Hormonal imbalances occur any time your hormones are too high or too low, which can be one or many different hormones. These occur in men and women, though we are talking more about the hormone imbalances women experience, since it is more common in women.
Keep reading to learn more about what might have caused your hormonal imbalance, so you know what the next steps are.
First of all, there are many causes of hormonal imbalances that can occur with men or women, and due to many different types of hormones. Each hormone is going to create its own causes and side effects, so this is where you can look at what hormones are out of balance and what you are actually experiencing to make you think your symptoms are due to your hormones.
Some of the general causes of hormone imbalances include:
As you can see, the causes vary widely, based on the type of hormone and how out of level your hormones are. For women with disordered eating habits, you might notice that you have weight gain or weight loss, often linked to the vitamin deficiency as well. If you have a thyroid disease, that is naturally from your thyroid hormone being too high or too low. There is no single cause for hormones to be out of balance since there is so much to consider.
Causes for Women
There are also causes that can be specific or more common depending on your born gender. For women, some of the more common causes include:
Birth control pills
Other hormone drugs
These are all going to be related to your reproductive system, whether or not you are pregnant, your age, and other factors.
How Hormones Affect Your Weight
One of the most common physical side effects of having a hormonal imbalance, especially in women, is weight gain. Why is that? Because your hormones help to regulate many systems in your body that control your weight, including your appetite and metabolism.
This article is going to explore what hormones you need to keep balanced, how they can affect your weight, and what you can do about it.
Estrogen VS Progesterone Weight Changes
Many hormones can affect your weight, but two of the more common ones are estrogen and progesterone. The difference is that when these levels are too low or too high, it can cause considerably different outcomes as far as your weight goes. Understanding this will help you and your doctor to figure out which of your hormones are responsible for the unexplained weight gain.
If you have more body fat, unexpected weight gain, fluid retention, headaches, depression, and blood sugar issues, it is probably from the estrogen in your body being out of balance. On the other hand, if you are losing weight unexpectedly, you might be struggling with too much progesterone.
You want a good balance of both, where neither is too high or too low in order to maintain your weight properly.
Why Weight Gain?
There are a few different reasons you start gaining weight as a result of your hormone levels being out of balance. The first is that it can cause your metabolism to plummet. You need a good level of metabolism in order to burn fat and calories that you consume, so when you have low metabolism, your body holds onto more of what you eat, which can cause you to gain weight more easily.
You might also notice that when you had other symptoms of hormonal imbalance, you also had a bigger appetite, lower energy, and more cravings. These work together to cause you to eat more, eat more unhealthy foods you crave, and not exercise as much, which as you know can also contribute to your weight gain.
The Negative Effects of Weight Gain
Gaining weight isn’t just about how you look or how well your clothes fit. There are also other negative health consequences of being overweight or obese. When you start gaining weight, it increases the risk of visceral fat, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. You are at a higher risk for diabetes, irregular periods, worsening PMS symptoms, joint pain, and even some types of cancers. It is important that if you are gaining weight and are not sure why, that you talk to your doctor about it.
Vitamins and Supplements You Need to Balance Your Hormones
Balancing out your hormones is all about improving your physical health. Since there are many causes of hormone levels being too high or too low, there are also many ways to treat it. Aside from the medical intervention you get from your doctor, you can also improve your health in other ways, such as making sure you are getting enough nutrients.
Here are some of the best vitamins and minerals you want to have in order to balance out your hormone levels.
Your omega vitamins are really important for proper health, especially in terms of omega-3s. You can get these from adding in more healthy fats to your diet, such as fresh-caught fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, walnuts and chia seeds, and plant oils like flaxseed oil and canola oil. Omega 3s are often one of the nutrients you are deficient in when you are having health issues like hormonal imbalances.
Start adding flaxseed oil and nuts to your salads, enjoy salmon as your main protein source at dinner, and use chia seeds in your smoothies, and you will be getting what you need each day.
Next, you want to be sure you get your B vitamins in. A B complex vitamin is usually enough, unless you are nutrient deficient from a restrictive diet. B vitamins are essential for maintaining energy, balancing out your hormones, and preventing fatigue during the day. B6 is among the most important B vitamins, which you can get when you take a B complex supplement.
Magnesium is a very underrated mineral that everyone should have more of. Magnesium is actually one of the essential electrolytes your body needs, in addition to sodium and potassium. It helps with your pituitary health, and is needed if your FSH, THS, or LH hormones are out of balance. If you have thyroid issues, problems with ovulation, or have extreme fatigue, but then trouble sleeping at night, it could be from not getting enough magnesium.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
There are also some other nutrients everyone needs for proper hormonal balancing, including probiotics, vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin D, and niacin. A well-balanced diet ensures you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, but you might also need to supplement with a multi-vitamin or specific vitamin supplements like vitamin D or a vitamin C supplement.
Natural Hormone Balancing: Herbs to Try Out
If you are struggling with a hormone imbalance, whether because your hormones are too high or too low, there are a few different natural remedies to try out. One you might want to consider is using herbs, especially your adaptogenic herbs. Herbs won’t just help with your hormone levels, but provide so many physical and emotional health benefits, that it couldn’t hurt to give them a try.
This is probably one of the best herbs you can possibly use for your hormonal balance issues, particularly among the adaptogenic herbs. Ashwagandha is used frequently for hormone imbalance in both men and women, especially for people who experience thyroid conditions or issues with their adrenal glands. It is safe for just about everyone to use, though it is always a good idea to speak to a doctor before you start taking this or other herbs for your hormonal balance.
Maca root is a very old herb used for healing purposes, from night sweats to sleeping issues. It can also help with hormonal imbalances that might be related to menopause or early menopause, infertility, or other female-oriented hormonal changes. Maca root is also great at increasing your energy levels, so if you are experience fatigue as a result of your hormonal level changes, then maca root is a great option. This is most commonly found as a tea, which works as a replacement for the coffee you are trying to reduce (because of the caffeine).
If you have not heard of the chaste tree herb, now is an excellent time to become more familiar with it. Often referred to as Vitex or chasteberry, chaste tree is a natural herb that works wonders for your hormone levels. In fact, women who experience low libido or infertility are often recommended to use this natural remedy before trying harsh medications.
It can help with balancing out your luteinizing hormone, increase libido and energy levels, and work to balance out your estrogen and progesterone.
Turmeric is a very common herb these days, as people are using for everything from improving their digestion to helping with inflammation in the body. It helps with this, as well as side effects of hormonal imbalances like headaches, menstrual cramps, and acne.
The herb black cohosh works very similar to turmeric if you want to try an alternative to turmeric.