Hormones, such as estrogen and insulin, are chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your health as they travel in your bloodstream throughout your entire body. Some of the most common side effects of hormone imbalance include:
Organs and glands like your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas regulate most of your hormone production, and if your hormones become even slightly imbalanced it can cause major health issues.
Also, new research shows that your gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation so if you have leaky gut or a lack of probiotics lining your intestinal wall, it can also cause hormone imbalance.
The good news is there are ways to balance your hormones naturally, which I’ll show you in a minute.
The bad news is the majority of people across the world today turn to synthetic treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, which can do three things:
- It makes people dependent on prescription drugs for the rest of their lives.
- Simply masks the symptoms while you develop disease in other areas of the body.
- Causes serious side effects by increasing your risk of stroke, osteoporosis and cancer.
If you don’t want these negative side effects but want to naturally balance your hormones, here are the top 10 ways to heal your hormones.
10 Ways to Balance Hormones Naturally
- Eat Coconut Oil and Avocados
Eating a variety of foods high in short, medium and long chain fatty acid is key to keeping your hormones in check. Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they speed up your metabolism and promote weight loss.
- Supplement with Adaptogen Herbs
Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants that promote hormone balance and protect the body from a wide variety of diseases.
- Improving thyroid function
- Lowering cholesterol
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Reducing brain cell degeneration
- Stabilizing blood sugar
- Supporting adrenal glands
- Balance Omega-3/6 Ratio
Since the early 20th century, the use of vegetable oil in our diets has skyrocketed.
Coincidently, because people didn’t boost their omega-3 intake to balance out the elevated omega-6s they consumed, I’ve seen an onslaught of chronic diseases and inflammatory processes literally take over our society.
Research from Pennsylvania State University suggests that jumping from the 1:1 omega-3/6 ratio our hunter-gather ancestors enjoyed to the astronomical 20:1 ratio most people take in today is the primary dietary factor of most diseases in America!
Rule of thumb: Be sure to steer clear from oils high in omega-6s (safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut), and load up on rich sources of natural omega-3s (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass-fed animal products).
I want to also mention, there is a type of omega-6 fat you want to try and get in your diet called GLA. GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) can be taken in supplement form by using evening primrose oil or borage oil, and it’s also found in hemp seeds. Studies show supplementing with GLA can support healthy progesterone levels.
- Heal Leaky Gut
Leaky gut is a condition that not only affects your digestive tract, but also causes hormone issues and can more specifically target your thyroid.
When undigested food particles like gluten leak through your gut into your bloodstream, it causes inflammation of the entire body and more specific organs like the thyroid.
Also, most people with leaky gut have an a deficiency of probiotics in their gut. Probiotics actually help your body produce certain vitamins that affect hormone levels like insulin.
In addition, supplements like digestive enzymes and probiotics can aid in repairing your gut lining, which in turn can balance your hormones.
Some of the main things that damage your digestive health include processed foods, gluten, hydrogenated oils and emotional stress.
- Eliminate Toxic Kitchen and Body Care Products
Another way to eliminate toxins in your body is to stay away from conventional body care products that are high in DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate.
The Environmental Working Group evaluated over 72,000 products and ranked them in an easy-to-understand guide to make sure you have a resource to keep your family safe. Check out EWG’s “Skin Deep Cosmetic Database” today!
Also, the use of plastic bottles should be replaced with glass and stainless steel because of BPAs. In addition, switching from teflon pans to stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron can make a big difference in your hormonal health.
- Interval Exercise
One of the best all-around activities you can do for your health is burst training. If there is a silver bullet out there, this is it! Exercising opens the hormone faucet to release the right amount of hormone that your body NEEDS!
Whether endorphins, testosterone, growth hormone or insulin, burst training helps reduce stress levels, enhance your immune system, regulate metabolic function and keep you at the body weight your body was designed for.
- Get More Sleep
Unless you get seven–eight hours of sleep every night, you’re doing your body no favors. Lack of sleep and sleeping at the wrong time actually may be the worst habits people have that disturb hormone balance.
Why? Because hormones work on a schedule! Case in point: Cortisol, the stress hormone, is regulated at midnight. Therefore, people who go to bed late never truly get a break from the sympathetic flight/fight stress response, which has led to widespread stress-related health disorders in our country.
To maximize hormone function, get to bed by 10 p.m. Endocrinologists (hormone experts) claim that one hour of sleep between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. is equal to two hours of sleep before or after these time slots!
- Limit Caffeine
OK, don’t kill the messenger! Drinking too much caffeine is almost as bad as not getting enough sleep. It elevates your cortisol levels, lowers your thyroid hormone levels and basically creates havoc throughout your entire body.
If you need a little boost, try not to drink more than one–two cups of matcha green teaor tulsi tea. You’ll keep your hormones in check and enjoy the weight loss and cancer-killing benefits as well!
- Supplement with Vitamin D3
According to an article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D3’s role in promoting human life is more profound than previously suspected.
“These physiologic arenas are the adaptive immune system, the innate immune system, insulin secretion by the pancreatic β cell, multifactorial heart functioning and blood pressure regulation, and brain and fetal development.”
This is why people who live in dark areas suffer from significant depression and health disorders unless they supplement.
Most people should supplement with around 2,000 IU to 5,000 IU daily of vitamin D3 on days they’re not in the sun.
- Back Off Birth Control Pills
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- Increased risk of blood clotting, heart attack and stroke
- Gallbladder disease
- Increased blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Mood changes
- Nausea, irregular bleeding or spotting
- Benign liver tumors
- Breast tenderness
I cannot urge you strongly enough to stop using them immediately. There are many other (safer) ways to prevent pregnancy.
- Kris-Etherton PM, et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(1):179S-188S.
- Carrington J. Using hormones to heal traumatic brain injuries. [Internet]. Available at:http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2012/jan2012_Using-Hormones-Heal-Traumatic-Brain-Injuries_01.htm.
- Kresser C. How too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3 is making us sick. [Internet]. Available at: http://chriskresser.com/how-too-much-omega-6-and-not-enough-omega-3-is-making-us-sick.
- Panda S, et al. Withania somnifera and Bauhinia purpurea in the regulation of circulating thyroid hormone concentrations in female mice. Journal Ethnopharmacology 1999; 67(2):233-9.
- Panda S, et al. Changes in thyroid hormone concentrations after administration of ashwaganda root extract to adult male mice. Journal of Pharmacology 1998; 50:1065-1068.
- Kalani A, et al. Ashwagandha root in the treatment of non-classical adrenal hyperplasia. BMJ Case Reports 2012; 10(1136).
- Agrawal P, et al. Randomized placebo-controlled, single blind trial of holy basil leaves in patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996; 34(9):406-9.
- Gholap S, et al. Hypoglycaemic effects of some plant extracts are possibly mediated through inhibition in corticosteroid concentration. Pharmazie 2004; 59 (11):876-8.
- Khan V, et al. A pharmacological appraisal of medicinal plants with antidiabetic potential. J Pharm Bioallied Sci 2012; 4(1):27-42.
- Norman A. From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health. Am J Clin Nutr August 2008; 88(2):491S-499S