What you didn’t know about hormonal imbalance
I have a lady colleague who we used to work with back in 2018 and she asked me one day to accompany her as she visited her doctor for hormonal imbalance problems.
The doctor prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for her and she didn’t seem happy. She later complained that the therapy was too expensive and was wondering whether natural remedies for hormonal imbalance in females really existed.
This is a question that many women ask and don’t get an answer. Truth is said that there are natural supplements, nutritional shifts, and lifestyle options that help in restoring hormonal balance and will give you a gentle and natural relief.
Researchers and scientists all over the world have proven them to be working efficiently in improving hormonal health.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemical messengers that tell the body organs what to do and when to do it. They help in building body structures and coordinating their functions.
What is the hormonal imbalance?
Fluctuations in hormones can occur naturally like in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Having too much or too little of a certain hormone results in hormonal imbalance.
Certain hormones deteriorate with age while others are affected by medical conditions. These are especially those that affect the endocrine glands either directly or indirectly.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance in females
The most common hormonal conditions affecting women cause the following symptoms.
- Loss of hair
- Extreme fatigue.
- Skin problems.
- Difficult digestion.
- Reduced muscle size.
- Hot flashes and night sweats.
What should I do to restore the normal hormone function?
In case you are undergoing some form of hormonal imbalance, worry no more because there is hope. The following are some natural remedies and lifestyle activities that may help you bring back hormonal balance and boost your health in general.
Ensure there is enough protein in every meal you take
Proteins provide crucial amino acids that help in maintaining muscles, bone, and skin health. Proteins also influence the release of the hormones that control appetite and food intake.
Reports show that taking enough amounts of proteins will increase your metabolism rate, boost your ability to burn fats, suppress your appetite making you feel full.
People who take meals with high protein tend to be fuller by 25% than those who take meals with standard protein levels.
You should aim for a minimum of 20-30 grams of protein per meal.
Foods rich in high protein include:
- Chicken meat, beef, and pork.
- Low-fat yogurt
Insulin is one hormone that allows cells to take up sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream, which are later used to generate energy and maintain muscles. Too much insulin can be fatal. It has been linked to inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Regular physical exercise has been proven to reduce insulin levels and also boost muscle-maintaining hormones that decrease with age.
According to an article in BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, regular physical activities reduce the levels of insulin and increase insulin sensitivity.
It also helps to boost levels of muscle-maintaining hormones that reduce with age. E.g. testosterone and the growth hormone.
Avoid excessive intake of sugar
Avoiding or minimizing the consumption of sugars has been proven to optimize hormone function and avoid obesity. Study shows that fructose – a sugar, increases the level of insulin in the body and also promote insulin resistance, mainly in obese people with diabetes.
Consumption of foods with high sugar levels should be minimized. Such foods include French fries, packaged snacks, rice, white bread, and sweetened breakfast cereals.
Learn the art of stress management
The two major hormones affected by stress are cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is the hormone that helps your body to manage stress in a long period. Adrenalin on the other side provides your body with an energy surge in response to immediate danger.
In the past years, these two hormones were triggered by threats or anything that posed danger to people’s lives. However, today they are triggered by the overwhelming lifestyle that we live.
Research has it that engaging in activities that reduce stress helps in reducing the levels of cortisol and adrenaline. Such activities include meditation, yoga, massage, and listening to relaxing music.
In fact, a study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology shows that listening to music with the intention of relaxing reduces stress.
Try to spend your 20 minutes every day in stress-reducing activities even though you don’t feel like doing so.
Consume high-quality fats
Healthy fats help reduce insulin resistance and trigger hormones that make someone feel satisfied after a meal. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are special fats assimilated directly by the liver to produce energy.
They are proven to reduce insulin resistance especially in overweight and obese people as well as in people with diabetes.
MCTs are directly absorbed by the liver for the immediate use of generating energy.
To optimize hormone health, consuming healthy fats in every meal is advisable.
Some sources of MCTs include:
- Dark chocolate
- Whole eggs
- Coconuts and coconut oil, palm oil, grass-fed butter, and pure MCT oil.
Avoid eating too much or too little food
Overeating or undereating may lead to hormonal shifts that result in weight problems.
Overeating increases insulin levels and reduces insulin sensitivity while undereating increases cortisol levels in the body which in turn leads to weight gain.
Generally, eating food within your range will go a long way in helping you maintain optimal health.
Consume green tea
Green tea is known to have caffeine that helps boost body metabolism. More to that, it has epigallocatechin (EGCG) which is an antioxidant associated with lots of health benefits.
According to a review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea is proven to lower insulin levels in the body while increasing insulin sensitivity. This happens to both healthy and unhealthy people.
Eat fatty fish
Fatty fish provides your body with omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids promote hormonal health in that they reduce the levels of adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol.
In obese and insulin-resistant people, omega-3 fatty acids increase insulin sensitivity and decrease the levels of insulin in the body.
A report in Frontiers in Physiology shows that fatty fish play a vital role in preventing mood disorders such as anxiety.
Ensure that you have enough good sleep
Inadequate sleep has been associated with imbalances of several hormones in the body including leptin, ghrelin, insulin, cortisol, and the growth hormone.
The human brain needs uninterrupted sleep that will allow it to go through the five stages of each sleep cycle. This is most crucial for the release of the growth hormone that occurs during deep sleep.
Furthermore, a study in the International Journal of Endocrinology shows that the effects of sleep disturbance on hormones may result in obesity, diabetes, and problematic appetite.
Avoid exposure to much light at night.
Cell phones and computer screens produce blue light that is commonly known for disrupting sleep cycles. The human body responds as if it were daylight thereby adjusting hormones in response to the latter.
Artificial lighting at night may confuse the body triggering it to reduce the production of the hormone melatonin. This has a negative effect on many body functions.
Avoid sugary drinks at all cost
Research shows that sugary beverages may cause insulin resistance mostly in overweight and obese individuals. More to that, sugary drinking such beverages lead to excessive intake of calories since it doesn’t trigger the same fullness signals that consuming solid foods does.
Consuming sugar-sweetened beverages can be deadly for a person suffering from diabetes.
To improve your hormonal balance, avoid consuming sugary beverages. Such drinks may include soda, fruit-flavored yogurt, and other sweet drinks.
Ensure that your diet is enriched with high fibers
Fiber is a crucial nutrient in every meal considered dietary. It may either be soluble or insoluble.
A study in the journal Obesity has shown that fiber increases insulin sensitivity and triggers the hormones that make you feel full and satisfied.
Therefore, to be safe from insulin resistance, ensure that you eat foods rich in fiber every day. Such foods include beans, broccoli, berries, apples, and potatoes.
Avoid smoking tobacco
Smoke from tobacco has been proven to alter the levels of thyroid hormone and raising cortisol levels which leads to stress.
Eggs have been proven to positively affect the hormones that regulate food intake while reducing the levels of insulin and ghrelin. They also reduce insulin resistance while suppressing your appetite. This makes you feel full.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
CBT involves specific exercises and practice activities to be done at home. It normally addresses how to manage stress, strategies for good sleep hygiene, and breathing techniques.
Studies show that CBT helps people with depressions, hot flashes, and psychological problems. It is also evidenced in treating anxiety
The best thing about CBT is that you can do it by yourself without the help of a therapist.
Natural supplements that help to remedy the hormonal imbalance
Zinc is known for enhancing brain function and mood in general. Adding zinc to your meal could keep you away from depression and help you to be more robust to stress.
For women, the recommended daily zinc intake should be 8 mg. excessive intake of zinc can cause heart problems.
Taking copper supplements reduces the chances of getting depressed. Copper is also proved to raise mood for pregnant women.
Adults are advised not to take more than 900 micrograms of copper.
It is an amino acid in the central nervous system. It is solid in nature and helps improve the quality of sleep especially for people struggling with insomnia. It does so by reducing body temperature that causes sleep discomfort.
Taking glycine before bed lowers the chances of morning fatigue, ensures sleep satisfaction and efficiency, and reduces the difficulty of sleep onset.
Three grams of glycine, taken orally, will work perfectly in improving sleep. You can add the dosage considerably for better sleep since there are no adverse effects in taking higher doses.
This is a hardwood shrub that normally grows in the wild but can be cultivated for pharmaceutical purposes.
The shrub has saponins and Gymnemic acids that lower blood sugar levels. It also stimulates the production of insulin as well as increasing glucose metabolism.
It is most effective in people with insulin resistance and high blood sugars.
It is advisable to take Gymnema ten minutes before any meal. That means that the dose should be taken thrice a day. However, if you have underlying issues like diabetes, consult a doctor before using Gymnema.
Maca root is an herb that can be consumed fresh, cooked, or grounded into flour. It is normally used for low libido and anxiety.
Study shows that consuming 3 grams of maca root daily will give better, energy, and general health status. This makes it better for restoring hormonal balance.
It is a compound found in vegetables that helps in breaking down estrogen in the liver. It also lowers the levels of bad estrogen hence balancing the hormone.
They are also called good bacteria. and help to improve mood and gut health.
Probiotics are best suited for people suffering from stress, depression, anxiety, and mood issues. Taking them will help in restoring hormonal balance.
When Magnesium is taken together with B6, it can alleviate stress, anxiety, and PMS symptoms. Magnesium also improves the quality of sleep and lowers blood pressure.
The recommended daily intake of Magnesium is 310 – 420 mg.
Vitamin C – helps in restoring fertility and also reduces stress and anxiety.
Dr. Elizabeth Ziemann who works in the Pacific Medical foundation explains some if not all of these natural remedies for hormonal imbalance in women.
In her YouTube video, she talks about the foods that will greatly help in restoring your hormonal balance to normal. She also mentions herbal remedies that will greatly help in the process. You don’t want to miss that.
Although aging and other factors may be beyond your control, there many things that you can do to keep your hormonal function optimal.
Eating highly nutritious foods, regular physical activities, and participating in any other healthy activity will help prevent and cure hormonal imbalance.