Symptoms of hormone imbalance are so common now that they may seem like the new normal, but they really are not. Here’s a list of some of some common symptoms:
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
- Difficulty maintaining a healthy weight
- Acne (Learn more about Skin Care >>)
- Digestive problems
- Increased appetite (often in the form of sugar cravings)
- Trouble sleeping
- Irregular cycles
- Low libido
- Feeling easily overwhelmed or burned out
Fortunately, once we identify our hormone imbalances and are able to link the lifestyle root causes that led to the problem, we can take steps to balance our hormones naturally.
What Causes Hormone Imbalances?
Women’s hormones are particularly delicate because we have many hormones that rise and fall together every cycle like a fine-tuned dance. Because our hormones prepare us for pregnancy, mother nature doesn’t want us to become pregnant when conditions are not ideal. Therefore, our hormones are much more sensitive to stress and lifestyle factors than men’s.
The grandmaster of our hormones, the hypothalamus and pituitary in the brain, keeps tabs on our stress levels, our nutrient levels, how much fat we have on our bodies, how inflamed or toxic we are, how much sleep we get etc. Then, the grandmaster will tell the thyroid, adrenals, and ovaries to produce the appropriate levels of hormones, given the situation. After the hormones are used up, our liver steps in to break down the used hormones.
The primary causes of hormone imbalances are lifestyle factors, including:
- Stress can raise cortisol, which can cause a pattern of hormone imbalance called estrogen dominance due to reduced progesterone. In addition, stress can reduce our thyroid function while stealing the resources that our bodies need to make other sex hormones.
- Deranged circadian rhythm – Our hormone grandmaster works in sync with our body clock, which syncs with the day/night rhythm. Many women have hormone imbalances because they are not sleeping well or have deranged circadian rhythm from nighttime blue light exposure.
- Chronic inflammation taxes the stress response system and can have the same effect on hormones as other types of chronic stress. This type of stress tends to dial hormones toward weight gain and insulin resistance.
- Hormone disruptors and toxins can interfere with estrogen metabolism, especially in the breakdown of excess estrogens. Hormone disruptors, especially xenoestrogens like BPAs, parabens, and perfume, can therefore contribute to estrogen dominance.
- Blood sugar problems can be very stressful to our bodies. In women, high blood sugar or insulin resistance can lead to increased testosterone, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Conversely, low blood sugar is stressful to the body and can contribute to stress-related hormone imbalances.
Our hormones do not simply throw themselves off balance without reason. If you are experiencing hormone imbalances, your body is probably doing it’s very best to keep things afloat in a storm of modern stresses.
Here are 3 things you can start right now to help balance hormones:
- Get deep, restorative sleep
- Eat a healthy, nutritious diet that is blood sugar friendly
- Reboot your body’s stress response