Is it really possible to rid yourself of hormonal problems and say goodbye to all those unpleasant symptoms? Do you need help to balance your hormones-or can you do it yourself?
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Hormone imbalances can be rough! They can cause all kinds of symptoms and problems like:
- weight gain
- thinning hair
- blood sugar issues
- Irregular periods
- Fibrocystic breasts
You probably are experiencing some of these symptoms if you are reading this, and you want to know how you can feel and look better.
I have dealt with issues like this in the past, and there are answers. Often, the first step to healing is to identify why you have an hormone imbalance to begin with. Then you will be able to take the steps necessary to help your body to heal and come back into balance.
Two Types of Hormone Imbalances
I believe there are two basic types of hormone imbalances. One type of hormone imbalance is the type that is caused by some bigger underlying problem. I talk about those below.
Other hormone imbalances can be improved by nutrition and detox. Many people have this less serious type of hormone imbalance. Which in my mind is great news! I love being able to be healthy and feel great without spending a whole lot of time and money at doctor’s offices!
I used to have serious insomnia, chronic fatigue, frequent illnesses, weight gain, and blood sugar type issues. I did have to address some bigger underlying causes, but now that those are taken care of, I am able to use nutrition and detox to stay healthy.
I hope you are one of those people who doesn’t have a bigger issue that needs to be taken care of. If that is the case, you can begin to work on nutrition and detox (suggestions on how to do that are farther down the page).
On the other hand, if you are dealing with something more serious, it might help you get better faster if you know what the problem is.
Are Bigger Issues Causing Your “Hormone Imbalance”?
Some hormone imbalances are caused by serious issues like being exposed to toxic mold, heavy metal poisoning, underlying infection (like lyme’s disease), and/or digestive problems.
If you think you may have one of these more serious problems, you may need to see an integrated doctor. An integrated doctor can perform proper testing, and give you a treatment plan.
An integrative doctor may discover that your IBS is really a parasite problem*, or that heavy metal poisoning is a root cause of your PCOS. These things can often be improved through therapies from an integrated doctor.
So how do you know if you really need to spend the time and money to see an integrated doctor? It can be a tough call to determine whether you really need one or not. Here are a few things to consider:
- How bad do you normally feel? If you feel really sick, that is obviously an indicator that something more serious is wrong. Your symptoms may include other things that don’t seem to be hormone related.
- You may have already have a diagnosis of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or IBS.
- You may just have a gut feeling that there is something more serious going on than “PMS” or “hormones”.
- You are skipping periods, or are having a lot of pain or very heavy cycles.
If you feel that you have more serious issues, a visit to a more natural minded doctor may really help you. On the other hand, an integrated doctor will most likely tell you to do the things I list below anyway. So it is really your call. Do you feel more peaceful about seeing a doctor or just working on things that you can do yourself? (I do recommend going to a regular doctor if you are having serious symptoms-even if he may not be able to help you fix your problems. It is always a good idea to rule out serious issues.)
Natural Hormone Imbalance Treatments
Here is the good news-If you are like a lot of people, you can get a whole lot better with nutrition and detox. Hormones respond really well to diet and natural remedies.
Here are some ideas to get you going in the right direction. I have done most of these, but I did it in baby steps! I didn’t change everything at once. But, I kept working at it because I like feeling and looking good. 🙂
- Eat healthy fats. Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones, and eating healthy fats provides cholesterol. Some of the best fats for healthy hormones are grass fed butter, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Buy healthy meats. I prioritize healthy meats-which means I buy healthy meats even if it means I won’t be able to afford organic vegetables. Because many animals are given hormone shots, and the excess estrogen is passed on to whoever eats the meat. I buy grassfed beef from a local farmer. (I buy ground beef because it is a better price than any other beef cuts.) I buy healthy chicken from the grocery store.
- Cut back on sugar and anything that turns into sugar. This looks different for different people. Some people can recover healthy hormone balance with just cutting down on sweeteners and eating a little less carbohydrates. Others will need to eat only stevia for a sweetener and cut out most carbohydrates for at least a little while. I personally kept carbs in my diet to help support my adrenals. But I have seen others who felt and looked a lot better after they drastically cut back their carbohydrates (at least for a time, so that they could “reset” their blood sugar).
- Don’t eat soy. I used to think soy was healthy. I was right in a very tiny way because small amounts of fermented soy do seem to be okay. But, most of the soy in America does not fit in this category. Most soy products are made from GMO soy, and also contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are estrogen mimickers. Feeding yourself extra estrogen can cause many hormonal problems. (Dr Axe does a good job of explaining the problems with soy.)
- Help your liver. Eating a healthy diet consisting of real foods goes a long way toward having excellent liver health. Consuming lots of raw and or green vegetables can also help. I like to keep wheatgrass powder in the house for when I don’t have any fresh vegetables. Certain herbs are also really good for the liver. Milk thistle, artichoke or dandelion are good herbal remedies for liver congestion.
- Minimize chemicals that act as hormones. Just like with soy, chemicals can give you extra estrogen and really disrupt your hormones. Chemicals can be found in all kinds of places including plastics, pesticides, and personal care products and household products. This is one of the reasons I use natural products in my home and on my body. I know I am never going to get to zero chemical exposure, but I can definitely surround myself with healthy products that I know support healthy hormone balance.
- Take targeted supplements. Some people need high doses of B vitamins and do very well on them. My doula told me that she knew of a mother that was able to avoid hospitalization for her postpartum depression by taking vitamins (including B vitamins). B vitamins are very supportive and can help with hormone issues. But some people may not need them. That is why it is best to use “targeted supplements” that are best for the conditions you are dealing with. I had the help of some integrated doctors to help me decide which supplements would be the best for me. I have also chosen some of my own supplements after I had researched enough to know that the supplement would probably help me and have limited side effects. I have been on some supplements for only a short time, but I have taken a B complex and a mineral supplement for many years now.
If you are having hormonal problems, there are answers! It may take some time to determine what you need to do first, but it is so worth it to take the time to address health issues. The good news is that even serious conditions often improve with “natural” interventions like the ones I list above.
*There is an interesting patient story about parasites and hormones here.
You may also be interested in Non Toxic Makeup (Lip Color Without Heavy Metals).
Disclaimer: This post is not medical advice. I am not a doctor or medical professional. I share only from my own experiences and research. Consult your own practitioner before making changes in your diet or supplements.