| OWL Venice
We’ve all used hormones as a scapegoat, am I right? The funny thing is that the chances of that being true are actually pretty high.
Hormonal imbalance happens to everyone at some point in life. When hormone levels become higher or lower than standard levels, imbalances occur. But there’s good news! Natural remedies are some of the most recommended ways to treat hormonal imbalance. There’s a lot that comes into play when mastering this balancing act. But the sooner you can get ahead of it, the easier it can be to treat it with the help of natural remedies and a little advice.
What are hormones?
Great question. Hormones serve as the body’s chemical messengers. Growth and development, metabolism, reproduction, and mood, are all affected by hormones. Each one works in a different way to maintain your bodily functions. With over 50 hormones in the human body, you can see why getting them all on the same page can be tricky.
So where do they come from? The endocrine system produces hormones. Hormone fluctuation is ongoing, making it difficult to differentiate between normal and abnormal imbalances. Familiarize yourself with these symptoms and their inner workings to help monitor changes and keep your hormones happy and healthy.
Identifying Hormonal Imbalance
One thing that can make identifying hormonal imbalance challenging is that there’s no single test to detect it. Whereas high blood pressure, cholesterol, and thyroid disorders all have tests that help recognize problems. Conventional doctors will likely ask about your symptoms and take you through a series of simple tests to help hone in on treatment options and pinpoint the root cause. The process can be lengthy and frustrating. Consulting a functional medicine doctor may be a more effective first step.1 Why? They may suggest taking a Dutch Hormone Test, a relatively new and efficient test to assess hormone levels that is pretty much only used in this kind of medicine.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
Hello, burnout! High stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, a leaky gut, and thyroid disorders can cause hormonal imbalance. The body has a super delicate chemistry. Changes in that chemistry can lead to noticeable symptoms and serious health problems like diabetes and, of course, hormonal imbalance.
Most Common Hormonal Imbalances
At specific points in our lives, hormonal imbalance will occur with natural changes. Remember going through puberty and how crazy your body was? Menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy are other examples. Some people look forward to these shifts, and some don’t. But what we do know is that everyone goes through them. You may not be able to control everything, but you can do plenty to lessen any discomfort.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance occur in many ways. The most common conditions include the following.
- Thyroid disease
- Irregular periods
- PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
Symptoms: Irregular periods, bloating, PCOS, endometriosis, infertility, vaginal dryness
Yup! Both men and women have testosterone. Although it’s less common for women to have imbalances here, it is possible.
Symptoms: Acne, oily skin, facial hair, low sex drive (primarily seen in men)
Symptoms: Fatigue, random fluctuations in weight, insomnia, mood swings
Symptoms: Headaches, trouble concentrating, feeling very hungry or thirsty, cravings
Symptoms: High BMI, low cholesterol, dry skin, chronic inflammation, diabetes
Natural Remedies for Hormonal Imbalance
Now let’s get to the good stuff. We believe in naturally approaching health concerns as much as possible. Simple lifestyle changes may be the answer when it comes to hormonal imbalance. These changes can help in several areas and influence various hormonal changes.
We’ve got you covered with these ways to balance your hormones naturally.
Remove Endocrine Disruptors
Did you know that endocrine disruptors are everywhere and are one of the main culprits of hormonal imbalance? They’re chemicals that disrupt healthy hormone function and development. You can come into contact with these chemicals through cosmetics, cleaning products, food, water, the environment, and countless other ways. Yikes! Even worse, endocrine disruptors can lead to birth defects, cancer, reproductive issues, developmental delays, and more.2
The good news is that you can reduce exposure by doing the following:
- Stay away from processed foods.
- Opt for an emailed receipt when possible- receipts are full of BPA
- Familiarize yourself with endocrine-disrupting chemicals and read labels to avoid them.
- Buy organic and gmo free foods to avoid pesticides
- Sweat it out! Detox your body by getting that sweat going through exercise or steaming.
Get moving! Regular exercise may sharpen hormone sensitivity. You’ll also likely get better sleep, maintain a healthy body weight, reduce stress, and manage cravings. Dopamine, serotonin, and estrogen will thank you. With that said, high-intensity workouts may cause more harm than good to hormones already out of whack. Instead, try restorative exercises like yoga and pilates. Cycle syncing and working out based on where you are in your menstrual cycle can also help stabilize hormones and limit fatigue. Hot yoga or hormonal imbalance? Not such a tough choice after all.
Reduce and Maintain Stress
Stress is the one thing that always seems to find its way back. When stress levels are high, cortisol rises, leading to insulin resistance. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and walking through nature are common ways to reduce stress.
Prioritize Gut Health
You know how much we love a healthy gut! It’s the starting point for all aspects of health, especially when rebalancing hormones. Your microbiome monitors insulin resistance and satiety.3 Reset the body and introduce gut-healing foods to maintain a healthy environment for good bacteria.
Detox Your Liver
A good way to reset your body would be to do a cleanse. Your liver rids the body of toxins and balances a number of hormones in the body. When your hormones are imbalanced, the liver can’t do its job properly, and everything falls into disarray. Adding daily supplements can help you keep your liver in check.
Minimize Sugar Intake
We know. Steering clear of sugar is tough because it’s in everything. Sometimes there’s nothing you want more than to sink your teeth into a freshly baked cookie. But that self-control is worth it. Excessive sugar can disrupt your gut microbiome, increasing the chance of obesity and insulin resistance. Try having a piece of fruit or some dark chocolate as an alternative to curb your cravings. We never said you couldn’t have your cake and eat it too!
Balancing Blood Sugar
This goes hand in hand with limiting your sugar intake. When blood sugar spikes, it often disrupts metabolism and reproductive hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, insulin, and cortisol. The crazy thing is, that’s not even all the hormones it affects! Sugar can cause a series of health problems, from cardiovascular disease and obesity to acne.
Healthy fats do wonders for the body. Plus, they keep you full and are super tasty. They can lower inflammation, spark metabolism, and help with weight loss. Fats work to make hormones, so don’t forget to add them to your diet.4
Some healthy fats to try are:
- Oily fish-salmon, tuna, cod, and halibut
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter
High Fiber Foods
Fiber is about to be your new best friend. Why? Because it keeps testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone at healthy levels. It ferments in the colon with help from your microbiome, which then produces these hormones. Unlike refined carbs, fiber keeps you full without spiking blood sugar. Try this pureed beet soup for a delicious fibrous meal.
Get Enough Sleep
Catching those Z’s has countless benefits, including healthy hormones. Poor sleep is linked to imbalances in many hormones, including insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, and HGH. These hormones regulate body weight, metabolism, stress, and more.
Cortisol levels regulate when you’re sleeping. When cortisol rises, inflammation may occur, disrupting glucose and protein homeostasis. Immune response is less keen, and stress levels tend to increase. A good night's sleep ensures the body has time to repair itself. It also allows enough time to go through certain hormone cycles.
- Hormonal imbalance is inevitable.
- During specific points in life, it may be more or less intense.
- There are various ways to balance hormones naturally.
- Monitoring your body's symptoms may help you pinpoint what type of hormonal imbalance you have.
- Hormonal imbalance treatment is possible on your own with the help of a medical expert.
- Healthy habits can help you prevent extremes in hormonal changes.
- Knowing how to balance female hormones to work with you and not against you is at your fingertips!
- Struggling With A Hormone Imbalance? Exactly How To Get Your Hormones Tested To Find Out For Sure by Dr. Will Cole
- 6 of the Most Common Endocrine Disruptors—and How to Avoid Them Reviewed by: Nneka Leiba, M.Phil., M.P.H. Goop
- Gut microbiome and its role in obesity and insulin resistance: Clare J Lee 1 2, Cynthia L Sears 3 4, Nisa Maruthur: PubMed
- 10 Natural Ways to Balance Your Hormones, By Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA –Healthline
Lilith is originally from The Hudson Valley in New York. Growing up in this area made it easy to access the outdoors, and having a healthy, active lifestyle has always been natural to her. Her sense of adventure and curiosity has taken her around the globe, shaping her perspective on life and human connection.
After graduating from SUNY Purchase College in Westchester, NY, she moved to Brooklyn. From there, she got bit by the travel bug and spent three years traveling on and off all over the world, using NYC as her base. She backpacked solo through South America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and parts of the Middle East. After returning from a year-long stint overseas, she moved to Aspen where she spent a winter season on the slopes.
Lilith sees the value of art and incorporates it into her life by doing or seeing at least one artistic thing a week. When she's not geeking out over health and wellness, she can be found checking out a new restaurant, seeing live music, and petting every dog she sees walk by.
She currently resides in beautiful, sunny Los Angeles.