Hormone Imbalances and How to Address Them

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Hormone Imbalances and How to Address Them

Last updated: Monday, July 4, 2022 | 3 min reading time

Hormones are chemical messengers that control the way your organs and cells function. When they're unbalanced, your entire body can be affected.

What are hormones?

Hormones are produced in your endocrine glands. They travel through your bloodstream and act as messengers to control things like your metabolism, adrenal responses and even your mood. Fluctuation in hormone levels is normal, especially when your body goes through puberty, pregnancy or menopause. However, if your body consistently produces too much or too little of a hormone, it can make you feel 'off' or even very unwell.

Symptoms of a hormonal imbalance

Hormone imbalance symptoms
There are many different hormones that affect different parts of your body, therefore, the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance can vary significantly depending on the root cause.

General symptoms include:

Because men and women have different hormone levels, there are also symptoms that affect one or the other.

Men might notice:

Women might notice:

Causes of a hormonal imbalance

Hormone imbalance causes
Hormone levels often fluctuate in a cyclical manner, which is why women often experience changes in the bodies and moods every month. This is known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and it is completely normal.

True hormone imbalances, on the other hand, can be caused by a number of medical conditions, including:

In women, changes to your reproductive system have a direct effect on your hormones. That is why it is common for women to have significant hormonal fluctuations as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Post-partum, many women take many months or longer to regain a sense of normality and for their body to function as it did pre-pregnancy.

Your diet and your hormones

Much research continues to be done around the role of diet in balancing hormone levels. Studies have found that common hormone-related issues, such as diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), can be improved through healthy eating and weight management. There is moderate evidence that adhering to a Mediterranean-style diet including lean meat, fish and proteins, vegetables and fruit, olive oil and other healthy fats, and cutting out processed food, can help to prevent obesity and decrease the incidence of some hormone-related disorders and their symptom severity. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids provide the starting point for the production of hormones that control several essential body functions and these fats can be found in foods such as oily fish and flaxseed oil.  

Research suggests that maintaining a healthy weight can help improve hormone-related issues. You can start by:

In essence, consuming fresh and wholesome foods will always have positive benefits for your body. Do not hesitate to seek out the advice of a dietitian to help you to balance your hormones and improve your overall well-being.

Other treatments for a hormone imbalance

Hormone imbalance and other treatments
Depending on the cause of the problem, your doctor may offer you:

They might also recommend lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or drinking, increasing exercise levels for weight loss, and reducing stress. They may also discuss dietary changes tailored to your specific needs. For women post-partum who may be breastfeeding, medication may not be suitable, so making these subtle lifestyle changes is often the best option.

If you suspect you might have a hormone imbalance, make an appointment to see your doctor.

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