How To Regulate Hormones - Lifestyle Changes & Natural Herbs That Help
Hormones are vital chemical messengers that affect many parts of the body system and overall health. This could be characterized by hair loss, fatigue, or digestive issues and caused by poor sleep, stress, and stress response.
Medical treatments that can balance hormones include insulin injections, hormone replacement therapy, thyroid medications, and birth control pills. But sometimes, these methods make people depend on these prescriptions for several years. Conventional medicine does not always solve these conditions; it masks the problem in such a way that a different issue will crop up in another part of the body. Other times, it increases anxiety and the risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and reproductive problems.
You might be wondering if it’s possible to balance hormones naturally. The answer is yes, and in this article is a list of eating habits and herbs you can incorporate into your lifestyle for hormone balance. But first, let’s look at a well-detailed definition of hormones and how they affect our bodies.
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are chemicals secreted by glands in the endocrine system and released into the blood. A hormonal imbalance occurs when too little or too much hormone is produced in the endocrine glands.
Hormonal imbalances are often blamed for increased blood pressure, hair loss, inflammation, digestive issues, or fatigue. It is normal for the body system to experience fluctuating hormone levels at different stages of life. Still, sometimes it could be caused by stress, poor eating habits, and health conditions.
So, it would help if you kept an eye out for the hormonal imbalance that will take place in your body system. And while you might try to balance your hormones naturally, you should also visit your health practitioner so you two can work together to restore you to your healthy state. Below are the five hormonal imbalances produced in the endocrine glands.
What Are The 5 Hormonal Imbalances?
The endocrine system secretes many hormones in your body, and each hormone has unique functions designed to keep you healthy. Because each hormone is integral to balancing your system, a slight hormone imbalance could cause mood swings, weight gain, or headaches. The following are five common hormonal imbalances.
Cortisol is a hormone produced in the adrenal gland that helps regulate inflammation, blood sugar, and metabolism. It is sometimes called the "stress hormone" because cortisol is often released when crises or stress levels are high. When you have chronic stress, you develop temporary digestive issues because your digestive and reproductive systems temporarily shut down.
Some of the symptoms of increased secretion of the stress hormone include Cushing’s syndrome, low sex, weight gain, irregular cycles, and high blood pressure.
However, when the cortisol hormone is not secreted enough, you’re bound to notice the following symptoms; fatigue, Addison’s disease, dizziness, and weight loss.
This hormone is one of the primary sex hormones in women and is responsible for changes during menstrual cycles, puberty, heart health, and mood swings during pregnancy. Estrogen helps to support the bones and bone health and regulates cholesterol.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance -high estrogen secretion- include weight gain, low sex drive, breast lumps, unstable moods, and energy loss. These signs could result from natural hormone imbalance or response to medications like antibiotics and contraceptives.
Low estrogen is often due to menopause and can be heralded by hot flashes, irregular menstrual cycles, dry skin, or low libido.
The pancreas secretes insulin, allowing your organs - muscles, liver, and fat - to absorb blood sugar. Insulin helps your body break down protein and fat and regulate your body’s metabolism.
When you have too much insulin production, or if you have diabetes and still take more than the required insulin, you’ll notice hypoglycemia. Some of the symptoms include.
Low blood sugar levels
You should eat carbohydrate-rich foods to regulate your hormones and sugar levels.
On the other hand, low insulin levels could result from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, which will cause high blood sugar. Signs of high blood sugar are as follows;
Loss of energy
Insulin injections are necessary for people with diabetes, and medical advice from their health practitioners will be helpful too.
This hormone is essential for menstruation and helping pregnant women through the early stages of their pregnancy. High progesterone levels lead to anxiety, depression, bloating, weight imbalances, and reduced sex drive.
Low progesterone production will have these signs; an irregular menstrual cycle, miscarriages, painful pregnancy, weight imbalances, and abnormal uterine bleeding.
Testosterone is not as high in women as in men, but this hormone helps balance reproductive issues and bone health in women. High levels of testosterone might lead to infertility at a young age. On the other hand, low testosterone can cause energy loss, low libido, muscle weakness, and weight gain.
It is normal for our bodies to undergo hormone imbalances as we grow older, and although you might experience some symptoms, they should be slight. If your symptoms worsen, you should seek medical advice.
Signs of Hormonal Imbalances
There are several signs that you could use to identify when you have hormone imbalances, and some of them are discussed below.
The estrogen hormone affects the brain’s serotonin, which elevates mood. However, if this hormone experiences an imbalance, it can cause premenstrual syndrome symptoms and depression during the cycle and menopause.
If you notice that these symptoms affect your daily activities, you might want to try a change of diet, exercise, herbal remedies, and quitting smoking and drinking.
Painful Menstrual Cycles
You may have fibroids if your menstrual cycle is associated with constipation, painful sex, lower back aches, frequent urination, and abdominal pain. Note that fibroids are non-cancerous, but you can have an increased risk if you have a family history or high estrogen.
If you do have painful menstrual cycles caused by fibroids, your health practitioner will prescribe drugs you can take to shrink the growth.
Hormonal changes in production levels of testosterone and estrogen can cause low libido. Symptoms like night sweats, fatigue, anxiety, and mood imbalances can also affect your libido. A women’s health expert can help you diagnose the exact cause of this problem.
Estrogen and progesterone enhance sleep, and as we get older, our bodies produce lower levels of these hormones, which can result in poor sleep patterns. Some factors that will help induce sleep include avoiding alcohol and caffeine, doing light exercises before your bedtime, and keeping your electronic gadgets away an hour before sleep. These practices will help your body adjust to nighttime and might help increase your sleep hours.
Irregular Weight Gain
Several hormonal imbalances like PCOS, interactive thyroid glands, an irregular menstrual cycle, and menopause can cause periodic weight gain. You might want to visit your doctor if you didn’t change your diet and notice that you have gained irregular weight.
These skin issues include acne, dry and itchy skin resulting from low estrogen and progesterone levels, high androgen hormones, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It would help if you booked an appointment with a health practitioner to help identify the cause of the problem.
Hormonal imbalance plays a vital role in female infertility and causes women’s fertility to drop at age 35. Because of hormone imbalance, you might experience PCOS and early menopause, both of which will reduce your fertility levels.
If you are 35 or older, you should meet with a women’s health expert to help identify the underlying cause of infertility.
Headaches can signify imbalances affecting many hormones; this could be during pregnancy, menstrual cycles, or hormone change. If you notice you have regular headaches, keep a diary to document your signs and discuss them with your doctor. You can also eat small snacks at intervals and increase your sleep hours.
Low estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can cause brittle bones or bone loss. If you notice weak bones, avoid strenuous exercises like running, tennis, dancing, and heavy weight lifting. Instead, take short walks, and incorporate vitamin D and calcium into your diet.
Factors that can cause vaginal dryness include changing estrogen levels during menopause and taking contraceptives and pills that can lead to hormone imbalances.
When you have a dry vagina, It will help to wash the area with water only. If it’s due to menopause, your health practitioner might suggest you use hormone replacement therapy to increase your estrogen levels.
All the above are symptoms of hormonal imbalance, and in the following part of this article are practices you can use to balance hormones naturally.
Lifestyle Factors to Help Balance Your Hormones
Although you might want to seek medical advice for the best anti-inflammatory foods, the following lifestyle practices are natural and will help you handle your hormone levels.
Hormones are sometimes created from the foods we eat, so it is safe to say that your diet makes up a significant part of your hormones.
A poor diet can cause hormone imbalances and inflammation that result from increased cortisol and insulin levels. To manage this, you would need to take an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of avocados, olive oil, and coconut oil, all of which contain healthy fats.
Also, fish or fish oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids and other anti-inflammatory diets like chia and flax seeds and walnuts are essential in balancing your hormone health.
Managing Stress Levels
Chronic stress levels are another significant cause of hormonal imbalances. Stress strains the hormones, especially progesterone, which is similar to cortisol. When stressed, your cortisol levels increase, and your progesterone drops, causing other hormonal imbalances.
Try as we might; sometimes, we cannot wholly control the stressors in our lives. Some of these stressors could be work or our relationship with people. However, the following practices can help you alleviate stress.
Understanding that you can’t always help people: you ought to know your boundaries and how far you can go with rendering help.
Try meditating, light exercises, breathing exercises, or yoga.
Spend some alone time with yourself.
Incorporate protein with your foods to balance blood sugar, and cortisol levels surge.
You might be best friends with sugar, but you should know that it does not help balance your hormones. Your body can develop insulin resistance if you overeat processed sugar like those in soft drinks, mixed alcohol drinks, lollies, and even your favorite cakes and chocolate.
Too much insulin production will cause inflammation in your body and increase testosterone production in the ovaries. Long-term results of this poor diet would be facial hair growth, acne, and irregular cycles.
If you prefer to sweeten your drinks, especially teas, use stevia leaves or honey, as these natural sweeteners are additives-free.
Vitamin D Supplements
Asides from healthy fats and protein, adding vitamin D to your food is also essential if you want to practice healthy eating. Vitamin D helps with inflammation, and a lack of vitamin D has been known to increase the risks of breast, prostate, and colon cancer. So, for a healthy hormone balance, your food plans should include wild salmon, pastured eggs, and vitamin D3 supplements.
Avoid Free Radicals
It is normal for environmental pollution to happen nowadays, from cigarette smoke to carbon dioxide emissions and greenhouse gases. But these free radicals are not healthy for the body, and they contribute to hormone imbalance and poor health. To keep your body safe from free radicals, wash your hands frequently, watch the type of food you eat and wear facial coverings when possible.
Exercise and Sleep Well
Another lifestyle hack that helps in balancing hormones is having a regular sleeping cycle. You want to have at least 8 hours of sleep daily. Also, have a consistent sleeping time and waking time.
You should also indulge in exercises. Research has shown that working out regularly will help your endocrine system. It will help regulate your cortisol, thyroid, sex, and insulin hormones.
Aside from incorporating these lifestyle changes, it would help if you also considered taking the following natural herbs for balancing your hormones.
How To Regulate Hormones With Natural Herbs
Hormone imbalances can make you feel worse for wear, but here are hormone-balancing herbs you can use to improve your hormone health.
Red Raspberry Leaf
This herb packs a lot of benefits for women’s hormones; plus, it has a pleasant taste. Red raspberry leaf strengthens the uterine, contains minerals and vitamin C, and helps increase fertility levels in both women and men. Similarly, this herb reduces the risks of miscarriage and hemorrhage, and heavy flow and reduces pains during menstrual cycles. In addition, red raspberry stimulates milk production and curbs pregnancy-related nausea and labor-related pains.
As a herb for natural hormone balancing, chamomile has the least amount of associated risks. For centuries, chamomile has been used to soothe the nerves and decrease anxiety because of its role as a relaxant. Chamomile contains glycine, which is famous for relaxing nerves and handling muscle spasms.
Because of its bitter taste, the hibiscus plant can be something you bring yourself to like or not. Hibiscus is excellent for hormonal imbalance, especially during menstrual cycles. The herb manages weight gain by reducing your blood sugar and appetite. That way, you won’t get to eat as much as you would when you’re on a cycle. And in a way, hibiscus helps your body maintain a healthy metabolism.
The Peruvian people were famous for using maca root before it spread to the rest of the world. The herb improves low sex drive, hormonal balance, fertility, and endurance. Unlike other herbs, maca root is not used for hormone production, but it serves as an adaptogenic herb. In other words, maca root adapts to your body’s needs and helps balance your hormones. For more specific purposes, you can look at maca root as a regulator because it regulates and keeps your hormones in check and ensures they do not go out of control.
Maca root stimulates the master glands of your endocrine system - the pituitary (responsible for the growth hormone and prolactin) and hypothalamus glands. These glands control and balance the other glands that produce hormones.
For a long time, vitex berry has been known to balance hormones naturally. The herb is used to treat infertility, PMS, and endometriosis and to prevent miscarriages in the first trimester. Vitex berry also reduces hot flashes that can be symptoms of menopause, regulates your menstrual cycle, and may sometimes initiate cycles if they’ve been absent for a long time.
Although vitex berry does not contain hormones, it regulates the pituitary gland and, by extension, handles hormonal imbalances. When the pituitary (growth hormone) gland has a hormonal imbalance, it throws off the functions of other hormones as well. This is why it is essential to balance all hormone levels; to improve health and support the body system.
Licorice is an excellent tea for enhancing hormonal balance and improving estrogen levels. In addition, licorice controls your sugar cravings - another way to balance your hormones.
Eating too much sugar is considered unhealthy and can affect your hormones. By curbing your sugar cravings, licorice helps you maintain a healthy hormone balance. Lastly, licorice cleanses your liver by flushing out harmful chemicals that cause cell damage.
This herb is highly efficient with balancing hormones because it eliminates free radicals that cause cell damage. Ashwagandha is also helpful in maintaining cortisol levels, adrenal fatigue, and progesterone.
You might wonder what kind of herb is called ‘cramp back,’ but just like its name, this herb relieves menstrual cramps. If your menstrual cycle comes with intense pain, brewing and drinking this herb can offer you some comfort.
Fennel deals with hormonal imbalances because it contains a dietary estrogen called phytoestrogens. This herb soothes muscle pains, regulates hormone levels, and enhances moods. Fennel seeds also help with menstrual cramps and period-related moods.
Holy basil or tulsi regulates cortisol levels, manages stress response, and protects your organs from chemical stress like heavy metals and pollutants that can support hormone imbalance.
These herbs are extraordinary, and they function excellently to enhance your hormone health. Sometimes, they are carefully selected to form herbal tea blends. However, each of their functions and properties needs to be appropriately considered to ensure that there would be no side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about hormone balancing.
What Herb Is Best For Hormonal Imbalance?
There is no best herb for hormonal balance. What you should be concerned about is knowing what kind of hormonal imbalance you’re experiencing and taking the best herb for it. You could be showing signs of menopause, low estrogen, and PMS, but whatever it is, there are her a that can help you balance those hormones.
How Can I Balance My Hormones?
There are several ways to improve your health by balancing the hormones in your body. The first way is to notice the kind of changes that take place in your body. Do you need to visit a health practitioner to pinpoint the type of hormone that is off? Are you approaching menopause, or do you have an irregular menstrual cycle?
The next method is to support your hormones with balanced diets, anti-inflammatory foods, and avoiding processed foods. Once you get that done, watch out for your lifestyle practices like exercise, stress levels, and sleep habits.
Lastly, support your hormones by incorporating natural supplements into your food choices.
What Can I Take To Balance My Hormones Naturally?
Balancing your hormones can be achieved by eating a healthy diet that contains healthy fats and increasing your sleep hours. But the Cycle Harmony Tea is a blend of natural herbs that harmonizes your hormone levels. This tea handles hormonal imbalance, stress, and anxiety and restores balance to your body system.
Sometimes, stress eating is all we need to get over a bad day at the office. But all the sugar from your favorite red velvet and chocolate mix doesn’t magically leave your body. When sugar stays in your body for an extended period, it causes hormonal imbalance, affecting you even more.
When you experience hormonal imbalance, it might seem like your body has betrayed you, but it results from all your lifestyle practices. However, eating anti-inflammatory foods, regularly exercising, and adding the cycle harmony tea to your diet plans are ways to balance your hormones naturally.