Hormones are an important component of the human body. The body cannot function without it. Hormones are chemical messengers present in the body which are responsible for controlling many bodily processes like reproduction, metabolism, growth, weight, and mood, etc. Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands these glands work as a unit. When these glands produce hormones in excess or too little, it leads to a hormonal imbalance in the human body, owing to various kinds of ailments rising because of it.
Hormonal imbalance is a condition where one hormone is secreted less, or more and other glands have to pitch in balancing the bodily requirements in an individual. With the advent of time and lifestyle changes these days, hormonal imbalance is a common ailment that both men and women have fallen prey to. Sometimes, some hormones decline with age and some erode due to the fast-paced modern lifestyle we have. Therefore, it is important that hormonal imbalance is taken care of and it can be done by being mindful.
Causes and signs of hormonal imbalance in men
Multiple underlying reasons cause a Hormonal Imbalance in men. The following causes could be specific to males.
- Prolonged stress
- Type 1 & 2 diabetes
- Lower or higher blood pressure
- Overuse of steroids
- Deficiency of Iodine
- Gland injuries
- Poor diet
- shrunken or under-developed testes
- Hereditary Pancreatitis, etc.
Males do not have the same abrupt hormonal shift that of females. A few hormones in males tend to decline slowly, over the years due to aging, however, a few of these cases mentioned above could be why males even in their early 30’s suffer from hormonal imbalance.
Causes and signs of hormonal imbalance in women
Some hormonal changes in women can debilitate them, while a few hormonal shifts are normal. Even though the imbalance is common to both genders, what may differ are the causes and the signs since the body of a male and a female are different. A few causes for hormonal imbalance in women are –
- Hormone drugs such as birth control pills
- Cysts in the glands
- Tumors (Breasts and other organs)
- Poor diet and nutrition lead to irregular periods
- Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Premature menopause or Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
- Turner Syndrome where the woman only comes with one functioning X chromosome
- Consumption of soy products that contain Phytoestrogens (a naturally-occurring plant estrogen)
- Hypogonadism – shrunken or under-developed ovaries
Also Read: Menopause Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
Common symptoms of hormonal imbalance
Many signs and symptoms characterize hormonal imbalance. Many symptoms depend on which glands or hormones are not functioning correctly. A few common symptoms to both men and women are –
- Experiencing constant fatigue
- Sudden weight gain or loss without much effort
- Higher sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures
- Constant diarrhea
- Sudden dry skin or puffy face
- Weakened muscles as daily chores seem like a task
- Pain and stiffness in the joints regularly
- Thinning of hair
- Decreased sexual drive
- Constant mood changes
- Skin Problems (Sudden breakage of acne)
- A feeling of anxiety and depression
- Blurry vision
- Pink Stretch Marks
- Increased thirst
- Changes in Blood sugar and pressure
- Disrupted sleep, etc.
Treating hormonal imbalance naturally by way of supplements
Listed, are a few natural ways to treat hormonal imbalance. However, it is advisable to seek medical advice before trying any of these remedies.
- Coconut Oil – One can include consumption of cold-pressed coconut oil as a part of their daily intake. Coconut Oil contains fatty acids that are very advantageous for overall health and provide hormones to build naturally. The acids present in the coconut oil help in reducing inflammation internally that may have been caused due to the imbalance. Consumption of coconut oil is also beneficial in weight loss as it boosts metabolism and aids in reducing anxiety and stress. One can consume 1-2 tbsps of 100Z% virgin Coconut oil or use it as dressings in salads and foods.
- Avocados – Avocados are rich in fatty acids which have inflammatory properties that aid in treating the hormonal imbalance. Consuming avocados also promote heart health and keep in check the required fibers and nutrients needed to maintain overall health. Consumption of avocados also helps in minimizing the weight gain that may have been caused by the hormonal imbalance. Consumption can be either in a raw form or blended into a smoothie.
- Ashwagandha – Also known as winter cherry, it is an evergreen shrub that is highly regarded as herbal medicine. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen (herbal pharmaceutical) that helps the body overcome stress by regulating the brain’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The HPA axis is responsible for producing many hormones, that initiate the body’s response to stress. Ashwagandha is also useful in treating thyroid hormone imbalance. Consumption can be in the form of Ashwagandha powder or tablets that are easily available in the market. About 300-500mg of the dosage daily, for about 8 weeks can prove beneficial in treating the hormonal imbalance.
- Omega -3 Fatty Acids – Omega 3 acids are inflammatory in nature and works like a charm to keep the hormones intact and balanced. They aid in the growth and building of hormones and help in alleviating stress and anxiety. One can consume these fatty acids in the form of supplements like tablets or consume foods that have Omega 3 Fatty Acids like Salmon, Sardines, Chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, kidney beans, soybean oil, etc.
- Vitamin D and C – Vitamins are important for the body to function at a normal pace. They provide nutrients to the cells to aid in bodily functioning. However, sometimes hormonal imbalance also can be due to the inadequate presence of vitamins in the body. Consuming either multivitamins supplements or Vitamin D and Vitamin C supplements separately can be beneficial in aiding the imbalance. One can also avail these vitamins through vitamin-rich foods like eggs, fish, mushrooms, citric foods. Sitting under the sun for 30 minutes every day can do wonders for one’s health.
- Protein Intake – Consuming proteins in daily foods is important. These proteins provide amino acids to the body that the body cannot produce on its own and hence, must be consumed to maintain health. Proteins reduce hunger pangs in humans that is a key to maintaining a diet that’s required to maintain hormonal imbalance. Eating protein-rich foods like cottage cheese, soy, eggs, meat can surely be a game-changer for those who are looking to cure hormonal imbalance.
Treating Hormonal Balance Naturally in Other Ways
- Engaging in regular exercise – Physical Activity is monumental for one’s good health. A major benefit of exercise is that it increases insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that has many functions like using sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream for energy and maintaining muscle. However, the presence of insulin has to be of a nominal amount, and exercising regularly can help maintain it, and reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, cancer.
- Avoiding Sugar and refined carbs – Sugar and refined carbs attract multiple health problems like obesity, diabetes and also contribute to hormonal imbalance as these foods release fructose that promotes insulin resistance. An attempt must be made to shift from refined sugar and carbs to more organic foods that aid insulin and not resist it.
- Maintaining a balanced diet – One should avoid overeating and undereating as both these leads to weight gains and loss that is not healthy for the body. One should focus on eating healthy food with adequate carbohydrates, vitamins, nutrients that the body needs to effectively function. Too much calorie intake can pressure hormones to secrete in excess or at minimal, thereby paving a way for hormonal imbalance.
- Sleeping – Poor sleep cycle is a primary reason why a few have imbalances of hormones like Insulin, Leptin, Growth Hormone, Ghrelin, Cortisol – all required for the body to function effectively. The human brain needs uninterrupted sleep for a couple of hours every day for the hormones to repair the wear and tear. The number of hours of sleep is immaterial, what matters is the quality of sleep and this can be improved by making lifestyle changes.
Our hormones are involved at every stage of our health. Ignoring the signs and not making lifestyle changes for curing hormonal imbalance is not acceptable for one’s well-being. While all the remedies stated here are natural, one should consult a medical professional before implementing natural remedies. They know better!
Disclaimer: The information included here is only for knowledge sharing purposes, and the blog is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis, medical advice, or treatment by a healthcare professional. Because individual needs appropriate advice, the reader should consult their doctor to determine the appropriate disease depending on their situation.