It’s no secret that hormones play a significant role in our overall health, but for many adults, getting our hormone levels balanced can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, there are some things we can do to help support hormone balance and keep our bodies feeling their best as we age. Together we’ll explore signs, symptoms, and treatment strategies to keep your hormones in check.
What Is Hormone Imbalance?
Hormones are chemical messengers that play a vital role in the human body, regulating everything from metabolism and reproduction to mood and sleep. When these hormones become imbalanced, it can lead to a wide range of physical and psychological problems.
A common hormone imbalance symptom is weight gain, particularly around the midsection. Other frequently seen indications include fatigue, low sex drive, anxiety, depression, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Women may also experience irregular periods, hot flashes, and night sweats, especially during menopause.
Common Causes of Hormone Imbalances
One of the most common causes of hormone imbalance is the natural aging process. As we age, our bodies produce less and less of the hormones essential for regulating our metabolism, mood, and energy levels, such as testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. Other causes of hormone imbalance include stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and certain medications.
Signs You’re Suffering from Hormone Imbalances
Some women may experience hormone imbalances at younger ages due to environmental factors or stress. However, most women will notice body changes during perimenopause or menopause. Symptoms of hormone imbalance can include weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, and fatigue.
For men, low testosterone is a common problem, especially as they age. Symptoms of low testosterone can include fatigue, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and decreased muscle mass.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address hormone imbalance.
How to Balance Your Hormones
We’ve seen how hormones majorly affect our overall health and well-being. From regulating our mood and energy levels to governing our metabolism, hormones are truly the orchestra leaders of our bodies. So when our hormone levels get out of balance, it can profoundly impact our mental and physical health. That’s why making an effort to balance your hormones is critical.
Begin the process with at-home hormone testing to understand which hormones might be out of balance. This is an essential first step as it will help your practitioner and integrative care team develop a targeted treatment plan.
You may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). This is a treatment option that uses hormones identical to the ones our bodies produce naturally. By replenishing your hormone levels using BHRT, we can help alleviate many symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances, such as fatigue, weight gain, low libido, and hot flashes. You may also want to incorporate a regimen of personalized supplements developed for you following your scientific at-home testing and telemedicine consultation process.
In addition to BHRT, making simple lifestyle changes can also help balance your hormones. Here’s a quick list of excellent lifestyle choices and habits to develop to help balance your hormones and support BHRT:
- Get more protein – Studies suggest that aging adults need more than the recommended daily intake of protein and that it should come from various sources beyond animal protein. So be sure to include lots of beans and other legumes like peas, lentils and peanuts; and nuts and seeds in your diet. Protein is essential for a variety of processes in the body, including hormone production.
- Improve sleep hygiene – Sleep hygiene refers to the habits and behaviors we engage in to ensure a good night’s sleep. This can include avoiding caffeine before bed, disconnecting from electronics and screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. In addition, interruptions to our circadian rhythm can disrupt hormone production, so aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
- Exercise regularly – Exercise is not only excellent for our physical health but also for our mental health. It can help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and increase energy levels. When combined with a healthy diet, exercise can also help promote weight loss and muscle-building, which can help balance hormones.
- Manage stress – Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, both mentally and physically. That’s why it’s so important to find ways to manage stress in our lives. This can include things like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
- Avoiding known triggers – Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and certain processed foods can all contribute to hormone imbalances. So, it’s important to be aware of these triggers and avoid them as much as possible.
Improve Your Health with Science-Backed BHRT
If you suspect you may be experiencing a hormone imbalance, taking this online quiz and following it up with at-home hormone testing kits can provide valuable insights. Working with a BodyLogicMD qualified practitioner to create a personalized, science-backed treatment plan that includes BHRT can help you get your hormones in balance and improve your overall health and well-being.