Hormones, such as testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, and progesterone, play a significant role in establishing your health and wellness. When the levels of these hormones are balanced, they act in harmony as they work with each cell of the body. Each hormone has a specific function, while also interacting with each other, to deliver substances needed by the body under certain circumstances. In simple terms, hormones activate specific systems of maintenance, repair, growth, etc. in the body, and proper functioning of these various systems requires the proper balancing of these hormones. Hormonal imbalances impact daily activities for men and women. More specifically, when the levels of these hormones are not balanced, it can result in weight gain, increased belly fat, loss of energy, headaches, loss of libido, sleep loss, mood swings, and hot flashes.
Natural Ways for Balancing Hormones
- Change your Diet – Food and drinks have a significant effect on your hormones. To maintain proper hormonal balance, eat foods that are rich in fiber, which facilitates the excretion of the excess estrogen. Foods rich in essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, and glucosinolates, such as cabbage and broccoli, can also help in balancing hormones by providing the proper building blocks for your hormones. These nutrients include the B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods, which stress your adrenal glands, the glands that respond to stress.
- Reduce Stress –Stress is one of the major factors that disturb hormonal balance by producing too much cortisol (the “stress” hormone) and altering levels of thyroid hormones and your sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone). Meditation is an effective way to relieve stress. By learning to cope with stress through mediation, you are able to improve the interaction of the mind and body. Recent studies show that women who practice meditation experience decreased hormonal mood swings than those who do not. A proper night sleep is also important for managing stress. Make sure you are getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
- Exercise Regularly – Constant physical activity can maintain balanced hormones. Some exercises, such as yoga and cardio, strengthen the body and calm the mind. An added benefit of exercising is decreased blood pressure. Physical activity is important because daily exercise triggers the release of various hormones and chemicals such as oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins, which are the hormones that are responsible for making you feel good.
- Try some Herbs – Kelp is a natural source of iodine, a mineral that is vital for the thyroid function. DHEA is a natural precursor to many of your steroid hormones. Supplementation with DHEA has been shown to help with adrenal fatigue and depression.
- Chiropractic Care – Chiropractic care is a natural treatment that helps in balancing hormones and alleviating the symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances. Since chiropractic care is a holistic approach, it supports many facets of hormone balancing. Chiropractic care stimulates proper communication between the brain and the glands of the body, thus promoting proper release and regulation of hormones. Chiropractic care also helps to get rid of pain, and chronic pain alters hormonal balances in the body. Spinal adjustments are known to contribute to the release of endorphins, which are also called the “happy hormones”, and endorphins help an individual relax and decrease sensitivity to pain. Based on research conducted in 2008 and published by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics, chiropractic adjustments are beneficial for the treatment of chronic low back pain, which is evident in many women at their menopausal stage, a period of life where hormonal imbalances are most prevalent. In addition, menopausal women often complain of migraines and headaches, and they often find relief through chiropractic care.