How Long Does It Take To Balance Hormones
As you can imagine, this varies. However, research shows that by taking a holistic, well-rounded approach, you can balance your hormones in less than four months. In fact, you can significantly reduce the amount of chemicals and pesticides in your body, in one week. How so? Switch to an organic diet. And in less than 10 days, you can improve your blood sugar by eating less sugar .
By incorporating more fermented foods and a potent probiotic, women can more easily detox estrogen, which helps balance hormonesin less than two months. By four months, eating a hormonally-supportive diet makes an impact, slowing the aging process and protecting fertility.
Image by Michelle Nash
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance
Just as there are many types of hormones with many functions, a hormonal imbalance has many causes. Certain medications, stress, mental disorders, injuries, or even tumors can lead to hormonal imbalance. Unfortunately, because the body depends on a precise balance of hormones to function properly, certain hormonal imbalance conditions, like diabetes and hyperthyroidism, can throw off the balance of other hormones as well.
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What Are The Signs Of Hormonal Imbalances
Sadly, we all live busier and more hectic lives than ever before. As a result, I see more and more people suffering the woes of hormonal imbalances. You see, there are many things that can throw our bodies out of synch a poor diet of refined carbs and sugars, too much stress on the body, too little fat and protein, too little sleep, or too many toxins.
Signs of hormone imbalance include:
- You are snappy, irritable and angry
- Your libido is non-existent
- Your periods are heavy or irregular
- Headaches and migraines
- Your periods are MIA
- You have a muffin top or excess weight around the belly
- Skin breaks out
- Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
- You feel constantly fatigued or have brain fog
- You have tummy cramps, bloating or digestive woes
- You have excess hair on your face and thinning on your head
- You have cravings for carbs, sugars, alcohol or other foods
Any of this sound familiar? However hopeless it may feel, I promise that things can and will get better I am evidence of this! You dont have to accept hormonal imbalance as your norm, and you can lead a healthy, happy life.
When things are thrown out of balance, it can not only affect your day, but your health too, even if everything else is seemingly perfect. I know the feeling I had a season ticket to the hormonal roller coaster for many years, and I also wear the scars of PCOS, hypothroidsim, low progesterone, Adenomyosis and two miscarriages.
- Improve testosterone levels in males
And many, many more!
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Follow A High Fiber Diet
Fiber is essential to a healthy diet.
Studies have found that it increases insulin sensitivity and stimulates the production of hormones that make you feel full (
Researchers believe that this diet increases your intake of protective plant compounds such as polyphenols and lignans .
Replacing a diet high in red meat and processed and refined foods with a Mediterranean-style diet rich in whole grains, legumes, and fish may help you manage your estrogen levels.
The Different Types Of Hormones And Their Functions
Before I tell you how to get to this Promise Land, we need to discuss what these hormones actually are.
Put simply, our hormones are the bodys chemical messengers. Every moment of the day, they whizz through the bloodstream, traveling to our organs to let them know the work that needs to be done.
Theres a hormone for all our functions, too even those you didnt even know existed!
Lets look at 7 types of hormones in the body:
- The love hormone which responds to touch,
- The stress hormone which tells us when to run when were in danger,
- The metabolism regulator ,
- Mood-boosting hormone
- The hunger-quelling hormone
Of course, I could go on, and there are many, many more. But, really all you need to know is that theres a hormone for everything!
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What Happens When These Hormones Become Imbalanced
When there is an excess of estrogen in your system, this can lead to heavy and painful periods, sore breasts, PMS, and weight retention around thighs and hips. The causes of estrogen excess include higher production from ovaries and poor metabolism and detoxification.
Low estrogen can also have negative effects on your health, which include low libido, missing periods, or very long cycles. The causes for low estrogen include under-eating, over-exercising, stress, and smoking.
The consequences of low progesterone include PMS, spotting before period begins, anxiety, and prolonged bleeding. The causes of low progesterone include stress and not ovulating.
Having high testosterone can cause acne, male pattern hair growth, hair loss, and irregular cycles. It is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome , which is associated with irregular cycles and excess androgens .
Final Thoughts On Hormone Balancing
If you follow this plan to balance your hormones in a week you could start to see significant changes in your body in a few days as I did. But know, this is not just something you can do in a week and then go back to your old ways. Hormone balance like any other health issue takes a change in your lifestyle habits that will give you long-term happiness in the long run!
Which of these tips have you already tried in your journey to balancing your hormones? Will you try this plan starting today?
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The Best Foods For Hormone Balance
Carrie Gabriel, MS, RDN, clues us in on the best foods to eat for hormone balance.
When we think about hormones, we often immediately think of reproductive health. But theyre not just heavily involved in keeping the reproductive system functioning: Hormones can affect your mood, stress levels, appetite, and overall health. If our hormones are off balance, we might feel more fatigued than usual. Even further, we might experience irregular bowel movements to irregular menstrual cycles, heightened stress, and general irritability. Yikes!
Many of us dont think about turning to food first as a remedy for hormonal issues too often, we tend to steer toward medication. And unfortunately, hormone production isnt something we can directly control.
Diet is integral to hormone health, especially by regulating your gut health . Thankfully, there are certain foods that can help you balance your hormones, so we can select the best foods that regulate hormones and fuel our bodies with those. Heres everything you need to know about treating hormonal imbalance with a hormone-balancing diet and other positive health habits.
Inside this article:
Stop Taking Hormonal Birth Control
The hormone-disrupting affects of hormonal birth control may be the reason some of you are reading this post. The Pill and all other forms of hormonal birth control create a cascade of hormonal imbalance in your body by creating nutritional deficiencies and disrupting gut bacteria.
Are you ready to balance hormones and ditch The Pill? Then apply the tips Ive discussed here to balance hormones and also read these 4 ways to balance hormones post-Pill.
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How To Use Exercise To Balance Hormones
As you can probably tell, getting your hormones back to good or optimum levels is a balancing act. “While intense workouts improve your body chemistry, including levels of HGH and testosterone, you have to keep cortisol in check,” explains Rivett. A HIIT class after a stressful day at work is probably the last thing you need. A typical workout week needs to be structured correctly to impact all the hormones positively, Rivett tells me.
High-intensity training can be used to your advantage, increasing beneficial hormones. “Types of exercises with different impact and intensity have shown to increase more of certain hormones. There is data that shows that high-intensity training or resistant training helps improve the production of testosterone, which helps with building and maintaining lean muscle mass,” adds Lee.
Steady-state exercise has its merits as well, particularly when it comes to mood regulation Lee explains: “Cardio such as speed walking and running can increase overall dopamine and serotonin for an overall sense of calm for better night sleep and even just mood elevation. People have reported sleeping better after a good walk throughout the day.”
Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Weight Gain
Yes, certain hormone imbalances can cause weight gain, including:
- Hypothyroidism: This condition happens when you have low levels of thyroid hormone, which causes your metabolism to slow down. This can cause weight gain.
- Cushings syndrome: This is a rare condition that happens when your body has too much of a hormone called cortisol. It results in rapid weight gain in your face , belly, back of your neck and chest.
- Menopause: During menopause, many people assigned female at birth gain weight due to hormonal changes that cause their metabolism to slow down. Its important to remember that this type of hormonal imbalance is natural and an expected part of life.
Several other factors contribute to weight gain. If youre experiencing unexpected weight gain or are concerned about your weight, talk to your healthcare provider.
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+ Birth Control Withdrawal Self
Effectively eliminating birth controls side effects can take some time and require some patience initially.
Thus its important for you to take care of yourself as much as possible during this transition in order to rebalance your hormones and help you feel better. Self-care should be individualized and looks different for every person but these ideas can help you build a solid foundation:
+ Minimize Stress Try deep breathing or meditation techniques, getting out in nature, reading a good book, going for a walk, connecting or calling a friend
+ Get Restorative Sleep One of the biggest things you can do to improve sleep quality is to be off all electronics at least two hours before bed. Also try winding down with a nightly ritual
+ Consistently Exercise This is not only great for detoxing the body of synthetic hormones but helps mitigate stress and increases the amount of beta-endorphins you produce . Try a gentler form of yoga if youre dealing with bad cramps and more intense exercising in your first half
Talk To Your Healthcare Professional
Doctors use blood tests to measure how much of a hormone your body makes and sometimes use bioidentical hormones to correct imbalances. They might use testosterone therapy, for instance, if you have low levels of this hormone. Always discuss potential side effects and other drawbacks before you begin treatment. You may able to treat hormonal imbalances naturally. Talk to your chiropractor, who can complement your doctors recommendations by designing a customized dietary and lifestyle hormone balance protocol. Research shows, for instance, that chiropractic care can help balance cortisol and other adrenal hormones to help manage your stress response.
Every hormonal problem requires a unique strategy to create balance. No one should have to live with the unpleasant symptoms of hormonal balances like fatigue, mood disorders, and low sex drive. At the same time, the right diet, nutrients, and lifestyle factors, along with working with a chiropractor , can go a long way towards balancing hormones naturally.
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Get The Right Nutrients
Vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy hormones. A holistic practitioner can help you determine which supplements work well for your needs, but there are a few basics that work well for most women. These include vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and a bioavailable B complex vitamin.
For women: Get the fully-activated B vitamins you need.
But First What Are Hormones
Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the various endocrine organs/glands in the body or the endocrine system.
Some hormones are produced by other tissues that normally are not classified as endocrine glands such as the GI tract and the GI Mucosa which produces hormones such as gastrin, gastrone, secretin, cholecystokinin, that are important for digestion.
The Kidneys also has an endocrine role as they produce erythropoietin, a hormone important for producing blood cells.
Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands and each hormone has a certain job to do
Hormones also work in concert with the nervous system and drive the function of cells and organs in the body.
The brain endocrine communication regulates mood, stress levels and responses, energy, and metabolism as well as energy balance, influencing weight, and even sex drive.
There are many hormones which also work in concert with each other.
That orchestrated action can sometimes cause complications when one hormone imbalance affects other hormones, organs, and cell functions.
Then a cascade of events is initiated when one hormone gets out of whack.
When the choreography of this orchestrated hormonal relationships gets messed up, and some hormones run amok while others fall off the rails, a hormonal imbalance state then exists.
This, in turn, causes metabolic dysfunction and other health problems.
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Get The Sleep You Need
While you sleep, growth hormones are released that boost your immune system and aid in tissue repair.8 A good nights sleep also helps control your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, so you are better equipped to deal with stress during the day ahead. If you find you have trouble falling and staying asleep, you can make simple lifestyle changes to reach optimal sleep, such as supplementing with my Rest and Restore sleep formula.
Improve Hormones With A Hug
Last but not least, the simplest method of all to help balance hormones naturally: give your significant other a long hug! According to neuroeconomist Paul Zak in his 2011 TedTalk, a 20 second hug with a romantic partner has been shown to spike oxytoxcin, the Happiness Hormone.
Are you struggling with hormone balance? Have you used any of these tips?
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Muscle Weakness And Joint Pain
If you feel like it takes extra effort to move your body, or your joints are stiff and uncomfortable, this may be a symptom of hormonal imbalance. There are several different hormones that contribute to the strength of your musclesthink estrogen, testosterone, even your thyroid hormoneand could be behind your muscle weakness. Declines in both estrogen and testosterone have been associated with loss of strength, and muscle weakness and stiffness are often signs of a thyroid disorder, due the thyroids role in breaking glycogen into glucose, a main source of energy for your muscles.
How Are Hormonal Imbalances Diagnosed
Healthcare providers typically order blood tests to check hormone levels since your endocrine glands release hormones directly into your bloodstream.
Certain hormone levels vary drastically throughout the day, so providers may order other tests to measure your levels, such as a glucose tolerance test or insulin tolerance test.
Your provider will also ask you about your medical history and symptoms and perform a physical exam.
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Balancing Hormones Naturally With Diet & Lifestyle
Rather than masking imbalances and symptoms with drugs, functional medicine focuses on restoring your bodys natural hormone balance through lifestyle changes.
This can include optimizing your diet by minimizing inflammatory foods like sugar, caffeine, and alcohol while increasing healthy fats that keep hormone levels in check.
If testing reveals youre estrogen dominant, meaning your estrogen levels are too high relative to your other hormones, you may also want to reduce your exposure to xenoestrogens. These are chemicals that mimic estrogen and can be found in items such as personal care products and plastics.
Supplementing with key nutrients that help balance hormones and support optimal hormone production can also be very helpful.
And finally, relieving stress and getting plenty of sleep plays a big role in any hormone-related health issues.
If youre tired of the ups-and-downs of a hormone imbalance, know that you can take back control and restore balance without putting yourself at risk from synthetic hormones.
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Your Low Testosterone Levels Are Slowing Down Your Metabolism
You are confronted with an astounding number of toxins each day, including pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods, and about six different synthetic hormones in meat. Toxins are lurking in face creams, prescription drugs, processed foods, your lipstick, the linings of tuna fish cans, the fire-retardant materials in couches, and even the air you breathe. The list goes on.
Many types of these toxins, such as pesticides, plastics, and industrial chemicals, behave like estrogen when absorbed in the body. Experts believe that our increasing exposure to toxins helps explain why so many girls are entering puberty earlier and why many boys exhibit feminine characteristics such as developing breasts. Xeno-estrogens, as these particular toxins are called, have been associated with an elevated risk of estrogen-driven diseases like breast and ovarian cancers and endometriosis.
HOW TO LOSE BELLY FAT
All this fake estrogen overwhelms your body’s testosteronewhich is vital for hormone balanceand contributes to estrogen overload. Testosterone contributes to muscle growth, which in turn supports metabolism. And, as we already know, estrogen overload raises insulin insensitivity. The combination adds pounds to your frame: A study from Sweden published in the journal Chemosphere showed that exposure to a particular type of pesticide called organochloride was linked to a weight gain of 9½ pounds over 50 years.
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