Unless you’ve personally experienced a life event that has a major impact on your hormones, such as pregnancy or menopause, then you may not be aware of just how much a hormonal imbalance can affect your health and well-being.
Hormones can have a major influence on just about every part of your body and how you feel. For both men and women.
Even if you aren’t currently experiencing obvious symptoms, you could still benefit from taking a holistic hormone balance approach to maintain your health and prevent hormonal imbalance issues from occurring.
Hormones are chemicals that are made by your glands. Hormones control almost all tasks in the body relating to regulation. These include sex and brain function, growth and breakdown of food.
Hormones are the messengers that tell other parts of the body how and when to work. But what happens when these messages go amiss? Symptoms of hormonal imbalance can disrupt your life and even cause serious illness.
Many people don’t realize that some of the symptoms they are experiencing are due to a hormonal imbalance and can go years without help.
As your body ages, your hormones fluctuate. Several hormones like estrogen often increase while hormones like progesterone and DHEA often decrease.
When your body experiences these fluctuations of hormone production that are above or below the optimal levels, you may experience unwanted symptoms as a result.
In addition to aging, environmental factors and lifestyle factors may occur throughout a person’s life that contribute to a hormonal imbalance. To protect your body from diminished hormone production, natural hormone supplementation has been shown to relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Hormones Are Important To Your Entire Body
Balanced hormone levels are crucial for your overall health. Hormones are responsible for making sure your body systems function correctly and they control many processes.
There are many hormones in your body that are working hard to keep you healthy, but let’s focus on a few of the key hormones and the effects they can have if you don’t have optimal levels.
A cortisol imbalance is responsible for a lot of adverse symptoms. Cortisol can become elevated when you are chronically stressed and don’t exercise frequently enough.
Low progesterone levels contribute to poor sleep quality or insomnia.
Estrogen often dips during menopause and can lead to hot flashes and night sweats. These symptoms can also make it hard to sleep.
Estrogen may be responsible for what many women consider “brain fog”. Many women who are in the post menopause or perimenopause stage complain of higher rates of depression and brain fog.
The two main female hormones – estrogen and progesterone – are also highly important for your gut health. If you have ever experienced a period before, you have likely noticed changes in your gut health.
One week before your period arrives, your progesterone levels spike. Progesterone is a muscle relaxant that can relax the colon and slow the transit time of food in your intestines, leading to bloating or constipation.
Your estrogen levels dip just before your period, which can also slow down digestion. After your period, your estrogen levels start increasing again.
These changes may cause your digestive tract to spasm and increase gastric motility, or the movement of food through your system. This can lead to diarrhea. These symptoms are caused by fluctuations within estrogen and progesterone levels but can lead to further issues if greater, chronic imbalances are noted.
Serotonin is related to your moods and mental health. This hormone is involved in memory and learning ability, sleep regulation, some muscle functions, and digestion.
Many antidepressants you might have seen advertised alter the amount of serotonin in your system. That’s because low levels of serotonin can cause depression.
Low serotonin can also lead to weight gain, migraines, and insomnia. Your cravings for carbohydrates may also increase. On the opposite end of the spectrum, too much serotonin can cause confusion, agitation, and lethargy.
Thyroid hormones are responsible for many things. They manage the metabolism of all of your body’s cells. This can affect metabolism, weight gain and loss, energy levels, and body temperature.
One of the biggest complaints that patients with a thyroid hormonal imbalance have is fatigue. Many think they just need more sleep or better quality. But it could also be that the work of an endocrine gland is not functioning properly.
Thyroid disorders and low levels of their hormones lead to chronic fatigue. Diagnostic testing can analyze how your thyroid is functioning and if additional support is needed.
It is important to achieve hormonal balance. This is where you feel optimized and your body functions properly.
How To Achieve Hormonal Balance
For most hormone imbalances, it’s best to look into diet and lifestyle changes first. In some cases, you can reverse thyroid dysfunction when you improve adrenal fatigue or insulin resistance. Then you won’t need to take thyroid hormones.
There are five main steps you should take in a holistic hormone balance strategy.
- Reduce or eliminate hormone-disrupting foods and substances from your diet and environment. These include xenoestrogens, food additives, chemicals, toxins, hormone and antibiotic-treated meat and dairy, excess sugar, and excess alcohol.
- Eat an adrenal fatigue diet. This diet is nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory. It’s great for stabilizing your blood sugar levels and improving your gut microbiome’s health. And it replenishes your lost nutrient and energy stores.
- Take supplements when needed. Nutraceutical supplements can fill in any nutritional gaps left over by your diet, reduce nutritional deficiencies, and boost certain functions. As deficiencies are often at the root of illness, starting here helps address issues and correct foundation problems in your health.
- Manage your stress levels. Chronic stress is not only a hormone disruptor, but it’s a problem for all your body’s systems and your overall health and well-being. If you are dealing with this, look into stress management techniques and get the support you need.
- Get good sleep. Sleep is fundamental to health. It’s also the cornerstone to a holistic hormone balance approach. Your body needs good quality sleep. Even just a couple of consecutive nights of bad sleep can affect your health and your hormones, so do your best to implement a good sleep hygiene routine.
Sometimes, your hormone imbalance is just part of the aging process and there are no natural approaches that can reverse it. This is the case for menopause in women and testosterone decline in older men.
Having a healthy diet and lifestyle can improve the symptoms of these conditions. But if you want to regain a holistic hormone balance, you may want to consider Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT).
Traditionally, BHRT was just for replacing estrogen and progesterone in post-menopausal women. But advancements in anti-aging medicine have been made in the use of BHRT for both men and women.
Bioidentical hormones are unique in that they are identical in molecular structure and function to the hormones that are naturally produced in the human body, which can make them easier to metabolize and correct imbalances.
These bioidentical hormones are all natural and composed of soy and yams. With a complete hormone evaluation, we can find solutions to help our patients feel better, younger and more energetic both physically and emotionally.
If you’re ready to find the root cause of your hormonal imbalance, connect with our office.