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How To Balance Your Hormones

Learn eight natural ways to balance your hormones.
How To Balance Your Hormones
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The endocrine system is one of our many body systems. It consists of several significant glands that secrete hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream to different organs and tissues. Once at their target site, hormones tell the cells to start or stop doing a specific action. For instance, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) tells the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormone.

Why does hormonal balance matter?

Hormones influence many bodily functions, so when your hormonal balance is disrupted, it can wreak havoc on your health. Some of the health effects can be short-term, while others are long-term. Examples of changes in the body from hormonal imbalances include:

Long-term hormonal imbalances may lead to the development of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, among other medical conditions.

Factors that influence hormonal balance

Hormones play a crucial role in our overall health and well-being. They regulate many bodily functions, including metabolism, mood, growth, and reproduction. When our hormones are out of balance, it can lead to various health issues. Several factors can influence hormonal balance, some of which we can control and others beyond our control. Two significant factors that affect hormonal balance include:

  • Genetics: Some hormonal imbalances may be influenced by genetics. For example, conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid disorders can have a genetic component that affects hormone levels.
  • Age: Hormone levels can naturally fluctuate with age. For women, menopause can lead to a decline in estrogen and progesterone levels. For men, testosterone levels can decrease as they age. 

Unfortunately, you can’t alter your genes or stop natural aging. And while these two factors are out of your control, there are steps you can take to help maintain healthy hormone levels. Let’s look at eight ways to support hormone balance naturally. 

1. Focus on nutrition

The Western diet contains refined carbohydrates, animal protein, and unsaturated fat. This combination can upset the balance of hormones.

Generally, a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and healthy fats is best. And try to limit the amount of processed foods and refined carbohydrates in your diet. You may have specific dietary needs based on your health conditions or intolerances.

Some find it easier to follow a specific diet. The Mediterranean diet focuses on plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and herbs, as well as fish. Red meats and processed foods are limited in this diet. Research shows this diet can positively impact hormonal balance.

Not sure where to start when it comes to adjusting your diet? Consider working with a certified nutritionist or dietician. They can help you develop a diet that meets your individual needs and any health conditions you have.

## 5-day meal plan

2. Manage stress

Studies show that chronic stress can throw hormones out of whack. Generally, those experiencing chronic stress have high cortisol levels. Too much cortisol can throw off the balance of your glucose levels and appetite-regulating hormones, among other hormones.

Furthermore, high cortisol levels can trigger inflammatory autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s. Depending on the autoimmune disorder, hormone production and levels can further be altered.

To combat stress, try adding stress-reducing practices to your daily routine. These practices may include:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Yoga
  • Listening to music
  • Spending time in nature
  • Self-care activities

3. Get enough quality sleep

Some hormones follow a circadian rhythm, meaning they rise and fall on a 24-hour cycle. So, while you sleep, your endocrine system remains hard at work. For instance, cortisol production is highest at night, with peak secretion at 7 and 8 in the morning or about 30 minutes before waking up. Cortisol levels decrease over the day and are lowest right before bedtime. Exposure to life stressors, including sleep disturbances, can cause your cortisol levels to fluctuate, disrupting cortisol’s natural cycle.

Because of this, sleep is essential for hormone balance and overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Children need more sleep than adults. To optimize hormone production:

  • Create a sleep-friendly environment
  • Establish a regular sleep schedule
  • Take electronics out of the bedroom
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals right before bedtime
  • Take part in regular exercise

4. Move regularly

Physical activity not only helps you maintain a healthy weight but also helps with hormone regulation. The benefits of physical activity include:

  • Improving insulin sensitivity, depression, and mood
  • Lowering of cortisol levels
  • Falling asleep faster
  • Restoring the balance of appetite-regulation hormones

Experts recommend aiming for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Also, try adding muscle-strengthening activities to your exercise regimen twice a week. While this may seem like a lot, start slow. As you build up your fitness level, you can add more exercise or exercise for more extended periods.

5. Limit exposure to toxins

Environmental toxins in everyday products such as plastics, pesticides, and household cleaners can disrupt hormone balance. They do this by interfering with how your hormones work in your body.

You can’t altogether avoid these toxins, but you can reduce your exposure to them. Try choosing organic produce or thoroughly washing your fruits and vegetables before eating. Choose BPA-free products. Switching out plastic containers and bottles for glass or stainless steel can also help.

6. Keep your gut happy

The human gut is home to many microorganisms, each with its role in maintaining your health. These microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, and fungi and make up the gut microbiome.

Changes to your gut microbiome can influence your hormone balance by causing low-grade inflammation. And low-grade inflammation can lead to autoimmune disorders, further altering your hormonal balance.

One of the best ways to balance your gut microbiome is to improve your lifestyle. You can do this by adjusting your diet and physical activity level and adding stress management. Probiotic supplements may help, but check with your healthcare provider before starting one.

7. Supplement wisely

Supplements can help support your hormone balance, especially if you have specific vitamin deficiencies. Your healthcare provider can measure most of these deficiencies through blood tests. Low levels of vitamin D may contribute to endocrine-related autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s. Correcting vitamin D levels could aid in managing Hashimoto’s, which in turn helps correct hormone levels.

Natural, dietary, and herbal supplements can interact with medications. That’s why it’s always a good idea to talk with a healthcare provider before starting new supplements.

8. Maintain a healthy weight

Extra body fat, especially around your stomach, can cause an imbalance in your hormones. For instance, those with extra body fat tend to have high estrogen levels and are more likely to have cells that are resistant to insulin.

Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise is best. Gradual weight loss is better than quick weight loss. So, be weary of fad diets.

Some health conditions can make it challenging to lose weight. Talk to your healthcare provider if you find it hard to lose weight. Sometimes, adjusting your medication dose or switching to another medication may help. There are medications that can help with weight loss if needed.

A note from Paloma Health

Early detection of hormonal imbalances can help limit their effect on your body. Routine visits to your healthcare provider can allow for early detection. Your provider can develop an individualized treatment plan if a hormonal imbalance is detected.

But, in the meantime, if you suspect a hormonal imbalance or are experiencing symptoms of one, talk with a healthcare provider about hormone testing. This can help identify any underlying issues and guide personalized treatment strategies. Symptoms will vary, but fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, or menstrual changes may be signs of hormonal imbalance.

You can also test your hormone levels using home testing kits. For instance, Paloma Health’s at-home testing kit allows you to monitor your thyroid hormone levels and even check your vitamin D levels. Many on the market can measure different hormone levels. So, make sure to do your research before buying one.

Taking proactive steps to balance your hormones can help optimize your health and well-being. Consistency is key. Stick with your chosen interventions and give your body time to adjust. You can achieve hormonal harmony and enjoy a healthier, happier life with patience and persistence.


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Emilie White, PharmD

Clinical Pharmacist and Medical Blogger

Emilie White, PharmD is a clinical pharmacist with over a decade of providing direct patient care to those hospitalized. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. After graduation, Emilie completed a postgraduate pharmacy residency at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center in Virginia. Her background includes caring for critical care, internal medicine, and surgical patients.

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