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HOW TO BALANCE HORMONES NATURALLY

Your body secretes about 50 hormones that control many critical functions including metabolism, homeostasis (balance), sexual activity, and contraction of the heart muscle. [

Think of hormones as messenger molecules that one part of your body makes and then transports (via the bloodstream) elsewhere. [2] Your pancreas, for instance, secretes insulin, a hormone that helps your body utilize glucose for energy.

Hormonal imbalances occur when too much or too little of a hormone exists in your bloodstream. Even small hormonal imbalances can create side effects that resonate throughout your body.

While everyone experiences hormonal imbalances or fluctuations at some point, they can also occur when endocrine glands are not functioning properly. Numerous culprits contribute to these hormonal imbalances, and sometimes they overlap. Among them include:

  • Chronic stress

  • Nutrient deficiencies

  • An underactive or overactive gland (such as the thyroid gland)

  • Overweight or obesity

  • Poor diet and nutrition

  • Toxins and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals including pesticides

Hormone imbalance symptoms vary greatly depending on the hormone, but include:

  • Weight gain or weight loss

  • Sleep issues

  • Sensitivities to cold and heat

  • Changes in blood pressure or heart rate

  • Mood disorders including irritability, depression, and anxiety

  • Fatigue

  • Appetite changes

  • Changes in sex drive

While hormonal imbalances sometimes require working with an endocrinologist or another specialist, you have tremendous power over balancing your hormones naturally. Start with what you eat. A hormone-balancing diet includes the right foods to steady your blood sugar levels and optimize insulin levels. When you support a healthy diet with the right nutrients and lifestyle factors, you can dramatically improve hormone levels. These 7 strategies provide a solid starting point.


1)REDUCE OR ELIMINATE SUGAR & OTHER FOOD SENSITIVITIES

Sugar keeps insulin elevated, knocking other hormones out of balance and paving the way for insulin resistance. [17] Food sensitivities, including gluten intolerance can also increase inflammation and contribute to hormonal imbalances, including elevated cortisol. Research shows that a healthy gluten-free diet can reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. [18] Consider working with a healthcare professional to develop an elimination diet to see if your symptoms improve.


2)BALANCE STRESS LEVELS

Chronic stress is all-around bad news for hormonal balance, as it can create or exacerbe hormonal imbalances. [19] Research has shown that six-months of practicing biweekly (2 times per week) meditation could improve insulin levels, while also improving stress levels. If meditation sounds boring to you, the good news is, research has shown that what really matters is what helps you de-stress. That could be yoga, deep breathing, or taking your dog for a walk. De-stressing is not a cookie-cutter process that will work the same in every person, so feel free to explore your options and see what works the best for you.


3)ADDRESS TOXICITY

We are bombarded daily with chemicals nearly everywhere —in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the products we put on our bodies. Many of these chemicals are considered endocrine or hormone disruptors because they interfere with hormonal production and create wide-ranging damage. [21] Among them include bisphenol A (BPA), found in plastic water bottle and cans, which can disrupt multiple hormonal pathways. [22] Xenoestrogens, chemical compounds that mimic estrogen, can impact testosterone and estrogen production. [23] Consider working with a healthcare professional on a professionally designed detoxification program.


4)LOWER INFLAMMATION

Hormonal imbalances can increase inflammation, which in turn can further disrupt hormone production. [24] When your adrenals over-secrete cortisol, other hormones, including insulin, become disrupted, leading to chronic inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet, rich in wild-caught fish and high-fiber plant foods, is your best foundation to lower inflammation. If you aren’t regularly eating fish, consider a quality fish oil to get those crucial anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.


5)GET GREAT SLEEP

Your circadian rhythm impacts many hormones including cortisol and ghrelin. Sleep disturbances can contribute to numerous problems including hormonal imbalances. [25] Getting optimal sleep levels can be a challenge in today’s plugged-in society. Sleep hygiene can help — turn off electronics an hour or two before bed, unwind with an Epsom salt bath, and consider a natural supplement that naturally helps you fall and stay asleep.


6)EXERCISE REGULARLY

The right amount and kind of exercise can positively impact nearly every hormone, including positively influencing insulin levels. [26] Exercise can also boost growth hormone, your “fountain of youth” hormone that keeps you lean and energetic. While many studies have looked at the benefits of higher-intensity exercise for hormone balance, what matters ultimately is what you actually do. Follow our tips to start exercising more, no matter what your current physical condition,


7)TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE 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 nutritionist, who can complement your doctor’s 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 (or other healthcare professional), can go a long way towards balancing hormones naturally.



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