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
What Are The Treatment Options
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most common treatments of low hormone levels.
For people experiencing menopause, premature menopause, or primary ovarian insufficiency as well as after oophorectomy or chemotherapy estrogen therapy can offer some relief. Estrogen therapy alone is recommended for those who have had a hysterectomy. You can take estrogen in different forms, generally estrogen pills and estrogen patches.
Vitamin D Is A Hormone
Vitamin D is different from other vitamins because its not really a vitamin in the classic sense its actually a hormonal precursor. Vitamin D is used by the body to make calcitriol, a potent hormone capable of signaling over 1000 different genes to express or suppress themselves, including genes that affect endocrine function and hormonal balance.
Getting enough Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy hormone levels throughout the body. Unfortunately, approximately 42% of American adults are Vitamin D deficient. Experiencing a hormonal imbalance is actually a sign that your Vitamin D levels could be too low. Other symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include depression, brain fog, fatigue and bone loss.
How to get more Vitamin D? Your skin makes Vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight, or you can get the vitamin through food or supplementation. Take a walk or garden or sit in your favorite patio chair and soak up the sun for a few minutes using sun safety precautions, of course! Foods that contain Vitamin D include dairy and plant milks and orange juice fortified with the vitamin, some types of mushrooms, salmon, cod liver oil, beef liver and sardines.
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Supplements For Hormonal Balance
Dietary supplements shouldnt be used to replace treatment nor should they be used in place of the essential vitamins and minerals that come from a balanced diet. But, they can be used to support hormonal balance.
Here are some supplements that can potentially help bring hormonal balance. You should always talk to a healthcare provider before taking any supplements, though, as some may interfere with your current medications or health concerns.
Foods For Womens Hormones
Consuming plenty of certain foods and avoiding others also may help support your hormone levels, according to Dr. Ellis. Look for foods that contain healthy fats and help reduce inflammation.
Foods that support hormone balance include foods rich in healthy fats, protein, and cruciferous vegetables, she says. Eating a diet rich in these foods will support healthy hormone balances, reduce inflammation, and support hormone metabolism in addition to ensuring a good gut microbiome to balance hormones.
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Female Hormone Imbalance: Causes And Treatments
Hormones are essential to your overall wellbeing. They relay chemical messages throughout the body, helping to keep your emotions and body systems in check. One of the key body systems affected by the balance of the hormones in your body is the reproductive system. A female hormonal imbalance could cause heavy periods, infertility, and endometriosis.
Essential Vitamins For Hormonal Imbalance
Do you feel bloated, hangry, tired, or emotional too often? Are you being too dependent on caffeine and sugar just to get through the day?
Your hormones could be to blame.
Our hormonal health plays a significant role in our health and well-being, especially for women who have to deal with monthly cycles and menopause symptoms.
Hormonal imbalance causes all sorts of frustrating fluctuations that impact nearly every aspect of a womans life. It may result in major stress, trouble sleeping, fatigue, as well as a decrease in sex drive.
The good news is that achieving balanced hormones is possible and doable. With the right nutrition, vitamins, and a healthy lifestyle, you can regulate your hormone levels and avoid unwanted symptoms.
Keep reading to find out more about hormonal imbalance and how you can control it for a healthier you!
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How Is A Hormonal Imbalance Diagnosed
First, make an appointment with a health care provider for a physical exam. The health care provider will ask about your symptoms. Then, depending on your symptoms, they will suggest which hormone imbalance tests to do. These could be evaluations like:
- Blood test: Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroxine, TTH, insulin, and cortisol levels can be detected in the blood.
- Pelvic exam: A health care provider will search for any lumps or cysts.
- Ultrasound: Images of your uterus, ovaries, thyroid, and pituitary gland can be obtained.
Weight Gain Or Difficulty Losing Weight
Why do so many people struggle with weight loss and maintenance? Usually, its because they are eating nutrient-poor foods and working too hard. The body processes this hard work as stress and when the body is stressed, it goes into survival or fight or flight mode, producing cortisol. When youre chronically stressed, your cortisol is always high and in an effort to protect itself from whatever danger it senses, your body holds onto fat as a form of energy.
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Can Probiotics Help With Hormonal Imbalance
Probiotics are live bacteria that are similar to the ones found in our gut. They are often called good bacteria because they help keep our gut healthy. Probiotics are found in some foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, and can also be taken as supplements.
Some research suggests that probiotics may help with hormonal imbalance. For example, one study found that women who took a probiotic supplement for four weeks had a significant reduction in levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Additionally, other research has shown that probiotics can help regulate the production of testosterone and other hormones in both men and women.
While more research is needed to confirm these effects, taking probiotics may be a helpful way to balance hormones and improve overall health.
One study found that women who took a probiotic supplement for eight weeks had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who did not take a probiotic supplement. Additionally, some research suggests that probiotics may help to regulate estrogen levels.
Watch Your Stress Levels
Stress negatively impacts everything in your body. And while stress affects everyone, a study in The Journal of Brain & Behavior found that women are twice as likely to suffer from severe stress and anxiety as men. Many women lead hectic lifestyles, allowing their bodies little time to readjust from lifes demands. Ensuing stress can disrupt womens natural hormone cycles. Find small ways to reset and relax, such as through meditation and other self-care rituals.
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Other Useful Supplements To Balance Hormones
The sky might actually be the limit when it comes to using supplements to balance hormones, as there are many other options that show beneficial effects on hormone levels. Below are just a few that are supported by current research.
- Gamma oryzanol can lessen menopausal symptoms of night sweats, hot flashes, and sleep disturbances . It reduces total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in menopausal women and increases HDL cholesterol .
- Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine and certain berries, can alleviate hot flashes, reduce pain, and improve overall well-being in menopausal and postmenopausal women . Additionally, research shows that it improves mood and lessens the cognitive changes that often accompany menopause .
- Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce PMS symptoms and improve painful periods . It is anti-inflammatory and likely effective at lessening the symptoms of other hormonal disorders, as well.
- Fenugreek may balance estrogen and free testosterone levels while increasing sexual arousal and desire in cycling women .
Vitamin D Is Also A Hormone
Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a hormone in fact, some experts suggest that we should really be calling the substance a steroid hormone because thats essentially how it behaves. Generally speaking, steroid hormones are usually those that are produced by the organs in the body, and Vitamin D is produced by synthesizing ultraviolet sun rays that hit the skin into a chemical that is converted by the liver and the kidneys into a substance that binds to protein receptors present in every cell.
This is why its more accurate to say that Vitamin D is a prohormone, or a substance that is converted by the body into a hormone or a chemical the body can use to regulate and support body processes. To that end, Vitamin D can both be found in the body and in your food, and that might impact how much Vitamin D you need in your supplement.
Where to Find in the Body
The body can produce most of the Vitamin D you need by itself through the synthesis and conversion process mentioned before. The liver and the kidneys play a huge role in this process.
After Vitamin D has been converted into a hormone the body finds useful, its then stored in the fat to be used when necessary, as Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. You can find Vitamin D in a few natural foods, such as fatty fish and egg yolks, as well as in enriched foods, such as cereals.
Where to Find in Food
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Things You Should Know About Vitamin D3 For Hormonal Imbalance
There are many studies being conducted about the efficacy of Vitamin D as a vital nutrient source, such as the fact that about half the population already has a Vitamin D deficiency. When it comes to Vitamin D3 for hormonal imbalance, the studies are even more exciting, and complex. Here are the most important things to know about research that has been done so far.
Vitamin B3 Aids Stress
The B-vitamins are an essential group of vitamins for hormone balance. You can take these vitamins to address stress and mood changes related to both PMS and menopause. This kind of stress can trigger tension, anxiety, irritability, and poor concentration.
While it relieves menopausal stress, vitamin B3 can also smooth the transition between estrogen production in the ovaries to estrogen production in the adrenal glands and fat cells instead.
These are both post-menopause estrogen production sites and B3 helps stabilize estrogen production there once your ovaries stop producing it.
Pro-Tip: Along with B3, consider supplementing with folic acid if youre of reproductive age. This vitamin can help prevent birth defects as well as boost a womans fertility.
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How Supplements Help To Promote Hormone Balance
If youve read any of my previous posts, then youve most like heard me say that inflammation is the root cause of hormonal imbalance symptoms.
Whether youre struggling with acne, weight gain, irregular cycles, hot flashes or countless other symptoms, inflammation is the common factor.
And once inflammation sets in, it puts a heavy toll on the body which can lead to:
- Overworked and sluggish liver.
- Accumulation of hormone-disrupting toxins in the body.
- Imbalance in gut bacteria and onset of leaky gut syndrome.
- Disruption of normal hormone production and hormone function.
- Increase in systemic stress, which disrupts the nervous system, as well as communication to the thyroid, adrenals and other organs.
So, how do you address all this and get back to feeling like yourself again?
Well, its all about increasing your nutrient intake.
One way to do that is to eat more nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods.
Another way of getting more nutrients into your body is to take good quality supplements with ingredients that:
- support the liver.
- boost gut health.
- nourish the nervous and reproductive systems.
- fight inflammation so that the adrenals, thyroid and other key hormone production organs can work more efficiently.
Now, if youre wondering can I skip supplements and only eat anti-inflammatory foods? the answer is, maybe.
For some women making healthier food choices is enough.
I mean, theres only so much kale, berries or sauerkraut you can actually eat in a day, right?
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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Herbs Nutrients And Nutrition Options For Hormone Balance
As a Naturopathic Physician, I am lucky to have so many tools in my toolbox to provide treatment options to my patients having hormonal balance issues! Depending on symptom severity and patient preference, I can choose between a variety of options that will work best for them. This is one of the many reasons that I love Naturopathic Medicine and one of the reasons I often use supplements to balance hormones.
Ii How To Treat Hormonal Imbalance
If you are looking for natural ways on how to treat this health problem, keep both of your eyes on the following ways:
1. Coconut Oil
This is the first one among great ways on how to treat hormonal imbalance with foods that we want to mention in this article. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are very good for human health. Coconut oil can be used to reduce the inflammation caused by hormonal imbalance. Besides, it also helps you lose weight and reduce anxiety and stress. You can consume 1-2 tbsp. of organic coconut oil on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can add it to your salads or use it instead your cooking oil. Repeat this remedy 2-3 times daily.
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2. Do Regular Exercise
When it comes to learning how to treat hormonal imbalance naturally at home, you should try doing regular exercise. Physical activity can affect hormonal health. For example, it can reduce insulin levels and simultaneously increase insulin sensitivity. Many kinds of physical activity can help increase insulin sensitivity and simultaneously reduce insulin levels. They include strength training, aerobic exercise, and endurance exercise.
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4. Vitamin D
5. Manage Stress
8. Avoid Overeating And Undereating
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Herbal And Alternative Medicine:
I love using herbal formulations with my patients in order to provide safe and effective relief for their symptoms. Herbals are a gentle way to treat for many symptoms such as hot flashes, painful periods, unpredictable periods, hormonal acne, fertility, sleep, and more! Here are some common herbal supplements to balance hormones and combat these unwanted issues
Unfortunately, there are so many wonderful herbal supplements to balance hormones that I cannot possibly mention them all. It is also important to know that there is more to herbs that simply checking what health issues they are indicated for. They also have synergistic properties, which means that some herbs work better together! A naturopathic doctor can come up with a herbal formula that is dosed safely and appropriately for your individualized health history and concerns. There are also pre-made supplements on the market which are formulated for hormone balance. My trustworthy brands in this category include Vitanica and Femenessence.
Should You Try To Reset Your Hormones For Better Skin Health
With a quick Google search youll find many so-called health experts promising that a hormone reset will improve your skin health. But most often these arent healthcare professionals, and their claims are largely unfounded. Still, dont feel bad if you were taken by the promise of better health, including for your skin. I can see how some patients would find the concept of resetting your hormones really appealing, but Im not sure this really translates medically, says Hollmig.
What is true is that if youre experiencing symptoms such as a specific skin problem, your doctor may consider a hormonal condition. For instance, if you have irregular periods, acne along your jawline, and excess hair on your lip and chin, your doctor may evaluate you for polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. Excess levels of male hormones called androgens, as well as high insulin may play a role in the cause of PCOS, according to the Office on Womens Health. In this case, treatment via weight reduction or prescription medication, like birth control pills or spironolactone, may help regulate hormones.
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