Beauty products are another source of chemical exposure for many people. There are tens of thousands of chemicals in the personal care products we encounter daily, and most of these chemicals have not been tested for long-term safety. Avoiding these products can make a tremendous difference in achieving hormone balance. Start by making simple switches like homemade deodorant, and homemade lotion and even DIY makeup if you’re feeling adventurous. Check out my full index of natural beauty recipes here.

Stress also increases stress hormones, namely cortisol. Cortisol interferes with your hormone balance as well as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that regulate mood, emotions, and cognitive function. Without hormone balance, we don't have neurotransmitter balance. If we don't have neurotransmitter balance, we're just in a reactive, responsive, survival mode. When it comes to stress, we’re not in control, we’re just getting by day to day—it’s no way to live. Stress will also decrease progesterone levels and make your body believe there is more estrogen. Why? Progesterone is the precursor from which all other hormones are created—adrenal hormones included. A stressful situation prompts production of adrenocorticosteroids to defend against stress. But, if you're constantly stressed, your body can't produce enough progesterone and this leads to adrenal exhaustion.

With the adverse effects possible with hormone replacement therapy as traditionally used, having alternative ways of handling these symptoms is valuable. Using herbal, food, and lifestyle changes to deal with hormone imbalance will not work immediately. Changes that come naturally take time. However, the benefits of natural approaches to hormone balancing are worth the time and effort.


Hormones are essential to your overall wellbeing. They relay chemical messages throughout the body, helping to keep your emotions and body systems in check. One of the key body systems affected by the balance of the hormones in your body is the reproductive system. A female hormonal imbalance could cause heavy periods, infertility, and endometriosis. (Imbalances can affect other body systems, as well.)
The use of birth control pills in teenage girls has the potential to raise their risk of breast cancer. It is well established that when girls between the ages of 13 and 18—and to a lesser but still significant degree, up to the age of 21—use birth control pills, their risk of breast cancer can increase by as much as 600 percent. To put it plainly, the earlier a girl begins to use contraceptives, the greater her risk of breast cancer. This may be because the younger the girl, the more undeveloped her breast tissue, and thus the more vulnerable it is to the synthetic hormones contained in the pill. Furthermore, contraceptives work by inhibiting ovulation, which significantly reduces progesterone production and its essential estrogen balancing effects. This is a situation many young women find themselves in: ripe for symptoms of estrogen dominance and vulnerable to long-term risks for breast cancer. (Excerpted from What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer: How Hormone Balance Can Help Save Your Life.)
Most patients begin their journey to the endocrinologist with a trip to their primary care provider or family doctor. This doctor will run a series of tests to see what could be the potential problem the patient is facing. If a problem with the hormones is suspected, the primary care doctor will provide a referral. The endocrinologist's goal is to restore hormonal balance in the body.
I read that you have an office in NYC and I live in Manhattan. Is this still true and if so, do you accept insurance? I get regular periods and I am not currently trying to get pregnant. However, I struggle with eczema and acne. Additionally, I have a nodule on my thyroid which as per tests, is currently benign. I did a test for my hormones last year and everything turned out to be normal, but I still feel like there is something wrong with me. I believe acne and eczema are a reflection of something going wrong inside our bodies. Please let me know if you have an office in Manhattan and if you do not take insurance, what is the consultation price.

First off, thanks for this article. That part at the end made me tear up, I’m sort of having a bad moment. I ran across this because I searched google “if my hormones are imbalanced will it age me” long story short.. family history of endometriosis and hormone issues related to diet. . I follow a strict lifestyle of no meat, absolutely no preservatives, I go back and forth with allowing fish and dairy into my life when I’m feeling particularly gaunt.. I drink water or plain almond milk. I basically avoid refined sugars or anything processed at all. Anyway, my Ob/gyn who specializes in fertility and hormones started me on this charting thing to track my cycles and ovulation in order to begin me on a regimen of the “bio-identical” hormones. After doing a hormone panel at peak+3,5,7,9 he saw that my estrogen and progesterone dropped very low, so he prescribed estradiol and progesterone. I ended up refusing to take these because I don’t like to mess with my natural chemistry and I’m so anti- anything unnatural. But tonight looking at my face which seems to be aging, my disrupted sleep pattern and some minor depression.. I thought, could these pills help? Am I doing myself a disservice by NOT taking them? Most importantly at that moment, is it AGING me not to take them? Lol. Silly I know. If you could offer some advice I would heed it after reading what you’ve said. Thanks and thanks again, 🙂
Walking in nature, on the other hand, provides a restorative yet invigorating exercise ideal for balancing hormones. As a matter of fact, walking in nature has been shown to reduce cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and boost the immune system (3). High cortisol levels create inflammation and perpetuate hormonal imbalance, so reducing cortisol is good news!
These are all positive aspects to saliva testing. However, there are limitations too. The first is accuracy. In all laboratory testing, the more you have of any substance, the greater your accuracy will be in testing it. The problem with saliva testing is that hormones are found in much lower concentrations in saliva than in blood or urine. This makes it much harder for labs to consistently report salivary hormones with as much accuracy as blood or urine. In addition, contamination from bleeding gums or even aggressive tooth brushing can affect a person’s results and make the levels seem artificially high.
I am 66 years old and went to a gynecologist for help with tiredness, sweats etc. He said it was too late for me. There was nothing that can be done and I will just have to live with it. When I was younger, women were told not to take estrogen for fear of cancers. Now he said that wasn’t true but still it was too late for me. I was depressed when I left his office. My friend suggests herbal help instead of the estrogen given by doctors. Can someone help me?
Testosterone improves neuron survival in brain regions vulnerable to neurodegenerative disease. This may explain the association of low testosterone levels in men with neurodegenerative diseases (Hogervorst et al 2004, Ready et al 2004). Studies demonstrate testosterone loss occurred 5 to 10 years prior to Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. This suggests low testosterone is an important risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (Moffat et al 2004; Rosario et al 2004). In a clinical study of 36 men recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, intramuscular testosterone treatment with 200mg every two weeks for up to one year was associated with improvement in both overall cognitive ability as well as critical visual-spatial function (Tan and Pu 2003).
I feel that after having a Thyroid Crisis-Hashymotos Thyroidosis, at age 41, I could have benefited from this sort of complementary Interventional Medicine…I had night sweats so bad, insomnia/Low Cortisol in AM/Afternoon hrs, and now I have at 57 going on my second hip replacement soon….My mother also has had the same progression too. I have had adrenal fatigue for years as well, and supplement it with a brand of herbs…Your formulas have helped a great deal with stress, anxiety, and insomnia for me. I only wish I could have had the Natro-pathic advice from your clinic at the time I was perimenopausal. Thanks Cheryl

Synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not a good idea, in my opinion. First off, it’s just putting a band-aid on the concern, and studies have confirmed that it can be dangerous to long-term health. If your hormones are imbalanced, you need to get to the root cause of that imbalance without just adding synthetic hormones to the mix. And that’s what bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is -- it’s the use of pharmaceutical hormones with molecules that are “exact” copies of human hormones. But, remember, any hormone you’re taking from a pharmaceutical company has to be made synthetically. They might say that synthetic hormones (HRT) are very similar to natural hormones. Synthetic hormones are not identical either in structure or activity to the hormones that are produced naturally within the body and they tend to fit less precisely on your hormone receptors. This is why there are so many ugly side effects to the therapy. Have you seen the recent news about all the testosterone replacement lawsuits due to heart problems? What about the warnings of menopausal synthetic hormone therapy and and its cancer risks? If you are on HRT, it’s imperative that your intestinal health is at the height of its game so you can eliminate toxins and prevent hormones from being reabsorbed in your gut. Again: probiotics and cleansing are a must. And that’s what synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is -- the use of synthetic hormones with molecules that are not bioidentical to one’s natural hormones.


The Fix: Supporting your thyroid gland – responsible for keeping your metabolism running smoothly, energy levels up and brain sharp – can come in many different forms. However, there is a strong connection between stress, inflammation and a sluggish thyroid. As your stress levels increase, so does inflammation in the body, which keeps your thyroid stuck in the mud. For anyone struggling with potential thyroid problems, start with the fundamentals: eliminate sugar, ditch the caffeine, limit your alcohol and get more sleep. (I know, I know… all the exciting stuff, but remember it’s all about the fundamentals.) Next, getting a full thyroid panel run – TSH, free T4, free T3, anti-TPO antibodies and reverse T3 – is a great way to establish baseline levels for yourself and to investigate whether there is a potential thyroid problem brewing.

Further, other factors such as salivary pH and flow rate can also affect results. In the past, when split samples from the same person were sent to different salivary testing labs, the results from the different labs were unfortunately very different, leading some researchers to discount saliva testing altogether. Fortunately, as the technology has improved, many of the labs have improved their ability to provide accurate and reproducible results. However, the fact remains that because hormone levels are much lower in the saliva, any lab that tests salivary hormones will need highly proficient quality control standards to assure consistent and reliable accuracy.

Further, other factors such as salivary pH and flow rate can also affect results. In the past, when split samples from the same person were sent to different salivary testing labs, the results from the different labs were unfortunately very different, leading some researchers to discount saliva testing altogether. Fortunately, as the technology has improved, many of the labs have improved their ability to provide accurate and reproducible results. However, the fact remains that because hormone levels are much lower in the saliva, any lab that tests salivary hormones will need highly proficient quality control standards to assure consistent and reliable accuracy.
Gaining weight around the middle of the body is a common issue with women whose hormones are out of balance. Estrogen levels that are high can be a contributing factor. If progesterone levels are out of balance as well, this weight can be very hard to lose. Your thyroid may slow down metabolism, causing your pancreas to store fat around the middle.
The food you choose to eat can have a major impact on your health. If your diet is high in sugar, processed carbohydrates, hydrogenated fats, genetically modified foods, and conventional beef, dairy, and poultry, then you are more susceptible to obesity and all the associated diseases, plus an increase in hormonal imbalances.6-11 It's important to maintain a healthy weight, as storing excess fat can lead to hormone imbalances and an increase in stored environmental toxins. Toxins have a negative impact on overall health and should be avoided at all ages of life, especially during pregnancy where the developing baby can carry the negative impact the rest of its life.12-15
Contrary to popular belief, we cannot obtain vitamin A from vegetables (here are the details), including carrots and sweet potatoes. The beta carotene in veggies must first be converted to vitamin A in the body and this conversion is so poor it is virtually insignificant. Hormonal imbalance further compromises your ability to convert the carotene into useable vitamin A.
Androgen (testosterone) levels determine one’s anabolic state, muscular strength, and anti-inflammatory and vasodilatory effects; heart failure is characterized by a shift towards catabolism (tissue breakdown), production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, loss of muscle mass and vasodilatory incapacity.12 The use of testosterone replacement therapy in heart failure has beneficial effects. Men with moderately severe heart failure who used only 5 milligrams testosterone for 12 months experienced improvements in functional capacity and heart failure symptoms.12
Hormones and mental health are closely related, [3] especially when we’re discussing thyroid hormone. We’ve got an antidepressant epidemic in this country, and part of the problem is that most doctors believe women are depressed and need antidepressants when they really just need to balance their hormones. [4] Way too many women are being medicated unnecessarily simply because their hormones are imbalanced. This is completely the wrong approach! 9 times out of 10 it's not “depression” that’s the concern. The root issue to the depressive-like symptoms may simply boil down to one thing: hormone imbalance.
All of your symptoms definitely sound hormone related – you are not crazy! If your doctor is not willing to run the tests, I would consider finding another one who will. It is important that you be able to have a relationship with your doctor where you feel heard. Having said that, there is a lot you can do by just looking at symptoms. It happens often that results come back “normal” but symptoms are anything but! The body is always communicating with you – I do go over some of the symptoms in the WomanCode book – this may be a good place for you to start learning more about what is going on.
Sara Gottfried, MD is the New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset Diet. After graduating from Harvard Medical School and MIT, Dr. Gottfried completed her residency at the University of California at San Francisco. She is a board-certified gynecologist who teaches natural hormone balancing in her novel online programs so that women can lose weight, detoxify, and slow down aging. Dr. Gottfried lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and two daughters.
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.
Simply put, PMS, menopausal symptoms, and other problems are all signs of imbalances in your sex hormones. They are not the result of mutant genes that destroy our sexual vitality as we age. Instead, they are treatable symptoms of underlying imbalance in one of the core systems in your body. Get your sex hormones back in balance, and these problems will usually disappear.
Using essential oils for a quick massage or simply diffusing them in your surroundings is another great way to treat a hormonal imbalance. Give yourself a timeline when using essential oils. If you don’t notice that they are helping within 3-4 weeks, discontinue and try another essential oil but don’t use too many at once and don’t use them indefinitely.
Hello! I’m 43 years old.i have an 8yr history with hormonal imbalance.it started with me getting periods every 15days. When I went to the doctor she said I had a cyst in my ovary. Over the years it just kept getting from bad to worse with me getting periods within 15 days to now when I don’t get a period for 3-6months..! Two years ago my doctor decided to put a marena for me and soon after that I started to put on weight and had a total loss of libido. I got it removed after 4 months. So now I have weight that I gained since the marena which is around my belly and mentally I feel like I’m going crazy most of the time! Very extreme emotions of sadness,depression etc
4. Falling hair has many possible causes, such as extreme stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal issues (such as thyroid issues), medical condition or certain medications, heredity and more. Without further tests it’s hard to know what the underlying problem is and to adjust the treatment plan. If it’s indeed alopecia, you can find more information about alopecia in kids here and here. you may also want to read about current treatment strategies in Pediatric Alopecia Areata. While addressing the underlying issue, some people use rosemary to encourage hair growth (more information about it here).
Brenda Gaines- I recommend you find another gynocologist, pronto! Consider requesting that your Primary Care Physician order a hormone panel (blood test) to get a baseline and see exactly what you’re dealing with. If any imbalances appear and your PCP does not feel comfortable treating you for this, then ask for a referral to an endocrinologist. Your body is a dynamic and resilient wonder, and it’s never too late to take control of your health! Good luck!

When it comes to love and intimate relationships, one neurohormone gets more press than anything else. Its name is oxytocin, and it often gets called the “love hormone” (N.B. sometimes it acts like a hormone and sometimes it acts like a neurotransmitter, which is why I call it a neurohormone). Your brain/body releases oxytocin to strengthen relationships. Oxytocin gets released during light caresses, sex, when someone shows they trust you, and sometimes even simply with talking. When released, oxytocin increases feelings of attachment for another person, as well as feelings of trust. It also decreases feelings of stress, fear and pain. Sounds pretty good to me. But unfortunately it’s not all rainbow sprinkles and unicorns for everyone. Turns out that if you didn’t have a good relationship with your parents then it’s harder to harness the positive effects of oxytocin.
Hi im 26 years old. I’m married for 5 years nw. And I always had problems with my periods from the first time I started gettin it. I used to get it for the 1st mnth n aftr 4 months I used to get it. Nw durin dis year im not gettin it at all. I used to buy a tablet provera to get my cycle every mnth to conceive but nthin helped i dnt knw wat to do n im also tkn metformin 2 tyms a day
What most people don’t realize is that there is no standardization between commercial blood labs for hormone testing. It is a common assumption that all labs are testing hormones the exact same way and that the numbers should be the same between labs. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Because different labs use different methods, the results are not directly comparable. And since the methods, the reagents, and the equipment are all different, the number you get from one lab may not be comparable to the number from another lab—even though the name of the test is the same.
supplies. In the 1970’s they removed iodine from bread and replaced it with a substance called bromide and your thyroid can’t distinguish between them, yet the bromide has absolutely no nutritious value for your body, creating major problems in the future as your body needs the iodine to function properly. Please keep up the fascinating work and spreading the knowledge.

The body's largest and most visible organ, your skin, undergoes changes during menopause. The reduction of estrogen at menopause decreases the water-holding ability and elasticity in the skin, leading to dryness, itching, and an increase in wrinkling and sagging. Your skin becomes more susceptible to injury, such as bruising. Estrogen appears to help your skin heal faster when wounded and researchers are beginning to study its possible connection to melanoma, a serious type of skin cancer.
Since I had a total thyroidectomy almost a yr ago my libido and breast have been dropping like crazy, I’m having night sweats, anxiety, puffy eyes, stress, confusion, lack of sleep, lack of energy, major hair loss, I’m getting very irritable very fast, depressed and worry a lot over nothing. I think its a hormonal issue because I never had the majority of these problems in my life till after the TT especially the the first ones, no libido and no breasts, could this be a hormonal issue/problem or am I losing it???
However, my problem is that I still experience the pain that I used to experience before taking the pills and I still take pain killers every month. I’ve realized also that I seem to experiencing the burning sensation on underneath my feet as well as the tingling sensation on other parts of my body. I’m scared to stop taking the pills because the doctor told me that if I stop the endo will come back and this is the only way to stop it. Iv stopped taking them before for a short while without my doctors permission and I still experienced a lot of pain. I get depressed and sometimes feel hopeless and stuck. Is there a way you can help me. I’m still taking vissane dienogest.
Hormones are produced in a complex process, but depend on beneficial fats and cholesterol, so lack of these important dietary factors can cause hormone problems simply because the body doesn’t have the building blocks to make them. Toxins containing chemicals that mimic these building blocks or that mimic the hormones themselves are also problematic because the body can attempt to create hormones using the wrong building blocks. Mutant estrogen anyone?

An important study indicates that testosterone is beneficial for the prostate gland in the vast majority of cases. In this study researchers looked at multiple parameters, including prostate volume, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, and lower urinary tract symptoms in a group of men with low or low-normal testosterone levels (Pechersky et al 2002). Of the 207 men studied, 187 responded favorably to testosterone treatment.
As a reader who falls into the category of having strict/negative relations with a parents and knowing that it has impacted how they relate to others (and is feeling a bit blue after reading your article) it would have been greatly appreciated to have more helpful information in how to address how to make the changes rather than just the vague "may just require some sort of therapy or at least a willful intention to change yourself (e.g. with parenting)".
Chasteberry, also known as vitex, is one of those herbs that doesn’t fall into a specific category. It is very effective in relieving symptoms of PMS and menopause. For menstruating women, chasteberry is great at reducing uterine fibroids, clearing up acne, improving fertility, treating endometriosis and amenorrhea, and increases lactation.  In menopause, vitex is highly effective against night insomnia, hot flashes, and anxiety.

Testosterone binds more tightly to SHBG than to albumin (Henry et al 2002). Consequently, only albumin-bound testosterone and free testosterone constitute the bioavailable forms of testosterone, which are accessible to target tissues and carry out the actions of the essential hormone (Morales et al 2010). Thus the bioavailability of testosterone is influenced by the level of SHBG.

Sandalwood: Sandalwood essential oil can be used to increase your libido, reduce stress, promote relaxation, boost mental clarity and even help you to relax. The powerful fragrance triggers peaceful feelings and results in the overall reduction of stress that can lead to hormone imbalances. Inhale sandalwood directly from the bottle, diffuse it at home or apply 2-3 drops to your wrists and bottoms of the feet.

Now such hormones are produced by pharmaceutical companies. However, they only offer standard doses, not customized formulations, and may include the specific (patented) additive of a binder, filler, preservative, dye or adhesive. (Examples include Vivelle, Prometrium, Climara). The bioidentical hormones from pharmaceutical companies come in limited doses and delivery methods.


Natural hormonal development is essential for the health of men and women. Individuals can support their hormones by following a healthy diet and getting about 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity. Both men and women should strive for three meals per day that are low fat and low sugar, focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
TCM practitioners believe that the emotions of fear cause disease in your reproductive organs, kidneys and adrenals, affecting cortisol levels. This can lead to serious conditions like PCOS and infertility. The emotions of frustration, impatience and un-forgiveness cause disease in your liver, which can lead to an estrogen imbalance. And emotions of worry and anxiety can cause issues with your insulin levels, which can then affect several hormones. (11)
Breast cancer is a major concern for women of all ages. As we have discussed, excess estrogens may act as initiators of cancer or as promoters of cancer cell growth. There are concerns too about a surplus of estrogen metabolites such as estrone sulphate, the stored form of estrogen in the body, contributing to the overall estrogen burden and the growth of breast tumors. However, not all hormones are equivalent when it comes to breast cancer risk. Estriol, the weakest estrogen may have a protective effect against breast cancer. If we follow natural physiology, and the growing number of studies attesting to its protective benefits, bioidentical vs. synthetic progestin may also help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer via its balancing effects on estrogen.
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