Hormones: What You Need to Know About Them and How to Balance Them
The Endocrine System
Our bodies are charging with hormones and they all come from one body system; the Endocrine system. The endocrine system is in charge of coordinating the relationship between the different organs and hormones, which are chemicals that are released into your bloodstream from cells within your endocrine glands. One of the most important glands is the pituitary gland (or “master gland”) that’s responsible for sending information from your brain to other glands in your body. It also produces many hormones that travel throughout the body that have different important functions.
Signs and Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
Most people, especially women, suffer from hormone imbalances. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of hormone imbalances include:
- Infertility and irregular periods
- Weight gain or weight loss (that’s unexpected and not due to intentional changes in your diet)
- Depression and anxiety
- Low libido
- Changes in appetite
- Digestive issues
- Hair loss and hair thinning
Causes of Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalances can lead to health issues like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), erectile dysfunction, hyperthyroidism, Grave’s disease, diabetes, and adrenal fatigue. This all depends on several factors and the person. Some of the major contributors to hormone imbalances include:
- Medical history
- Stress levels
- Expositor to toxins
- Gut issues
- Being overweight or obese
Natural ways to Balance Hormones
Hormone imbalances can happen to anyone as early as puberty. Although that can feel a bit overwhelming and daunting, there are several natural ways to help balance your hormones.
Change Your Diet
Eliminate foods that have refined carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, processed foods, and white flour. Add healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed meat, and wild-caught salmon. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help protect against hippocampal neuronal loss and reduce pro-inflammatory responses.
Herbs have a unique healing effect that can promote hormone balance and protect the body from a wide variety of diseases, including those caused by excess stress. In addition to immune function and combating stress, research shows that various herbs such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and holy basil can:
- Improve thyroid function
- Lower cholesterol naturally
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Reduce brain cell degeneration
- Stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels
- Support adrenal gland function
Ashwagandha can be extremely helpful in balancing hormones. It benefits thyroid function because it promotes the scavenging of free radicals that cause cellular damage. Ashwagandha can be used to support a sluggish or overactive thyroid, and it can also help to overcome adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals can become overtaxed when you experience too much emotional, physical, or mental stress, leading to the distribution of hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and progesterone.
Address Emotional Imbalances
A major component of balancing your hormones naturally is addressing any emotional imbalances that you are dealing with. You can do this by reducing stress levels, engaging in personal reflection, and taking time for yourself. Practicing meditation or healing prayer can be extremely beneficial, and so can breathing exercises, spending time outdoors, and exercising every day.
To balance hormones naturally, it’s important that you eliminate toxins in your body by avoiding conventional body care products that are made with potentially-harmful chemicals including DEA, parabens, propylene glycol, and sodium lauryl sulfate. A better alternative is to use natural products made with ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter, and castor oil.
To replace toxic body care and cleaning products, use hormone balancing oils:
- Clary sage: helps balance estrogen, regulate the menstrual cycle, relieve PMS symptoms, and treat infertility and PCOS
- Fennel: relax your body, improve your digestion and gut health
- Lavender: treat anxiety, depression, moodiness, and stress
- Sandalwood: increase libido, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and boost mental clarity
- Thyme: helps relieve health issues like infertility, PCOS, menopause, depression, hair loss, and insomnia
Sometimes it’s necessary to supplement in order to fill nutritional voids that can be leading to hormonal imbalances. The top supplements that are recommended are:
Get more sleep
A lack of sleep or disturbing your natural circadian rhythm can be one of the worst habits contributing to a hormone imbalance. How so? Because your hormones work on a schedule! Case in point: Cortisol, the primary “stress hormone” is regulated at midnight. Therefore, people who go to bed late never truly get a break from their sympathetic flight/fight stress response.
Although dealing with hormone imbalance can be hard and a long journey, it is better, in the long run, to treat it early so that menopause isn’t as difficult. Also following these natural ways to help your body will help make daily life easier and more enjoyable.