Do you ride a roller coaster every month, enjoying a few pleasant days interrupted by bloating, mood swings, increased aches and pains, and overall yuckiness? If so, your hormones might be out of balance.
Multiple factors impact your endocrine system, from stress to illness to diet. An imbalance in one hormone often has a ripple effect on others, partially explaining why so many women with hormonal imbalances have competing health concerns like obesity and depression. While you can’t change your DNA, you can influence which genes switch on by managing the conditions within your control.
Fortunately, you can improve your symptoms by modifying the lifestyle factors that adversely impact your endocrine system. Here are five natural remedies for hormonal balance in women.
1. Moderate Exercise
Your body was designed to move. And while sitting may not quite be “the new smoking,” it produces considerable adverse health effects. You might notice the hormone-balancing effects when you start hitting the gym even before your biceps bulge, particularly in the bedroom.
Remember how one hormone affects another? Cortisol, a stress hormone, lowers progesterone levels in women and testosterone in men. Exercise is perhaps the best way to mitigate cortisol levels by letting your body’s flight or fight response dispel it as nature intended.
That’s not the only reason you might feel the bedroom effects from doing your pushups and jumping jacks. You’ll increase your sensitivity and libido from the hormonal effects while gaining more confidence with other people. That makes it easier to find a mate if single and more likely to wiggle your eyebrows at your partner if hitched.
However, going harder and longer isn’t necessarily better. Training for more than an hour at high intensity can increase cortisol instead of decreasing it. As a result, your progesterone levels drop. A brisk walk or jog followed by light weights and stretching fits the bill for many people.
2. Pre and Probiotics
Your diet has a significant impact on your hormones. Many experts consider your gut the largest endocrine organ in your body, even though it isn’t technically a gland.
What are prebiotics and probiotics? Prebiotics refer to insoluble fiber that you can’t digest but that feeds the beneficial bacteria your intestines need to complete the process. Probiotics are the bacteria themselves, found in the following:
- Fermented foods
Food rich in prebiotics includes those high in fiber, like fresh fruits and vegetables. For example, apples are rich in pectin, a type of fiber healthy bacteria love. Whole, unrefined grains are additional rich sources.
How do foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics help with hormonal balance in women? When your gut bacteria fall out of balance, inflammation increases. Excess inflammation correlates with elevated cortisol levels and decreased amounts of other essential hormones.
3. Reduced Processed Whites
However, please don’t think chowing down on refined white bread will help your hormonal balance. Fiber comes from the nutrient-rich bran and chaff of the wheat, which manufacturers strip away as part of the production process. What remains is a quick-absorbing substance that can spike your blood glucose as rapidly as white sugar.
Refined sugar and flour cause blood sugar roller coasters that can spur insulin resistance. Worse, bleached flour often contains trace amounts of alloxan, which damages your pancreas, the organ responsible for producing insulin. When your body becomes resistant to this hormone, you can develop type 2 diabetes, a condition often occurring in tandem with female issues like PCOS.
High insulin levels produced to counteract blood sugar spikes tell your ovaries to produce excess androgen, contributing to the facial hair women with PCOS often experience. Additionally, too much blood sugar and insulin lower sex-hormone-binding globulin, dumping excess estrogen into your system. Symptoms include sore breasts, fibroids, and heavy periods.
4. Herbal Teas
Some herbs have longstanding reputations as remedies for hormonal balance in women. Many reported benefits stem from subjective experience, as science has yet to fully investigate many folk-medicine preparations for their efficacy. However, here’s a short list of some you might try to improve your levels:
- Ashwagandha – This potent adaptogen helps your body counteract the impact of oxidative stress.
- Black cohosh – This herb has a stellar reputation for easing the pain of menopause and may function as a phytoestrogen.
- Chaste tree berry: Another herb used by menopausal women, it can also help lower prolactin levels associated with PMS.
- Muira Pauma – Known as the “Viagra of the Amazon,” this herb also helps keep your sex hormones balanced, improving friskiness and overall vitality.
- Fenugreek – You might know this herb as a breast milk inducer if you’ve had a baby. It increases estrogen and may counteract some of the excess androgen production typical of PCOS.
You might struggle to find some of these natural remedies on typical store shelves. However, many specialty herb shops have elixirs – so add a few drops to your favorite morning beverage.
5. Stress Reduction
Chronic stress elevates your cortisol levels, which can lead to multiple adverse health effects, including upsetting hormonal balance in women. Remember, an excess of this stress hormone lowers levels of several others vital for reproduction, which makes evolutionary sense. Mother Nature inhibits your ability to have a baby when she detects you’re already struggling to thrive or survive.
However, you owe it to yourself to get your stress under control. A regular yoga or meditation program only takes minutes a day. Try starting your day with uplifting affirmations and doing gentle stretches while reflecting on your day before bed.
Natural Remedies For Hormonal Balance In Women
You can feel miserable when your hormones fall out of balance. You lose your lust for life and develop all sorts of unpleasant symptoms. Addressing the factors that impact your endocrine system can help. Try the above natural remedies for hormonal balance in women and experience gradual but lasting relief.