Dr. Jillian Smithers
How To Balance Hormones Naturally: Try These 4 Tips
Have you been experiencing bloating, fatigue, weight gain, or irregular periods lately? While there could be many underlying causes of these symptoms, hormone imbalances are a common culprit that I often see in my patients. With hormone imbalances seemingly increasing over the past couple of years, more women are suffering.
Did you know that you can get your hormones back on track and balanced again... and you don't necessarily have to take medication! That's right. You can naturally balance your hormones and say goodbye to those annoying, frustrating, and painful symptoms once and for all. It just takes some time and action from you. I believe I can give you the tools so that YOU can have control of your life.
What Are Hormones?
First off, what are hormones anyway? They are chemical messengers that travel throughout your body and enable cell to cell communication. They are created in one part of your body and can travel to another part to deliver specific "instruction". Hormones play a role in telling specific organs to do a particular function.
For example, the thyroid hormones (T3 & T4), which are produced in the thyroid gland, travel throughout the body. These hormones affect basal metabolic rate, protein synthesis, the regulation of your body's temperature, and more.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance?
An imbalance in your hormones can cause numerous different symptoms in your body.
Here are some common ones I see:
How Do You Check For Hormonal Imbalance?
There are a couple of ways you can learn if you have a hormonal imbalance. You can get regular labs drawn from a conventional doctor, however, please note that these tests usually don't cover everything. Therefore, they may not give you or the doctor the whole picture of what's going on. Naturopathic doctors typically order more comprehensive tests. These can include blood/serum, urine, or saliva tests. If you get your labs back and some hormone levels are off, don't freak out! Here are some natural remedies to help you get those hormones balanced.
Ways To Balance Your Hormones Naturally
Clean Up Your Diet
This is my number one advice to help your hormones. You'll want to avoid foods that cause hormonal imbalance, which usually includes dairy, wheat, and sugar for most people. Dairy contains high amounts of hormones (natural and artificial). These added hormones can not only put your levels out of whack but can increase your risk for certain cancers as well.
You can benefit significantly by ditching gluten as well. When you consume gluten, a protein called zonulin is released. This is important to know because zonulin loosens the tight junctions in your gut lining. This allows for larger substances to get into your bloodstream and travel to places in the body that they’re not supposed to be. This causes your immune system to respond, increasing inflammation. Inflammation is known to make hormone imbalances even worse. So even if you don't have a known sensitivity or allergy to gluten, you can still see great results by giving it up.
Sugar can contribute to hormone imbalance as well. High sugar intakes can lead to increased insulin production, leading to high estrogen and testosterone, putting numerous hormones out of balance.
Replace those damaging processed foods with organic whole (mostly plant-based) foods instead. Be sure to incorporate high amounts of colorful fruits and vegetables. Some great foods that support hormone balance are cruciferous vegetables, flax seeds, good fats, and organic whole soy foods like edamame, miso, and tempeh.
Pick Up A Favorite Physical Activity
Exercising can help reduce the amount of stress hormone (cortisol) in the body. This is vital because if your adrenals (which produce cortisol) are overworking, they can affect all your other hormones. Let me emphasize that your workouts or activity shouldn't be so intense that you feel depleted afterward. This could actually make hormone imbalance worse.
Instead, participate in low-intensity activities. Doing so can help reduce your cortisol levels. Pick something(s) that you actually enjoy doing so you are more likely to stick with it. You don't have to go to the gym (unless you like to). Go for a brisk walk with a friend, play some tennis, or go for a bike ride. Changing it up can also keep you motivated to stay active.
Don't Feel Guilty For Resting/Sleeping
Sleep is vital in helping your body regulate hormone levels. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to alter metabolic and endocrine functions, decrease insulin sensitivity, and increase evening concentrations of cortisol and ghrelin levels.
Kick Out The Toxins
Toxins are everywhere these days. In our beauty products, household cleaners, food, and even our water. What's concerning about some of these toxins is that we are consuming them at an alarmingly high rate. Some of these toxins are classified as hormone disruptors. This means that they can mimic your natural hormones. For example, endocrine disruptors can affect your reproduction, neuroendocrinology, thyroid levels, and even metabolism and obesity. Even slight amounts of these toxins can throw your hormones out of whack.
To avoid some unnecessary toxins, swap out your regular products for non-toxic options, filter your water, and buy organic (especially those items on the dirty dozen list) as much as possible.
How Long Does It Take To Balance Hormones?
This can vary from person to person. Every person's body is different and we all have different lifestyle behaviors that play a part. It could take as little as a few weeks to a few months or more.
Get Care From A Naturopathic Doctor
If you are concerned that the symptoms you are experiencing are from a hormonal imbalance, please contact Dr. Jillian Smithers. She is a naturopathic doctor who specializes in hormone health. She's currently accepting new patients. Make an appointment with her
to optimize your health and get back to feeling like yourself!