Hormones are powerful chemicals that tell the body what to do and when to do it. When you have a hormone imbalance, it can affect every part of your body. You may experience mood swings, sleep problems, memory issues, fatigue, weight gain, and more. Luckily, most hormone imbalances are reversible. Follow these ten ways to naturally balance your hormones, improve your health, and find the relief you desire.
What Is Hormone Imbalance?
A hormone imbalance occurs when your body produces too much or too little of a hormone. For example, if your thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone, it impacts every area of the body. You can experience weight gain and fatigue due to a slow down of your metabolism. A cortisol imbalance occurs when you are under chronic stress and the adrenal glands cannot keep up with the demands of your body. Another type of hormone imbalance is a sex hormone imbalance like high levels of estrogen (estrogen dominance) or low levels of testosterone. This occurs when the body does not produce enough estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone due to menstruation, PCOS, menopause, or aging. No matter the type of hormone imbalance, you can experience a plethora of symptoms.
What Causes a Hormone Imbalance?
There are many things that can disrupt the body and lead to a hormone imbalance. The longer your hormone levels are out of balance, the more difficult it is to rebalance your hormones. Finding the root cause of your hormone imbalance is key. Some of the common causes of a hormone imbalance include chronic stress, a poor diet, exposure to endocrine disruptors, diabetes, and thyroid disease.
How to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of a hormone imbalance, there are some things you can do to improve your health and begin experiencing relief. The following ten tactics will help to rebalance your hormones and heal your body naturally.
Chronic inflammation can lead to hormonal problems like thyroid disease, insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue, and imbalanced sex hormones. You can combat inflammation by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Avoiding inflammatory foods helps to restore your health and rebalance your hormones. The following foods have been linked to chronic inflammation:
- Artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners
- Dairy products
- Excess meat
- Food that you have an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity to
- Fried foods
- Processed foods
- Refined oils
- Trans fats
Removing these foods from your diet and replacing them with healthy fats, lean proteins, and fresh fruits and vegetables reduce inflammation naturally and correct hormone imbalances.
Avoid Endocrine Disruptors
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that are found in many different everyday products like pesticides, detergents, plastics, cosmetics, herbicides, fertilizers, antibacterial products, and naturally occurring phytoestrogens. Endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s ability to make and regulate the various hormones in the body. Choosing organic foods, natural cosmetics, and soaps, avoiding plastics, and limiting the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides can help minimize the exposure to endocrine disruptors and restore hormone health.
Balance Blood Glucose Levels
Balanced blood glucose levels are essential for balanced hormones. You must eat well balanced meals that contain plenty of leafy green vegetables. Additionally, each meal should contain healthy proteins and healthy fats to help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet can help reduce sugar cravings and improve glucose levels. Finally, refined sugar can increase insulin levels, glucose levels, and inflammation. Reducing sugar intake can help normalize blood sugar levels and balance your hormones naturally. When you are craving sugar, enjoy some fresh fruit. This will relieve your sugar cravings without causing blood sugar spikes.
If your hormones are not balanced, your functional medicine doctor may recommend bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. This therapy helps restore natural hormone levels. Bioidentical hormones can be used for both males and females. Bioidentical hormones can ease perimenopause symptoms, impotence, insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue, and thyroid disease.
The world is filled with toxic substances which can disrupt hormone production. A detoxification program removes toxins from the body, increases the body’s natural detoxification abilities, and improves the body’s ability to make and use hormones. An effective detoxification program involves replacing processed foods with whole foods, sugary drinks and alcoholic drinks with water, sweating to help remove toxins, and supplements to support the body.
Exercise works in several different ways to help rebalance hormone levels. First, exercise increases the production of dopamine in the brain, which can help reduce stress. Exercise also causes the body to release serotonin which can help improve sleep, digestion, and sexual health. Testosterone levels and estrogen levels can also be increased with daily exercise. For best results, incorporate both aerobic exercise and strength training to optimize hormone levels.
Improve Gut Health
When your gut is unhealthy, it can cause chronic inflammation and hormone disruptions. Gut health can impact estrogen regulation, serotonin production, reduced thyroid hormone creation, and insulin resistance. Eating probiotic rich foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt with live cultures along with taking a probiotic supplement can improve gut health which in turn can help balance your hormone levels.
Your body recovers and repairs itself while you sleep. When you do not get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, it can cause imbalances in the hormonal (endocrine) system. If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep difficulties, it is essential that you practice good sleep hygiene. You can improve your sleep quality by turning off electronics, including the television, your cell phone, your tablet, and your computer at least two hours before bedtime. In addition to this, you should make your bedroom conducive to sleeping by installing room darkening blinds, using a white noise sound machine, and lowering the temperature in your bedroom by a few degrees.
Stress Relief Techniques
When you are under stress, your adrenal glands produce the stress hormone, cortisol. When cortisol levels become elevated, it can cause chronic inflammation and hormone imbalances. Practicing stress relief techniques like deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation, journaling, yoga, and prayer can help reduce cortisol levels and improve your hormone health.
Adaptogenic herbs and vitamin and mineral supplements help the body cope with chronic stress, toxin exposure, and inflammation. Low levels of B vitamins, vitamin d, iron, zinc, magnesium, and iodine can lead to a hormone imbalance. Taking a vitamin and mineral supplement along with eating a healthy diet can help correct nutrient deficiencies and promote balanced hormones. Finally, adaptogenic herbs improve the body’s stress response and help it better cope with stressful situations and chronic stress. Some of the top adaptogenic herbs for optimal hormone levels are American ginseng, Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Cordyceps, Holy Basil, Licorice root, and turmeric.
Ready to Balance Your Hormones?
Hormonal imbalances cause a host of unpleasant symptoms. Because every system in the body needs hormones, a hormone imbalance can fatigue, insomnia, skin problems, digestive woes, weight gain, and more. The root causes of hormone imbalances include elevated stress levels, poor gut health, and inflammation. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet, reducing endocrine disruptor exposure, getting enough sleep, and taking supplements can help correct your hormone imbalances. Finally, bioidentical hormone replacement offered by a functional medicine doctor may help correct your imbalances and bring the body back into alignment to optimize your health.