Learn to Balance Your Hormones Naturally

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How to Balance Your Hormones the Natural Way

Do you know how much your hormones affect you? Sure, we throw that word around a lot, especially when it comes to teenagers, but what role do they play in our lives?

The answer might surprise you.

Like when you hit puberty? That was hormones.

Feeling sluggish? Hormones.

Reduced or absent sex drive? Hormones.

Gaining or losing weight unexpectedly? Could be hormones.

And while these all seem like temporary problems, hormones can make a permanent impact on your life if you just leave them to run wild.

Nearly half of all women have been negatively affected by hormone imbalance, and more than 70% of those women didn’t understand the cause of their problems until much later.

Luckily, balancing out your hormones doesn’t have to be a burden on your life or your wallet. Here are a few ways to balance your hormones the natural way.

Look Out for the Symptoms

I get it. You don’t want to cry wolf and say there’s something wrong with your hormones when there isn’t. But consider this – it’s actually much more common than you think.

Take a look at the symptoms of hormone imbalance and ask yourself if they seem familiar?

  • unexplained weight loss or gain
  • fatigue
  • increased sensitivity to cold or heat
  • increased or decreased heart rate
  • muscle weakness
  • frequent urination
  • pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
  • thinning or fine, brittle hair
  • depression
  • reduced sex drive
  • Infertility
  • acne
  • PMS

These are just a few (but not all) of the signs that could point to a hormone imbalance. If you’re experiencing any or multiple of these symptoms, you may have a hormone imbalance.

Another common misconception is that any or all of these things can be happening as a result of your period, and it’s just part of being a woman.

Why should you have to live with discomfort when a hormone imbalance is so easily treated with natural remedies?

Instead of just suffering through it, how about fixing it instead?

Assess Your Diet

You may think your body just creates all of the hormones you need naturally, and that’s partly true. But your diet and exercise can actually affect the number of hormones that your body produces.

The first thing you should do is assess your diet and figure out what may be causing problems for you.

What you really want to avoid is sugar, refined carbs, and xenobiotics.

Too much sugar or refined carbs can cause mood swings and a lowered libido. It’s also directly related to weight gain, and insulin-resistance, which can wreak havoc on your body.

And xenobiotics are foreign substances in the body, such as drugs, environmental pollutants, and food additives, and can cause thyroid issues.

Removing all of these from your diet may be a necessity.

If you want to tailor your diet to the needs of your hormones, you should focus on cruciferous vegetables, protein, and essential fatty acids.

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower. When it comes to protein, grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and wild-caught fish are your best bet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for our health, but our body doesn’t produce it naturally. Supplement this need with foods such as cod, salmon, sardines, walnuts, and flaxseed oil.

And avoid overeating, as this affects your hormones just as much, whether you’re eating right or not.

Embrace Exercise

Many of us hate exercise. Those of us who do also hate how much we need it to thrive.

Exercise, like diet, has a significant impact on hormones. From increasing serotonin and dopamine to regulating estrogen and testosterone, exercise has a lot of benefits and is extremely crucial to keep your body in balance.

Both serotonin and dopamine are mood regulators. By increasing these hormones in your body, you can combat the mood swings negatively affecting your life.

Exercise reduces your insulin levels and increases your insulin sensitivity – which makes it easier for your body to control the amount of sugar in your blood and reduces your chances of Type 2 diabetes.

Reduce Your Alcohol Intake

While alcohol can be a great way to unwind, it often does a number on our bodies. Overindulging in it can be one of the leading causes of hormone imbalance.

Alcohol builds up estrogen in our systems, which can lead to issues with thyroid function, PMS, depression, anxiety, weight gain, and autoimmune diseases.

Too much estrogen can even increase your chances of breast cancer.

Try reducing your alcohol intake, or cut it out of your diet entirely. 

Manage Your Stress

Two things in your body that you want to be in balance are cortisol and adrenaline, otherwise known as the stress hormones. Too much cortisol or adrenaline and you’re definitely going to feel the effects.

Stress has one of the most significant impacts on your body. It affects heart health, mental health, blood sugar levels, fertility, and of course, your hormones (among other things).

I know stress can be unavoidable, but when it’s always present in our lives, it’s detrimental to our health.

Luckily, there are a lot of ways to deal with it naturally.

Exercise is one of the best medicines when it comes to stress. Yoga, in particular, can provide a lot of relief.

Studies show that yoga reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, and can decrease the medical costs of treatment by eliminating or lowering the need for prescription drugs.

Meditation also works wonders when it comes to combating stress.

In fact, meditation can be medicine for your whole body. In addition to combating stress, it can control anxiety, promote emotional health, lengthen your attention span, reduce memory loss, improve sleep quality, and help with pain management.

The benefits of meditation are endless, and if your hormones just happen to balance out as a result, then isn’t that a fantastic bonus?

Prioritize Sleep

One of the best things you can do for your body is to rest, yet 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. This has an immense impact on your hormones.

Sleep deprivation is associated with an increase in appetite and can lead to overeating, which also influences your hormone health.

To improve your sleep habits, disconnect from technology 1 to 2 hours before sleep. Stay out of bed unless you’re sleeping. And go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.

Reduce your caffeine intake. Keep an eye on your stress levels. And when you establish a routine, stick to it.

Your body will thank you.

Ask a Doctor

It can be hard to pinpoint what exactly is messing with your hormones. But these problems shouldn’t be ignored.

Hormone imbalance can affect your health in dangerous ways. From painful PMS symptoms to thyroid disease, your hormones play an integral role in your body’s success.

Whether you’re not sure where to start, or you have questions and concerns about your health, we want to help you.

We care about your health and want to give you the opportunity to live your best life.

So make an appointment today!

About The Author:

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Karen Threlkel

Dr. Threlkel received her degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from The National University of Natural Medicine Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from UMD. She is licensed in Naturopathic Medicine by the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health. Dr. Threlkel is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, past president & current member of the Washington DC Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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