8 Ways To Balance Your Hormones Naturally
Whether you’re struggling with thyroid issues, you have an insulin imbalance, you suffer from PCOS, or you have high cortisol levels, it’s highly likely that you may have a hormone imbalance.
Hormones, the chemical messengers in our body that regulate and support specific processes, are incredibly important in determining our overall level of health and wellbeing. Therefore, when hormone imbalances occur, we can not only develop certain conditions, but also struggle with various symptoms and ailments.
However, the good news is that there are things you can do, naturally, that will support your body to correct hormone imbalances and reach a more level state of wellbeing.
In this article, we’re going to look at the 5 most common hormone imbalances that occur in women and share 8 things you can do to help balance your hormones naturally.
So, let’s jump in and get balancing!
The 5 Most Common Hormone Imbalances In Women
Although there are over 50 hormones within the body and any of them may be too low or too high, here are the 5 most common and most impactful hormone imbalances for women:
Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland and is a naturally occurring steroid hormone that plays a key role in the way the body reacts to stressors - it’s commonly known as the stress hormone.
High cortisol levels: If your cortisol levels are too high you may experience high blood pressure, irregular bleeding, mood swings, anxiety, and reduced libido.
Low cortisol levels: If your cortisol levels are too low you may experience fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and weight loss.
Estrogen is a sex hormone in women and is produced mainly in the ovaries, but also by adrenal glands and fat cells. Although men have estrogen, the amount of estrogen is significantly lower. Estrogen helps the body develop during puberty and continues to support cognitive health, bone health, and of course, the reproductive system once a woman has developed through puberty.
High estrogen levels: If your estrogen levels are too high you may experience feelings of anxiety, depression, reduced libido, fatigue, and weight gain.
Low estrogen levels: If your estrogen levels are too low you may experience irregular bleeding, mood swings, reduced sex drive, hot flashes, and dry skin. This is typically in response to menopause.
Thyroid hormones are produced by the thyroid gland and there are three types of hormones released: thyroxine, triiodothyronine, and calcitonin. These hormones, (and the thyroid gland’s role in general), help to support the metabolism, digestive functions, and bone maintenance.
Overactive thyroid (high levels of thyroxine and triiodothyronine): If you have an overactive thyroid you may experience anxiety, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, and weight loss.
Underactive thyroid (high levels of thyroxine and triiodothyronine): If you have an underactive thyroid you may experience depression, fatigue, weakness, and weight gain.
Insulin is produced in the pancreas by beta cells. The purpose of insulin is to help the body convert glucose into energy and break down fats and proteins to support the body’s metabolism.
High insulin levels: If you have high insulin levels you may experience low blood sugar levels, dizziness, heart palpitations, sweating, and shakes.
Low insulin levels: If you have low insulin levels this is normally a result of diabetes. These symptoms, therefore, include high blood sugar levels, an increased need to urinate, hunger, dehydration, and fatigue.
Progesterone is a naturally occurring steroid hormone that is produced by the corpus luteum, an endocrine gland produced after ovulation. This hormone is responsible for supporting menstruation, fertility, and early pregnancy.
High progesterone levels: If your progesterone levels are too high you may experience anxiety, depression, reduced libido, and weight changes.
Low progesterone levels: If your progesterone levels are too low you may experience irregular bleeding, vaginal dryness, a higher likelihood of miscarriage, and pain during during pregnancy.
What Should You Do If You Suspect You Have A Hormone Imbalance
Whilst all of the natural ways to balance hormones mentioned below are definitely worth trying out (since after all, they’re only going to benefit you), it’s incredibly important to visit and seek the advice of a medical professional if you do suspect that you have a hormone imbalance.
Although the symptoms associated with a lot of these hormonal imbalances may be similar to each other and may even occur to do other conditions, if you experience any of them, please consult a medical professional who can guide you toward the best possible options and treatment for you.
8 Ways To Balance Your Hormones Naturally
If you’re ready to get started on the path to balancing your hormones as naturally as possible, here are the 8 most powerful things you can do to make a difference to hormone imbalances:
Get Your Body Moving Regularly
Exercise has a huge effect on balancing all of the hormones mentioned above: insulin, cortisol, thyroid hormones, estrogen, and progesterone. Don’t worry though, before we start telling you to take up that new HIIT regime or get yourself out running, it’s important to note that you should only exercise in ways that feel good for you! Just make sure you’re prioritising movement and trying to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
Reduce Your Consumption of Sugar
Sugar, including refined carbs, can promote insulin resistance, lead to an increased likelihood of diabetes, and throw other hormones such as estrogen. Therefore, although you don’t have to avoid sugar altogether, try to reduce your sugar consumption and if you are going to eat sugar, try to consume naturally occurring sugars from sources such as fruit.
Add Healthy Fats To Your Diet
Healthy fats, particularly MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) can help support the balancing of hormones, specifically insulin, estrogen, and progesterone. They can also reduce cortisol levels significantly by supporting cognitive function. These types of fats can be found in sources such as fatty fish, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, and certain nuts.
Prioritise Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep and hormones are intricately linked and the two work in a sort of circular manner. If you get regular good quality sleep, your hormones are much more likely to be balanced and your overall wellbeing is supported, but when your sleep isn’t good, hormone imbalances are much more likely and then these hormone imbalances, in turn, can further affect your sleep. Therefore, sleep hygiene should be prioritised for better quality and quantity of sleep.
Make Sure You’re Consuming Enough Protein
Diets that are low in protein are linked to lower estrogen levels, higher cortisol levels, and thyroid imbalances. Additionally, not consuming enough protein can wreak havoc on your metabolism, immunity, and muscle growth and repair. Therefore, eating a diet that has an adequate amount of protein is absolutely essential: adults (both men and women) need to consume around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day.
Support Your Gut Health
The health of your gut has a huge impact on whether or not your hormones are balanced, and this goes for the majority of hormones. Specifically, estrogen regulation is directly affected depending on the health of the gut microbiome. Therefore, you should take efforts to not only cleanse and heal the gut, but support gut health in the long run by consuming a balanced diet packed with foods that have naturally occurring probiotics, prebiotics, and fibre.
Actively Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress levels don’t just affect the regulation of cortisol levels, but they affect all hormones: when you are stressed the level of hormones secreted changes due to the “fight or flight” response that is activated. Therefore, you need to make an active effort to reduce your stress levels in whatever way works for you and reduces the stressors in your life, whether that’s by practising mindfulness, scheduling your work with more boundaries in place, or by heading to therapy.
Be Careful With Contraceptive Methods
If you are someone that’s using contraceptives, it’s a good idea to think about them in relation to your hormones! Now, there’s no way we’re going to tell you that doing natural family planning and going completely hormone-free is your best bet: contraceptive methods are personal and whatever you choose to do is up to you. However, hormonal contraceptives may be the cause of your hormonal imbalances and therefore you may want to opt for a different and hormone-free contraceptive option or head to a medical professional to see what’s the best option moving forward in terms of dealing with your hormonal imbalance and retaining your current contraceptive method.
Feeling More Balanced Already?
Hormones are complicated things and they can make a huge difference to your wellbeing, but once you start to implement even the smallest of these changes you will likely notice an impact on how you feel and how you manage any conditions you have moving forwards.
So, give these tips a try and let’s live in a more happy hormonal state together!
Disclaimer: this article is here for educational purposes only and we are not giving active advice. You should always seek the advice and support of medical professionals if you have health concerns related.