We ignore a lot of things in the daily hustle and bustle of life and our health is the first among them. Hence, when it comes to dealing with hormonal imbalance, we need to be extra careful as it is one of the most common health issues these days. Most of us do not even understand that something is wrong until we start getting weird symptoms. And when we finally start caring for it, things become tough to manage. But is it really possible to balance our hormones naturally? Yes, it is possible and we tell you how. Keep reading to know more about hormonal imbalance and its natural treatment.
What Is Hormonal Imbalance?
You could probably be doing everything right in your life. Having balanced meals on time, exercising regularly to burn away 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 these days 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)
Being the chemical messengers of our body, hormones regulate our major biological as well as physical processes including growth, metabolism, reproduction, mood, and even sexual functions (2). They are produced by the endocrine glands in our body. Cholesterol and good fats are used for this purpose. So, if you do not provide proper nutrients to your body, the endocrine gland(s) produce too little or too many hormones, thereby causing a hormonal imbalance. This, eventually, affects the normal functionalities of our body.
Also Read – Treat Your Hormonal Acne in All Natural Ways
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
Abnormal production of hormones is the primary trigger of hormonal imbalance in the body. But there is a wide range of health and medical conditions that 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). Some other factors responsible for hormonal imbalance include tumor and cancer treatments, hormone therapy, use of contraceptive pills, breastfeeding, trauma, injury, stress, and application of certain medications.
Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance
Not everybody shows the same symptoms of hormonal imbalance. It depends solely on the type of endocrine gland that is 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, make sure that you choose food available in their most natural forms only (5). Reduce your caffeine intake by switching to green tea. Avoid poly-saturated fatty acids like canola oil, margarine, and vegetable oils, which are basically either processed or chemically altered. Rather, opt for healthier oils like olive oil, coconut oil, 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 to take your mind off the stress and boost the metabolism in your body. (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 in order to give your body enough rest as well as 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 other symptoms like stress, anxiety, and depression. (7)
4. Exercise Regularly
Indulging in regular exercise can lead to improved metabolism by boosting growth hormones and maintaining the right insulin levels in the body. Multiple studies have established the correlation that exists between lack of physical activity and hormonal imbalance. (8)
5. Consult Your Health Practioner
While it is easy to spot certain symptoms triggered by hormonal imbalance, it is always recommended to consult a healthcare practitioner who can help you diagnose and treat a specific 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 the production of hormones in our body while phytoestrogen keeps the levels of estrogen under control by preventing it from binding to the receptors. The seeds play a key role in balancing 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 it 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.
Avocados are rich in essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, vitamins, zinc, and potassium, all of which are needed to maintain the secretion of our hormones at the optimum levels. Being loaded with vitamin E and zinc, avocados can help keep up the health of the pituitary, thyroid, and ovaries. Include them in your regular diet as a part of 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 are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. They also come packed with proteins, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins B, and vitamin E. All of this helps increase the secretion of hormones in our bodies. Introduce nuts to your daily diet by adding them to your dishes or consuming them as a snack on the go. They are a great source of energy and can help keep you fit and bouncy too.
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 certain compounds called ‘taraxasterol’ and ‘taraxerol’, which help in balancing the levels of hormones in our body. To consume it, boil the roots in water, strain the liquid, and drink it up. However, fresh dandelion roots are not available in many countries. So, if you do not have access to the roots, find packaged dandelion root tea bags at your nearest grocer.
Alfalfa is another plant, which is rich in phytoestrogens just like flax seeds. It also has plenty of magnesium, zinc, and amino acids needed to produce proteins. Therefore, consuming alfalfa eventually helps us produce hormones and maintain their levels in our bodies. You can consume it as sprouts, supplements, or tea.
Also Read – 10 Superfoods That Can Boost Fertility in Women
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 which are often ignored in their initial stages. Some of 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 there could be many medical conditions that can trigger hormonal imbalances, some of the foods responsible for it are vegetables like brinjal, peppers, potatoes, cauliflower and, broccoli, alcohol, processed foods, caffeine, and products with high sugar level.
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 which can lead to hormonal imbalance.
What can I drink for hormonal imbalance?
Red Raspberry Leaf, Warm Lemon Water, and Green Tea may help you balance hormones in the body. Including these drinks in your daily breakfast is recommended.
Does lemon help hormonal imbalance?
Alkalizing property of lemon improves our body’s metabolism and helps in flushing out toxins from our body. Including a warm lemon drink, every day in your diet may help balance your hormones.
Can garlic balance hormones?
Hormonal imbalance leads to inflammation in the body. Garlic is effective in treating inflammation thus including it can significantly reduce inflammation.
- “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