Hormone imbalance is a big buzzword in the women’s health and wellness space today. The trouble is, many people don’t understand what actually causes a hormone imbalance—or how to treat one properly. At the same time, natural remedies for hormonal imbalances in females are becoming increasingly popular, and women tend to seek these remedies because they’re marketed as being safer and having fewer side effects than conventional medicine. But the truth is, no one really knows whether most of these home cures are effective or safe for all women. And even if a natural remedy works for some, there is no guarantee it will work for you.
Before seeking natural or over-the-counter remedies for the symptoms you experience, it’s important that you speak with a hormone health professional to determine whether you are experiencing an imbalance and identify how to address your symptoms. Get your hormones tested in addition to a full physical exam, and discuss the results with a qualified hormone practitioner. If you are found to have a hormone imbalance, they’ll be able to help you identify which treatment options may be best for your body and, if appropriate, provide guidance on how to best integrate natural remedies in your treatment plan.
Identifying the Cause of Hormone Imbalance
The symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women are often deeply uncomfortable and can affect both physical and emotional health. However, many women assume they have a hormone imbalance without ever having their hormones tested or even visiting a qualified health care practitioner, which could mean that the exact cause of their symptoms remains hidden. Without understanding the underlying cause, the chances of receiving the right treatment are significantly diminished. In some cases, it could even mean missing a serious diagnosis with health implications that go far beyond your immediate symptoms.
If you’re experiencing troubling symptoms and wondering if hormones might be a contributing factor, meet with a health care practitioner who specializes in hormonal health and ask for a full panel of tests. If your hormone levels are indeed elevated or depleted, you could be experiencing symptoms related to:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Anovulation (Hypothalamic amenorrhea)
- Thyroid conditions, including hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
- Reproductive cancers
Each of these conditions may be associated with significant hormone imbalances, and each requires medical intervention in order to resolve. That’s why it’s so important to seek help from a qualified professional before administering natural remedies; without knowing what’s wrong, you could be taking unnecessary supplements or undergoing ineffective therapies for months, seeing no results, and delaying the treatment your body needs.
4 Natural Remedies for Hormonal Imbalances in Females
When you meet with a medical professional to discuss your symptoms, medical history, and treatment options, you will ideally be on your way to healing. But even if you receive medication for your condition, there are still things you can do to naturally promote hormonal balance and protect your health.
These 4 remedies impact powerful hormones in the body and may work in combination with your treatment plan to help you feel better:
- Make healthy dietary choices. We know that the standard American diet—which involves highly processed foods along with an abundance of sugar and fat—is not helpful for hormone balance. But research suggests that healthy diets caloric intake, and specific foods can actually improve hormonal health in a variety of ways. For example, a study by researchers at the University of Connecticut Research found that meals that include eggs and omega-3 fatty acids can help with insulin resistance and reducing cortisol levels. Researchers have also found that overweight and obese women who lose weight through calorie-restricted diets have lower estrogen and androgen levels, potentially lowering breast cancer risk. Consult with your health care practitioner to develop a dietary strategy to support your overall health.
- Adopt a reasonable exercise plan. Regular, moderate exercise is good for the whole body. We often hear about how important exercise is for the cardiovascular system and even mental health, but studies show that exercise also has a positive impact on hormones—including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, insulin, growth hormone, and DHEA. Speak with your doctor and see what kind of exercise regimen would be most helpful for your body. However, don’t overdo it; overtraining can be harmful and is a common cause of amenorrhea (the absence of menstruation), which can cause significant hormone-related problems.
- Find ways to manage your stress. Elevated cortisol levels caused by chronic stress may cause symptoms like anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and weight gain, all of which can be profoundly damaging. Additionally, upregulated cortisol can impact estrogen and testosterone levels, further disrupting hormonal balance. As such, managing stress is crucial for overall bodily health, as well as mental and emotional wellness. Luckily, there are many ways to minimize and cope with both acute and chronic stress, including adding a meditative practice to your daily routine, seeking guidance from a therapist, and investing in regular massage. Using these strategies, you may be able to balance your cortisol levels naturally.
- Insist on healthy sleep habits. The final natural remedy we recommend is to prioritize your body’s most natural healing agent: sleep. Abundant, regular, high-quality sleep contributes greatly to your body’s natural regulation of insulin and cortisol. Strive for at least 7 uninterrupted hours of sleep per night, although you may need more to feel your best. Don’t use electronics in the hour before you plan to fall asleep. Try using blackout curtains or white noise to create a more favorable sleeping environment. Healthy sleep habits are crucial to overall health and may help you feel infinitely better in the long run.
In addition to these strategies, there is a wide range of dietary supplements, natural health products, and alternative health practices aimed at promoting hormone balance. We strongly recommend speaking with a qualified health practitioner before incorporating any of these into your treatment plan to ensure such interventions are safe and effective for you.
Using Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Hormone Imbalances
If natural remedies aren’t enough and you’re looking for an effective treatment option for your hormone imbalance symptoms, it may be time to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). While this treatment is not appropriate for all women with hormone imbalances, it is often a critical part of healing for patients with hormone-related health conditions.
BHRT medications are created using plant sources to perfectly match the hormones your body naturally produces and help restore your hormones to healthy levels. This therapy can be prescribed by highly trained hormone health practitioners who will work to establish an accurate diagnosis and provide ongoing monitoring and support to help you manage your symptoms over time. Significantly, they will ensure that you understand the benefits, risks, and potential side effects of any treatment you choose and can tailor your care to meet your needs and preferences.
If you think you are experiencing a hormone imbalance, don’t take matters into your own hands. No matter what hormone-related symptoms you’re experiencing, an expert hormone health specialist can help you find a treatment plan that will safely and effectively help you feel like yourself again.
Practitioners in the BodyLogicMD network can provide the guidance you need to determine if natural remedies are right for you—and if hormone replacement therapy might prove to be even more effective. BodyLogicMD-affiliated practitioners specialize in helping women overcome the symptoms of hormone imbalance through innovative treatment plans that include hormone medications, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle advice. Contact a local practitioner to start your journey back to your best self. Or take the BodyLogicMD Hormone Balance Quiz to figure out how your hormones are really impacting your life.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. All content on this website is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.
Charlotte is a patient care coordinator specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. She is committed to helping patients who struggle with the symptoms of hormonal change and imbalance explore their treatment options and develop effective strategies to optimize wellness.