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You have more than fifty hormones at any time, all the time. They help regulate everything from your mood and metabolism to sex drive, sleep patterns, reproduction, and how you deal with stress.
In a perfect world, you would have the right amount of each hormone and they would work together like the best of friends. In reality, your hormones are extremely sensitive, and when your body makes too much or too little of any given hormone, it can have a domino effect on others, causing hormone imbalance and lead to all kinds of issues.
What causes hormonal imbalance in women? What are the common symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women? And ultimately, what are some natural remedies to help support hormone balance for women?
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance in Women?
Women naturally encounter hormonal fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. Womens' reproductive hormones also naturally ebb and flow each month as they move through the four phases of their menstrual cycle: menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and luteal.
The menstrual cycle and other life phases can be thrown off by hormonal imbalances. There are many causes of irregular hormonal imbalance in women. Causes can be divided into three general categories: medical conditions, lifestyle, and environment.
The following can be sources of hormone-disrupting chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors:
- Pollutants in air and water
- Pesticides and herbicides in food
- Toxins in cookware, cleaning products, and cosmetics
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
During expected times of hormonal fluctuations, like your monthly period or getting pregnant, you’ll likely notice some mood and body changes. This is normal and temporary — however, even common symptoms, like PMS, can be intensified when other hormones are chronically out of sync.
Perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause bring their own set of hormonal imbalance that have little to do with external factors, being simply part of life.
How do you know if you’re struggling with a hormonal imbalance? You’ll have one or more symptoms. Keep in mind that your hormones are the root cause, and the symptoms are just a sign, not the cause.
Here are ten common symptoms women experience when their hormones are not balanced.
If you always feel tired or like you need a nap, even after a good night’s sleep, it may be your hormones. Progesterone works with melatonin to regulate sleep cycles, so if you have too much of it, you might feel tired all the time. The hormones your thyroid makes can also be the culprit.
If you feel mentally and emotionally a hot mess – like your emotions don’t match your environment – you may be suffering from mood swings. Mood swings can range from feeling generally crabby to nervous or irritable and even lead to anxiety and depression. Mood swings are also a common symptom of the stages of menopause.
Your body has a thermostat called the hypothalamus. When it feels like someone has cranked the thermostat up it's because your estrogen levels are down and your body tries to cool you down. That's when you get hot flashes. Hot Flashes are mostly commonly associated with menopause. Want to end your hot flashes you? You can do it naturally without hormone replacement therapy, aka HRT.
Appetite & Weight Changes
Haywire hormones can lead to eating more or less than usual. The same goes for unexplained weight loss or weight gain. Gaining weight in your midsection or all-over puffiness can be tied to hormone levels.
The food you eat has a big impact on your digestive system and how your stomach feels. However, a hormonal imbalance can be involved if you’re regularly experiencing belly bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.
Hormonal imbalances in women can alter sex drive. You may notice you feel less in the mood than you used to or experience physical changes in your lady parts, like dryness, that make sex uncomfortable or even painful.
Changes to a woman’s period, outside of pregnancy and menopause, are clear signs something is up with her hormones.
Changes can include heavier than usual bleeding, extra painful cramps, extreme PMS, missing a period (often from elevated cortisol), or an erratic and unpredictable cycle. If you’re experiencing changes to your menstrual cycle, you should see your OBGYN to rule out other concerns like Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or early-onset menopause.
Hormonal imbalances in women can affect fertility and can make it more difficult to conceive a baby. Signs of infertility may include fluctuations in your menstrual cycle, a lack of a period, or trying to conceive for at least six months with no success. Infertility can have many causes, so it is important to speak to a doctor to address the underlying cause.
Your hormones may be keeping you up at night. Too much cortisol and not enough melatonin or progesterone can result in insomnia. Night sweats or hot flashes while you’re trying to sleep can impact sleep.
Skin & Hair Changes
Unwanted hair growth, called hirsutism, is a telltale sign of hormonal imbalance in women. It typically shows up along the jawline, chin, neck, and/or chest.
Skin can become dry and flaky, and hair can become brittle and break easily with a hormonal imbalance. It’s normal to lose a few strands of hair each time you brush or wash it, but excessive shedding or thinning hair is not. A blemish here or there around the time of a woman’s period is normal, but chronic breakouts are not.
Natural Remedies for Hormone Imbalances for Women
Many of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women may seem like minor inconveniences, or mere realities women just have to live with. This is dangerous thinking.
Hormonal imbalances don’t go away. They’re likely to get worse, affect other hormones, and can trigger serious health concerns if you don't do anything to shift your body back to its happy place.
Lifestyle changes are the best natural remedies you have against hormonal imbalances. If you are struggling with multiple symptoms of hormone imbalance, make sure to consult your doctor, though. Consider these five natural remedies to support healthy hormone levels.
Exercise is a solid go-to. Besides helping you work out excess energy, get an instant mood boost, and relax, moving your body also helps bring down high cortisol levels and improves your blood sugar.
A regular fitness routine can also help you lose weight and build muscle. Maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of the equation for happy hormones. Target 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
Healthy Food Choices
Your food choices can influence hormone health. Excess sugar and unhealthy fats are linked to weight gain and high estrogen levels for women.
Include lean protein, healthy fat, and fruit or vegetables at each meal. Some lean proteins to try:
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast
- White meat turkey
If you don’t eat meat, then tofu, beans, and lentils are healthy plant-based protein sources.
Healthy cooking oils include avocado oil, coconut oil, and ghee. You can also get healthy fats from nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados.
Limit your intake of red meat, processed meats, refined carbohydrates (i.e., white bread and pasta), sweets, and packaged foods.
Chronic stress can send cortisol levels soaring. This matters because when your cortisol levels are constantly elevated, it impacts other hormones and influences everything from appetite to aging and sleep patterns.
Stress management looks different for everyone. Diaphragmatic breathing, spending time in nature, journaling, reading, or simply building more downtime into your schedule can all help you decompress.
Rejuvenating sleep gives your body a chance to stabilize, reset, and return to equilibrium.
If your current slumber time is falling short, try going to bed earlier, doing something relaxing before bed, and ending screen time at least 1 hour before bedtime. Phones, tablets, computers, and televisions give off blue light which stimulates your brain and interferes with the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Support with Superceuticals™
Products that contain adaptogens – with plant-based compounds – can help your body better handle stress and counteract signs of hormonal imbalance in women. Adaptogens can give you a subtle energy boost or help you wind down.
The Rebalance Women's System offers natural hormone balance for women. It contains the adaptogens maca and ashwagandha, Panax ginseng, and astragalus root to help support optimal hormone levels.It is scientifically proven to reduce, if not end, hot flashes. The women’s formulation has ingredients specifically curated for women including Bacopa and Oat Straw. It’s designed to naturally improve your circadian rhythm and cortisol levels so your body can have healthy levels of all hormones.
Also, take a listen to a conversation with Gabby Reece and our Chief Medical Officer about why hormonal health is important, signs of your imbalance & natural toosl to manage your health span: