Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate through your body and impact your overall health. Hormonal imbalances are very common and they have to be addressed as they can cause major health problems. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance include irregular periods, low libido, weight gain or weight loss, depression and anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, infertility, fatigue, and hair loss/thinning.
Conventional treatments for hormonal imbalances usually involve prescribing synthetic hormonal replacement therapies, birth control pills, and other medications. Unfortunately, these are often temporary “band-aid solutions” that don’t address the root cause and simply mask the patient’s symptoms.
Studies show that a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle may help boost your body’s ability to create and balance hormones, allowing you to feel and perform at your best.
4 natural and safe ways to balance your hormones:
1.Manage your stress
Under stress your body releases high amounts of cortisol, your “fight or flight” hormone. When you’re chronically stressed your body struggles to maintain its normal balance, which causes your hormones to easily become deregulated. This is why managing your stress is extremely important. Whether you prefer breathing exercises, meditation, baths, walks in nature, calling a friend or going for a run, make sure to take steps daily to keep yourself emotionally and physically in balance.
2. Use food as medicine
The way you eat has a direct effect on your hormone levels. Following a whole-food and plant-based diet is essential.
Healthy fats are fundamental building blocks for hormone production, lowering inflammation levels, and boosting metabolism. Reduce your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates and increase healthy fats, such as coconut oil, avocado, flaxseeds, or nuts.
Regular exercise is key to achieving hormonal balance. Move daily, whether it means walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, hitting the gym or doing some gentle stretches before bed.
A 24-week study of obese women showed that exercise increased insulin sensitivity and adiponectin levels, a necessary hormone with anti-inflammatory effects that helps regulate metabolism.
And, remember, balance is key. Make sure that you don’t add stress to your body by over-exercising as it will burn out your adrenals and will get your hormones out of whack. In fact, if your hormones are imbalanced studies suggest practicing yoga and pilates, which keep you active while helping you de-stress.
If you don’t get enough sleep your endocrine system can’t keep up. Your body needs sustained and restful sleep to recover, repair and regulate itself. Try to sleep 7 to 8 hours every night, sticking with a regular sleep-wake-cycle as much as possible.
(Check the blog post: “12 técnicas para mejorar tu calidad de sueño” if you want to learn more).
5. Avoid toxins in your environment
It’s important that you avoid as much as possible your exposure to potentially-harmful chemicals, such as DEA, parabens, propylene glycol, and sodium lauryl sulfate. These are endocrine disruptors and are present in your cosmetics, shampoo, and cleaning products.
You can replace toxic body care and cleaning products with natural, non-toxic products, as well as balancing essential oils, such as clary sage, fennel, or sandalwood.
(Disclaimer: the content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.)