Women's Health: Hormonal Imbalance

Published by Malira Dai on 14th Dec 2020


Hormones play a crucial role in our overall health. Having a hormonal imbalance means you have too much or too little of a certain hormone. Those changes have effects on the entire body. 

It is normal for hormone levels to fluctuate at different times of your life but there are certain health issues that can cause significant changes. 

I recently read an article comparing hormones to a cake recipe. As a former baker, I can relate. Too much or too little of an ingredient can make or break a recipe. In this case, the endocrine system doesn't get the recipe right. 

Endocrine system

The endocrine system is a series of glands that produce and secrete hormones that the body uses for multiple functions.

Hormone producing glands

Ovaries- female sex hormones, secrete estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone

Pineal- produces melatonin, plays a role in body’s internal clock

Adrenal- produce hormones that control sex drive and cortisol. Cortisol helps you respond to stress

Thyroid- control metabolism and the way your body uses energy

Pancreas- produces insulin, controls blood sugar levels

Parathyroid- controls amount of calcium in blood and bones

Pituitary- trigger growth

Hypothalamus- body temperature, hunger, moods, release hormones from other glands, control thirst, sleep, and sex drive

Testes- produce the male sex hormone, testosterone, and produce sperm

What are hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers that impact your cells and organs functions. They are responsible for the regulation of major bodily processes.

Signs & Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

Irregular periods

Vaginal dryness

Infertility

Weight gain

Depression & Anxiety

Fatigue

Low libido

Changes in appetite

Digestive issues

Hair loss

Hair thinning

Brain fog

Chronic acne

Excessive sweating

Bloating

Puffy face

Conditions associated with hormonal imbalances

PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome)

Breast cancer

Ovarian cancer

Diabetes

Thyroid dysfunction

Infertility

Metabolic disease

Causes

Causes of hormonal imbalance differ depending on which hormones are affected. 

Common causes:

Hormone therapy

Medications

Hormone drugs (birth control)

Stress

Tumors

Toxins

Poor Diet

Cancer treatments

Body too acidic 

Causes specific to women

Puberty

Mensuration

Menopause

Pregnancy

Breastfeeding

Dietary & Lifestyle Changes

Diet can either restore or contribute to hormone imbalances. Limiting your intake of of processed foods, red meat, dairy, sugar and soy can make a huge difference. 

Foods to avoid


Red Meat

It has been associated with a host of women's reproductive issues. Factory farmed animals are injected with antibiotics and fed soy. Soy throws off estrogen levels and blocks the body's ability to absorb minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium. 

Dairy

Dairy products, specifically milk, yogurt and cheese contain estrogen. It's packed with artificial growth hormones and synthetic estrogen. Estrogen is given to cows to speed up their growth and force them to produce unnatural amounts of milk. It's also extremely inflammatory which increases symptoms.

Starchy foods

White bread, white pasta and potatoes. Starchy foods turn into sugar that increase insulin and cause sugar imbalances. These foods are often void of any nutritional value. 

Caffeine & Alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol place stress on the liver and inhibit its ability to eliminate excess estrogen.

Sugar

Artificial sugar causes changes in the release of hormones and sends the body into a stressed state. It adds stress to the adrenal glands and thyroid. Your adrenal glands respond by sending out a cortisol and adrenaline which in turn leads to the imbalance. 

Image Credit: Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

Foods to eat

I recommend eating plants. Sounds simple enough, right? They consist of fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Studies show that women with vegetarian and plant based diets have lower estrogen levels than those with meat centered diets. Hormones are made from healthy fats, and plant-fiber filters toxins from the body.

Want to go plant based and don't know where to start? Check out my Plant-Based Transition Guide

Image credit: Daria Shevtsova

Exercise & maintain a healthy weight

Estrogen can be overproduced by abdominal fat. Being overweight makes you susceptible to reproductive issues which can lead to even more weight gain. The more you sweat, the better so its important to get moving. Exercising can be as simple as taking walks around the block. 


Hydrate 

 Dehydration has an impact on the production of cortisol. 

Avoid hormone disrupting chemicals

Hair Care & Cosmetics

Many hair products on the market today contain chemicals that disrupt hormones and lead to reproductive issues. They introduce toxic chemicals into the scalp. The chemicals are known as endocrine disrupters which means they disturb the natural functions of the endocrine system which is responsible for the production of hormones. This applies to personal care products and cosmetics as well. 

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Found in products like canned foods and plastic.

Image credit: Getty Images

Pesticides

When shopping for produce, opt for organic. Pesticides have been linked to infertility and affect testosterone levels.

Image credit: Chelsie Craig


Glycol Ethers

Found in commercial cleaning products. They disrupt the endocrine system and interfere with hormonal functions. 

Image credit: Gilaxia


Herbal Recommendations 

Anti-Fibroid Tonic or Capsules-This tonic is formulated to nourish the female endocrine system, support estrogen, prevent women's reproductive issues, combat existing ones. 

Iron Tonic or capsules- Daily dose of iron rich herbs. When you are low on iron, you are susceptible to disease. 

Liver Cleanse-Removes excess estrogen, toxins and aids the body's detoxification.

Full body detox- The digestive tract contains most of the body's immune system so parasite cleansing is always my recommendation when kickstarting your wellness journey. The parasite cleanse gives your body the ability to expel mucus, toxins and inflammation which fuel reproductive issues. It also gets your body going in the right direction and allows you to get the maximum benefit of any herbal regimen that follows.

Once the parasite cleanse is complete, I recommend a colon cleanse and lymphatic cleanse. Colon cleanse to remove the years worth of toxic waste, bacteria and fecal matter. The lymphatic cleanse to cleanse toxins and debris from the cells and alleviate symptoms of a congested lymph. These products are also available separately. 

Electric Multivitamins-Iodine rich. Regulate your metabolism, digestion, mood, and more.

Women's Wellness Herbal Tea Blend- This blend is formulated to strengthen and improve reproduction naturally. Other benefits include: anti-inflammatory, nourishes the uterus, alleviates PMS.

Women's Health Package- I’ve bundled up a package to combat uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome and other reproductive health concerns for women. This package has been formulated to focus on the body as a whole as opposed to addressing one issue or symptom. The goal is to restore balance and rid the body of acidification.

Women's Wellness Tincture-This blend is formulated to strengthen and improve reproduction naturally. Other benefits include: anti-inflammatory, nourishes the uterus, alleviates PMS.

Wild Yam Root Tincturehelps the uterus work more efficiently.

Yarrow Tincture- It tones the muscles and increases muscular activity of the uterus to encourage menstruation. 

Red Raspberry Leaf-Tones uterus, strengthens uterus, vitamin and mineral rich.

Maca Root- endocrine adaptogen, balance levels of the hormone estrogen, enhance fertility and improve sexual performance and libido.

Birth Control Detox- Detoxifying, hormonal support, Detoxifies body of synthetic estrogen. 

Natural skin & hair care alternatives


Checklist



-Avoid acidic foods like meat, dairy, soy and artificial sugar. Stick to plant-based foods and stay hydrated.

-Balance estrogen. This includes avoiding eating out of cans and plastic containers.

-Exercise and maintain a healthy weight.

-Consider an herbal regimen 

-Minimize toxic chemicals like hair products, deodorant and perfumes.

-Clean without chemicals.


If you have any questions, you can contact me here.

Sources & Useful Articles 

EWG Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Toxic Cosmetics and Personal Care Products - NWHN

Exposure to Toxic Environmental Agents | ACOG

Vaginal douching and racial/ethnic disparities in phthalates exposures among reproductive-aged women: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001–2004 | Environmental Health | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)

Hair Relaxer Use and Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata in African-American Women | American Journal of Epidemiology | Oxford Academic (oup.com)

15 Signs of Estrogen Dominance – Chapel Hill Gynecology

What is the Endocrine System? | Endocrine Disruption | US EPA

Endocrine Glands & Their Hormones | SEER Training (cancer.gov)

EWG's 2020 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Microsoft Word - TR 95 - Volume 1.doc (ecetoc.org)

Sugar Is Wreaking Havoc on Your Hormonal Health | Observer

Secret Sugars: The 56 Different Names for Sugar (virtahealth.com)

Hormonal effects of soy in premenopausal women and men - PubMed (nih.gov)

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