According to the results of a recent survey, 43 percent of women report their hormones hurting their health and well-being. Forty-seven percent between the ages of 30 and 60 also say they’ve experienced symptoms of a hormone imbalance.
Hormone imbalances can affect men and women of any age. In fact, the rates of teenage hormonal imbalance and hormone imbalance in young women are on the rise worldwide.
Are you worried that they’re at the root of your health problems? Ready to learn more about the signs of hormone imbalance? Let’s naturally explore the yin and yang to your hormones.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
There are many issues, including several women’s health issues, that can contribute to or cause hormonal imbalances. Are you wondering about the causes of hormone imbalance in young women (or anyone else)? If so, here are some of the most common reasons you ought to know about:
- Chronic stress
- Underlying health conditions (diabetes, hypo- and hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, etc.)
- Unhealthy eating
- Being overweight or obese
- Medications (birth control pills, anabolic steroids, etc.)
- Tumors or nodules on the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, and other parts of the body
- Injuries to endocrine glands
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Eating disorders
- Exposure to phytoestrogens in plants (such as soy)
- Exposure to toxins and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (found in pesticides, herbicides, personal care products, etc.)
A hormone imbalance could be a symptom of just one of these issues, or it could occur as a result of several (a poor diet combined with obesity and high levels of toxin exposure, for example).
Signs of a Hormone Imbalance
It’s not always easy to tell if you’re experiencing a hormonal imbalance. However, if you are, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
- Irregular Menstrual Cycle: If the hormones that help to regulate the menstrual cycle (including estrogen and progesterone) are out of balance, you may find that your cycle becomes irregular, or it may go away altogether
- Infertility: Many women dealing with hormone imbalances have a difficult time getting or staying pregnant
- Hot Flashes: Often, when dealing with low levels of estrogen, you might experience hot flashes or night sweats
- Cold Hands/Feet: On the flip side, you could experience cold hands and feet frequently if you have a health condition such as diabetes that affects your hormone production
- Weight Gain/Loss: This is one of the most common complaints among people dealing with hormone imbalance; they may have trouble losing weight or keeping it off
- Hair Loss: Hair loss can be a common symptom associated with a lot of different hormone-related conditions, including thyroid conditions and polycystic ovary syndrome
- Fatigue: Often, when the hormones are imbalanced, you may find that you’re constantly fatigued and rarely feel rested, even after plenty of sleep
- Acne: Especially when it’s located around the chin or jaw, acne can be associated with hormonal issues.
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, there’s a good chance imbalanced hormones are part of the problem.
How to Balance Your Hormones
Hormonal imbalance can cause a lot of issues throughout the body. Luckily, though, there are a lot of strategies you can use to correct these imbalances and improve your symptoms. Here are some of the most effective options you may want to consider:
Regular exercise can help you to manage your weight and reduce your risk of hormone imbalances associated with being overweight or obese.
It can help your body to become more sensitive to certain hormones, such as insulin, too (this is especially true of strength training).
When it’s not done in excess, exercise can be a useful stress management tool as well.
Manage Your Stress
Speaking of stress management, make sure you have plenty of tools in your tool belt for handling stressful situations. This includes practices like yoga, meditation, and journaling.
When you control your stress, as well as the way you respond to things outside of your control, you can avoid the harmful effects that come from pumping out high levels of stress hormones like cortisol.
Get Enough Sleep
Adequate sleep is crucial to help your body repair and recover from the stress it undergoes throughout the day.
Without adequate sleep, you may be more prone to other issues that can affect your hormone balance, such as weight gain and diseases like diabetes.
Avoid Sugar and Processed Food
Eating large amounts of sugar and processed food can promote weight gain, which can increase your risk of hormonal imbalances.
It can also make your body less sensitive to insulin, which can further exacerbate specific health problems.
Consider Your Toxic Load
Consider swapping out personal care products and cleaning products that may contain endocrine-disruptors with non-toxic alternatives.
Limit your exposure to plastic, too, as it often contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals like BPA.
Eat Enough Fat
Many people fear fat, especially those who are trying to lose weight. Fat is essential for the body to create healthy hormones, though.
Focus on eating plenty of healthy fats from sources like fish, avocados, and olive oil. Avoid inflammatory, human-made fats from vegetable oils.
There are quite a few supplements that can help you to balance your hormones. This includes things like adaptogens (herbs that help the body healthily respond to stress), as well as supplements like Calcium d-Glucarate and Vitex.
It’s essential to work with a professional when using these kinds of supplements, though. That way, you can avoid negative side effects and make sure you’re taking the proper dose.
Balance Your Hormones Today
You now know more about what causes hormonal imbalance. And it’s great to be aware of the signs to watch out for concerning your body.
Now you’re armed with this information, and it’s time to get to work.
You may feel anxious at first if you suspect you’re dealing with hormonal issues.
Hormonal imbalance (including a hormonal imbalance in women under 30) is quite common, though. There’s also a lot you can do to balance out your body’s chemical messengers while still relying on natural remedies.
Before you start trying to heal your hormones, it’s essential to work with a qualified professional.
Contact us at Dr. Threlkel’s office today to schedule an appointment and learn about our naturopathic approach to hormone health.