How to Balance Your Hormones Naturally

How to Balance Your Hormones Naturally - AdobeStock112438660 1Hormones play a vital role in our overall health, and when they’re out of balance they can contribute to a variety of chronic health problems. Unfortunately, hormone imbalance is more common than ever due to our diet, lifestyle, environment, and other factors. If you think your hormones are causing your health issues, discover how to naturally bring your hormones back into balance.

If you need help with hormone balance, click here

Hormones and Their Role in Your Health

Hormones play a vital role in our overall health, and when they’re out of balance they can contribute to a variety of chronic health problems. Unfortunately, hormone imbalance is more common than ever due to our diet, lifestyle, environment, and other factors.

While the primary focus of this article is female hormones, you must also address stress hormones and thyroid hormones. They are all connected.

There is also a huge correlation between hormone health and gut health. Healing your gut is first line in balancing hormones. We typically see hormone changes in our mid-thirties, and it presents itself with a variety of symptoms including:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • PMS symptoms
  • Digestive issues

The standard process in conventional medicine is to treat the symptoms with antidepressants, birth control, and even surgery to remove the uterus and ovaries. Unfortunately, treating the symptoms doesn’t resolve the root problem.

Hormonal changes are experienced both in menopausal and cycling women. Women go through natural hormone cycling on a monthly basis. The first day women start bleeding is considered cycle day 1. All hormone levels are low. Ovulation occurs around days 12-14. Then you enter the luteal phase where hormone levels (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) start to increase. 28 days is an average cycle, but it could be more or less. Every individual is different.

Starting in your mid-thirties, progesterone starts to decline and can lead to estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance, or progesterone insufficiency, leads to irregular cycles and many unwanted symptoms.

The first step is to assess the issue with lab work. Next, you want to complete a detox program and address gut health. Finally, you can work with your doctor to add bioidentical hormone therapy, such as bioidentical progesterone cream.

It’s important to note that the issue is not always estrogen dominance. Women who are petite and thin are more prone to estrogen deficiency. It is possible to have estrogen deficiency and symptoms of estrogen dominance based on the ratio of progesterone to estrogen.

Common symptoms of estrogen dominance include:

  • Painful periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy menstrual cycles
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of concentration
  • Water retention
  • Weight gain
  • Thinning of hair
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness

There is also a link between thyroid hormones and female hormones. Often times, you will see an increase in TSH and cholesterol along with estrogen dominance.

If this sounds like you, there are several steps you can take to start balancing your hormones naturally. Again, it’s helpful to do lab work to provide a more accurate picture of hormone levels.

Balancing hormones starts with cleaning up the receptor sites through detoxing, and then using bioidentical hormone therapy if needed. Herbal supplements can also be helpful in supporting hormone production. Below are tips for balancing hormones through diet, lifestyle, detox, supplements, and bioidentical hormones.

TIPS FOR HORMONE BALANCE:

Diet and Lifestyle:

  • Nutrient dense food rich in vitamins and minerals, specifically iodine, magnesium, and B vitamins
  • Keto-Alkaline protocol to support detox
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Stress management

Tips for detox

  • Regular bowel movements
  • Constipation creates a huge amount of hormone imbalance
  • Baseline labs
  • Modified elimination diet
  • 15 hours between dinner and breakfast to allow body to rest and restore

Herbal formulas for hormone support

  • Vitex or chaste tree – 100mg daily
  • Maca – mighty maca superfood combination
  • GLA
  • Magnesium

Bioidentical hormones

  • Progesterone and pregnenolone – low dose transdermal cream; use in luteal phase of cycle from after ovulation to day 28 of cycle
    • For menopause – take day 1-25 of each month
    • Start low, go slow with hormone replacement
    • Use at night for better sleep
    • Progesterone dosing above 20mg is prescription only
  • DHEA cream – administered vaginally

Balancing hormones is a process that requires lab work, healing the gut, and incorporating hormone therapy. It’s highly recommended to work with a skilled practitioner to help you customize a protocol that will help you feel better.

If you’d like to learn more about natural hormone balance, check out our podcast with Dr. Anna Cabeca.

If you need help with hormone balance, click here

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.

Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office. Serving the San Francisco bay area and distance patients via phone and Skype.

Discussion

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12 thoughts on “How to Balance Your Hormones Naturally

  1. Need some advice…… I started Bio identical hormones 1 week ago and have had a side effect of eczema I am on 1mg estrogen, 40mg progesterone and 1mg testosterone.

    My doctor is off for six weeks, so needing to know which hormone causes this, and if I should decrease the 2 clicks of cream to 1 click…..

    1. Hi Lizel,
      I would check in with your doctor here for guidance. This may clear all on its own with time. There is some evidence suggesting estrogen may provocate some forms of autoimmunity so I would discuss this with him or her.

  2. Need some advice…… I started Bio identical hormones 1 week ago and have had a side effect of eczema I am on 1mg estrogen, 40mg progesterone and 1mg testosterone.

    My doctor is off for six weeks, so needing to know which hormone causes this, and if I should decrease the 2 clicks of cream to 1 click…..

    1. Hi Lizel,
      I would check in with your doctor here for guidance. This may clear all on its own with time. There is some evidence suggesting estrogen may provocate some forms of autoimmunity so I would discuss this with him or her.

  3. I have leaky gut and started hormones. Had a lot of anxiety and couldn’t go to sleep after starting the hormones. Any ideas? Is that my gut can’t handle the hormones?

    Thanks

      1. Hi Penny,

        I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a hard time sleeping. This is definitely something you want to check in on with your doctor – you may need a different dose or type of hormones, and adrenal support may be something they’ll want to look at as well.

        Good luck!

  4. I have leaky gut and started hormones. Had a lot of anxiety and couldn’t go to sleep after starting the hormones. Any ideas? Is that my gut can’t handle the hormones?

    Thanks

      1. Hi Penny,

        I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a hard time sleeping. This is definitely something you want to check in on with your doctor – you may need a different dose or type of hormones, and adrenal support may be something they’ll want to look at as well.

        Good luck!

  5. I’ve been working with a functional medicine practitioner for almost two years. I had blastocysts homonious parasite, candida, and Mild sibo. I did get better. My energy is much better than it was a year ago. But I’m still not great. I am still dealing with constipation especially around the time of ovulation, acne, hairloss. I eat 100% organic. I have done a Whole 30. AIP. And right now I am on a program called bright line eating for food addiction. I have lost a hundred and sixty pounds. But my symptoms in my gut and my hormones are still giving me problems. I also am struggling with my gallbladder. I cannot eat eggs or I have severe attack. I recently cut out all Dairy again. And I also cut out coffee again. I am on hundreds of dollars worth of supplements each month. And I have spent thousands of dollars trying to get well, on testing and supplements. I am at the very end of your book on gut health. I just can’t see how it’s any different than what I’ve already tried. But I’m going to give it a shot again. I am nervous about doing the fast. I’m afraid that it might trigger my binge eating. But I haven’t binged in many years so I think I’m going to give it a shot. Any other help would be greatly appreciated or suggestions! Especially if it has to do with my hormones.

  6. I’ve been working with a functional medicine practitioner for almost two years. I had blastocysts homonious parasite, candida, and Mild sibo. I did get better. My energy is much better than it was a year ago. But I’m still not great. I am still dealing with constipation especially around the time of ovulation, acne, hairloss. I eat 100% organic. I have done a Whole 30. AIP. And right now I am on a program called bright line eating for food addiction. I have lost a hundred and sixty pounds. But my symptoms in my gut and my hormones are still giving me problems. I also am struggling with my gallbladder. I cannot eat eggs or I have severe attack. I recently cut out all Dairy again. And I also cut out coffee again. I am on hundreds of dollars worth of supplements each month. And I have spent thousands of dollars trying to get well, on testing and supplements. I am at the very end of your book on gut health. I just can’t see how it’s any different than what I’ve already tried. But I’m going to give it a shot again. I am nervous about doing the fast. I’m afraid that it might trigger my binge eating. But I haven’t binged in many years so I think I’m going to give it a shot. Any other help would be greatly appreciated or suggestions! Especially if it has to do with my hormones.

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