Hormones are neurotransmitters that affect your mental, physical, and emotional health. They are your body’s neurotransmitters, traveling to tissues or organs in your bloodstream. Hormones work overtime and affect several different processes throughout the body, including growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, mood, and more. Typically, the body produces a precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes to stay healthy.
Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands in the body. Some major endocrine glands in the body are the pituitary gland, pineal gland, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas, testes, and ovaries.
These different organs produce microscopic amounts, taking only a very small amount to bring significant changes in the body. A small excess or deficiency of hormone production can lead to serious changes throughout the body.
A hormone imbalance happens when there is too much or too little of a certain hormone in the body. An obgyn in Lake Success can help you figure out if you have a hormonal imbalance and how to fix the problems. Some hormone levels fluctuate throughout life and may occur due to aging, although other changes occur when endocrine glands are not functioning properly.
There are many signs and symptoms of a hormonal imbalance. These will depend on which hormones or glands aren’t working the right way. Several common hormonal conditions could cause any of the following symptoms:
Muscle aches, tenderness, or stiffness
Increased or decreased heart rate
Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
Decreased sex drive
Puffy or rounded face
Feeling one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate a definite hormonal imbalance. Seeking medical advice from an obgyn in Lake Success can help diagnose and treat your symptoms and signs.
Normally hormonal cycle naturally changes during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause in females. There are some specific symptoms to look out for in women, indicating a hormonal imbalance. These include heavy or irregular periods, acne, hair loss, skin darkening, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, headaches, and more.
There are lots of different possible causes of a hormonal imbalance. It depends on which hormones or glands are affected in the body. Some common causes of a hormonal imbalance include medications, cancer treatments, eating disorders, stress, injury or trauma, hormone therapy, and more. Additionally, conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome, Addison’s disease, thyroiditis, and others can lead to hormonal imbalances.
Unique to women, hormonal imbalances may be related to reproductive hormones, including common causes of menopause, premature menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, PCOS, and hormone drugs.
HOW TO NATURALLY BALANCE YOUR HORMONES
For many people, small and simple lifestyle changes can help restore proper levels of hormones in the body. A well-balanced diet and healthy habits may improve your hormonal health and allow you to feel your best. Here are some ways to naturally balance your hormones.
Get enough protein. Proteins provide amino acids that your body cannot make on its own and are needed to produce peptide hormones. These hormones play a crucial role in regulating several physiological processes, including growth, energy metabolism, appetite, stress, and more.
Exercise regularly. Getting enough physical activity strongly influences your hormonal health. It enhances hormone receptor sensitivity, helping the delivery of nutrients and hormone signals.
Maintain a moderate weight. Weight gain is directly associated with hormonal imbalances. Obesity relates to a lack of ovulation in women. Eating within your calorie range can help maintain hormonal balance.
Watch your gut health. Your gut produces numerous metabolites that can affect hormone health.
Lower sugar intake. Minimizing added sugar intake can help balance hormones. Eating added sugar promotes insulin resistance, and fructose intake is linked to disruptions in the gut microbiome, ultimately leading to hormonal imbalances.
Reduce stress. Stress can significantly harm the body’s hormones in many ways. Work to decrease and manage your daily stress.
Get enough sleep. Sleep is one of the most important factors in hormonal imbalance. The levels of hormones can rise and fall throughout the day due to the quality of sleep.
Eat healthy fats. Healthy fat intake can work to maintain balanced hormones that are involved with appetite, metabolism, and feeling full.
Eat plenty of fiber. Fiber plays a role in gut health, helping regulate hormones like insulin.
There are some myths out there about eggs and hormonal imbalance, but in actuality, eggs are one of the best foods for balancing hormones, as they have a positive impact on insulin and ghrelin hormones in the body. Specifically, insulin controls blood sugar while ghrelin controls appetite.
Your insulin and ghrelin levels are lower after you eat eggs for breakfast (compared to a carb-based meal). Similar to other proteins, eggs are one of those hormone-friendly foods that keep you full for longer, so you can end up consuming fewer calories. This aspect is particularly advantageous if you have trouble losing weight.
2. FATTY FISH
According to the American Heart Association, fatty fish—such as wild-caught salmon, herring, mackerel, lake trout, and sardines help stabilize your hunger hormones, thus helping you feel fuller for longer.
On top of that, fatty fish are considered to be one of the foods that balance hormones in females. They are rich in vitamin D, which helps improve female testosterone levels. Getting these hormonal levels under control can positively address concerns including weight gain, fatigue, and depression. A 3.5-ounce serving of such fish twice weekly can also keep your heart healthy and your skin and hair glowing.
Finally, the good fats in fish improve overall hormonal communication, which solidifies it as one of the best foods to eat for hormonal balance. The endocrine system uses hormones to communicate with the brain, which in turn boosts our mood and gives us better cognition skills.
3. CHICKEN BREAST
Chicken breast is high in protein and low in fat. Research indicates that high-protein diets promote the secretion of hormones such as leptin, which provides feelings of satiety. Chicken also has purported positive effects on anabolic hormones (such as insulin and estrogen) by helping build muscles after workouts, making it one of the key foods to balance female hormones.
Greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard are loaded with antioxidants and can help prevent inflammation. Leafy greens are also considered to be hormone-balancing foods in that they can reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels and helping balance estrogen.
Additionally, greens are high in fiber. A high-fiber diet can aid in lowering estrogen levels, particularly for people with a history or risk of hormone-sensitive breast cancer, according to 2020 research by Harvard University. In general, try to consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily to support hormonal balance.
5. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts are all part of the cruciferous vegetable family and are potential foods that regulate hormones. Like leafy greens, these vegetables also help process and remove excess estrogen from the body. It’s also worth noting that the high calcium content in broccoli can aid PMS relief by reducing cramps and bloating, as well as regulating mood swings.
6. QUINOA: Hormonal Imbalance Natural Treatment
Quinoa is a gluten-free carbohydrate as well as a whole protein. (While quinoa is a seed and not a grain, it cooks and is eaten in a way that resembles whole grains.) It can be counted as one of the best foods to balance hormones by keeping female testosterone levels even. Quinoa yields this power due to its higher levels of protein that enables blood sugar stabilization. It also packs phosphorus and magnesium, which can alleviate PMS symptoms and promote sleep.
Not only are pomegranates full of antioxidants, but they’re also known to help block excess estrogen production. That makes it an important antioxidant-filled food that could be beneficial in the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers, including breast cancer.
This tangy little fruit is rich in melatonin, which aids in restful sleep and itself is important for hormone balance. Cherries are also high in magnesium, which is known for their positive effects on our sleep regimens. Additionally, magnesium can help reduce cortisol and regulate adrenaline in our bodies.
Flaxseeds are rich in plant-based estrogens, especially lignans, which promote hormone balance and provide menstrual support. They’re also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber. Fiber is an excellent probiotic, and the insoluble fiber in flaxseeds encourages bowel movements that help detox your body from excess hormones. To reap benefits from this top food for hormone balance, toss a few handfuls of flaxseeds into a smoothie or bowl of oatmeal.
Avocados are loaded with beta-sitosterol, which can positively affect blood cholesterol levels and help balance cortisol. The plant sterols in avocados also influence estrogen and progesterone, the two hormones responsible for regulating ovulation and menstrual cycles.
11. NUTS: Hormonal Imbalance Natural Treatment
Nuts are rich in poly and monounsaturated fats, which are responsible for aiding in blood vessel health and hormone production. They positively impact your endocrine system and help lower cholesterol and insulin levels while maintaining blood sugar.
Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, a nutrient crucial to hormone balance as it supports overall thyroid health. Next, walnuts are anti-inflammatory and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote good brain health. Both walnuts and almonds are healthy sources of protein and antioxidants. They also improve your metabolism and promote naturally glowing skin. They’re great as a snack with a piece of fruit or added to a salad.