Hormones are special chemical substances that are produced in the endocrine system and are responsible for regulation of specific functions in the body. Overproduction of hormones cause hormonal balance which affects some functions of the organs.
In women, hormonal imbalance is caused by two important hormones: estrogen and progesterone. The reasons for this can be internal, physiological and external.
A normal menstrual cycle sees only estrogen produced in the first 10-12 days. Then, the ovulation sends signals to the body to produce more progesterone to balance the hormone levels. Progesterone supports the endometrial order to receive fertilized ovum when a woman is pregnant. When fertilization occurs, the body stops producing the hormones and you get your period.
However, sometimes ovulation doesn’t occur, so the production of estrogen is not balanced by progesterone, leading to hormone imbalance.
Other (external) sources of estrogen may cause hormonal imbalance in women. This condition is usual before menopause, buy today many women are suffering from hormonal imbalance long before menopause. Here are some of the reasons for this condition:
Xenoestrogens found in cleaners, soaps, sprays, herbicides, cosmetics.
Problems with the thyroid gland
Unhealthy diet (increased consumption of too much fatty and salty foods, processed foods, foods high in sugar, caffeine and refined sugar)
Strict diets (low in fat)
A typical Western diet high in meat and dairy products (which mostly contain hormones)
Missed ovulation (periods without ovulation)
Pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals
Environmental toxins and environmental pollution
If you think you’re suffering from hormonal imbalance, try this test:
I have PMS.
I have a monthly weight fluctuation.
I have swelling, bloating or water retention.
I feel heavy and overfed.
I have headaches.
I have mood swings.
I have painful, enlarged breasts.
I am depressed.
I feel unable to cope with everyday tasks.
I have back pain, joint or muscle pain.
I have premenstrual desire for food (especially the need for sugar or salt).
I have irregular cycles, heavy bleeding or very light bleeding.
I am infertile.
I use birth control pills or other hormones.
I have premenstrual migraines.
I have breast lumps or cysts or fibrocystic breasts.
I have a family history of breast cancer, ovarian, or cervical cancer.
I have premenopausal symptoms (hot flashes, mood swings, headaches, irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, fluid retention, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness, muscle and joint pain, low libido, weight gain).
I have heat strokes.
I feel upset.
I have night sweats.
I have insomnia.
Often cold in hands and feet.
I lost my will for having sex.
I have dry skin, hair and / or vaginal dryness.
I have a heartbeat.
I have problems with memory or concentration.
I have bloating or weight gain on the belly.
I have facial
Collect the number of positive answers to the questions and check your results.
0-9 – Mild hormone imbalance
10-14 – Moderate hormonal imbalance
15+ – Serious hormonal imbalance
Diagnosing hormonal imbalance
An endocrinologist can properly diagnose hormonal imbalance. He will run blood or urine hormonal tests to examine your thyroid hormone levels, as well as the levels of your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol. The urine tests are usually run to check for hormonal imbalances caused by pregnancy or ovulation. Taking any self-medication or unprescribed meds can have serious consequences.
There are different ways of treating hormonal imbalance depending on the cause.
If it’s caused by a tumor, you will require a surgery.
Besides therapy, women should make lifestyle changes in order to treat hormonal imbalance. Increased physical activity and proper rest are recommended, as well as avoiding stress. Women should be more active before their period, drink more fluids and avoid fat and salty food.
Proper diet is all you need
Balancing hormones is a difficult task that requires persistence, but a healthy diet will help the body balance itself. The first step is to eliminate coffee, sugar and alcohol from your menu. Unhealthy food is one of the main causes of hormonal imbalance – eat lots of sugar, and your body will produce more insulin, estrogen and testosterone. Dairy products and gluten can also be responsible for hormonal imbalance, as the hormones in milk disrupt the natural hormonal balance in our bodies.
Xenobiotics and environment pollution, as well as pesticides in our food are the main external factors for this condition.
Removing the unhealthy foods from your diet and replacing them with organic foods is the first step towards achieving hormonal balance. A 10-day detox program recommended by a doctor or nutritionist should also help your body balance its hormones.