Balance Hormones Naturally
Hormones are chemical messengers that travel throughout the body in the bloodstream. When things are good, the organs and glands work together to regulate hormone production, affecting many different processes including metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, mood and much more. But when production is even slightly off balance, the entire body can feel it and tries to make up for it.
Numerous factors can create intolerable imbalances that leave women irritable, fatigued, unable to sleep, with sore breasts, a lack in sex drive, and unexplained weight gain. Sadly, these symptoms are often ignored, or even worse, masked by being prescribed unnecessary synthetic drugs such as antidepressants or the birth control pill to gloss over the issue.
Signs & Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Infertility and irregular periods
Weight gain or weight loss (that’s unexplained and not due to intentional changes in your diet)
Depression and anxiety
Changes in appetite
Hair loss and hair thinning
Hormonal imbalances are multi-factorial disorders, meaning they are caused by a combination of factors such as your diet, medical history, genetics, stress levels and exposure to toxins from your environment. Therefore it is always best to work with a nutritional therapist who will support you with functional testing to uncover the root cause. I will work with my clients for a minimum of three months, as this is how long it takes for hormones to shift and rebalance.
Remove toxic and harmful elements:
SUGAR - sugar disrupts hormonal balance and causes inflammation in your body leading to cell damage and increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
GLUTEN AND CASEIN - consumption of both casein (found in cow's milk products) and gluten can lead to 'leaky gut' and chronic inflammation. Discuss going gluten and dairy free after speaking to your practitioner as you might need some tests beforehand.
HARMFUL CHEMICALS - harmful chemicals found in pesticides, plastics, household cleaners, and even mattresses can contain hormone disrupting chemicals that mimic hormones in the body and keep the body from producing real hormones.
CAFFEINE - eliminate (or at least reduce) caffeine intake. Caffeine can wreak havoc on the endocrine system by putting stress on the adrenal glands.
Increase the following:
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS – omega 3 reduces inflammation and helps your immune system. Eat more oily fish such as wild-caught salmon, mackerel, sardines, kippers and herrings, increase intake of flax and chia seeds, organic eggs and grass-fed organic meets (beef, duck, lamb).
Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. Healthy fats have the opposite effect of refined carbohydrates, which lead to inflammation and can mess with the balance of your hormones.
SELENIUM & ZINC- both minerals support your thyroid and help conversion to active thyroid hormones. Some of the best sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, salmon, sunflower seeds, sardines, grass-fed beef, eggs and spinach. Zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds, lentils, meets such as beef and lamb, ginger, almonds and oysters.
IODINE - iodine is absolutely essential for the production of thyroid hormones. It would be advised to have your iodine levels tested by your practitioner. Good sources include seaweeds and seafood.
VITAMIN D - helps to reduce inflammation and modulates immune system and cell function. Get out in the sun as often as possible. You can also obtain vitamin D from salmon, sardines, mushrooms and ghee.
PROBIOTICS - 80% of the immune system resides in the gut. Probiotics - sometimes called 'friendly bacteria' - aid the immune system and help reduce inflammation repairing your gut lining, which in turn can balance your hormones. Try fermented food such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir.
VITAMIN A - helps thyroid hormone production. Rich sources include: grass-fed beef, eggs, butter, wild game.
MAGNESIUM, CALCIUM, VITAMIN C AND IRON - all support thyroid function. Try Epsom salt baths, eat more of organic meet, good quality cocoa, green leafy vegetables, legumes, beets, figs, pumpkin and sesame seeds.
STRESS REDUCTION - read a book, take a bath, meditate, do breathing exercises, talk to a friend, go for a walk - do whatever works for you.
GET ADEQUATE SLEEP - inadequate sleep prevents your body from regenerating and rejuvenating, promotes stress, tiredness and anxiety. Make sure you sleep 7-8 hours a day, get some downtime before going to bed, avoid exposure to blue light sources (tablets, mobile phones, computers).
EXERCISE – physical activity helps with insulin sensitivity, increases metabolism and improves thyroid function. Try yoga, pilates, walking, swimming. Avoid strenuous exercise as it puts extra stress on your body, inducing inflammation and may make things worse.
MINDFULLNESS - staying present in the moment will help you to calm down, reduce stress levels and inflammation and promote a sense of well-being.
Hormone imbalances vary so widely in terms of severity of symptoms. The natural treatments above can still help you to reduce your symptoms but shouldn’t take the place of medical supervision.