Some of the symptoms associated with a hormonal imbalance because of PCOS include growing hair on the facial area (chin and upper lips), abnormal uterine bleeding or no periods for months or weeks, Tran tells SheKnows. It can also result in obesity, a higher chance of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, infertility and uterine cancer later in life. Treatments for this type of hormonal imbalance include birth control pills, ovarian drilling procedures, laser hair removal (for the unwanted hair) and the drugs spironolactone or metformin, she adds.
Avoid using anything that contains harmful chemicals. This includes your cosmetics and body care products. Remember, your skin will absorb whatever you apply to it. Do not use any products that contain potentially harmful chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, DEA, and propylene glycol. You must also be well aware of the effects of any medications or birth control pills on your health and hormones.
Many women experience monthly breakouts before or during their period. However, chronic acne is something different. Acne that does not go away may be due to excess androgens, male hormones like testosterone that both women and men have. Excess levels of these androgens make oil glands extra productive. Androgens also affect skin cells that line hair follicles. Excess oil and skin cell changes clog pores, leading to acne. A doctor may prescribe birth control pills, corticosteroids like prednisone, or anti-androgen medications to treat hormonally influenced acne. High androgens may sometimes indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS may experience infertility. High insulin levels can stimulate the production of androgens and may be associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss can help reverse insulin resistance.
When too stressed out, the adrenal gland borrows raw material to make Cortisol, the notorious stress hormone. It borrows it from Progesterone. This leads to lower levels of progesterone. This is one way stress interferes with getting pregnant and leads to infertility in women. Furthermore, lower levels of progesterone are associated with more severe PMS symptoms, and mood instability. Not only that but, it causes estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Which can cause many gynecological problems. Such factors may lead to long cycles. I know some of you were told that it is ok to have long cycles, but research says it might lead to breast cancer. Progesterone has just revealed its nasty side, because you insulted your adrenal gland.
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers, helping to control nearly every physiological process in the body. This includes metabolism, immune functioning, the menstrual cycle, and overall reproductive health, according to Healthline. Therefore, there is a high likelihood that imbalanced hormones might be the underlying cause of many different health conditions.
Before we get into hormonal imbalance, it’s important to talk about what hormones actually are. According to Dr. Patricia Lo, an OB-GYN at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, hormones are chemical messengers produced by glands in the endocrine system to help coordinate and dictate different body system functions. They also can regulate a whole host of functions, such as metabolism, appetite, sleep, reproductive cycles, sexual function, mood and stress, she tells SheKnows.
Insulin is highly affected by diet because of the many different signals going on throughout the body as a result of the glucose, and resulting energy, that is produced from carbohydrate intake. Once insulin resistance develops, the muscles, fat, and liver cells don’t respond to it properly, leading to a chain reaction in the body, per Healthline. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to serious conditions like diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease and even stroke.
Interventions at the third level involve the highest risk and often the highest costs. The most common drug therapy for treating mood swings in the U.S. is HRT. This may be a quick and intense way to combat the underlying hormonal imbalance; unfortunately, it entails serious side effects and increases the risk of different types of cancer among women, as the following study has proven.
Progesterone is a hormone commonly prescribed for women with too much estrogen relative to the level of progesterone produced by the body. Progesterone minimizes the stimulating effects of estrogen on coronary arteries, and when given alone or combined with estrogen, it may improve bone mineral density. Progesterone improves sleep, may increase libido, acts as a diuretic, lowers blood pressure, and improves the insulin-glucose balance to facilitate blood glucose control.
Phytoestrogenic. (e.g., black cohosh) These herbs contain estrogenic components produced by plants. These herbs, at first, do treat the hormonal imbalance by introducing these plant-based estrogens into the body. However, as a result of adding outside hormones, a woman's body may become less capable of producing estrogen on its own. This causes a further decrease of the body's own hormone levels.
Hi, I’m a 33 year old who has been suffering from hormonal imbalance since my teenage years. I was then diagnosed with endometriosis in April 2016 after having done a laporoscopy. My gynae prescribed that I take Vissanne for 6 months which I did. After a few months of taking it I went on menopause and he explained to me that was the intention. At first I was uncomfortable with the idea until he explained that I don’t really need to go on my period. This way, I save my good eggs for when I’m ready to have a child. I haven’t had any children yet.
Replace the right thyroid hormones. Most doctors will only prescribe T4 (such as Synthroid), the inactive form of thyroid hormone your body must convert to its active form T3. Most people do better on bioidentical hormones (like Armour, Westhroid or Nature Throid) or a combination of T4 and T3. A Functional Medicine doctor who understands how to optimize thyroid balance can customize a nutrient protocol.
Dr. Jolene Brighten is a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Medical Doctor and the founder of Rubus Health, a women’s medicine clinic that specializes in women's hormones. She is recognized as a leading expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome and the long-term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is the best selling author, speaker and regular contributor to several online publications including MindBodyGreen. She is a medical advisor for one of the first data-driven apps to offer women personalized birth control recommendations.
A lack of sleep, long-term use of corticosteroids and chronic stress are three of the biggest contributors to high cortisol levels. A report published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism stated that “Stress can lead to changes in the serum level of many hormones including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin.” (19)
The focus here will be on the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone. Even though they are typically called sex hormones, the brain understand them, and often interprets them in consequential ways that have nothing to do with sexuality. For example, the brain has many receptors that interpret and understand the chemical language of estrogen, that is why there are a lot of cognitive changes (memory) and emotional ones (mood) that occurs at menopause after estrogen plummets. In fact, the body of a seventy-something man makes more than twice as much estrogen as that of a woman the same age. This is because small amounts of testosterone, which the testes produce throughout life, are converted to estrogen.
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)
Though it used to be in vogue to prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat this fundamental imbalance, persistent links to breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, and blood clots have caused most healthcare professionals to rethink this drastic option. Many agree that the most effective approach is to combine a few changes in lifestyle with alternative treatment options.
The good news: There are things you can do. For many the answer lies in natural herbs and supplements, like black cohosh and red clover. Though medical studies remain conflicted over the effectiveness of these remedies, some women report relief. And while HRT was found to have a laundry list of nasty side effects, Goldstein says that for some women, short term use can still be the appropriate answer, particularly for hot flashes.
A major component of balancing your hormones naturally is addressing any emotional imbalances that you are dealing with. You can do this by reducing stress levels, engaging in personal reflection and taking time for yourself. Practicing meditation or healing prayer can be extremely beneficial, and so can deep breathing exercises, spending time outdoors and exercising every day. Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies like acupuncture and massage can also help to improve hormonal balance, combat stress and improve blood flow.
Hormone-regulating supplements. As the name suggests, this variety of herbs doesn't contain any estrogen. They stimulate a woman's hormone production by nourishing the pituitary and endocrine glands, causing them to more efficiently produce natural hormones. This ultimately results in balancing not only estrogen, but also progesterone and testosterone. Hormone-regulating supplements (e.g., Macafem) can be considered the safest way to treat the symptoms of hormonal imbalance naturally, as the body creates its own hormones and doesn't require any outside assistance.