To balance your hormones naturally, it’s important that you eliminate toxins in your body by avoiding conventional body care products that are made with potentially-harmful chemicals including DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. A better alternative is to use natural products made with ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil.
But what about natural testosterone, made by our own bodies? Well, we know that one hormone doesn’t exist in isolation in the body. For example, in a study of breast cancer risk and natural hormone levels in postmenopausal women (J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95(16):1218-26) risk increased as body mass index increased. However, even though testosterone levels were higher in the obese women, their estrogen levels were higher still. Fatty tissue converts testosterone into estrogens, using an enzyme called aromatase, so obese postmenopausal women tend to have higher estrogen levels than lean women. The study found that it was the higher estrogen levels that accounted for the increased breast cancer risk while the higher testosterone levels had a negligible impact on risk. Another study of natural hormone levels and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women (Br J Cancer 1997; 76(3):401-5) also found that estradiol levels were more strongly associated with breast cancer risk than testosterone. The same investigators had similar results when they studied premenopausal women, in whom high estradiol (the most potent of the estrogens) and low progesterone levels were more often seen than high testosterone levels in women who developed breast cancer. In addition, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), who tend to have higher than normal testosterone levels, do not have a higher rate of breast cancer than women without PCOS. So the testosterone circulating naturally in our bodies certainly does not seem to be the prime culprit in breast cancer risk.
Alternative approaches involve little to no risk and can be an extremely effective way to treat all types of hormonal imbalance. This level of approach can involve several different therapies. Herbal remedies are the most prominent; in addition, women may turn to such techniques as acupuncture, biofeedback, massage, aromatherapy, or hypnosis. All of these can be valid and effective options, though most women find that herbal remedies are the easiest alternative treatment to follow, as the others require greater time and monetary commitment. In addition, herbal remedies are the only viable option to treat the hormonal imbalance directly at its source.
Most people tend to associate sugar as merely a precursor to weight gain, but its effects go way beyond the threat to the waistline. For women especially, a diet full of excessive sugar – which includes all refined carbohydrates, not just the sweet stuff – can lead to significant hormonal imbalance. One of the most notable effects of too much sugar is insulin resistance, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Hi my name is Lorraine i am seeing a naturopath for weight loss because i am finding extremely difficult to loss weight. I have done a saliva test and it came back that my oestrogen levels are at 55 and my progesterone is low testosterone is low cortisol goes the opposite way it increases at night. Im taking o clear calcium d glucarate but it not decreasing.
Functional medicine wants to find out the root cause of patients’ hormonal symptoms as well as support the body’s natural mechanisms for healthy hormone balance, and that makes a lot more sense to me. Let’s go over some of the most common hormone problems that I see in patients, and that you may be going through right now. I’ll also explain which labs you may want to consider asking your doctor about.
Your hormones are produced in the major endocrine glands – your brain (hypothalamus, pineal, and pituitary glands), thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pancreas, and reproductive glands (ovaries and testes). Some hormones are also produced in your gastrointestinal tract. With hormones, it’s all about balance. As Goldilocks lamented (and I’m paraphrasing here), there can’t be too much or too little. Hormones have to be just right. Otherwise, a myriad of health issues can happen.
Get a lot of natural light during the day, and spend at least 30 minutes outside each day if possible. The wide-spectrum of natural lighting helps boost serotonin levels which balance melatonin levels at night. In fact, my doctor routinely recommends that his patients get 30 minutes of sunlight or bright light within an hour of waking when they are working to balance hormones.
I am so tired it’s awful. I am in a stressful situation and I am cold a lot also. I use low dose vaginal progesterone and half a mg. of divigel, I work out and my cortisol is high I think. I try increasing progesterone but get tired on it. Now my breasts are bigger and I am bloated all over. My doctor doesn’t help. I think I have high and low cortisol and I feel like I will never recover from this, help!
Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder and CEO of Wellness Mama, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for maintaining normal blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body. The foods we eat break down into glucose, and insulin’s job is to transport that glucose into the cells that turn it into fuel for energy. Insulin resistance arises when the body is flooded with more sugar than it can handle, and attempts to deliver that glucose to the cells are met with resistance. The syndrome goes hand-in-hand with rising rates of obesity and diabetes. What, you might ask, has this to do with breast cancer? The answer boils down to simple physiology. Excess carbohydrates (especially in refined foods and sugars) that are not needed for energy are stored as fat. Increased body fat increases estrogen levels and increased estrogen levels lead to estrogen dominance, which, as we already know, leads to increased risks for breast cancer.