Women know when they have a hormonal imbalance because they feel “off”. The levels of hormones in a woman’s body can have an effect on many different areas of her life, from her physical to her mental health. It’s widespread too. Four out of five women suffer from hormone imbalance, according to statistics.
A hormonal imbalance among women is a common but often undiagnosed issue. When it starts to cause health issues, you can’t continue to ignore it.
Luckily, balancing your hormones is easier than you think. There are certain foods, vitamins, and supplements that can help to restore your health.
What steps are needed to fix a hormonal imbalance?
Not only have we provided information on the best foods and supplements for hormone balance, but we have also compiled them into a list.
Hormones are essential for the body to function properly. They are the chemical messengers that tell the organs and tissues what to do. There are 50 types of hormones found in humans, but this text will focus on estrogen and progesterone.
If there is either too much or too little hormone in your bloodstream, it creates a hormonal imbalance.
This means that the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are not in balance. Cells that produce, store, and release hormones into the bloodstream are known as endocrine glands.
If you have an imbalance, your organs and tissues will not be able to understand the message of how they are supposed to work. This poor communication causes side effects throughout the body.
Hormonal Imbalance Causes
The most common cause of a hormonal imbalance in women is due to a change in their levels of progesterone and estrogen. Some include:
- Eating disorders
- Poor diet
- Being overweight
- Exposure to toxins, pollutants, or chemicals (pesticides and herbicides)
Some medical conditions that cause it:
- Other endocrine disorders
Best Supplements for Hormone Balance
You might not be getting all the nutrients you need even if you eat hormone balancing foods. To ensure that your hormones are always in balance, you should take female hormone balance supplements regularly.
There are a few easy ways to control your symptoms of hormonal imbalance, like taking supplements to relieve PMS, painful periods, acne, and more.
Before using supplements, consider your personal hormonal imbalances, symptoms, and needs. Before adding any new supplements to your routine, always check with your doctor first, especially if you are pregnant, lactating, or have another pre-existing condition.
So what supplements are good for balancing hormones? The following are the 10 best hormone balance supplements:
Magnesium helps to regulate the hormones cortisol (the stress hormone) and estrogen, while also increasing testosterone and DHEA (a hormone involved in the production of testosterone) and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood and anxiety). The amount of magnesium recommended to be consumed each day is 320mg.
2. Vitamin D
A study in the journal Nutrition Research suggests that a significant portion of the American population is vitamin D deficient. We primarily get our vitamin D from the sun, making it especially important to get enough sun exposure in the wintertime.
Vitamin D levels can help to regulate estrogen levels in the body. If you causing depression, hot flashes, and mood swings due to a lack of estrogen, you should try taking vitamin D.
3. Diindolymethyl (DIM)
If you’re looking for an alternative to broccoli or cauliflower to help with your hormonal imbalance, Diindolymethyl (DIM) supplements may be a good option. DIM hormone balance supplements, made of cruciferous vegetables, are often used to help women with elevated estrogen levels.
You need to make sure you have a lot of DHEA hormone in your system, even though the body produces it naturally. DHEA is the most common hormone found in the human body, and plays a role in regulating the levels of other hormones. DHEA is a male sex hormone found in both men and women.
If your DHEA levels are low, your body will have difficulty producing enough of the other hormones. DHEA works in conjunction with the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands to keep the body in balance. If you don’t have enough DHEA or too little your systems will be out of sync. To correct and prevent a hormonal imbalance, you will need to supplement your diet with DHEA.
The bacteria in your gut break down hormones and remove them from your blood. There is a microbiome in the gut that is called estrobolome. This microbiome regulates estrogen.
If the hormones become unbalanced, it can cause Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. According to studies, rats with this condition that are given probiotics see an improvement in their estrogen cycle in the gut microbiome.
The gut is responsible for ensuring that we are absorbing nutrients and supplements properly. Hormonal imbalances are often caused by nutrient deficiencies, so we need to take probiotic supplements to replenish the bacteria.
Maca root can help to relieve symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Maca root helps to regulate menstrual cycles and alleviate symptoms of menopause. Maca, a sweet root from Peru, also has the following hormonal benefits:
- Clearer mind/better memory
- Balances mood
- Improves PMS
- Helps with fertility
- Gives you more energy
Maca may cause nausea in some women. You should ensure that the maca supplement you take only contains pure maca, and that you take it when you have a full stomach.
7. Chaste Tree
If you are a woman with high estrogen and low progesterone levels, this traditional herbal supplement is a great option for you. Chaste tree supplements work by targeting the pituitary gland to increase the levels of the luteinizing hormone (LH) and progesterone. This in turn stimulates ovulation. It also works to alleviate symptoms of PMS.
8. Licorice Root
Licorice root can help to balance hormones by lowering testosterone levels. It is a great supplement for those with PCOS, PMS, and menopause.
Licorice root also curbs sugar cravings. Sugar can make hormonal imbalances worse. It is a good way to prevent symptoms from occurring.
9. Black Cohosh
This herb is popular for reducing hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms in menopausal women. The research supports that the effects of the supplement are most evident when the menopausal symptoms are present alongside mood changes and sleep disturbances.
Black cohosh’s ability to balance hormone levels and reduce menopausal symptoms is likely magnified when used in combination with other herbal supplements, such as:
- Dong quai
- Milk thistle
- Red clover
- American ginseng
When menopausal women used a combination of botanicals, they experienced almost a 70% decrease in hot flashes and night sweats. Their sleep quality also improved.
In the research we reviewed, the use of these herbs was shown to be safe, which is important.
Vitex may be especially useful for balancing hormones in women who are cycling.
It can help regulate irregular and painful menstrual cycles by affecting progesterone levels, improve fertility, and lessen PMS symptoms. Common PMS symptoms include:
- Breast pain and/or swelling
- Low energy levels
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Mood swings and irritability
Vitex may be helpful in reducing symptoms like anxiety, low mood, and irritability according to research. This makes it promising that the herbal supplement will minimize the severe mood swings that are present with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Vitex may help reduce mood changes and pain associated with post-menstrual syndrome, which is a condition similar to PMS that occurs after the menstrual cycle and before ovulation.
When vitex is combined with other herbs, it may help to reduce symptoms in menopausal women. This makes it a good, safe choice for women of all ages.
Lecithin is a supplement that is derived from soy and has many health benefits. It contains two important compounds, known as phosphatidylserine and phosphatidic acid complex (PAC).
Phosphatidylserine is a substance that can help regulate mood by affecting neurotransmitter levels and calming the nervous system. Although it does not work as well as other chemicals in the body, PAC is still good at maintaining hormone levels. In women with PMS, phosphatidic acid complex:
- Reduces PMS symptom severity
- Improves physical and depressive symptoms
- Increases productivity
- Alleviates relationship tension
PAC’s success in treating PMS is currently under consideration for further research and use in PMDD. Use of this supplement is not advised if you have an allergy or sensitivity to soy.
Indium is often referred to as a “miracle element” because it helps to balance out 23 of the 24 hormonal systems in the body. Since our bodies stop producing indium after the age of 25, it is important to supplement this hormone to maintain balance.
13. Gamma Oryzanol
Gamma oryzanol may help to reduce menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes and sleep problems. It has been shown to reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in menopausal women, as well as increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Research has shown that resveratrol can help alleviate hot flashes, reduce pain, and improve overall well-being in menopausal and postmenopausal women.
Aside from the fact that it can help with hot flashes, research has shown that it can also improve mood and cognitive changes that are common during menopause.
14. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids may have beneficial effects for women suffering from PMS or painful periods. This substance is thought to reduce inflammation and might also help alleviate symptoms associated with other hormone-related conditions.
Building the Proper Foundation for Healthy Hormone Levels
If you want to fix a hormonal imbalance, you should start with a healthy lifestyle. Natural supplements can help, but they’re not the most important thing. If you don’t have the proper foundation for good health, you won’t see the benefits of taking supplements.
There are some things you can do to improve your health and balance your hormone levels.
Get Some Sleep
Sleep disorders often go hand-in-hand with hormone imbalances. These sleep disorders often make menopausal women restless, causing a cycle of sleeplessness that can further disrupt hormone levels.
Hot flashes and night sweats can make it difficult for women to get a good night’s sleep during menopause.
There is good news for menopausal women who have trouble sleeping; CBT, HRT, yoga, and acupuncture have all been shown to improve sleep in menopausal women.
It may also be beneficial to get screened for sleep disorders which may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
Antidepressant therapy, particularly with SSRIs, may improve sleep quality during menopause for women who have exhausted other options, according to research.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A healthy, balanced diet is essential to providing your body with the nutrients and fats it needs to produce hormones. As long as you don’t have a sensitivity to these foods, some good dietary fats include:
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fatty fish
- Nuts and seeds
Not all diets are good for you. Diets that make you fast or lose a lot of weight can be bad for your health because they can cause your blood sugar levels to go up and down.
Eating processed foods and skipping meals can actually make period pain worse.
The Paleo diet is a good option for people who want to focus on eating healthy fats and plenty of nutrients.
The benefits of this include reducing gut inflammation, restoring the gut microbiome, and improving hormone detoxification.
Work on Your Stress Levels
In women, sex hormones (progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen) are produced in the adrenal glands. During periods of chronic stress, the body often depletes hormones in order to increase cortisol levels.
Stress can also disrupt the pituitary gland, which is known as the “master gland” of the endocrine system.
The pituitary gland is responsible for the production and release of many hormones. When this system is not working properly, it can disrupt normal hormone production.
Chronic stress can hamper hormone production and potentially lead to endocrine disorders. Common stressors include:
- Work, relationship, and personal life issues
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Infections (including gut pathogens)
- Chronic inflammation
There are plenty of ways to help reduce stress. Both cognitive behavioral therapy and coping-skills training can be effective in reducing stress and symptoms associated with hormonal disorders.
There are many things you can do to reduce stress levels, such as meditation, yoga, deep-breathing exercises, and other mindfulness activities.
There are several things you can do to reduce stress on your body, such as eating a balanced diet to control blood sugar levels, healing the gut, and reducing inflammation.