The hormones your body produces have significant effects on every aspect of your health. They play a role in your mood, your weight, your appetite, your sexual function, and a lot more.
If everything is working properly, the glands in your endocrine system will produce the optimal amount of hormone you need, but it’s becoming more and more common for these systems to fall out of balance.
Let’s explore what’s happening with your hormones – and some natural approaches to get you feeling your best.
You can also watch our video that expands on estrogen dominance and other solutions for balancing hormones.
How Do You Know If You Have A Hormonal Imbalance?
Do you experience symptoms of hormonal imbalance? These include
• Heavy menstrual flow
• Weight fluctuations
• Breast tenderness
• Painful periods
• Irregular period
• Low libido
If so, it’s possible you may have a hormonal imbalance. These hormonal symptoms can be result of:
Find out how a Naturopathic Doctor can help balance your hormones
Natural Solutions for Hormonal Concerns
Hormonal concerns can be complex, and the best results are achieved when you work together with an experienced naturopathic doctor (like me!).
However, there are some diet and lifestyle recommendations that will support healthy hormones. Here are my top 10 tips to help your hormones:
1. Increase vegetables – especially vegetables from the brassica family
You may have heard of the brassica family of vegetables called by another name, cruciferous. They’re vegetables related to the mustard plant, and include:
• Brussels sprouts
• Collard greens
• Bok choy
These vegetables all contain compounds that help support the healthy metabolism of estrogen (and other hormones) in the liver, like I-3-c.
2. Start you morning with a big glass of lemon water
Lemon water stimulates your liver and digestive tract to get moving. This enhances the function of liver enzymes and encourages the production of bile.
It’s also a good source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant.
I’m often asked, “how much lemon?”. You only need to squeeze a small wedge into your water, just enough to taste it.
3. Eat a diet rich in fibre
Fibre-rich foods help to bulk stool, bind toxins (and hormone metabolites) and promote regular bowel movements.
Fibrous foods are “prebiotics” and help maintain a healthy microbiome in the bowels.
Low fibre diets lead to constipation and the reabsorption of estrogen into circulation.
4. Maintain a consistent sleep and wake time with screen-free time before bed
Most of our hormones have a daily fluctuation, most notably, cortisol and melatonin.
Cortisol rises in the morning and falls throughout the day. Melatonin, our sleep hormone, should start to rise in the evening.
Both cortisol and melatonim influence our sex hormones. When our schedules our inconsistent and we have too much screen-time at night, it alters our hormone production.
If you absolutely must use a screen before bed, use a blue light blocker on your device. This helps keep your hormone production in balance.
5. Reduce exposure to harmful chemicals
Chemicals like BPA, styrene, phthalates and parabens are common additives in food packaging. You’ll find them in tin cans and plastic wraps, among others. They’re also easy to find in cleaning products and personal hygiene products.
These chemicals can disrupt our hormones. Some of them will even bind with and activate estrogen receptors, behaving as estrogen does.
Reduce your exposure to these chemicals by choosing natural products with reduced packaging.
6. Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol isn’t good for us. In particular, it’s hard on the liver. We all know this.
But in particular, the burden alcohol places on your liver means it’s less able to produce the hormones you need. On top of that, the by-products of your liver’s process of metabolizing alcohol cause inflammation, which is another hormone disruptor.
Avoiding alcohol is a good way to help support your liver function.
7. Reduce stress
Easier said than done, sometimes. But doing more of what makes you feel calm, grounded, and content can help keep your hormones in balance.
When our stress response is perpetually triggered it can lead to chronically elevated levels of cortisol. Not only does this make it difficult to sleep, it can contribute to PCOS, infertility, delayed menstrual cycles and low libido.
8. Stabilize blood sugar
Having high blood sugar is associated with a number of different health concerns. In particular, though, it increases testosterone and other androgens, which increases sebum production in the skin. Sebum has been associated with acne.
Eating balanced meals that emphasize protein, fats and vegetables while reducing refined carbohydrates maintains optimal blood sugar levels.
9. Choose organic, grass-fed hormone-free meat
A large quantity of meat on the market is of poor quality and high in saturated fats because the animals are fed corn and injected with hormones.
Cattle do not eat corn naturally, so as a result a diet based mostly on corn can lead farm animals to lack certain nutrients. As a result, the meat you get from those animals can also lack the nutrients it would otherwise have.
We really are what we eat, so if you are able to choose, pick the highest-quality animal products, and vary your diet to include plant-based protein sources as well
10. Decrease caffeine intake.
One coffee or tea a day likely won’t affect your hormones very much but excess caffeine can.
Caffeine affects our blood sugar- and dysregulated blood sugar can increase insulin and androgens.
Caffeine is also metabolized through one of the same liver enzymes as estrogen (CYP 1A2) which means leads us back to the importance of supporting the liver.
Contact Annex Naturopathic
If you’re dealing with any of the above listed symptoms, you may have a hormone imbalance.
Contact Annex Naturopathic today to book a consultation, and let’s talk about how you can implement the above and other solutions into your lifestyle.