- Women's Health
Natural Remedies For Hormone Imbalance
An imbalance of your hormones is associated with many illnesses and general feelings of being run-down and not just those who are pre-menstrual or menopausal. Anyone can get a hormone imbalance but most affected are adult women.
Left untreated, a hormone imbalance can lead to serious health problems such as adrenal fatigue, depression, diabetes, osteoporosis and even cancer.
Conventional treatments of hormone imbalance (if it gets diagnosed of course) are designed to deal with the symptoms short-term and do not target the cause. They also can have serious side-effects and are expensive, but with a few minor lifestyle changes you can not only re-balance your hormones naturally, but also prevent it happening again in the future.
Causes Of Hormone Imbalance
The first step to addressing any illness, is to find the root cause of it. Masking symptoms will only provide short-term relief and delay the messages your body is trying to tell you. This can lead to a serious crash when coming off treatments and put you in a worse place than when you started.
The most common causes for a hormone imbalance include:
- A traumatic event
- Giving birth
- Chronic stress
- Poor quality of lifestyle (diet and movement)
- Natural fluctuations due to PMS and the menopause
Several cultures that are known for their healthy lifestyles rarely have hormonal problems. In China they don't even have a word for 'menopause' because their healthy way of living prevents the sometimes devastating symptoms of this time in a woman's life. It's also interesting to note that Chinese medicine is based on treating the person as a whole and focuses on balancing the different energies, unlike western medicine that separates the physical, mental and spiritual from each other.
Take a close look at events going back to when you feel the imbalance started. This isn't always possible as long-term lifestyle habits can slowly build up to hormonal problems, so you'll need to consider this too by looking at your daily routine.
Symptoms Of Hormone Imbalance
The symptoms of a hormone imbalance can be varied depending on the severity and cause, but normally show themselves as emotional and physical. The table below includes the most common symptoms to look out for:
Loss of libido
Sudden weight gain or loss
Loss of appetite
Dry and/or spotty skin
Weakened immune system
Gluten And Hormone Imbalance
Balance Hormones Naturally
Thankfully, by making these simple lifestyle changes you can balance your hormones naturally and prevent future problems from happening.
Have a whole food diet
Processed foods, sugars, sweeteners and grains (particularly white flour) send mixed messages throughout your body. They are designed to confuse your system into wanting more (cravings = more profits for the manufacturers). Buy only unprocessed whole food~ these are what our bodies are designed for~ and where possible eat organic as pesticides contain hormone altering chemicals. Ideally follow a paleo or primal diet, eating only nutrient-rich vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts and seeds...it's easier than it sounds!
Try to move around as much as you can each day with exercise and incorporating more movement into everyday activities. Modern conveniences have led us to lead lifestyles that are more and more sedentary. Go retro and opt for the more active (and normally cheaper) option for everyday chores. Choose physical hobbies and activities over stationary ones. For example go cycling or swimming instead of to the cinema.
Try to make some of your activity outdoors and kill two birds with one stone. getting natural sunlight for at least 20 minutes each day gives you a huge Vitamin D boost and gets you away from household toxins.
Again, for convenience, or lives now contain more chemicals and toxins than ever. Try to keep toiletries, cleaning products, cosmetics and food as natural as possible. Be careful to read labels too~ as yet it is still legal to label a product as natural even if it only contains one minor ingredient from a natural source.
Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins, but be careful of the source of your water. Toxins from plastic bottles and chemicals in tap water are known hormone disruptor's, so where possible buy water in glass bottles or consider a high quality filter.
Stress is a major factor for hormone balance and prolonged stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, exhaustion or even failure. The adrenal glands are responsible for much of your hormone production and you need to look after them.
Reduce stress as much as possible and learn to cope with stress better as it's not totally avoidable. Meditation, yoga, practising gratitude, allowing yourself to relax and not taking on everyone else's guilt and stress will make a huge difference to your stress levels and in turn regulate your hormones.
Healthy Hormones Quiz
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Getting Help For Hormonal Problems
A hormone imbalance can not only affect you physically and emotionally, but it can have a big impact on your relationships and even your work.
Making lifestyle changes won't cure the problem overnight sadly and it may be worth talking to your nearest and dearest to let them know what's going on. Explain that you know there is a problem and you are working on it. Ask them for patience and support and let them know you appreciate them being there for you throughout this difficult time.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms you may decide to try pharmaceutical drugs to help you through the symptoms~ just be aware that this can delay symptoms and ultimately make them worse in the long-run.
You may also consider help with the emotional side of the imbalance with therapy. This should particularly be considered by those whose imbalance was caused by long term stress and unresolved issues.
Whatever you decide to do, be patient with yourself and with the above remedies and stay aware of how you are feeling. You may want to consider starting a health journal so you can track your progress~ this is a good technique as you can look back over the journal when you feel it isn't working (we all feel like this sometimes) and see just how far you've come.