Amid our hectic lives, hormonal imbalances are often overlooked as an everyday health concern. Many individuals remain unaware of such issues until peculiar symptoms manifest. Balancing hormones naturally is possible, and understanding how to address this imbalance can be transformative. This article explores the intricacies of hormonal imbalance and provides insights into its natural treatment methods, offering valuable guidance for those seeking a holistic approach to hormonal health.
What Is Hormonal Imbalance?
You could probably be doing everything right, such as balancing meals on time, exercising regularly to burn extra calories, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep. But you are probably gaining weight, breaking out, experiencing mood swings, or having irregular periods. The underlying cause of this could be a hormonal imbalance that has become prevalent due to our uncontrolled lifestyle.
Hormones play an important role in managing the functions of our body. A hormonal imbalance occurs when the body starts producing either too much or too little of hormones than the required level.(1)
Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate our body’s central biological and physical processes, including growth, metabolism, reproduction, mood, and sexual functions (2). These hormones are produced by the endocrine glands in our body, using cholesterol and good fats. However, if we don’t provide our body with proper nutrients, the endocrine gland(s) may produce too few or too many hormones, leading to a hormonal imbalance. This, in turn, affects the normal functioning of our body.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
Abnormal production of hormones is the primary trigger of hormonal imbalance in the body. However, a wide range of health and medical conditions can affect the secretion of our endocrine glands. These could be the result of nutrient deficiency (a diet low in vitamins like B-complex, vitamin C, and minerals), eating disorders, diabetes, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), primary ovarian insufficiency, menopause, pregnancy, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, hypogonadism, and so on (3). Other factors responsible for hormonal imbalance include tumor and cancer treatments, hormone therapy, contraceptive pills, breastfeeding, trauma, injury, stress, and the application of certain medications.
Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance
Not everybody shows the same symptoms of hormonal imbalance. It depends solely on the endocrine gland working abnormally, which is usually different for women, men, and kids.
Some of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance experienced by women are sudden weight gain or weight loss, weakened muscles, joint pain, joint stiffness, constipation, diarrhea, decreased libido, infertility, frequent urination, heat and cold sensitivity, fatigue, sweating, increased thirst, depression, anxiety, dry skin, purple stretch marks, hair thinning, puffy face, and blurred vision. (4)
Turmeric is enriched with anti-inflammatory properties and plays an important role in hormone regulation. Including turmeric or turmeric milk in your diet may help control hormonal imbalance.
Ways To Treat Hormonal Imbalance Naturally
1. Modify Your Diet
Cut down on the consumption of processed food. While buying your groceries, ensure you only choose food available in its most natural forms (5). Reduce your caffeine intake by switching to green tea. Avoid poly-saturated fatty acids like canola, margarine, and vegetable oils, which are either processed or chemically altered. Instead, choose healthier oils like olive, coconut, butter, or ghee.
Avoid food that contains Preservatives, Phytoestrogens, Pesticides, and Growth hormones. Consumption of these ingredients may lead to hormonal imbalance.
2. Reduce Stress Levels
If you are in a stressful job or constantly anxious about something in your life, it can cause a lot of hormonal imbalance in your body. Take to meditation to calm your nerves. Also, exercise can take your mind off stress and boost your body’s metabolism. (6)
If you have a preference for non-vegetarian foods, consider including Salmon, Mackerel, and Sardines in your daily diet. These items contain Omega-3 fatty acids – an important constituent that can control stress hormones effectively.
3. Have Enough Sleep
Get a good night’s sleep to give your body enough rest and time to repair itself each night. It has been found that disrupted sleeping patterns can cause acute hormonal imbalance in women, thereby suppressing ovulation significantly. Lack of sufficient sleep can also lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. (7)
4. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can improve metabolism by boosting growth hormones and maintaining the proper insulin levels. Multiple studies have established the correlation between lack of physical activity and hormonal imbalance. (8)
5. Consult Your Health Practioner
While it is easy to spot specific symptoms triggered by hormonal imbalance, it is always recommended to consult a healthcare practitioner who can help you diagnose and treat a particular problem.
5 Foods to Treat Hormonal Imbalance
1. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and phytoestrogen. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for producing hormones, while phytoestrogen controls estrogen levels by preventing it from binding to the receptors. The seeds balance female reproductive hormones by maintaining the correct progesterone-to-estrogen ratio. It also restores hormonal balance in the thyroid, kidney, and pancreas. You can add flax seeds to your diet by sprinkling them over your breakfast cereals. Otherwise, add roasted flax seed powder to your pancake batter or bread dough. (9)
Studies have shown the link between consumption of inorganic foods and hormonal imbalances in females. Foods that contain high levels of pesticides can destroy the natural balance of the body’s hormones (10). Embracing a diet full of organic vegetables, meats, and milk may help you maintain your hormonal balance the right way.
Packed with essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, vitamins, zinc, and potassium, avocados play a crucial role in sustaining optimal hormone secretion. The abundant presence of vitamin E and zinc in avocados contributes explicitly to the well-being of vital glands like the pituitary, thyroid, and ovaries. Avocados support hormonal health and are easily incorporated into your daily diet, whether in salads or smoothies.
Including healthy carbs like Oats, Quinoa, Buckwheat and Wild rice can help regulate blood sugar levels thus improving the metabolism of the body and hormonal balance.
Nuts, abundant in monounsaturated fatty acids, boast a nutritional profile comprising proteins, antioxidants, minerals, and essential vitamins such as B and E. This nutrient-rich composition contributes to the enhancement of hormone secretion in the body. Easily incorporated into your daily routine, whether added to meals or enjoyed as a convenient on-the-go snack, nuts provide sustained energy and contribute to overall vitality and well-being.
Warning: If none of the natural treatments work for you, go for a medical examination to understand what has triggered the hormonal imbalance in you.
4. Dandelion Roots
Dandelion roots contain compounds such as ‘taraxasterol’ and ‘taraxerol,’ which are essential for maintaining hormonal balance. To enjoy the benefits of dandelion roots, you can boil them, strain the liquid, and incorporate it into your daily routine. If you cannot find fresh dandelion roots in your area, you can easily purchase packaged dandelion root tea bags from your local grocery store as a convenient alternative.
Alfalfa is another plant rich in phytoestrogens, just like flax seeds. It also has plenty of magnesium, zinc, and amino acids to produce proteins. Therefore, consuming alfalfa eventually helps us produce hormones and maintain their levels. You can drink it as sprouts, supplements, or tea.
Hormonal imbalance occurs when our body starts producing too much or too little of a hormone. This change can result in symptoms like acne, sudden and unexplained weight gain or loss, joint pain, fluctuations in heart rates, heavy or painful periods, mood swings, low libido, and vaginal dryness. Some of the major causes of hormonal imbalances are nutrient deficiency, eating disorders, diabetes, PCOS, menopause, pregnancy, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, etc. Hormonal imbalances can be treated naturally by modifying diet, controlling stress levels, and ensuring enough sleep. Moreover, certain foods like Flax Seeds, Avocados, Nuts, Dandelion Roots, and Alfalfa can balance out the hormones.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the signs of hormonal imbalance?
Hormonal imbalances may trigger multiple warning signs, often ignored in their initial stages. These include acne, sudden and unexplained weight gain or loss, joint pain, fluctuations in heart rates, heavy or painful periods, mood swings, low libido, and vaginal dryness.
What food causes the hormonal imbalance?
While many medical conditions can trigger hormonal imbalances, some foods responsible for it are vegetables like brinjal, peppers, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, alcohol, processed foods, and caffeine products with high sugar levels.
At what age does hormonal imbalance start?
Typically, women experience menopause at the age of 50, and during this period, the production of female hormones estrogen and progesterone decreases, leading to hormonal imbalance.
What can I drink for hormonal imbalance?
Red Raspberry Leaf, Warm Lemon Water, and Green Tea may help you balance hormones. Therefore, including these drinks in your daily breakfast is recommended.
Does lemon help hormonal imbalance?
The alkalizing property of lemon improves our body’s metabolism and helps flush out toxins. Including a warm lemon drink daily in your diet may help balance your hormones.
Can garlic balance hormones?
Hormonal imbalance leads to inflammation in the body. Garlic effectively treats inflammation; thus, including it can significantly reduce inflammation.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Keira Barr. Dr. Keira is a dual-board certified integrative dermatologist, certified as an Advanced Practitioner of Mind-Body medicine, and a trauma-informed life coach.
- “What to know about hormonal imbalances” – medicalnewstoday.com
- “Your Health and Hormones” – hormone.org
- “Causes of a hormonal imbalance” – healthline.com
- “Do You Have a Hormone Imbalance?” – webmd.com
- “How Your Diet Affects Your Hormones During Menopause” – healthline.com
- “Here’s How Stress Can Trigger a Hormonal Imbalance” – healthline.com
- “Role of Sleep and Sleep Loss in Hormonal Release and Metabolism” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Hormonal Responses to Endurance and Resistance Exercise in Females Aged 19–69 Years” – academic.oup.com
- “The Hormone Diet” – webmd.com
- “Impact of pesticides use in agriculture: their benefits and hazards” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov