Hormone replacement therapy, hormonal birth control medications and insulin-resistance treatments are some conventional ways to treat hormonal imbalances. However, most people who have tried these methods reported experiencing short-term relief and long-term side effects such as depression, swelling in some body parts, reproductive problems, increased blood pressure, unwanted hair growth in women, cancer and blood clots among many others.
Fortunately, hormonal problems can be effectively addressed naturally. Whether you're looking for ways to alleviate the unpleasant effects of your current medicines or have only recently discovered that you have hormonal imbalances, the natural remedies you're about to learn in this article can significantly improve your condition.
The Effects of a Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate the body's numerous functions. They come from different glands and organs in the endocrine system, which normally produce the exact amount of hormones needed to support the body. Once the endocrine glands release hormones into the bloodstream, these are received by the target cells to take the necessary action in order to effect change on the body. Too much or too little of these hormones lead to hormonal imbalances, which may cause all kinds of health issues.
Excessive estrogen levels, for instance, can lead to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis or thyroid problems. An underactive thyroid gland, which produces very few thyroid hormones, can cause heart disease, goitre, myxedema crisis or complications in pregnancy.
Hormonal imbalances in men usually stem from having a testosterone level, which may result in a low sperm count or the development of prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia or other types of prostate disease.
It's not only the overproduction of sex hormones that can cause a chain of health problems. Endocrine glands that secrete other steroid hormones should also be kept in check as they are capable of causing cell damage when they release too much of something. Overactive adrenal glands can launch a slew of conditions if they excrete high cortisol levels, including Cushing's syndrome, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), high blood pressure, osteoporosis, anxiety, depression, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, to name just a few.
To be able to identify which hormones need to be balanced, you have to take note of common symptoms that point to hormone imbalances. The most glaring signs include:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Hair loss
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Reduced sexual drive
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Bone loss
- Digestive issues
- Irregular periods
- Hormonal acne or other skin conditions
Natural Therapies That Promote Hormonal Balance
Maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is crucial to ensuring hormonal health and keeping your body in tip-top condition. There are several natural treatment options that can be combined with your doctor's prescribed medications or treatment plan. We'll be focusing on the massive benefits of diet and nutrition, herbs and supplements, aromatherapy and essential oils, exercise and adequate sleep.
Diet and Nutrition
A diet rich in healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and protein will help keep your hormones balanced. In fact, food is the best natural remedy for any health conditions, which is taken for granted in this fast-paced world. Including good carbs in your meals is important to regulate your blood sugar levels and support the body's metabolic functions. A low-carb diet will not supply your body with sufficient glucose, which is its primary source of energy.
However, refined carbs and sweets don't constitute a healthy diet. Eating foods with enriched flour, like bread and pizza, or drinking beverages mixed with high-fructose corn syrup will cause your blood sugar levels to shoot up and then drop, leading to a wide range of physiological symptoms. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include whole grains, peas, parsnips, beans, beets and sweet potatoes.
Pair up your carbs with foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids to aid your body in releasing hormones and preventing insulin resistance. These include avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, salmon, mackerel and eggs. Adding bone broth to your meals will also boost your digestive health and improve your sleep cycle as well. It's packed with amino acids, calcium and collagen that supply the body with the necessary nutrients to repair cells and tissues. Throw some leafy greens into the pot to ensure that you maintain healthy estrogen levels or prevent excessive production of testosterone.
Herbs and Supplements
Adaptogen herbs and supplements help in controlling your cortisol levels as they support the thyroid and adrenal glands. Some helpful herbs and supplements that can help reduce mood swings, stabilise blood sugar levels and alleviate stress include:
- Chamomile reduces inflammation and reduces anxiety
- Ashwagandha calms an overworked thyroid gland
- Ginger improves blood circulation and prevents inflammation
- Raspberry leaf supports the reproductive health
- Cordyceps prevents abnormal levels of estrogen and progesterone supports the adrenal glands. It also helps with weight loss, improving energy levels as well as sleep cycle.
- Melatonin supplements can improve the circadian rhythm and ensure a healthy sleep pattern. Raspberries, cherries and goji berries are also excellent sources of melatonin.
Whether inhaled or applied topically, plant-derived essential oils can help balance out the body's hormones and relieve physiological symptoms, anxiety and stress. Lavender oil, for instance, promotes relaxation, eliminates hot flashes and relieves stress. Pine oil is another aromatherapy oil that can treat joint pain and improve bone density. Aromatherapy oils can also be sprayed directly to the skin to get that all-day positive vibe. Just see to it that you dilute it with a carrier oil. Other essential oils that can support hormonal health include:
- Geranium oil
- Clary sage oil
- Bergamot oil
- Ylang ylang oil
- Fennel oil
Exercise and Sleep
Getting regular exercise and at least 7 hours of sleep every night are key to maintaining hormonal balance. A cardio workout or other high-impact exercises will improve your insulin levels, maintain your ideal body weight and regulate your metabolism. Match your physical activities with the right amount of rest. Maintaining a fixed sleeping schedule not only supports the health of the pineal gland, which controls your bodyclock, but also improves your emotional state and mindset.
Hormonal imbalance is something that we all experience at certain times of our lives. However, it should not be an ongoing problem that hampers your productivity and happiness. To find out which natural remedy is suitable for you, you may get in touch with a certified natural therapist through the Natural Therapy Pages.