Everything we do affects our hormones, which in turn, effects everything we do.
It seems at some point or another we are faced with a hormone imbalance in our lifetime, especially women, but men are not untouched either. Funny enough, sometimes hormonal conditions such as acne, don’t actually become an issue until we reach adulthood. Approaching my late twenties and early thirties, my hormones started to get really wacky…acne, hair loss, weight gain, facial hair…oh man, the list goes on. So, I had to up my game and get fierce with my arsenal of foods, teas and herbs. Although, my labs said I was perfectly balanced, my facial hairs told me, hell no girlfriend! Thus, I got smart, empowered the hell out of myself and started to tackle whole-body wellness naturally, through books, research and good ol’ google. I share with you some of the signs and symptoms of hormone imbalance, environmental variables that may be contributing and diet and lifestyle modifications you can implement today, so that your hormones start working for you.
Signs of Hormone Imbalance
If one or more of the following symptoms are occurring, it is important to stop and evaluate diet and lifestyle. By addressing the underlying issues, you will bring your body back to balance. This process is not quick by any means, so if you are looking for a quick fix, I’m sorry to disappoint. Sometimes it can take many months before you see the results you are looking for when implementing dietary, lifestyle and supplement changes. On the other hand, sometimes it can be quick depending on your body and the severity of the issue. However, the best part about this process is that you don’t have to worry about negative side effects. Your body will slowly grow stronger and you may even notice positive changes you weren’t expecting like better skin or more energy.
The following symptoms can occur in both men and women with hormone imbalance:
- Low Libido
- Digestion Issues
- Acne (chin and jaw line acne)
- Weight Gain/Changes in Appetite
- Depression/Irritability/Mood Imbalance
- Hair Loss/Thinning
- Unwanted Body Hair in Women
- Insomnia/Sleep Issues
- Irregular Menstrual Cycle/Absence of Period
Xenohormones Contributing to Estrogen Dominance…for Men & Women
Xeno-hormones come from plastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides/herbicides and environmental toxins, which are showing up in our bodies, causing chaos. These fake, toxic compounds act as invaders to the body, bind to estrogen receptor sites and end up causing hormone related diseases like: endometriosis, PCOS, breast, testicular and prostate cancers. These synthetic hormones (from plastic water bottles, cosmetics, prescriptions, birth control, etc.) can even cause harmful reproductive effects, including the imbalance of male testosterone. Basically, we can call these xeno-hormones…xenoestrogens because they act like estrogen in the body and cause the body to be out of balance. (Bauman)
Read more here.
Reasons for Hormone Imbalance
- Increased Inflammation
- Stress/Adrenal Fatigue
- Digestion Issues
- Heavy Load of Toxicity (environmental exposure, prescriptions, BC)
- Low Thyroid
- Weight Gain/Obesity
- Food Intolerances/Allergies
- Improper Eating
- Malnutrition (deficient in key vitamins & minerals)
- High Sugar Intake/Blood Sugar Imbalance
Lifestyle – 5 Natural Ways to Balance Hormones
- Adopt a Whole-Foods Lifestyle (i.e. S.O.U.L —> Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed, Local Foods)
- Eliminate Food Intolerances & Processed Foods (gluten, dairy, sugar, etc.)
- Introduce Key Supplements for Balancing Hormones (maca, ashwagandha, evening primrose, dim, vitex, etc.)
- Educate Yourself About the Risks Involved with Synthetic Hormone Replacement (Birth Control)
- Reduce Stress & Trauma + Get More Sleep! (yoga, journal writing, meditation, prayer, nature)
*Bonus: Increase Omega 3 rich foods/Decrease Omega 6 foods. Eliminate omega-6 fats such as sunflower, safflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut oils. Increase omega-3 fats from wild fish, grass-fed meats, flaxseed, chia seed, hemp seed and walnuts to balance out the omega-3/omega-6 ratio in your body, which should be 1:1.
Diet – Foods For Hormone Balance
- Cruciferous Vegetables – cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, brussels Sprouts = detoxification of xenohormones
- Citrus – lemons/limes/oranges = liver support + detoxifies
- Green Juice – floods the body with important trace minerals + detoxifies
- Leafy Greens – supports the body with important minerals + detoxifies
- Sweet Potatoes – phytoestrogenic: detoxes unwanted xenoestrogens (William)
- Maca Powder – great for both men and women, aides in energy and promotes hormone balance
- Berries – especially wild blueberries – tons of antioxidants that prevent disease
- Raspberry Leaf & Nettle Tea – helps balance the endrocrine system
- Turmeric & Ginger – reduces inflammation
- Healthy Fats – Avocado, EVOO, Coconut Oil
- Organic Pastured Meats & Wild Fish
There is so much information and research currently being conducted in the nutrition and medical world on how to balance hormones naturally. There are many key teas, tinctures and supplements that are widely available and the research to back them as well. It’s important to work with a Certified Nutritionist, Herbalist, Holistic Practitioner and/or Doctor to decide what tests (hormone, adrenal and/or thyroid panels) to perform first, then you can talk about natural supplements that may work for your specific individual hormone needs. If you are currently taking a prescription or birth control, it’s important to go over all the side effects (short and long) and decide if that medication is helping or contributing to the symptoms of hormone imbalance.
*All information, content and material of this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.
Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2015). Foundations of Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College
Dr. Axe, Food is Medicine. “7 Steps to Balance Hormones Naturally.”
William, A. (2016). “Medical Medium: Life Changing Foods.” Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, CA