Hormones are chemical messengers that do jobs all throughout your body. They help regulate your mental, physical, and emotional health. When your hormones become unbalanced it is when your body is producing too much or too little of a certain hormone. This unbalance can be from stages of life such as puberty, pregnancy, or menopause.
Causes of Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalance can happen from chronic stress, steroids, or certain medications.
Conditions that can lead to hormone imbalance are Grave’s disease, PCOS, type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s disease, polyglandular syndrome, and Addison’s disease.
Symptoms Of Hormone Imbalance
Signs of a hormone imbalance are weight gain, weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, muscle aches, sweating, increased temperature sensitivity, increased thirst, increased hunger, decreased sex drive, depression, and dry skin.
If you have just one or two of these symptoms it does not mean you have hormonal imbalances, it could be caused from something else.
Your doctor will be able to run a panel of tests from a blood draw to check your hormone levels to see if there is an imbalance.
Treatments for hormonal imbalances can be hormone replacement, birth control pills, insulin shots, or thyroid medications. The problem with these treatment options is they make someone dependent on these prescriptions or medications for ease of symptoms for the rest of their lives.
These treatment options also cover up the problem without actually treating the issue. Some of these also raise the risk of other symptoms such as osteoporosis, stroke, or reproductive problems.
Natural Treatment Options
There are some natural ways to help balance your hormones.
One of the first things to do is to look at your diet. There are certain nutrients and minerals that your body needs to effectively produce and manage your hormones. One thing to make sure you are getting enough of is protein. Make sure you have a good protein source at every single meal. Protein helps your body stimulate the body to produce insulin. This can lower insulin sensitivity.
Make sure you are watching your carbohydrate intake. You may not necessarily need a low carbohydrate diet, but balancing your carbs, proteins, and healthy fats can be extremely beneficial.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important in managing your hormones.
A Mediterranean diet may be ideal for someone who suffers from hormonal imbalance.
Add healthy fats to your diet. Healthy fats have anti-inflammatory properties, they boost metabolism, and promote weight loss. Healthy fats are also essential building blocks for hormones. Good sources of healthy fats are coconut oil, avocados, salmon, and olive oil.
When focusing on healthy fats it is important to focus more on the omega-3s instead of the omega-6s. Omega-3 rich foods are flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts. Steer clear of omega-6 foods like canola oil, sunflower oil, and soybean oil.
Increase the amount of magnesium in your diet. Magnesium is an essential mineral for hormonal balancing.
Foods that are great sources of Magnesium are almonds, cashews, spinach, bananas, dark leafy greens, avocados, and chia seeds. You can also get Magnesium in a supplement form or even a spray form. The best way to increase your Magnesium though is in your food.
B-vitamins are also important for healthy hormones. There are 9 B vitamins in total. A great way to get all 9 B vitamins is in supplemental form so you are sure that you are getting the daily recommended amount of each.
Salmon contains vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Eggs contain B7, B2, B5, B9, and B12. Nutritional yeast contains some B vitamins. Other foods that contain good sources of B vitamins are sunflower seeds, beef, trout, clams, mussels, oysters, turkey, chicken, milk, yogurt, and beans.
Another vitamin you need to make sure you are getting enough of is vitamin D. 41% of all Americans are low in vitamin D. The main source of vitamin D is from the sun, so it is important to make sure you are getting enough of it in the winter. Vitamin D helps the hormones communicate.
Taking care of your gut can also help balance your hormones. Make sure you add fiber into your diet to help aid in digestion. Foods that are high in fiber are lentil, lima beans, and avocados.
Probiotics are also important to help improve production and regulate key hormones. They can also help reduce inflammation as well as aid in repairing gut lining. Probiotics can be found in a supplement if you don’t like eating foods that are high in probiotics.
Fermented foods are the best for probiotics. Foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha.
Exercise is also important. It does not matter the type of exercise, but strength training, aerobics, or walking can all help improve your hormones. Exercise can help reduce insulin levels and increase your insulin sensitivity. Exercise can also help increase your hormone receptor sensitivity, making it easier for your hormones to communicate throughout your body.
Avoiding endocrine disruptors can help to decrease symptoms caused by hormone imbalance. Endocrine disruptors can be found in canned foods, soaps, and makeup. Things like dioxins, phthalates, pesticides, BPA, and glycol ethers should all be avoided.
Making sure you get 8-10 hours of restful and good quality sleep is also important. Avoid blue light before bed. Having a healthy circadian rhythm is important for your hormones to work.
Reducing stress can also help balance your hormones. Yoga, or meditation can help with this. Finding healthy ways to destress can be essential.
READ MORE: 14 Best Supplements For Hormone Imbalance