Are my hormones out of balance?
Hormones play a crucial role in maintaining the proper functioning of our bodies. They are chemical messengers that are produced by various glands and organs and are responsible for regulating numerous bodily functions, including metabolism, growth, development, and reproduction. Hormonal imbalances occur when there is an excess or deficiency of a particular hormone, which can result in various health problems. Do you recognise any of these signs that can indicate your hormones may be out of balance?
- Mood swings and irritability: Hormonal imbalances can cause sudden changes in your mood, leading to feelings of irritability, anxiety, and depression. Fluctuations in estrogen levels can cause mood swings, especially during the menstrual cycle, perimenopause, and menopause.
- Sleep problems: Hormonal imbalances can affect the quality of your sleep, leading to insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness. For example, low levels of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, can disrupt your sleep patterns.
- Weight gain: Hormonal imbalances can cause weight gain, especially around the abdomen, hips, and thighs. This is because certain hormones, such as insulin and cortisol can affect how your body stores fat.
- Fatigue and low energy levels: Hormonal imbalances can cause chronic fatigue and low energy levels, even after a good night’s sleep. This can be due to changes in thyroid hormone levels or fluctuations in cortisol levels.
- Changes in appetite: Hormonal imbalances can cause changes in your appetite, leading to cravings for sugary or salty foods. For example, imbalances in the hormone leptin can cause an increase in appetite and decrease in metabolism, leading to weight gain.
- Skin problems: Hormonal imbalances can cause a range of skin problems, including acne, dry skin, and excessive hair growth. These changes can be caused by imbalances in androgen levels.
- Changes in libido: Hormonal imbalances can affect your sex drive, leading to a decrease or increase in libido. This can be due to changes in estrogen or testosterone levels.
- Menstrual problems: Hormonal imbalances can cause menstrual problems, such as irregular periods, heavy bleeding, or painful periods. These changes can be caused by imbalances in estrogen or progesterone levels.
If you suspect your hormones may be out of balance, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional who understands how to restore hormone balance as naturally as possible. In the meantime, here are some natural solutions you can implement today:
- Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, refined sugars, and excess caffeine and alcohol.
- Maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
- Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to help lower cortisol levels and promote relaxation.
- Get enough sleep each night, aiming for 7-9 hours of restful sleep. Keep a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Consider taking supplements that support hormonal balance, such as magnesium, vitamin D and hormone specific herbs.
- Limit exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides, plastics, and synthetic hormones found in personal care products.
- Incorporate adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, ginseng and liquorice root into your diet to help support healthy adrenal function and reduce stress.
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption as both can disrupt hormonal balance.
- Address any underlying health conditions such as thyroid disorders, endometriosis, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) that may be contributing to hormonal imbalances.
- Practice mindfulness and self-care activities to improve overall mental health and wellbeing, which can positively impact hormonal balance.
Hormone imbalances can cause a range of symptoms that can affect your physical and emotional wellbeing and if left unchecked can lead to chronic health conditions. With proper diagnosis, testing, and treatment as well as lifestyle changes, it is possible to restore hormonal balance and improve your overall health and quality of life.
Don’t live with hormonal imbalance any longer than you need to, seek out the help of a qualified practitioner who can offer you natural solutions to a natural problem.
Written by Mona Hecke
Mona Hecke is a degree qualified Naturopath, nutrition specialist and health and wellness writer.
With over 20 years in the health industry, beginning with a focus on children and families, and a bestselling book ‘The Lunchbox Revolution’, Mona is now empowering women through education and conversation to take action and embrace change. Gut health, mindfulness, nutrition, hormones, and menopause are the topics that women want and need to know to create their healthy future.
Mona holds certifications in Lifestyle Coaching, Kinesiology, holistic herbal medicine, and nutrition.
A recognised leader in the health industry, Mona’s strong social media presence and passion for influencing change will continue to be a catalyst for health reform for the benefit of every Australian.