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.
Dr. Hotze: “It’s all in your head.” When she came in, of course, it was very common presentation. She had the fatigue, inability to focus and think clearly, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, even though she was tired all the time, the joint and muscle aches and pains, the depressed moods, and she was on the antidepressants. She wasn’t any better, so we said, “Why don’t we just do this? Why don’t we replenish what your body is lacking. You’ve gone through the change early.” She went through the change 10 years early and put her on the counterfeit, the horse estrogens and all that, so what we did is we took her off all that, weaned her off the antidepressants and put her on desiccated thyroid, natural thyroid hormone replacement. Put her on bio-identical female hormones, progesterone
SOURCES: Christiane Northrup, MD, author of The Wisdom of Menopause Journal (Hay House, 2007) and Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom (Bantam Books, 2006). Nanette Santoro, MD, director, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Steven R. Goldstein, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Medical Center in New York City and coauthor of Could It Be Perimenopause? (Little, Brown and Company, 1998). Rebecca Amaru, MD, clinical instructor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

At Aligned Modern Health, we work with our patients to find those lifestyle factors that are contributing to their imbalances. This starts with a comprehensive blood analysis, followed by a salivary cortisol test to detect adrenal problems. A complete GI panel and tests for food sensitivities will also help pinpoint the cause of the hormone trouble.


Adaptogen herbs are a unique class of healing plants that promote hormone balance and protect the body from a wide variety of diseases, including those caused by excess stress. In addition to boosting immune function and combating stress, research shows that various adapotogens — such as ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, rhodiola and holy basil — can:

If you're concerned about low libido, try incorporating more zinc-rich foods—like oysters and sesame seeds—into your diet (zinc appears to be linked to an increase in testosterone levels), and ask your doctor about testosterone supplementation. To treat PCOS, your doctor might recommend taking birth control pills containing synthetic hormones that reduce the production of testosterone. It's also important to avoid refined sugars and other carbohydrates in your diet (insulin resistance is linked to a boost in testosterone production) and to eat more fiber (which counteracts blood sugar spikes and promotes the excretion of excess sugars from the body).
We balance all hormones, not just estrogen: The results of age-related estrogen decline cannot be corrected simply by adding more estrogen to the body. This is why our female hormone imbalance treatment in Philadelphia PA addresses all the hormones that affect menopause and aging, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, cortisol, DHEA, and growth hormone.

DHEA, black cohosh and don quai are all natural supplements which help balance hormone levels. DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is the steroidal precursor to the sex hormones. In men it is converted to testosterone, and in women to estrogen. It is normally produced by the adrenal glands, but can also be taken in supplement form. Black cohosh and don quai are herbs with naturally occurring estrogen, called phytoestrogen. According to Clayton College of Natural Health, black cohosh is used by herbalists to treat menopause, menstrual problems and balance hormones. It increases circulation to reproductive organs and encourages uterine contractions. It should not be taken during pregnancy. Don quai is a Chinese herb used to treat a variety of female hormone-related issues, including menopausal hot flashes, irregular periods, PMS, anxiety and anemia-related weakness. It also increases blood flow to the pelvic region, and should not be taken during pregnancy.


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.
There have been studies which have suggested that testosterone treatment might be connected to increased breast cancer (Arch Intern Med 2006;166(14):1483-9.). However, on closer inspection the women in these studies were being treated with a synthetic testosterone, methyltestosterone, which is the kind of testosterone found in Estratest. Estratest is an HRT product and is prescribed to postmenopausal women with signs of testosterone deficiency. However, methyltestosterone is not the same as the testosterone produced by our bodies, and while it has some of the same actions as testosterone, it also has some very different actions.

Xenoestrogens are found in feedlot beef and dairy that is pumped up with synthetic growth hormones, in household cleaners and personal care products that contain toxic chemicals, in plastics, acetones (e.g., fingernail polish and removers) and in pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and industrial pollutants. The xenoestrogens are ten to a hundred times more potent than hormones occurring naturally in the body. Like an unexpected guest that overstays its welcome, once xenoestrogens settle in, they are not easily removed.

Supplement smartly. Fish oil and additional vitamin D and B vitamins help balance estrogen. Take these in addition to a good multivitamin and mineral with sufficient calcium and magnesium. Probiotics, antioxidants and phytonutrients (vitamin E, resveratrol, curcumin, n-actetyl cysteine, green tea, selenium), and the anti-inflammatory omega-6 fat (GLA or gamma linoleic acid) can help balance sex hormones. You can find these and other hormone-balancing supplements in my store.
Estrogen and Progesterone are generally regarded as the female sex hormones, although women also have testosterone, but it is in lower amounts than men (except in PCOS). When your sex hormones are out of balance, they are rarely alone. In fact, your hormonal imbalances symptoms may stem from issues with your adrenals, thyroid, gut, liver, diet or lifestyle factors.

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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.
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Ideally, we could get all of our nutrients from food, properly hydrate from water, and get enough Vitamin D from the sun on a daily basis. We’d get magnesium from the ocean and not get deficient in the first place since we’d be consuming adequate minerals from eating fresh seafood. Since this is rarely the case, supplements can sometimes be needed! I’ve shared the basic supplements that I take before, but certain supplements are especially helpful for hormone balance.

Hi. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I’m 43 and until 18 months ago lived a normal,happy, confident life. Due to a couple of bereavements I had a breakdown and all my issues regarding death and aging came flooding out. I’ve been on antidepressants ever since but I seem to be in this cycle of feeling ok then crashing through the floor around ovulation time. I can never feel well for long periods of time. I’m not sure whether I’m pre menopausal or what is going on. I’ve tried so many different therapies (counsellor type stuff) and spent so much money I’m just not sure I can go on like this. I’m not suicidal as I’m terrified of death but I feel totally joyless in my life which is so totally unlike how I was before. Please help if you can. Many thanks.
For many women, night sweats and hot flashes are the first uncomfortable sign that something is amiss. This isn't the time to start hormone replacement therapy, but begin a food journal by jotting down what you eat and drink, how you feel physically, and any emotions that come up after. Many times our emotions are the trigger that increases internal temperature. The next time you feel the flashes coming on, stop and think about the thoughts swirling around in your mind.
Ashwagandha, in particular, can be extremely effective at balancing hormones. It benefits thyroid function because it promotes the scavenging of free radicals that cause cellular damage. Ashwagandha can be used to support a sluggish or overactive thyroid, and it can also help to overcome adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals can become overtaxed when you experience too much emotional, physical or mental stress, leading to the disruption of hormones like adrenaline, cortisol and progesterone. (9)
Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? A hormone imbalance could be to blame. Hormones are chemical “messengers” that impact the way your cells and organs function. It’s normal for your levels to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause them to go up or down, too.
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