Mood swings, heavy or painful periods, low libido, insomnia, weight gain, skin problems, headaches, weak bones – they all point to a hormonal imbalance in your system.
Hormonal imbalance is normal, but annoying. Headaches get in the way of many day-to-day tasks. Acne can put a stain on your self-esteem. Mood swings can strain relationships and insomnia can fuel the onset of mental illness.
To help you with these concerns, we have compiled a list of six ways to combat hormonal imbalance naturally and effectively and attain the quality of life you deserve.
6 Natural Ways to Balance Women’s Hormones
#1: Take Natural Supplements
Women’s hormone balance supplements tend to balance the level of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in your blood.
Estrogen affects the health of the female reproductive system, urinary tract, bones, brain, skin, and many other organs. Progesterone is linked to mood regulation and restful sleep. Healthy levels of testosterone are also important to sustain a stable mood as well as maintaining healthy skin and a functioning libido.
Hormonal imbalances most often brew in the liver. Your liver cannot process estrogen properly if it is congested. One supplement that can help with this is milk thistle since it cleanses the liver of toxins that may be getting in the way of proper hormone filtering.
Menopause or issues in the central nervous system may also lead to hormonal imbalances. Supplements can help alleviate a variety of symptoms, while herbs can help balance female hormones with great efficacy.
#2: Get Enough Sleep
Your circadian rhythm (your internal clock) plays an important role in hormone regulation.
The levels of hormones like melatonin, cortisol,and prolactin vary across 24 hours and are highly regulated by your sleep cycles.
Melatonin, for example, helps you form a healthy sleep pattern. The longer you keep up irregular sleeping patterns the harder it will be to return to a productive schedule, because melatonin stops working effectively.
The light emitted from your cell phone, which you probably use before bed, is also most likely harming your circadian rhythm. Studies show that the shorter wavelengths of light produced by cell phones disturb the secretion of melatonin, ultimately causing shifts in sleeping patterns.
That means in order for your melatonin levels to balance, you must put away your phone long before you lay down.
Irregular sleep patterns often feel like a never-ending loop of suffering. Forcing yourself to go to bed at the same hour is a hopeless feat at first, but your body will adjust naturally to its new sleep cycle and rejoice in that decision. You just have to make the first step.
#3: Avoid Undereating and Overeating
Undereating can be just as bad to your hormone levels as overeating. Why?
Obesity is characterized by insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels in the body. Insulin resistance is when your organs and cells can’t use the glucose you consume for energy anymore, which increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
But undereating is not the solution, since undereating can also cause insulin resistance and can fuel the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol, which contributes to weight gain.
The best option is to eat according to your calorie range. If you are overweight, dropping the amount of calories you consume to the minimum may produce quick results, but it will do nothing to balance your hormones.
#4: Reduce Stress
Stress is a significant factor that contributes to hormonal imbalance. Stress triggers the production of cortisol in the adrenal gland. Cortisol helps the body respond to danger, increases the metabolism of glucose, controls blood pressure, and reduces inflammation.
Too much cortisol, however, contributes to acne, thin and fragile skin, weight gain, and irregular periods.
Meditation, yoga, and exercise are great ways to combat stress and regulate cortisol levels. More esoteric forms of reducing stress can even be cleaning or knitting. The important thing here is to learn how to block your mind from your to-do list through something that can de-stress you.
#5: Eat Healthy Fats
Not all fats are useless; the fats in olive oil, avocados, and salmon combat insulin resistance and help with hormone production.
Extra virgin olive oil contains Vitamin E, for example, which promotes the formation of estrogen in the body.
Healthy fats are also a great source of energy and should be an integral part of your diet.
#6: Get Exercise
In addition to making you feel more confident about your body, exercise brings tons of benefits below the surface.
While you may feel tired right after you exercise, your energy levels increase and you subsequently feel relaxed throughout the rest of the day. Exercising regularly also boosts your mood and metabolism – and keeps your hormones in check.
More specifically, exercise reduces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and releases endorphins, which act as natural painkillers.
People who exercise are also better sleepers, which means that exercise can help you reach hormonal balance in more than one way.
These are six tips to naturally balance your hormones if followed correctly.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, since hormonal imbalance may point to something more serious meant for medical diagnosis.
At the end of it all, however, making real, lasting changes to tackle hormone imbalance is a lifestyle choice you should make before the damage is done. And even if you don’t, these natural methods do put a patch on the wound.