According to Northwell Health (2018), 80% of women today have some kind of hormone imbalance, which often starts around our 30s to 40s.
In women, the most common hormone imbalances are higher numbers of excess androgens. Androgens in women are in simple terms ‘male’ hormones such as testosterone.
Having suffered from severe adult acne from both digestive and hormonal issues in my mid 20s, I have finally come to understand that you cannot separate hormone health from overall health. It all goes hand in hand.
I wanted to break down some common hormonal misconceptions, and offer natural solutions that helped me start the process of stabilizing my hormones after coming off the pill and experiencing general lifestyle stress.
SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE A HORMONAL IMBALANCE
Common signs of excess or higher amounts of androgens in women are excess facial hair, in particular chin or facial hair, ovarian cysts, adult acne, chin and cystic acne specifically and a loss or thinning of hair on your head/scalp.
A loss of libido is another sign that your hormones are off balance. This is because when your body is stressed or has any kind of depletion the first thing that you lose is your sex drive. Your body is built to support your core organs no matter what: your brain, lungs, heart, etc, and when out of balance the first things that suffer are what your body doesn’t deem necessary for survival: your sex drive, your menstrual cycle and a depletion of vitamins.
In women the excess testosterone production that comes along with hormone stressors means a depletion in b vitamins that are vital in helping estrogen metabolize, affecting libido and arousal. Controversial for some women, but it is important to understand that not wanting to have sex may be a sign of a hormone imbalance.
Premature ageing is also a sign of hormonal imbalance. Your adrenal glands consist of 30% of your hormone production. There is a direct link between stress that affects your adrenals to the point of hormonal decline causing premature ageing.
Digestive issues can often lead to a hormone imbalance as your body is not effectively absorbing fat from foods (which is how your body actually makes vital stabilizing hormones).
Weight Gain around the abdomen can be due to a change in hormone levels.
Exhaustion from overexercise also depletes the sex hormones in women, and it is common for professional athletes to even stop their menstrual cycles because of severe depletion.
It is important to try and take notice if you have any of the above signs, in order to find out where the imbalance lies. Remember that different situations result in different hormone imbalances.
Here are my natural remedies and a further breakdown of different disruptors:
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR HORMONE IMBALANCES
Cut out single use plastics from your life entirely
Apart from the environmental benefits, there are studies that show how storing foods in single use plastics can actually disrupt xenoestrogen hormones causing abdominal weight gain in women. This is because Estrogen is actually a fat storing hormone and balancing out ‘dirty’ hormones is key so your estrogen levels are in sync with your progesterone levels.
A high mineral water source is hugely beneficial for hormonal balance.
Avoid processed foods
Processed foods lead to estrogen dominance – we are seeing more women with estrogen dominance vs progesterone and testosterone when it comes to diet. Avoiding processed foods is also hugely beneficial for digestive pathways.
Watch your blood sugar levels
Consuming a lot of glucose can lead to insulin resistance leading to a negative impact on hormone production. For example, my own insulin resistance due to a change in my eating habits (you can read more about it here) actually threw my hormones off balance and resulted in breakouts as it caused excess testosterone and DHEA production.
Eating Cruciferous Vegetables regularly is hugely beneficial
Brussel sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage - these vegetables work to clean out our ‘dirty’ hormones. There are 3 types of estrogen and often when women go on the contraceptive pill it favours one type (if it is an estrogen dominant pill) and neglects the other two, which is why so many women struggle with getting their hormones back to ‘normal’ after coming off the pill.
These foods all help your hormones metabolize so they don’t go ‘dirty’. Cruciferous vegetables can actually block the aromatase enzymes which prevents estrogen becoming testosterone. They are also beneficial for women with PCOS as they tend to have high testosterone plates that these veggies can help with.
Spearmint tea has potential anti-fungal properties and helps lower excess androgens, ultimately balancing hormone levels. Spearmint combined with Rosemary extracts have also been found to improve memory and act as antioxidants in the brain (which is why there is a high rosemary antioxidant dose in our Reforming Liquid that was hugely beneficial for me after the pill too!).
Also helps in the metabolism of hormones. The elimination of ‘dirty’ estrogen hormones is most effective when you go to the toilet (poo is optimal, but you also pee and sweat out estrogen). Milk thistle helps the liver filter this out and eliminate it effectively. It is hugely beneficial in the detoxification process and helps your liver become more capable of clearing these toxins.
Bad bacteria in the gut can start to ferment which then causes inflammation, leading to hormonal fluxes. Probiotics are actually required for the metabolization of your hormones and to be able to absorb them you need a good probiotic mix formula (which we of course specialise in - see the clinical results of the Radiance Powder).
Is a very strong antioxidant. It is an important ingredients in preventing inflammation (inflammation depletes resources, and unfortunately sex hormones go first), and by decreasing inflammation your body will perform better and hormones can stabilize. Turmeric also works as an anti-inflammatory. Pair with the Reforming Liquid for a boost in results.
Think of hormones as messengers who communicate behaviour to all the cells in your body. Hormone health is so important because if these messages don’t reach cells properly, they can’t function.
I hope my list was helpful, and I hope you invest time in finding out what type of hormonal imbalance you have with your healthcare practitioner if any of the above symptoms are an issue for you.