When most people think of hormonal imbalances, they’re often left with the image of a woman who is tired, not sleeping well, feeling awful with crazy mood swings.
But, what if I told you that going through hormone changes happens to everyone, men included, and it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable!
The trouble is that most people don’t associate many symptoms of hormone changes with their hormones at all. They wind up going from doctor to doctor and feeling no better.
For women, most of our hormone changes happen in the 40s and 50s, but some, can even have these changes in their early 30s. However, when I see hormonal fluctuations happening in a woman’s mid thirties, it is a sign to me that her lifestyle, diet, exposure to toxins and most importantly stress is too high.
For men, the most significant hormone changes happen in the 40s into early 60s. Men can show signs of early hormonal changes as well, and not connect the dots. Again, environmental toxins, lifestyle and way too much stress are at the root of early changes.
Most Common Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances
Do you wake up foggy and feel like you need more sleep? Do you feel sluggish and turn to coffee and other stimulants to pick yourself up? This may get you through to the afternoon when you crash and feel like someone drained your battery.
A nap would be great, but instead you turn to more stimulants to get you through. These are common symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue. Not only is it a sign that you need to De-Stress your life, but that more focus needs to be put into nourishing yourself and building up your adrenal glands.
But, please DON’T forget the emotional, mental aspect of adrenal healing, as supplements are not usually enough. It can take an overhaul in your mind body connection as well as your lifestyle to fully heal.
Insomnia and Frequent Waking
Do you spent most of your day tired, but when you finally lie down to sleep, you just can’t seem to drift off into peaceful much needed sleep?
Not only that, but do you also wake frequently and have a hard time getting back to sleep?
Perhaps you turn to sleeping aids whether they are pharmaceutical or natural. Will you ever sleep without them again?
This is often a sign that your Cortisol (your stress hormone) is too high at night. It is a sign from your body that your way of life needs changing. Your inner thoughts need to be addressed.
Frequent waking at night is also a sign that your body is not detoxifying well enough.
Many people wake between 3-5 am and cannot fall back asleep. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there are specific times of day that show where most of your energy and blood is.
Between 3-5am is the time of the liver. So, if you are waking during this time, it is likely a sign that your liver is out of balance, stressed and or overburdened with toxins.
Persistent Weight Gain and Weight Loss Resistance
You can’t understand where all this weight is coming from, especially in your midsection. You watch your calories, make sure to exercise, but alas, you are still putting on weight. Is weight not supposed to be all about calories in calories out?
In most cases this is a sign that your hormones have taken your metabolism hostage. Most often it is a sign that your adrenal glands are secreting way too many stress hormones, your thyroid may be sluggish, even if your blood labs are normal, your body could still not be getting enough thyroid hormones in the cells.
Not only that but estrogen dominance in both men and women can really create the perfect fat storage recipe.
Needless to say, that most of the time, stress is the biggest root issue. When there is too many stress hormones, the adrenal glands secrete too much Cortisol and begin to steal sex hormones to make more Cortisol, depleting them.
When your body is stressed, detox pathways can also become sluggish, which affect the conversion of T4 to T3 (thyroid hormones) in your liver.
Your digestion can be directly affected by hormone changes and imbalances. Woman, you know what I’m talking about when I say that hormones can cause loose stool, gas, bloating, constipation and even indigestion.
A woman’s cycle can often bring with it digestive woes. But, one of the symptoms of hormonal imbalances is chronic or cyclical digestive issues. If you have bloating and gas among other digestive symptoms, it is worth it to think of your hormones as a culprit. Of course your diet should be looked into for improvements.
Hair thinning is often a sign that androgens and testosterone levels are out of balance. Even for women, testosterone and androgens can be too high and contribute to hair thinning, especially in the front and on top of the head.
Aging does not have to affect your hairline. Keeping your hormones balanced is part of keeping your youthful thick and lustrous hair.
Many women experience hot flashes and night sweats as a sign that their hormones are changing. However, this does not have to be the case.
It is a sign that the body is out of balance and needs some hormone assistance. This does not have to include hormone replacement therapy, but instead can be done by addressing the entire endocrine system along with getting the detoxification pathways working efficiently.
Low Sex Drive
Have you lost interest in sex?
Loss of interest and lack of performance can be linked to hormonal imbalances. Often, once hormones are optimized, your sexual vigor returns. Boosting and balancing hormones is a good way to do this.
7 Solutions to Balance Your Hormones
I find that most hormone imbalances begin with stress.
- Drains your hormones
- Inhibit your hormonal detox pathways
- Reduce good bacteria in your gut
- Steals sex hormones to make more stress hormones
All of this can leave you fatigued and in hormonal hell.
Make sure to cut the stress out of your life. Follow your heart, breathe and even meditate. But most of all, your body is crying out for attention and love, so make sure you pay attention and take the time for self-care.
2. Hormone Balancing Diet
Cut out all of the junk. No more sugar, alcohol, gluten, packaged or processed foods, corn or corn derivatives, soy or even coffee. Instead try to feed your body nourishing whole foods that are anti-inflammatory, nourishing and hypo-allergenic. Often, diet can be enough to ease a lot of hormonal symptoms just in itself.
Fibre will help to keep your bowels regular, which will help to keep excess hormones from reabsorbing into your body. Fibre from ground flax seeds, ground pumpkin, chia seeds are quite helpful and not dehydrating.
Start slow with fibre and work your way up to at least 35 grams of fibre per day. Extra fibre feeds the good bacteria in your intestines so that you can have happy and healthy digestion.
4. Eat Fat
Make sure that you are taking in enough good healthy fats. Fats are necessary for the production of hormones, anti-inflammatory, brain nourishing and often help with all sorts of hormonal symptoms.
Healthy Fats are:
- Grass fed organic butter
- Omega fish oils (higher in EPA than DHA)
- Algae (spirulina, chlorella & E3Live)
I have found fats helpful for hormone symptoms like insomnia, dry eyes, weight loss resistance, fatigue etc.
Nordic Naturals is a great Fish oil to supplement your fat intake. You can buy Fish Oil here
Your hormones are connected to the health of their digestive tract.
The digestive tract excretes excess and toxic hormones and good bacteria (good flora) assists with hormones optimization.
Anyone dealing with hormonal issues should be looking to healing their digestion and supplementing with a good quality probiotic like Natren and Metagenics.
You can read more about Metagenic probiotics here
Another good way to increase good flora in your digestive tract is to make and eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha.
Just a little bit of ferments with each meal can introduce billions and billions of good bacteria into your body.
Exercise helps to detox your body through the skin, gets the lymphatic system moving and even helps to keep your hormones balanced.
It is a good idea to get an hour of exercise a day. If an hour is too long, start small and slowly work your way up.
7. Get Tested
Figuring out where your hormones are in your blood and cells will help you to know exactly what to take to balance them.
I recommend the Dutch Steroid Urine Hormone test to know what hormone pathways are out of balance.
A blood test will show your estrogen levels, but it will not show which estrogens are high or low in the body.
A urine test shows the good and unhealthy estrogens. It will also show if your testosterone hormones are being converted properly, your androgen levels, adrenal hormones and even your Dhea levels. It is very helpful in solving the hormone puzzle. I offer this test if you are interested.
There are also many herbs and tonics that can help to balance hormones. It is recommended to work with a qualified practitioner to make sure you are taking the right things for your body. There is no one program that works for everyone!
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