Hormone imbalance is more common than you may think. Hormones are chemical messengers that are secreted into the blood and sent to your tissues and organs. They play a vital role in the body by making sure everything is running smoothly. There are many factors that can disrupt our hormones which cause hormone imbalance.
How to know if your hormones are out of whack
- Irregular Periods
- Hair, Skin & Nail changes
- Increased Mood Activity: Anxiety/Depression
- Low Libido
- Weight Gain/Difficulty Losing Weight
- Digestive issues
- Loss of appetite
- Constant Headaches
- Brain Fog
Okay you get my drift…There are so many symptoms of hormone imbalance. Before you start freaking out thinking serious things are wrong, there are simple ways to balance your hormones before things get worse!
5 main hormones players and what does it look like for them to be out of balance?
- Thyroid Hormone
Cortisol – A steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress. Think of this hormone as your body’s built-in alarm system.
Too much cortisol can cause irregular periods, lowered sex drive, weight gain, skin changes, muscle weakness, and mood swings.
Too little cortisol can be caused by increased stress. Too little cortisol then causes weight loss, skin changes, dizziness, fatigue, and mood swings.
Estrogen – Primary female sex hormone. It helps develop and maintain the reproductive system and female characteristics.
Too much estrogen can cause weight gain, irregular periods, water retention, irritability, hair loss, and PMS.
Too little estrogen can cause brain fog, hot flashes, headaches, fatigue, and low libido.
Progesterone – Second primary female sex hormone. It regulates the menstrual cycle and is absolutely crucial for pregnancy.
Too much progesterone can cause bloating, grogginess, mood swings, headaches, and an increase in yeast infections.
Too little progesterone can cause mid-cycle spotting, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, and short menstrual cycles.
Testosterone – Yes ladies, we have testosterone too. We produce small amounts, but testosterone is needed to grow and maintain female reproductive tissue and bone mass.
Too much testosterone can cause excess body hair, hair loss on the scalp, infertility, acne, oily skin, increased body odor, irritability, and long menstrual cycles.
Too little testosterone can cause fatigue, depression, memory loss, hot flashes, loss of muscle mass, and missing periods.
Thyroid Hormone – They act on nearly every cell of the body. They take an important role in weight, hair, skin, and nail growth, energy levels, internal temperature, and much more.
Too much thyroid hormone can cause anxiety, diarrhea, weight loss, insomnia, racing heartbeat, panic attacks, sweating, and heat intolerance.
Too little thyroid hormone can cause hair loss, brittle nails, depression, anxiety, constipation, heart burn, slow heart rate, weight gain, brain fog, fatigue, infertility, and memory loss.
The body is an amazing thing. We are able to self heal, create another human being, and they can tell us when things are off (like your hormones). There are a few simple ways to balance your hormones naturally which are things everyone should be doing anyways just to stay healthy!!!
Steps in balancing your hormones naturally
- De-stress!!! Stress wreaks havoc on our bodies. Chronic stress affects our blood sugar levels, unwanted weight gain, disrupts our gut, messes with our cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone. Take deep breaths when you feel stressed out. If you are around anyone, go in a separate room and take five deep breaths.
- Eat a nutrient dense diet. What you eat or don’t eat dictate how your hormones react. Eat foods rich in vitamins, healthy fats, fiber, and protein will help regulate blood sugar levels and maintain healthy eating patterns. Healthy fats specifically help insulin resistance and sensitivity. Eating healthy fats signal certain hormones to let your body know it is full.
- Sleep is SO important. Sleep is absolutely vital for us as humans to function. An adequate amount of sleep increases your body’s secretion of growth hormones responsible for cell reproduction and regeneration which all take place during periods of rest. I wrote a small blog about sleep if you’d like to read it: Click here
- Exercise regularly. Exercise reduces insulin levels and increases insulin sensitivity. Insulin allows cells to take up sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream, which are then used for energy and maintaining muscle.
These are just a few ways to naturally balance your hormones but sometimes this does not work for everyone. Because our health is simply not a “one size fits all.” So many others things take into play! It is always important to get a professional opinion when it comes to your health!