A variety of organs and glands within the body balance hormones naturally throughout your life. However, hormonal imbalances do occur for a variety of reasons. Symptoms of a hormone imbalance can have a dramatic effect on your day to day activities. Often physicians will prescribe synthetic hormones, which typically pose significant health risks, to rectify your body’s shortcomings but many people balk at turning to prescription hormones. Instead of taking prescription drugs they seek a more natural way to adjust hormones.
Understanding the Risks of Conventional Hormone Treatments
Synthetic hormones such as birth control pills, insulin injections, thyroid regulating medications, and estrogen replacement are frequently prescribed. Unfortunately, these synthetic pharmaceuticals pose significant health risks.
Dependency: Once started, many people become physically dependent on the synthetic drug versions and will require them for the rest of their lives.
Masks the Condition: Synthetic pharmaceuticals do not cure the imbalance but only mask the symptoms. This is especially dangerous because the underlying health condition can progressively become more severe and the sufferer remains unaware.
Side Effects: All synthetic pharmaceuticals can have side effects that range from mild to severe. Taking the medication can cause cancer, osteoporosis, stroke, anxiety, and reproductive disorders. Many times the conditions that result are life-threatening.
Women, Hormones, and the Risk of Osteoporosis
Most women will suffer from the effects of hormonal imbalances at some point in their lives whether during puberty, menstruation years, pregnancy, perimenopause, or postmenopause. The National Osteoporosis Foundation states that when a woman reaches and passes menopause her estrogen levels will drop and she stands a significant risk of serious bone loss and developing osteoporosis. A woman can lose up to 20 percent of her bone density during the first five years following menopause. Balancing hormonal fluctuations can reduce or even prevent bone loss. Often doctors will prescribe hormone replacement therapy in an effort to battle osteoporosis but many women cannot take HRT because of the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disorders. In such cases, women should try to find a natural route to create balance.
Common Symptoms of a Hormone Imbalance
Here are a few of the frequent symptoms of a hormone imbalance. Symptoms are often dramatic or subtle.
- Loss of menstruation or infrequent menstruation
- Hair loss
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Loss of or low libido
- Digestive problems
- Appetite changes
- Eyesight disorders
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive cravings
Problems Associated With Hormonal Imbalances
Imbalances within the body can create significant problems. Here are a few of the most common issues.
Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism slows your metabolism, causes weight gain, thinning hair, skin disorders, irregular menstruation, fertility issues, irritability, fatigue, slowed metabolism, and frequent insomnia.
Hyperthyroidism or Graves Disease: Hyperthyroidism and Graves’s disease frequently cause rapid heart rate, shaking, goiter, eye problems, weight loss, irregular menstruation, irritability, skin disorders, fertility issues, rapid metabolism, thinning hair, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and irregular heartbeats.
Estrogen Dominance: Estrogen dominance causes weight changes, slowed metabolism, excessive stress, mood changes, appetite issues, and altered sleep patterns.
Low Estrogen: Low estrogen reduces sex drive, causes mood changes, menstruation irregularities, and fertility issues.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Sufferers of PCOS experience acne, weight gain, fertility issues, abnormal hair growth, and an elevated risk of developing diabetes.
Diabetes: Diabetes frequently causes nerve damage (known as neuropathy), vision loss, skin problems, weight gain, trouble breathing, problems healing, and dry mouth.
Low Testosterone: Low testosterone normally occurs in middle-aged or older men. It causes erectile dysfunction, weight gain, fatigue, mood problems, and loss of muscle.
Adrenal Fatigue: Sufferers of adrenal fatigue experience often extreme fatigue, muscle aches, muscle cramping, difficulty focusing, depression, sleep issues, and reproductive problems.
What are the Risks of Hormonal Imbalances?
Hormonal imbalances in the body are caused by a variety of underlying issues. They tend to be a symptom instead of the cause of most disorders. Key components in causing a hormonal imbalance include your diet, genetics, stress, exposure to toxins, and overall medical history.
Causes of Hormone Imbalance
Here are a few things that cause frequent hormonal imbalances:
Genetic Susceptibility: If your parents, siblings, or grandparents suffer from hormone imbalances then the chances are good that you might also experience problems during your life.
Overweight: Being overweight and obese all increase the risk of developing hormonal imbalances.
Toxicity: Exposure to toxins, viruses, cigarettes, alcohol, and pesticides all increase your chances of experiencing future health issues, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Stress: Stress can make you sick.
Lack of Adequate Sleep: Most people require at least six to eight hours of sleep per night to maintain their health.
Inflammation: Inflammation caused by a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet may contribute to physical imbalances.
Food Allergies: Food allergies often take their toll on the body’s hormonal system.
Probiotics: A lack of beneficial probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract makes you more susceptible to a variety of health-related problems.
14 Tips to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
- Eliminate Carbs From Your Diet: Substituting carbs for healthy fats is extremely beneficial in creating overall balance in your system. In order to create hormones, your body requires essential fats. The essential fats keep your hormones in check, reduce inflammation, promote weight loss, and boost your metabolism. A diet that consists of excessive carbs cause inflammation in your body which creates an imbalance. Substituting carbs for a diet that is high in healthy fats is highly beneficial.
- Increase Healthy Fats in Your Diet: Coconut oil, natural butter, salmon, flax, soybeans, nuts, grass-fed animals, and avocados all increase the healthy fats in your diet. Supplements: Supplements that contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) such as primrose oil, hemp oil, and borage oil support progesterone levels in the body.
- Adaptogen Herbs: Plants have been used for thousands of years by naturopathic medicine practitioners to naturally balance hormones. They also help protect the body from a variety of diseases and disorders by boosting the immune systems. The herbs have been shown to be especially beneficial at combatting stress. Ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, Rhodiola and holy basil are especially beneficial.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha balances thyroid function by removing free radicals that cause cell and thyroid damage. It helps either hyperactive or hypoactive thyroid disorders. The herb also has an effect on adrenal disorders. It creates a balance between adrenaline, cortisol, and progesterone, according to reports by the School of Life Sciences, D.A. University in Indore, India.
- Holy Basil: Holy basil, which is frequently called tulsi, regulates cortisol It also protects the body against toxins and heavy metals. Medicinal mushrooms and
- Rhodiola: Rhodiola reduce cholesterol, improve cell regeneration, improve brain function, stabilize blood sugar, and assist the adrenal system.
4. Emotional Imbalances: During times of stress and emotional turmoil your hormonal levels can fluctuate dramatically. Dealing with stress and emotional trauma through therapy or a variety of other ways often naturally helps balance hormone levels. Meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, acupuncture, massage, and seeking out a hobby have all been shown to create balance in your life and-and reduce stress.
5. Nutritional Supplements: Nutritional voids can lead to imbalances in your physical system. Many supplements have been shown to naturally assist your body to find balance and harmony.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are good bacteria that help the digestive tract. The probiotic bacteria colonizes in your digestive tract and combats inflammation and other disorders. They regulate ghrelin, leptin, and insulin, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
- Vitamin D: Receiving exposure to natural sunshine helps your body manufacture vitamin If you live in a region that does not receive year-round sunlight then you can turn to supplements to make sure your body is receiving an adequate amount of the key vitamin. Most commercially available milk also has vitamin D added.
- Evening Primrose: Evening primrose supplements contain omega-6 fatty acids, such as LA and GLA. It has been shown to help alleviate menstrual disorders.
- Bone Broth: Bone broth or bone supplements contain collagen, proline, glycine, and glutamine which helps level out the body and create emotional spikes.
6. Avoid Birth Control Pills: Birth control pills raise the estrogen levels in the female body to prevent pregnancy. Unfortunately, the levels of estrogen are very high and often cause migraines, high blood pressure, breast pain, mood changes, back pain, nausea, uterine bleeding, increased risk of heart attack, strokes, and cancer.
7. Receive Adequate Sleep: The human body typically requires from seven to eight hours of sleep to function properly. Lack of sleep disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythm which raises cortisol levels. Glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin are also increased, according to the Department of Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal, India
8. Limit Caffeine: Caffeine often causes problems with the body’s endocrine system. Cutting down on the caffeine is highly beneficial to balancing your system naturally
9. Essential Oils: Many skincare and beauty products contain harmful levels of heavy metals and toxic chemicals. Opting to use a natural product that contains essential oils is one way to create harmony and balance in your body. For centuries, people have turned to essential oils to care for their skin and hair. Sandalwood, thyme, fennel, lavender, and sage all assist your system in maintaining hormonal balance.
10. Exercise: Relaxing exercises such as walking or swimming are ideal for balancing out the body. However, strenuous exercise such as running and cardiovascular can be detrimental when first diagnosed with a disorder. Normally relaxing and indulging in moderate exercise is ideal.
11. Avoid Overeating and Undereating: Overeating has been shown to raise the levels of insulin in the body, according to the Diabetes & Obesity Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. Undereating causes undue stress to the system and raises the cortisol levels.
12. Fiber: Consuming a high fiber diet has been proven to increase insulin levels and level out other hormones, according to Amgen, Incorporated.
13. Eliminate Chemicals: Toiletries, makeup, hair products, soaps, and a variety of other daily things contain levels of often toxic chemicals. Reducing your body’s exposure to such things helps your body reboot and rejuvenate.
14. Limit Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to estrogen dominance and lower testosterone. It also lowers the natural functions of the pancreas.
Herbs Used for Hormone Imbalances
A large variety of herbs have been shown to effectively balance your body’s hormonal levels. For centuries pre and postmenopausal women have turned to herbs as a natural way to regulate their body’s monthly hormonal levels.
Black Cohosh: Black Cohosh is a phytoestrogenic herb that has been used by pre and postmenopausal women for centuries. The herb helps eliminate hot flashes and works similar to estrogen in the system. It can also regulate menstrual cycles and eases uterine cramping.
Chaste berry: Relieves premenstrual syndrome and helps reduce the effects of menopause. It has also been shown to clear up acne, help insomnia, treat endometriosis, increase lactation, and improve fertility. It helps create a natural balance between progesterone and estrogen. Prolactin also appears to be regulated when chaste berry is used.
Ginkgo Biloba: Gingko Biloba stimulates the endocrine and pituitary system to produce and regulate estrogen progesterone and testosterone.
Macafem: Macafem assists the body’s endocrine system. It can increase libido, reduce hot flashes, increases energy, balances moods and helps with depression.
Precautions to Consider When Dealing With Hormone Imbalances
Many health disorders require the use of synthetic hormones to effectively treat. There is just no way to balance the hormones naturally if the disorder is severe. If you are diagnosed with Graves disease, Adrenal Insufficiency, Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, or type 1 or type 2 diabetes then you will need the assistance of a physician to balance and maintain your body’s hormonal function. Many people suffering from such severe medical conditions opt to use both a natural approach and modern pharmaceuticals prescribed by a physician to treat their disorders.
Millions of people are impacted by hormone imbalances. Many are caused by disorders and others occur because of outside influences such as exposure to toxins. In some cases, hormone imbalances occur as a part of aging and life transitions. No matter what the underlying cause, fluctuations in hormones can make a person feel ill and in severe cases cause significant changes in their day to day life. Balancing your hormones naturally will improve how you feel and may even help combat many disorders.