Hormones play an essential role in maintaining your quality of life, health and our longevity. Acting as transmitters traveling from the endocrine glands, through the bloodstream and to organs and tissues, hormones affect your moods, metabolism, sleep, sexual function and the ability to have children. When they’re working optimally, you feel great. When they’re out of balance, they can create chaos in your everyday life.1
I work with many patients in balancing hormones from fertility to menopause. You don’t have to suffer through, you can get help and feel better. Addressing issues that arise early is key.
Common Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones act as the control center for your body, so keeping them working optimally is crucial to feeling your best. When there’s an imbalance, a series of daily health concerns can arise. They include:
- Cognitive issues such as poor memory and brain fog2
- Mood fluctuations, irritability, anxiety and depression3
- Menstrual complications such as extreme PMS, irregular periods, heavy periods or extremely light periods
- Changes to the metabolism including sudden weight gain or loss, constipation, and bloating
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails
- Blurred vision
- Sleep disturbances
- Decreased sexual function and/or interest
- Development of breasts in males
And often these changes are not mutually exclusive and can coexist. Which can make your life a real bummer.
Common Hormone Imbalances
Hormonal imbalances can occur at any stage in life, but adults are at an increased risk during midlife. The most common hormonal change for women around 50 years old is menopause, when the ovaries begin to decrease the production of estrogen and progesterone. In men, it’s andropause, a significant decrease in testosterone. Andropause traditionally begins over 60, but 35% of men over the age of 45 are now showing a shocking decrease in testosterone levels.4 Adult women of any age can suffer from other estrogenic issues, such as low estrogen or estrogen dominance.
Thyroid disorders are common and often go misdiagnosed. An estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, with up to 60% of those affected being unaware of their condition.5 Hypothyroidism, when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, affects up to 5% of the population, with an estimated 5% of cases being undiagnosed.6
Functional Medicine Can Help
When you’re suffering, finding the root cause of a hormonal imbalance is crucial to regaining your health and sometimes your sanity as well. Unbalanced levels of cortisol, DHEA, progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, androgens, insulin, and thyroid hormones can all impact your well-being in ways that can be difficult to diagnose through standard tests. Some conventional medical tests often focus on generalized hormonal result ranges that can render our results as “normal”, despite not feeling normal at all. This is when taking a deeper look into what is going on can be effective.
Functional and naturopathic comprehensive hormone testing and evaluation focuses on the whole picture while determining a course of corrective reaction to help re-balance our hormones.
Lifestyle Practices That Promote Hormone Balance
Maximizing your potential to maintain a healthy hormonal balance is possible at any age. The following practices act both as preventative measures and corrective ones:
- Minimize stress levels. Journaling, meditation, mindfulness, or simply finding time every day to do something you love are all great ways to help reduce stress. Even just taking a few deep breaths can release the stress response in your body.
- Practice good sleep hygiene. Hormones work in tandem with our circadian rhythm, so getting a good night’s sleep is crucial. A cool, dark room free from distraction is imperative, as is going to bed at the same time every night. Enjoy at least one hour away from a blue light emitting device before bedtime as well. If you need more help, I’ve got some great herbal formulas to assist in better quality sleep.
- Reduce or eliminate highly processed foods, refined sugars, and alcohol and opt for a whole foods diet. Inflammation caused by repetitive poor food choices and stress can wreak havoc on our entire system. Aim for a diet rich in lean meats, fish, seafood, dairy, beans, legumes, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Supplement with vitamins and herbs. Consider taking Vitamin D, a full spectrum probiotic or adaptogens like ashwagandha, turmeric, or chaga. I can help. Here is a link to the pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements that I trust and use with patients. https://healthcoachdonna.usana.com/s/kSpb3
- Maintain a healthy body weight and exercise regularly. A sedentary lifestyle in conjunction with being overweight is one of the top contributors to hormone imbalances.7 Regular, moderate exercise such as going for a daily 30 minute walk can work wonders on supporting our hormonal health.
- Address gut health. Leaky gut syndrome can contribute to hormonal imbalances by allowing toxins and bacteria to pass from our intestines into our bloodstream. I can help you assess, diagnose and treat gut issues.
- Minimize hormone disruptors in everyday products. Chemicals found in a variety of daily use products, including but not limited to cosmetics, plastic food storage, home cleaners and even liners of metal food cans may contribute to hormonal imbalances. Some common hormone disruptors include BPA, dioxins, and phthalates. Phytoestrogens naturally occurring in soy products can disrupt estrogen in individuals with estrogen sensitivity.8
We Can Help
If you’re having a difficult time with your physical and emotional health and you know your fluctuations are anything but normal, I am here to help. As a functional medicine practitioner, together we can dig deeply into your symptoms, identify and target your specific imbalances and begin to re-balance your hormones. Schedule a free chat to find out how we can work together to get you back to feeling your best.
Honestly, I have found the solution for your hormonal symptoms:
- Lose the Belly Fat
- Get Rid of Hot Flashes
- Sleep Better
- Feel Calm and Happy
- Improve immune function
- Just Feel Great in Your Body
I can help you do that.
Ready to get started? Heck yes!
- Hiller-Sturmhöfel S, Bartke A. The endocrine system: an overview. Alcohol Health Res World. 1998;22(3):153-64. PMID: 15706790; PMCID: PMC6761896.
- Ali SA, Begum T, Reza F. Hormonal Influences on Cognitive Function. Malays J Med Sci. 2018 Jul;25(4):31-41. doi: 10.21315/mjms2018.25.4.3. Epub 2018 Aug 30. PMID: 30914845; PMCID: PMC6422548.
- Payne JL. The role of estrogen in mood disorders in women. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2003 Aug;15(3):280-90. doi: 10.1080/0954026031000136893. PMID: 15276966.
- The Endocrine Society. Testosterone Therapy in Men (https://www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/mens-health/testosterone-treatments)
- American Thyroid Association. General Information. (https://www.thyroid.org/media-main/press-room/)
- Chiovato L, Magri F, Carlé A. Hypothyroidism in Context: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going. Adv Ther. 2019 Sep;36(Suppl 2):47-58. doi: 10.1007/s12325-019-01080-8. Epub 2019 Sep 4. PMID: 31485975; PMCID: PMC6822815.
- Geliebter A, Ochner CN, Dambkowski CL, Hashim SA. Obesity-Related Hormones and Metabolic Risk Factors: A Randomized Trial of Diet plus Either Strength or Aerobic Training versus Diet Alone in Overweight Participants. J Diabetes Obes. 2014 Jul 29;1(1):1-7. PMID: 25599089; PMCID: PMC4293637.
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Endocrine Disruptors. (https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm)