Hormones are like chemical messengers and govern nearly every cellular action in our body.
It might surprise you to learn that our sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, while very important, are not actually essential for survival.
They are required to keep our skin, hair and nails looking great as well as they are responsible for libido and fertility. They also play a role in bone health and heart health but none of these roles are critical to life.
On the other hand, our stress hormones (like cortisol) are crucial to survival because they regulate heartbeat and blood pressure and shuttle glucose into our cells — essentially feeding our brain, among other life-sustaining functions.
These hormones are so crucial, in fact, that in times of chronic stress, the “hormone of stress” cortisol, will be made at the expense of sex hormones. No wonder we can start feeling out of balance at certain stages of life!
So, what happens when hormones stop playing nice?
We can often experience a ripple effect, even when there’s a slight hiccup in hormone function. Due to the interconnected nature of the endocrine system, one hormonal imbalance can lead to an additional one, causing multiple symptoms and overlapping health issues.
The 10 Most Common Signs that you Probably Have a Hormonal Imbalance:
1. Poor sleep — not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep
2. Fatigue that’s not alleviated by sleep
3. Night sweats and hot flashes
4. Resistant excess weight and body fat, especially around the belly
5. Low libido or sexual dysfunction
6. Acne or other skin issues
7. PMS symptoms
8. Foggy thinking (brain fog) and difficulty concentrating
9. Mental health issues — depression and anxiety in particular
10. Mood changes like irritability and anger
The Main Causes of Hormone Imbalance
While there are many causes, here are the most common ones that have been identified:
- Age and stage of life
- Chronic stress
- Medications (e.g. the Birth Control Pill)
- Toxins and endocrine disruptors like xenoestrogens
- Poor nutrition and lack of adequate key nutrients
- Blood sugar regulation problems
- Disrupted circadian rhythm
- Chronic inflammation (e.g. leaky gut & digestive system inflammation)
5 Simple Ways to Support and Rebalance Your Hormones Naturally
1. Eat whole foods
Processed, packaged foods offering little to no nutritive value will also offer little to no fuel for your hormones.
Be sure to eat fresh over packaged foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and quality sources of free range and grass-fed meats and eggs. Also, if tolerated – nuts, seeds, and legumes in moderation.
Grains and dairy may cause or exacerbate hormonal problems for some people.
Eat more good fats: Good fats are essential for hormonal health because sex hormones need fat as a building block — and your body can only use the ones you give it.
Opt for sources of good fats from whole foods, such as avocados, raw nuts and seeds, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, real butter or ghee (grass fed preferable), wild-caught salmon and free-range eggs — yes, you can eat the yolks!
2. Exercise daily
Working out on a regular basis, engaging in resistance (or strength) training, and incorporating a specific workout called HIIT (high intensity interval training) has been proven to be especially beneficial for keeping our bodies AND our hormones fit.
Try these classes:
3. Better sleep
Getting deeper, more restorative sleep can be the key to supporting your hormones, above all other measures (but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the other ones!)
Try these for sleep:
4. Stress management & self-care
The truth is — stress can be devastating for hormonal health.
We need to equip ourselves to manage the stress and “business” of everyday life through the actions that bring back balance and well-being to our bodies AND our minds — like good nutrition, exercise and sleep!
Learn better coping mechanisms (like breathing techniques), practice mindfulness and be sure to engage in daily self-care.
Try these for stress:
5. Get tested
The best way to get started is to have your hormones properly assessed. The Complete Female or Male Hormone Panel offers the most comprehensive look into all the hormones that cause the most common issues. Hormones included are: Progesterone, Estrogen, Testosterone, Cortisol, DHEA, TSH, free T4, free T3 and Thyroid Antibodies.
Book your testing here - Contact Us