Having a balanced hormone is crucial for maintaining optimal health. Unlike traditional medicine, functional medicine emphasizes identifying the root cause of the hormonal imbalance instead of just treating the symptoms. For instance, you can alleviate PMS symptoms by reducing stress levels and getting sufficient sleep. This may require making dietary changes, regular exercise, and taking supplements.
Your hormones orchestrate a wide range of bodily functions, from getting a good night’s sleep to having regular menstrual cycles. However, a diet rich in processed foods and sugar can throw off these delicate balances. A hormone-friendly diet focuses on nourishing your body with nutrient-rich whole foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts, seeds, healthy fats (like avocados), and lean proteins. A functional medicine practitioner at Integrated Health Systems can help you create a healthy diet to keep your hormones balanced. The goal is to avoid inflammatory foods, which can increase insulin and cortisol levels, making them difficult for the body to regulate. Other essential factors in hormone balancing include keeping hydrated, eating foods that support gut health, and avoiding endocrine disruptors.
It is crucial to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, practice stress management techniques, and get adequate sleep to promote hormone balance. Hormones are mighty chemical messengers that regulate essential body functions such as metabolism, body fat, brain health, and sex drive. Imbalanced hormones can cause hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, fatigue, and memory problems. Therefore, it is important to prioritize a healthy lifestyle to ensure optimal hormone balance and overall well-being. Exercise can be a great way to balance hormones naturally, and the type of workout you choose depends on your goals and hormonal status. For example, a woman with PCOS may benefit from a more intense workout, such as boxing, which typically involves explosive movements and high-intensity interval training. Men experiencing low testosterone levels might find that leisurely exercise, such as swimming, cycling, or walking, more beneficial. If you have a chronic disease or underlying health condition that affects your hormones, a functional medicine practitioner can recommend a targeted and effective exercise program for you.
It could be due to hormonal imbalances if you often feel fatigued, experience mood swings weight fluctuations, and have irregular menstrual cycles. When one or more glands in the endocrine system produce too much or too little specific hormones, it creates an imbalance in the body. An unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, or certain medical conditions can cause hormonal imbalances. However, there are natural ways to maintain a healthy balance of hormones. The first step is to consume a nutrient-rich diet that includes whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Another primary hormone-balancing strategy is to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night since our circadian rhythms help regulate many hormonal functions. Finally, finding stress-reduction strategies that work for you, whether it’s meditation, yoga, or enlisting the help of a counselor or psychologist, can help reduce cortisol levels and support overall hormone health. The goal is to keep the hormones that control your blood sugar, metabolism, libido, and immune system in optimal functioning condition.
Additional vitamins, minerals, herbs, and sometimes pharmaceutical agents can be used to help balance hormones. These can be incorporated into an effective treatment plan after your naturopathic physician tests and analyzes hormone levels to determine the safest and most effective approach. Certain nutrients are essential to maintaining hormone health and proper function, including reducing nutrient deficiencies and eliminating foods that are known to disrupt hormones. Incorporating leafy greens, beans, nuts, and fatty fish into your diet can provide critical nutrients to help balance hormones. Herbs like dong quai (Chinese ginseng) and Rhodiola rosea have been shown to aid in balancing estrogen, relieving premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and supporting the thyroid. Try adding these herbs to a hormonal balancing supplement. Other herbs that may be beneficial include schizandra, holy basil, and nettle. Talk to your naturopathic doctor and a hormone health nutritionist to learn more about how these herbs can support you in achieving hormonal balance.