produce enough sex hormones to be able to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy.
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Three Categories Of Symptoms Often Caused By Hormonal Imbalances
When we see patients at Madison Womens Health for hormonal imbalances, most of their symptoms and concerns fall into three categories:
Lets first discuss these groups of symptoms. Next, well cover the most common hormones your doctor may check based on your symptoms.
Incorporate Healthy Fats Into Your Diet
Adding healthy polyunsaturated fats to your diet, such as omega-3 and omega-6 may help reduce your appetite and. Fatty acids signal the production of leptin, a hormone that reduces appetite by suppressing the area of the brain that controls our appetite and signals to us its time to eat. Without adequate healthy fats in your diet, youre more likely to have low leptin levels, which can induce overeating and an inability to feel satiated. That may be one reason women have been experimenting with seed cycling for hormone balance.
What Are The Signs Of Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalances may be caused by a number of reasons, including
- Certain medications
- Diseases like endometriosis, diabetes, etc.
Depending on the reason behind your hormone imbalance and the types of hormones affected, you can experience a range of different symptoms. In general, these are the top 5 signs of hormonal imbalance.
What Conditions Are Caused By Hormonal Imbalances
Dozens of medical conditions are caused by hormone issues. For most hormones, having too much or too little of them causes symptoms and issues with your health. While many of these imbalances require treatment, some can be temporary and may go away on their own. Some of the most common hormone-related conditions include:
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But First What Are Hormones
Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the various endocrine organs/glands in the body or the endocrine system.
Some hormones are produced by other tissues that normally are not classified as endocrine glands such as the GI tract and the GI Mucosa which produces hormones such as gastrin, gastrone, secretin, cholecystokinin, that are important for digestion.
The Kidneys also has an endocrine role as they produce erythropoietin, a hormone important for producing blood cells.
Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands and each hormone has a certain job to do
Hormones also work in concert with the nervous system and drive the function of cells and organs in the body.
The brain endocrine communication regulates mood, stress levels and responses, energy, and metabolism as well as energy balance, influencing weight, and even sex drive.
There are many hormones which also work in concert with each other.
That orchestrated action can sometimes cause complications when one hormone imbalance affects other hormones, organs, and cell functions.
Then a cascade of events is initiated when one hormone gets out of whack.
When the choreography of these orchestrated hormonal relationships gets messed up, and some hormones run amok while others fall off the rails, a hormonal imbalance state then exists.
This, in turn, causes metabolic dysfunction and other health problems.
What Are The Signs Youre Experiencing A Hormone Imbalance
Everyone experiences fluctuations in their hormones across the course of their lives. It may occur when your endocrine system is not functioning optimally.
The endocrine glands are responsible for producing, storing, and releasing hormones into your blood. Multiple endocrine glands control different aspects of your body functions, and can present symptoms like:
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Looking Younger And Feeling Better
If you consider that list of symptoms, it may not surprise you to learn that balancing your hormones can help you look younger. If you have thinning hair and excessively dry skin due to a hormone imbalance, your appearance is likely to change when the imbalance is corrected.
Similarly, if you feel very tired and struggle to sleep well because of a hormone imbalance, you probably dont feel like exercising or being active at all. Plus, feeling exhausted can also make you feel older than you are. When you can sleep well and have a normalized level of energy, youre going to feel better.
The main reason to pursue hormonal balance is so that your body can function optimally. But looking and feeling younger are certainly nice effects as well.
Irregular Reproductive Cycles & Sexual Dysfunction
If you are wondering what are the signs of hormonal imbalance, then this is it. One of the most well-known signs of a hormonal imbalance is sexual dysfunction.
This may include:
- Inability to become aroused
At the same time, irregular menstruation in women is also a major indicator that a hormonal imbalance is present.
These dysfunctions and irregularities are caused by wavering levels of sex hormones. As men and women age, it is normal to see a drop off in testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. This commonly leads to menopause for women and andropause for men.
When seen in younger men and women, sex hormone imbalances are sometimes traced back to genetics, diseases , and high levels of stress.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About A Hormonal Imbalance
If youre experiencing new, persistent symptoms, its important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can order tests to help determine the cause of your symptoms.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hormones are complex and powerful chemicals. If one or more of them goes out of whack, it can cause certain symptoms that make you feel like youre not in control of your body. If you have new and persistent symptoms, its important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can order some tests to see if a hormonal imbalance or another condition is the cause. The sooner you reach out for help and treatment, the sooner youll be able to feel like yourself again.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/04/2022.
Hormonal Imbalance In Men And Women
As you can probably guess, there are some key differences between hormone levels found in men and women. For instance, men naturally have more testosterone than women, and women have more estrogen and progesterone than men.
Heres the problem: When a man or a woman is not producing the right levels of each desired hormone, it can cause some bodily function issues. In men, this commonly appears as sexual disfunction, reduced muscle mass, tenderness in the chest area, and lowered metabolism. In women, it can show up as irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, moodiness, low sex drive, and more.
In this next section, you will learn the 5 common signs of hormonal imbalance that can be found in both men and women.
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Signs Your Hormones Are Out Of Balance
We need hormones. Hormones are critical in regulating some essential processes in our bodies, including appetite, metabolism, sleep, reproductive cycle, sexual function, body temperature, and mood. It makes sense, therefore, that when hormones get out of sync, they can produce some very unwanted symptoms. In fact, hormone imbalance can impact the way we feel, act and look.
How Can I Prevent A Hormonal Imbalance
While many hormonal imbalances arent preventable, there are certain things you can do to optimize your overall health, which could help keep your hormones balanced, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Managing your chronic health conditions well .
- Quitting smoking or using tobacco products, if you smoke.
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Your Skin Is Itchy & Dry
We often forget that skin shows signs of our internal health. After all, we don’t get acne, and bruises, and dry skin for nothing. It’s all a sign of something going on inside. So it’s really important to pay attention to that epidermis of yours, especially when it’s being all red, itchy, and annoying.
That’s because dry patches can be one of the first signs that your thyroid hormone level is low. This hormone helps set your metabolic rate, and when you don’t have enough, these systems can go into slow motion, according to Greenfield. As a result, the rate at which your skin cells turn over slows, resulting in dryness, redness, and rashes. Slap some lotion on, and be sure to tell your doctor.
Symptoms Of Hormone Imbalance In Women
When something is out of balance with your hormones it can have far-reaching consequences for the whole system.
This means youre going to feel it manifest both in your body and your mind. If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms you should consult a healthcare professional.
Everyone feels tired from time to time. In most cases, most people feel better by taking adequate rest, correcting a nutrient deficiency, treating an underlying medical condition or incorporating lifestyle or dietary modifications.
However, if youre experiencing unexplained fatigue, despite taking care of yourself, you may want to consider a comprehensive evaluation of your hormone levels to rule out conditions such as adrenal fatigue or hypothyroidism.
A simple blood test called a thyroid panel can identify if your levels are out of balance.
Research shows that hormones can be a major contributing factor in regulating mental health in females.
Anxiety is one of the common symptoms of poorly functioning hormones. Typically, anxiety disorders are correlated with an overactive thyroid.
Anxiety may ebb and flow in intensity, regardless of the cause, and like most women, you may attribute these oscillations to life events or a variety of other factors rather than hormone imbalance.
If your anxiety does not go away and interferes with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships, dont ignore it.
Skin and hair changes
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