Hormones can do some crazy things to our bodies when they become unbalanced, and while these issues may seem worse during certain times of life–like menopause–there are ways to balance hormones naturally at any age.
What’s more, keeping hormones balanced may provide a long-term benefit to your health; a growing body of evidence suggests imbalanced hormones are associated with the development of certain cancers and other chronic conditions.
“Hormones are used by every cell in your body,” Dr. Erika Schwartz, author of four books on hormones, including The Hormone Solution, told Oprah. “You are your balance of hormones.” Schwartz indicates there is no reason an individual can’t balance hormones naturally regardless of gender or age.
Ways to balance hormones naturally
Natural News and Dr. Schwart suggest the following methods to balance hormones naturally:
- Stay away from plastic household products which contain hormone disruptors like Biphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates. These chemicals can mimic sex hormones as well as insulin and can cause the body to decrease the amount of hormones it produces.
- Be wary of fluoridated water and bromine used in commercial baking, which can disrupt thyroid hormones.
- Get plenty of sleep. Being down on sleep will disrupt the production of growth hormones.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which stress the adrenal glands.
- Avoid foods that become difficult to digest as you get older, like wheat and dairy. Difficult digestion puts stress on the body, which creates an imbalance in hormones.
- Avoid stress whenever possible to help keep cortisol, the stress hormone notorious for weight gain, at bay. Try reducing stress through meditation, yoga, or exercise.
- Exercise to encourage your body to make the hormones it needs. A sedentary lifestyle can cause hormone production to drop.
- Get enough iodine in your diet to keep the thyroid healthy. Foods to include in your diet for iodine are: seaweed (especially kelp), beans, organic cultured yogurt, organic non-sugared cranberry juice or fresh cranberries, unprocessed Himalayan salt, and fresh organic strawberries.
- Keep leptin, the satiety hormone, regulated to prevent overeating by cutting out processed grains, sugars and saturated fats from your diet.
- Be sure to include vitamins D, B and CoQ10 in your daily supplements to help keep hormone production regulated.
- Eat organic foods whenever possible to avoid pesticide residue exposure, which can unbalance hormones in a similar manner as plastics.
- Keep you liver healthy by giving it phytonutrients and sulfur compounds from cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, onions and garlic. The liver is responsible for breaking down excess hormones, thus it is a key part of how to balance hormones naturally.
In addition to the above suggestions, there are a number of herbal supplements which may help balance hormones naturally.
Some of these, like dandelion root, burdock root and milk thistle can support the body’s efforts of hormone regulation by boosting organ function. Herbal supplements should only be utilized after consulting with a physician, however, as imbalanced hormones may be the result of a more advanced disease process.
If you think your hormones may be to blame for feeling ill, don’t wait to speak with your doctor, even if you think you are too young or old to worry about the problem.
“You don’t need to be premenopausal or perimenopausal to need hormones,” said Schwartz. “It is all about feeling better.”