The Naturopaths Approach To Balancing Female Hormones
The endocrine system consists of glands that produce hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that send instructions to the various organ systems in order to regulate vital bodily functions. A high stress lifestyle combined with poor eating habits can wreak havoc on a womens delicately balanced hormonal function. Even healthy women with a good diet can end up with hormones unbalanced.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance may include PMS, uterine fibroids, osteoporosis, reduced sex drive, allergies,weight gain, changes in the skin, fatigue, water retention, hair loss, facial hair growth and sometimes anxiety and depression.
A naturopath takes time to review a patients medical history in detail and tailor a herbal mix and provide dietary and lifestyle advice specific to the patient. Below are some suggested tips and a selection of herbs for treating hormonal imbalances.
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.
Exercise And Reduce Stress
Exercise and stress reduction are important for hormonal balance whether you are male or female. It is interesting that intense extended exercise, while beneficial in most situations, can actually be bad for those with hormone imbalances. It is a better idea to focus on relaxing exercises like swimming or walking, and avoid extended running or cardio exercises while your hormones are imbalanced.
Short bursts of heavy weight lifting can also help balance hormones. Resistance exercise like weight lifting has been found to produce a significant acute hormonal response. In particular, anabolic hormones have been shown to increase 15 to 30 minutes after exercising. Other exercises that help reduce stress and maintain hormone balance include yoga, tai chi, qigong, and meditation.
Also Check: Non Hormonal Treatment Of Menopause
Problems With Hormonal Replacement
The answer from conventional medicine for hormonal concerns is prescription medications. The problem is that these hormonal replacement medications, hormonal contraceptives, and other hormone therapies can overwhelm your body with an unnatural amount of hormones. This can lead to a variety of health issues including :
Low Sex Drive Could Be Low Testosterone
Testosterone is typically thought of as a male hormone, but both men and women have it. Effects of hormonal imbalance in females may include low testosterone levels that may cause low libido. In one study of more than 800 postmenopausal women reporting low sex drive, those who received 150 or 300 micrograms per day of testosterone in the form of a topical patch reported more sexual desire and less distress than women who received a placebo. Women receiving extra testosterone also reported more satisfying sexual experiences compared to women who took a placebo. However, women who took 300 micrograms of testosterone per day had more unwanted hair growth than women who took the placebo. Men can get low testosterone, too. The condition has been referred to as andropause in males.
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Supplement With Vitamin D
A Vitamin D deficiency is more common than you may think, with over a billion people worldwide suffering from either a deficient or insufficient supply of this critical vitamin. Vitamin D plays an extremely important role in a number of bodily functions, such as immune function, cell differentiation, and inflammatory response. Low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with an increased risk in colon, prostate, and breast cancer, as well as tuberculosis, influenza, and heart disease. A relationship has also been found between hypothyroidism and a vitamin D deficiency.
Ideally, we would get our daily dose of Vitamin D from 10 to 30 minutes of uninterrupted sun exposure, but this is unrealistic for most. Thats why its important to take a Vitamin D3 supplement and eat foods rich in Vitamin D, such as pastured eggs and wild salmon. Its also important to note that as we age, our production of Vitamin D decreases, so make sure youre monitoring your levels and getting them checked by your primary care provider.
Foods That Mess With Your Hormones
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Unsurprisingly, processed sugars are the first no-no on the list. Research on diabetes management has found that fructose found in a wide range of processed foods doesnt seem to boost our satiety hormone, leptin, as well as other carbohydrate-containing foods, which, in turn, may lead us to consume more calories over time.
In women, there is also concern about reproductive disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome . One systematic review looked at a wide variety of diets and their impact on PCOS symptoms and found that following a diet low on the glycemic index carried the greatest benefits. Want to kick your sugar habit to the curb? Try swapping added sugars like corn syrup, honey, maple, molasses, and white sugar for fruit that comes bound with fiber to help slow down the hormonal insulin response.
Packaged Fried Snacks
You dont need an article on hormones to tell you to keep a watchful eye out for sources of trans fats. Packaged fried convenience foods are always a suspicious source. One study on male reproductive health found that men who consumed the highest amounts of trans fats in their diets had impaired testicular function related to lower testicular volume and higher luteinizing hormones. Other research has concurred, finding that men with the highest intakes of trans fats had 37 percent lower sperm count! If baby-making is in your plans, its best to kick those fats to the curb.
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Estrogen Dominance And Histamine Intolerance
Estrogen dominance and histamine intolerance share some common symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, and abnormal menstrual function. Estrogen and histamine also attach to the same receptors , which will result in the release of histamine from your mast cells present near your reproductive organs.
The more estrogen your body has, the more histamine your mast cells will release. More histamine, however, will lead to more estrogen feeding a vicious cycle of estrogen dominance and histamine intolerance. If you are dealing with estrogen dominance, it is best to check for and address possible histamine intolerance as well. To learn more about the connection between estrogen dominance and histamine intolerance, I recommend reading this article.
How To Improve Estrogen Imbalance Naturally
You probably remember estrogen from high school health class. It is one of your primary female sex hormones and it plays a critical role in your hormonal health. Estrogen imbalance can lead to an array of symptoms and health issues, including premenstrual symptoms, menstrual problems, endometriosis, infertility, headaches, and fatigue. If you are dealing with symptoms of estrogen and hormonal imbalance, you will be happy to hear that you can improve estrogen imbalance naturally.
In this article, I will explain what estrogen is and what are the three major types of estrogen. You will learn more about estrogen imbalance and estrogen dominance. You will understand potential problems with hormonal medications and xenoestrogens. I will explain how estrogen metabolism works. I will share the testing method I recommend for your estrogen levels and share my top natural solutions for estrogen dominance and hormonal imbalance.
Supplements For Hormonal Balance Support
Whole food Multivitamin
Depending on the type of hormonal imbalance you have, you may need to supplement with specific vitamins or minerals which directly support a certain endocrine glands function. For example, iodine is necessary to produce thyroid hormones.
Good Fats and Omega Essential Fatty AcidsMany fats are actually good for us, and are in fact essential to our good health. Fat intake is vital to healthy fertility. Instead of worrying about how much fat we eat, we need to be concerned with the types of fats we eat. We need a certain amount of saturated fats to produce cholesterol. Cholesterol is needed for formation of healthy cell membranes and remember from earlier in this guide that it is a precursor to all steroid hormones . We cannot have proper hormonal balance without adequate amounts of saturated fats.
We also need balanced amounts of unsaturated fats. Essential fatty acids are three types of unsaturated good fats. There are three different types of unsaturated fatty acids Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9.
Good sources of healthy fats: Wild Atlantic Salmon, cage-free eggs, coconut oil, flax oil, cod liver oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, olive oil .
To learn more, visit our guide Fertility Super Food Royal Jelly.
Talk To Your Healthcare Professional
Doctors use blood tests to measure how much of a hormone your body makes and sometimes use bioidentical hormones to correct imbalances. They might use testosterone therapy, for instance, if you have low levels of this hormone. Always discuss potential side effects and other drawbacks before you begin treatment. You may able to treat hormonal imbalances naturally. Talk to your chiropractor, who can complement your doctors recommendations by designing a customized dietary and lifestyle hormone balance protocol. Research shows, for instance, that chiropractic care can help balance cortisol and other adrenal hormones to help manage your stress response.
Every hormonal problem requires a unique strategy to create balance. No one should have to live with the unpleasant symptoms of hormonal balances like fatigue, mood disorders, and low sex drive. At the same time, the right diet, nutrients, and lifestyle factors, along with working with a chiropractor , can go a long way towards balancing hormones naturally.
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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.
Hormone Balancing Tip #: Balance Blood Sugar
Having balanced blood sugar means that your body produces a normal insulin response when you consume food. A balanced meal includes good quality fat, protein, and fibre. A balanced plate might look something like this:
12 of your plate greens and vegetables 14 of your plate good quality protein 14 of your plate complex carbs 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats
Here at Nourished, we wanted women to have an easy way to get started on their blood sugar balancing journey. We created a 100% natural vitamin for you to get started on your journey. Click the button below to see more info and add our Blood Sugar Balance vitamin to your cart.
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Soy And Dairy Products
Soy products such as tofu and soy milk contain a bioactive substance known as phytoestrogen which acts like estrogen in the body.
When consumed in high amounts, soy makes it look like the body has enough supply of real sex hormones like estrogen, and would produce less. Because of this, it affects the ovulation cycle which can cause an impact on reproductive health.
Dairy products are a rich source of calcium, but a high intake of these can affect hormone balance. Too much can lead to gut inflammation and irritation. Dairy products are also said to increase sebum production and aggravate acne-prone skin. Some also contain growth hormones which may affect the liver.
Always remember to consume any food in moderation. We should keep in mind that there is no bad food, only a bad diet.
With regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a proper lifestyle. This can go a long way towards improving your hormonal health and healthy body.
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.
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Cut Back On The Alcoholic Beverages
Ive often been told Im the bearer of bad news, but I promise that laying off the liquor will be a game changer.
A glass of alcohol is like consuming a handful of sugary cookies, just via another delivery method. It immediately hits your bloodstream, sending your blood sugar levels on a roller-coaster ride.
Alcohol also raises estrogen levels, because it creates a whole lot of extra work for your liver, so it cant effectively detox estrogen, which is one of its main jobs. This estrogen excess can trigger heavier, longer periods, breast pain, headaches, and raging PMS.
See the connection between what we eat and drink and our period problems?
What About Yoga And Pilates
If HIIT just isnt your thing, there are other options that have also been shown to improve hormonal balance. One new study found that women who worked out for 12 weeks developed better balance, flexibility, muscle strength, and estrogen levels. The women worked out for 60 minutes per day three times per week doing yoga and light dance. The yoga was doubly beneficial as it is both a physical exercise and a proven stress reducer technique.
Dr. Akhunji also recommends Pilates for stress reduction, flexibility, and mood improvement. One study found that after eight weeks of a Pilates exercise program, women saw a decrease in menopausal symptoms caused by changing hormones. Pilates is also the only type of exercises that directly targets your pelvic floor, which can be an added benefit for women in perimenopause and menopause.
Beyond any specific workout routine, aim to walk daily and spend as little time as possible being sedentary. Try to be mindful of how often you move. A few simple ways to add movement include doing squats during commercials, taking the stairs, and getting up every half hour or so when youre working in a sitting position.
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Which Hormone Test Is The Easiest To Get
It depends. As mentioned, serum blood testing by your doctor is the standard of practice and typically easiest for most people to get if they have easy access to the doctor. You, as the patient, dont have to do any work except drive yourself to the lab.
Finding a qualified nutrition expert or physician that is functionally trained who will order saliva and urine testing and properly interpret the results may be less accessible, but it just takes a little research to see who is in your area.
Youll have to read directions and complete the testing on your own with saliva and urine testing. There are benefits to having a combination of serum, saliva, and urine for a full picture of whats going on with your hormones.
We did it! Thanks for sticking through until the end!
As you can now see, the options for hormone imbalance tests are quite advanced these days. There are strengths and limitations to serum, saliva, and urine testing, and when used together, can provide important information about your hormones when you expect that things just feel off. You are more in touch with your body than anyone else. You know what does and does not feel right. So, if clear answers to your problems dont show up on a standard lab test, investigate further!
Sometimes the root of your symptoms is a result of food sensitivities or not following an anti-inflammatory diet. Embarking on an elimination diet could be instrumental in managing your hormonal imbalance symptoms.
How Are Hormonal Imbalances Diagnosed
Healthcare providers typically order blood tests to check hormone levels since your endocrine glands release hormones directly into your bloodstream.
Certain hormone levels vary drastically throughout the day, so providers may order other tests to measure your levels, such as a glucose tolerance test or insulin tolerance test.
Your provider will also ask you about your medical history and symptoms and perform a physical exam.
Also Check: Does Hormonal Imbalance Cause Acne
Supplement To Fill Nutritional Voids
While a healthy diet is key for all aspects of health, its sometimes necessary to supplement in order to fill nutritional voids that can be leading to a hormone imbalance.
Here are the top supplements to focus on in order to balance hormones:
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil contains omega-6 fatty acids, such as GLA, that support overall hormonal function. Supplementing with evening primrose oil can help relieve premenstrual and PCOS symptoms. It also helps to create a healthy environment for conception.
What is the best vitamins to take for hormonal imbalance? Vitamin D is definitely one of them, since it almost acts like a hormone inside the body and has important implications for keeping inflammation levels low.
This is why people who live in dark areas often suffer from seasonal depression and other health problems unless they supplement with vitamin D. Sunshine is really the best way to optimize vitamin D levels because your bare skin actually makes vitamin D on its own when exposed to even small amounts of direct sunlight.
Most people should supplement with around 2,0005,000 international units daily of vitamin D3 if they live in dark areas, during the winter and on days when theyre not in the sun.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can actually improve your production and regulation of key hormones like insulin, ghrelin and leptin. They can also aid in repairing your gut lining, which in turn can balance your hormones.