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.
Top 10 Foods To Restore Hormone Balance
Hormones have a huge impact on our overall health and well being as they affect everything from our menstrual cycles to health issues such as PCOS, Thyroid, PMT and Endometriosis. Nutrition can be a powerful tool when addressing hormone imbalances as when hormones are in harmony you reclaim your life back! Here are my top 10 foods to eat to help restore hormone balance.
Also read my read post on: Top 10 Daily habits to promote Hormone Balance
Treatment For Hormonal Imbalance
The treatment for hormonal imbalance depends upon the cause and also the person who is affected. Furthermore, women and men can have different treatments for their conditions. For instance, women who are suffering from irregular menstrual cycles can use medications containing female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can use birth control medications. For men with hypogonadism, stunted puberty or other similar conditions, testosterone patches and gels can help with the condition.
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What Happens When These Hormones Become Imbalanced
When there is an excess of estrogen in your system, this can lead to heavy and painful periods, sore breasts, PMS, and weight retention around thighs and hips. The causes of estrogen excess include higher production from ovaries and poor metabolism and detoxification.
Low estrogen can also have negative effects on your health, which include low libido, missing periods, or very long cycles. The causes for low estrogen include under-eating, over-exercising, stress, and smoking.
The consequences of low progesterone include PMS, spotting before period begins, anxiety, and prolonged bleeding. The causes of low progesterone include stress and not ovulating.
Having high testosterone can cause acne, male pattern hair growth, hair loss, and irregular cycles. It is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome , which is associated with irregular cycles and excess androgens .
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 Causes Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Every womans menstrual cycle is different. Some women get their period at the same time each month. Others are more irregular. Some women bleed more heavily or for a longer number of days than others. Your menstrual cycle can also change during certain times of your life. That said, its really helpful to track your periods. Eventually, the goal is to sync your cycle with your life. Spoiler alertthats part of how to balance your hormones naturally. Any of these things can alter your menstrual cycle, causing hormonal imbalance:
This is not an exhaustive list of reasons why a menstrual cycle can be irregular. If you sense your period is irregular .
Image by Michelle Nash
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.
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Key Hormone #: Estrogen
The first hormone is estradiol this is the form of estrogen produced in the greatest amounts by women of childbearing age. Estrogen is considered the happy hormone, because it boosts neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which gives us a sense of pleasure and motivation. It is also great for:
Biohack Your Way To Better Sleep
When life is busy, often the first thing we sacrifice is sleep. Sleep or rather inadequate sleep quickly throws our body off balance. This is why its one of the first things our doctors ask about when patients come in for their initial visit. In a small study testing the impact of prolonged sleep restriction, participants that slept only 4 hours versus 10 or 12 hours experienced an increase in ghrelin, a hormone responsible for appetite regulation, alongside a decrease in leptin, a hormone responsible for communicating satiation. For many of us, 10 or 12 hours might be hard to achieve. Thats why here at Parsley we recommend getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. The benefits of adequate sleep will not only increase your glucose metabolism and leptin concentrations but increase your bodys secretion of growth hormones responsible for cell reproduction and regeneration, which all take place during periods of rest.
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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?
Cutting Out Unhealthy Fats
Another step you should take towards rebalancing your hormones is limiting or cutting out all types of unhealthy fats. This means that highly processed foods and other sources of trans fats should be avoided as much as possible. Sources of saturated fat like fatty meats and high fat dairy should be limited, and most of your fat should come from heart-healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, and oily fish.
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What Are The Treatments For Hormone Imbalance In Women
You dont have to suffer the negative effects of a hormone imbalance. BioTE hormone replacement therapy pellets offer an effective, safe way to prevent the effects of hormone irregularities.
Bioidentical hormones are a natural alternative to chemical or animal-derived hormones used in traditional hormone replacement therapy. BioTE products are made from plant ingredients like soybeans and yams. Theyre structured to match the hormones your body produces naturally, so your body uses them effectively and efficiently.
BioTE hormone pellets are customized to match your bodys needs. Bioidentical hormones can include estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, and DHEA, an adrenal precursor often recommended to combat the signs of aging.
Dr. Grier inserts the pellets just under your skin in a simple, in-office procedure. The pellets time-release hormone delivery so you always have a consistent dose. Youll start to feel the effects after 7-10 days. Youll get benefits for 3-4 months, after which you may choose to have additional doses implanted.
To learn more about how you can benefit from hormone replacement therapy, call Melissa Grier, MD Womens Healthcare or schedule an appointment online today.
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When To See Your Gp
Some hormone imbalances need medical intervention. Always tell your GP if you experience any symptom thats not normal for you.
If you suspect an imbalance and your symptoms dont respond to diet and lifestyle changes, see your GP to rule out other causes.
5 October 2021
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
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Lower Your Sugar Intake
Minimizing added sugar intake may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function and avoiding obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.
The simple sugar fructose is present in many types of sugar, comprising up to 43% of honey, 50% of refined table sugar, 55% of high fructose corn syrup, and 90% of agave .
In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugars in the Western diet, and fructose is commonly used commercially in soft drinks, fruit juice, and sport and energy drinks .
Fructose intake has increased exponentially in the United States since around 1980, and studies consistently show that eating added sugar promotes insulin resistance regardless of total calorie intake or weight gain .
Long-term fructose intake has been linked to disruptions of the gut microbiome, which may lead to other hormonal imbalances .
Whats more, fructose may fail to stimulate the production of the fullness hormone leptin, leading to decreased calorie burning and increased weight gain .
Therefore, reducing your intake of sugary drinks and other sources of added sugar may improve hormone health.
Diets high in sugar have been shown to promote insulin resistance, disrupt your gut microbiome, and reduce leptin production. Thus, lowering your sugar intake may aid hormonal health.
Reasons Your Doctor Cant Give You A Hormone Imbalance Test
You may wonder why your doctor cant give you a quick test to determine if all your hormones are in balance. Testing hormones is very different from testing cholesterol or iron in your blood because your hormone levels are always changing, day by day, even hour by hour. They change based on where you are in your menstrual cycle, when you last ate, what your other hormones are doing, how stressed you are, and many other factors. Thats why a single hormone check cant really tell you if all your hormones are balanced.
Secondly, asking your doctor to check your hormones is a huge request. The human body produces more than 50 hormones! Hormones include melatonin adrenaline , oxytocin , cortisol , and progesterone , just to name a few.
The best way to discover if specific hormones are out of balance is by telling your doctor which symptoms you are experiencing so they can narrow down what should be checked and when. Your symptoms are your doctors first clues about what could be wrong.
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Supplements To Balance Hormones
Hormone balance is one of the most common reasons patients pay me an initial visit, and a common question is whether I recommend supplements to balance hormones. In recent years, focus on womens health has gone from just a yearly PAP smear and breast exam to discussion around optimal health and wellness. Women feel empowered to talk to their health care providers about topics that were previously perceived as normal- things like painful periods and PMS symptoms which includes cravings, mood changes, acne, and changes during perimenopause. Seeking treatment for hormone balance means that women are finally able to start the journey to optimal health and complete wellness.
I thought I would take some time to discuss some of my favorite herbs, nutrients, and nutrition options for hormone balance.
However, choosing supplements for hormone balance isnt always cut and dry. Depending on why your hormones are imbalanced can mean that is it time for a different treatment plan.
Best Foods To Balance Your Hormones
Your hormones are your body’s control system. But in an age when hormone-disrupting chemicals lurk in processed foods, shampoos, and even scented candles and air fresheners, it doesn’t take much to throw off that delicate balance. And out-of-whack hormones could affect almost every facet of your health, making it really hard to lose weight, have babies, and even feel happy. Unhealthy hormone levels can even increase your risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases.
We turned to Natasha Turner, ND, author of the best-selling book, The Super-Charged Hormone Diet , to help ID the best hormone-balancing foods nature has to offera snapshot of nutritious foods and drinks that can help you achieve hormonal balance, feel satisfied, fight disease, and lose fat. ” rel=”nofollow”> The Thyroid Cure!)
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage contain high amounts of phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, including indole-3-carbinol, which helps break down a harmful and potent estrogen metabolite that promotes tumor growth, especially in estrogen-sensitive breast cells. In 2008, researchers at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley showed that indole-3-carbinol halts the growth of breast cancer cells and may also offer protection against the spread of cancer. Just 2½ cups of broccoli a week is all you need to reduce your risk of several cancers, particularly those of the breast and prostate.
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A Natural Approach To Hormonal Imbalance That Makes Sense
When I treat women for symptoms related to perimenopause and menopause, I take the most natural route possible. We start simple by looking at nutrition and sleep patterns and making some lifestyle changes. We talk about stress, exercise, self-care, and eating the healthiest diet possible. I also look closely at what is going on with the adrenals and what might be happening with hormone levels and that includes comprehensive lab tests. Conventional doctors often tell women that their hormones are going up and down all the time, so tests wont tell them anything. But I think its essential to look at hormone levels the natural dips and rises will look really different than a drastic deficiency or a downward trend over time.
I believe that you are the expert on your own body, and its up to me to listen to and understand your concerns so I get the whole picture. Then, I can help you develop the best plan to bring your body into balance naturally. Its a partnership designed to help you find relief and possibly better health than youve ever experienced!
Theres no rule that you must stick with a practitioner who isnt giving you what you need. Dont be afraid to seek out someone who shares your desire to find holistic solutions to hormonal issues. After all, its your health on the line. Shouldnt you be able to trust in the relationship, knowing that together you can find solutions that are right for your unique situation? I think so!
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What Causes Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalance can be caused both by external and internal factors. Some of the main causes of hormonal imbalance are:
- Hormone therapy, a cancer treatment that blocks or alters the hormones that fuel cancer development.
- Eating disorders lead to increased production of stress hormones, which cause higher levels of stress, depression, and sleep issues.
- Certain foods that contain hormone-disrupting substances. E.g. Even wild fish may be contaminated with high levels of mercury, which causes hormone imbalance.
- Cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, cause hormone imbalances mainly associated with changes in sexual health.
- Stress is known to throw hormones out of balance and cause mood swings, irregular menstrual cycle and increased libido in both genders.
- Injury or trauma can cause adrenal glands to produce insufficient amounts of hormones, which result in dehydration, fatigue and hormone imbalance weight loss.
Here are the 5 most common hormone imbalances to look out for:
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