THE MOST COMMON HORMONE IMBALANCES, AND THE REMEDIES
I USED TO STABILIZE THEM
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 stabilizing my hormones after coming off the pill and experiencing general lifestyle stress. Understanding my hormone imbalances' causes and symptoms and changing my habits accordingly had a paramount effect in keeping my skin clear for good.
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. 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 depletion of vitamins. In women, the excess testosterone production that comes with hormone stressors means a depletion in b vitamins vital in helping Estrogen metabolize, affecting libido and arousal. Controversial for some women, but it is essential to understand that not wanting to have sex may sign a hormone imbalance.
Premature aging 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 aging.
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 overexercising 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 essential to try and take notice if you have any of the above signs to find out where the imbalance lies. Remember that different situations result in various hormone imbalances. Here are my natural remedies and a further breakdown of different disruptors:
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR HORMONE IMBALANCES
CUT OUT SINGLE-USE PLASTICS
Apart from the environmental benefits, some studies show how storing foods in single-use plastics can 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 critical, 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.
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. It resulted in breakouts as it caused excess testosterone and DHEA production.
Brussel sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage - these vegetables work to clean out our 'dirty' hormones. There are 3 types of Estrogen. Often when women go on the contraceptive pill, it favors 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, preventing Estrogen from 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 metabolization of your hormones and to be able to absorb them you need a good probiotic mix formula (which we of course specialize in - see our clinical and dermatological results).
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. It has essential 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 behavior to all the cells in your body. Hormone health is 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.