Hormones are special chemicals produced and secreted by the endocrine glands; they are the regulatory chemicals that control most bodily functions and metabolism. They control mood, emotions, reproduction, hunger and other important activities in the body.
They are secreted by endocrine glands into the bloodstream; the blood carries them to the various organs and tissues of the body where they carry out their assignment. There are many types of hormones and they have different functions and purposes.
The levels of these hormones produced have to be balanced in the body or else a plethora of health complications can arise. Too much of these hormones or too little or absence of hormones have been linked to fertility problems, cancer, and even death. Just a tiny change in the levels of hormones can cause serious complications.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
There are many causes or risk factor for hormonal imbalance and the general causes include:
- Unhealthy foods,
- Unhealthy lifestyle,
- Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle,
- Overactive thyroid,
- Underactive thyroid,
- Cancer treatments and medications,
- Trauma and injury,
- Cushing syndrome,
- Pituitary tumor,
- Adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency,
- Hyperfunctions of the thyroid nodules,
- Stress and some medications,
- Benign tumors or cancerous tumors,
- Hormone therapy,
- Eating disorders and,
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia,
Causes of hormonal imbalance in women are:
- Birth control pills and hormone drugs
- Ovarian problems
- Premature menopause
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Cysts in the breast and
Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Since hormones are involved in almost every function of the body, an abnormal level of hormones won’t be a silent condition; there are lots of signs the body give to signal hormonal problems and these symptoms depend on the affected glands or hormones.
Signs and symptoms that are common to any type of hormonal imbalance are:
- Obesity or excessive weight gain,
- Colored stretch marks (mostly purple or pink),
- Fatigue and weaknesses,
- A round face and a fatty hump between the shoulders,
- An increased sensitivity to temperatures (cold and heat),
- Digestive problems (constipation and diarrhea),
- Insomnia and sleep disorders
- Dry skin,
- Blurred vision,
- Irritability, nervousness, and anxiety
- A puffy face
- Low sex drive
- Sudden weight loss without a cause
- Depression and increased hunger
- Abnormal heartbeat; either increased or decreased heartbeat
- Hair problems like brittle hair, hair loss, hair thinning and damage
- Muscle weakness
- Swellings, pains, and stiffness in the joints
- Excessive thirst and frequent urination
- The stiffness of the muscles, muscle aches, and stiffness
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
Women are the highest victims of hormonal imbalance; this is because they go through many phases in their lifetime and this causes a natural fluctuation in the levels of hormones. Almost every lady goes through puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, Perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance that peculiar to women only are:
- Menstrual problems like heavy bleeding, irregular period, scanty menstruation, frequent menstruation (more than one menstruation in a month), missed periods or stopped periods.
- Night Sweats
- Excessive hair on body parts like face and chin (known as hirsutism)
- Painful sexual intercourse and vaginal atrophy
- Acne on body parts and skin problems like skin tags
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss of hair and hair thinning
- Darkening of certain skin parts like under the breasts, the groin, and the neck.
- Difficulty gaining or losing weight.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Men
Even though this condition is mostly associated with women, men are not left out; testosterone is an important hormone in a man’s body, it plays a critical role in the growth and development of the male body.
Symptoms of low testosterone in men are:
- Hot flashes
- Development of breast tissues
- Inability to concentrate
- Erectile dysfunction or impotence
- Weight loss and loss of muscle mass
- Hair loss and reduced beard
- Low sex drive and
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Children
Children start producing sex hormones during puberty; even those with delayed puberty will have a normal puberty but sometimes some kids have hypogonadism.
Hypogonadism happens when there is little or no secretion of hormones in the body; it is caused by problematic sex glands or gonads (ovaries and testes), they produce sex hormones which control secondary sex characteristics.
Symptoms of hypogonadism in girls (female hypogonadism) are:
- Delayed menstruation
- Slow growth rate
- Breast tissues don’t grow or develop
Symptoms of hypogonadism in boys (male hypogonadism) are:
- Failure of muscle mass to develop
- Development of breast tissues (gynecomastia)
- Shallow voice
- Excessive growth of the arms and legs in relation to the rest of the body
- Impaired growth of the penis and testicles and
- Sparse growth of body hairs
There are conventional treatments for hormonal imbalance; they include synthetic hormones, thyroid medications, insulin injections, birth control pills and more.
People with hormonal problems are put on these drugs for the rest of their lives; they don’t treat the root cause, they only suppress symptoms and they cause lots of side effects like reproductive problems, osteoporosis, cancer, stroke, anxiety and lots of health complications. In this post, we will be looking at powerful natural remedies that help balance the levels of hormones in the body.
Powerful Natural Remedies for Hormonal Imbalance
Eat foods rich in healthy fats
Reduce your intake of carbohydrates and switch to foods rich in healthy fatty acids; medium and long-chain fatty acids regulate the levels of hormones, they are also used to produce hormones, cholesterol, and saturated fats and they fight inflammation and boost metabolism.
Refined carbohydrates do the opposite of this; it disrupts the levels of hormones and causes inflammation. Rich natural sources of healthy fatty acids are avocados, wild caught salmon, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, etc.
Avoid soybean oil, groundnut oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil; they are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Go for omega-3 fatty acids rather; you can get this from chia seeds, wild fish, flaxseeds, grass-fed meat, and walnuts. Avoid refined sugar and refined carbohydrates if you want to have healthy levels of hormones.
Though a vitamin, it is a hormone when inside the body; it fights inflammation, moodiness, depression and other emotional disturbances. It has a positive effect on the pituitary gland which is responsible for producing many hormones.
It helps to reduce high levels of estrogen; a deficiency of this vital vitamin cause abnormal secretion of hormones from the parathyroid glands, and this lead to appetite and weight problems.
Practice sunbathing or spend at least 10 minutes in sunlight daily; this will improve the natural rhythm of your body and increase the levels of vitamin D in your body. Spend time in the sun and eat lots of organic poultry, whole milk, cod liver oil, oily fish, and eggs.
This is one of the healthiest beverages in the world; it boosts metabolism and has a rich content of epigallocatechin (EGCG); this compound has lots of health benefits including hormone management.
It lowers the levels of insulin and increases insulin sensitivity; this makes it a natural treatment for diabetes. Take three cups of green tea daily.
This is a rich source of estrogen; it raises the levels of estrogen and it contains isoferulic acids and glycosides that help to regulate hormones. Pregnant women should not take this herb.
Eat in a healthy way
Avoid overeating and undereating, this causes a shift in the levels of hormones; overeating increases the levels of insulin and reduces insulin sensitivity, while undereating increases the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone and triggers insulin resistance.
Clary sage essential oil
This help is beneficial to women; it helps to balance the levels of estrogen due to its rich content of phytoestrogen. It helps to regulate menstrual and ovulation cycles; it relieves the symptoms of PMS, it treats PCOS and infertility. It cuts the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer; it is a powerful natural remedy for hormonal imbalance and emotional problems. Inhale the oil or use it to massage your body.
This herb helps men control the levels of testosterone; it also prevents its conversion to DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) by reducing the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. DHT cause problems in the body; it thins hair, it blocks skin pores, and it increases the formation of oil thereby making the skin oily and prone to acne. This herb is also taken by women to maintain proper levels of hormones during menstruation and menopause.
This is a powerful adaptogen herb that helps in keeping hormone levels in balance; it regulates adrenaline and controls hormones related to stress. It boosts the production of sperm and relieves the symptoms of menopause.
Eat protein-rich foods
Proteins supply the body with essential amino acids and they also influence the production and release of hormones that help in regulating food intake and appetite. it decreases the levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone and stimulates the production of GLP-1 and PYY, these hormones make one feel full.
They keep the gut healthy because gut problems can disrupt the balance of hormones; they prevent leaky gut and inflammation which can affect the thyroid glands. These friendly bacteria also regulate the levels of leptin, insulin, and ghrelin.
This is an effective treatment for hormone imbalance; it fights inflammation, fights obesity and other causes of hormonal imbalance, it reduces the levels of sugar and boosts metabolism. Use this oil to cook your meals and you can also take two tablespoons of coconut oil daily.
Thyme essential oil
This oil improves the production of progesterone; this is why it is used in the treatment of infertility, menopause, and fibroid, PCOS, insomnia, hair loss, and depression. It balances the levels of hormones naturally and effectively.
If you are suffering from hormonal misbalance, eats lots of carrots daily; you can take carrot juice daily. Carrots are rich in a class of unique fibers that help to expel excess estrogen from the body. It is beneficial to both men and women; it balances the levels of hormones and relieves the symptoms of PMS.
Take matured and uncooked carrots; make sure they are organic, remember to wash them properly under running water to prevent contamination. It is also advisable to scrap their backs before eating.
This herb helps to release sufficient hormones for the body; it treats low libido and boosts fertility, it is rich in vital minerals and essential fatty acids that benefit the endocrine system and the whole body.
This is a powerful phytoestrogenic herb that prevents mental problems caused by hormonal imbalance; it relieves memory loss in women during menopause and it also improves their cognitive abilities and functions.
It nourishes the pituitary glands and keeps the endocrine glands healthy; it helps them function better by boosting the production of hormones, it also helps in the regulation of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
This herb offers great relief to women suffering from hormonal imbalance and it also relieve the symptoms of menstruation, PMS, and menopause.
Also called tulsi, this herb helps to regulate the levels of cortisol; that is why it is an effective natural remedy for stress, anxiety, depression, and emotional stress and problems.
It protects the organs from stress, heavy metals, chemicals, toxins, pollutants and other factors that can cause hormonal imbalance.
Fennel and lavender essential oils
Fennel essential oil is used in the treatment of thyroid disorders; it boosts the health of the gut and digestive functions, it relaxes the body, boosts metabolism, and fights inflammation.
Lavender essential improves emotional stress; it treats depression, mood swings, stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Use this oil for aromatherapy; you can add few drops to your bathing water and also use them to massage your body.
Protect yourself from poisonous chemicals
Toxins and harmful chemicals can cause a misbalance in the levels of hormones; they can be found in some skin care products, pesticides, household detergents, plastics, and cooking utensils.
Use natural products in place of these synthetic and dangerous chemicals; use glass pots or non-coated metal pots to cook and don’t store foods in plastic.
Also eat organic fruits and farm-raised animals.
This non-phytoestrogenic herb has a direct influence on the brain and pituitary glands; it helps in the production of estrogen and helps to body manage stress effectively.
It burns fat especially in the belly and abdomen region; it boosts mental functions, it lowers the levels of cortisol, it boosts memory and increases focus, it prevents moodiness and mood swings and raises the levels of energy in the body.
This herb has a strong adaptogenic property; it balances the levels of hormones effectively without side effects, it aids proper functions of the thyroid gland, it scavenges free radicals, and it prevents cellular damages. Ashwagandha is used to treat a sluggish thyroid or an overactive thyroid; it is also used to treat adrenal fatigue.
This essential mineral helps to keep balanced levels of hormones; it prevents the rise of insulin and cortisol, the body uses it to produce steroid hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
It also supports proper functions of the thyroid gland.
The roots of this plant have been used for thousands of years to treat health problems caused by hormonal imbalance; this includes menopause symptoms, infertility, menstrual problems, joint pains, and ulcers.
It brings down progesterone, estrogen, and hormones to their normal levels; it keeps one healthy and slow aging, it has a strong sedative property and it also fights inflammation.
Consume this herb regularly.
Fenugreek seeds contain rich amount of diosgenin; this phytoestrogen compound helps to synthesize estrogen in the body, this is a natural and effective alternative for hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women.
Soak a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in hot water for 15 minutes; drink the solution and chew the seeds, do this thrice daily, you can add honey or lemon to improve the taste.
Sandalwood essential oil
This essential oil effectively treats infertility and hormonal problems; it boosts sex drive and increases libido, it fights stress and relaxes the body, it enhance physical strength and boosts mental clarity. Inhale this essential oil daily.
Address emotional problems
Our emotions and thoughts have a huge impact on our health; happy emotions and good thoughts improve health and lengthen lifespan while bad thoughts and negative emotions cause illnesses and an imbalance in the levels of hormones.
Naturopaths practicing Traditional Chinese Medicine believe that emotions of unforgiveness, fear, impatience, frustration, worry, and anxiety affect many hormones; they cause hormonal misbalance and this, in turn, causes PCOS, infertility, diabetes, obesity, problems with reproductive organs and adrenal problems.
An easy and effective way to reverse hormonal imbalance is to address any emotional problem you have; this will improve your health greatly. You can go for counseling, engage in meditations and prayers, deep breathing and mild exercises daily can help you overcome emotional challenges.
Also spend time outside and with nature; take long walks in sunrise and sunsets, walk a pet, try body massage, acupressure, and acupuncture. These will help to balance the levels of your hormones naturally because your emotions are connected to your hormones.
Get quality sleep every night and reduce stress
An adult needs at least 8 hours of sleep every night; fewer hours of sleep or lack of sleep affects the circadian rhythm and this is one of the main causes of hormonal imbalance. This is because the hormones work on a schedule and cortisol, the main stress hormone is regulated mostly at midnight during deep sleep.
This means those who go to bed late or have fewer hours of night sleep don’t get relief from their sympathetic flight/fight stress response. This along with chronic stress and prolonged use of corticosteroids are the biggest causes of high levels of cortisol. Stress also causes serum changes in many hormones like prolactin, glucocorticoids, growth hormones and catecholamines; sleep reduces stress and helps balance the levels of hormones.
Chronic stress, poor sleep habit, and pattern raises the levels of cortisol in the morning; they weaken the immune system, they affect mental and physical performance and as we already know, they cause havoc in the levels of hormones.
Physical exercises and regular exercises help to balance the levels of hormones; they boost moderate levels of hormones and keep the body physically fit and healthy.
The best exercise for overall health is walking; it brings the entire body to its set point of balance; it restores healthy levels of hormones, maintains a healthy weight and other ways it improves the health. Try to walk in nature every day for at least one hour.
This fruit helps to the levels of progesterone and estrogen in the body; it maintains normal ovulation and helps greatly with fertility. It is used in treating premenstrual syndrome and it has a positive effect on the pituitary gland.
- It stimulates the pituitary glands to produce a hormone which triggers the ovaries to release progesterone. It raises the levels of progesterone and reduces the levels of prolactin;
- it maintains the proper balance between progesterone and estrogen to boosts a healthy menstrual cycle.
- It also contains other bio-active compounds like vitexin, flavonoids, diterpenes, alkaloids, and casticin; they improve the levels of hormones and support healthy functions of the pituitary gland. It also increases menstruation flow; for this reason, pregnant women should avoid this herb.
Avoid sugary and processed foods
Any form of refined sugar is unhealthy, the worst are liquid sugars; they cause changes in the levels of hormones, they contribute to insulin resistance, obesity, menstrual problems and many health problems. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages, and foods and the levels of your hormones will improve.
Too much caffeine negatively affects the endocrine system; it affects the production and functions of hormones; take herbal teas in place of coffee if you’re suffering from this condition and if you are not, reduce your intake of coffee so that your endocrine glands will not be affected.
Alcohol should also be avoided; it increases the levels of estrogen, it reduces the levels of testosterone and it inhibits the functions of the pancreas. If you can avoid it completely; then reduce your intake.