5-Tips on Preventing Hormone Imbalance
Are you struggling with PMS, hot flashes, night sweats, brain fog (foggy thinking), depression, chronic fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and/or decreased libido?
Did you know that those symptoms may be due to a hormone imbalance?
Hormones are produced and released each day from several different organs. When the body is in a “stressed” out state, hormones begin to shift from being produced and released properly, to being converted to other hormones, produced in excess, or not produced at all.
Several organs make and release hormones: ovaries, testes, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, and the adrenal glands…to name a few.
What Can Go Wrong?
Many triggers can throw off your hormones: starting with stress.
Stress, emotional and physical, will impact your adrenal glands. Think of your adrenal glands as the gas pedal in your car: if you smash the gas pedal down you know what happens. When you over stress (smash the gas pedal) the adrenal glands, they will release more cortisol, among other hormones.
High amounts of cortisol make you retain weight, cause brain fog, make your muscles more fatigued, and destroys your gastro-intestinal lining.
Not only that, but high cortisol tends to suppress your appetite, leaving you craving sugary foods. Have you ever pigged out on sugary foods when you are stressed out? High levels of sugar can contribute to Candida, which affects hormones as well.
The biggest issues with high cortisol levels is thyroid gland dysfunction. Specializing in thyroid dysfunction, I have seen hundreds of thyroid patients have decreased levels of thyroid hormones due to adrenal gland dysfunction.
Your thyroid DIRECTLY impacts female and male hormones. When working with thyroid patients that are struggling with hormone dysfunction, I focus on fixing the problem (the thyroid) before addressing the hormones.
Go after the problem, not the side effect!
Eating Too Much
High levels of insulin will cause the ovaries to produce more androgen hormones, such as testosterone. High levels of testosterone will cause PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in women. PCOS happens to be one of the leading causes of infertility in women.
As testosterone rises in women, the female hormones get pushed to lower levels and women may start to grow body hair, have more acne and irregular/ fewer periods.
Plus, high levels of testosterone can increase a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
To prevent large spikes of insulin, focus on eating smaller meals throughout the day.
Focus on Your Liver
Your liver plays a crucial role in your hormones. We discussed how the thyroid directly impacts female/male hormones, and the liver will do the same. If the liver is not working optimally, your thyroid hormone conversion will be decreased. Essentially, your metabolism will slow and losing weight may become difficulty, acne begins, the body may feel cold, and hair loss may occur.
Your liver helps to “clear” off exogenous (too many) hormones. If you were on birth control, the liver had to filter all those hormones. Many years of filtering, and collecting, those hormones will impact your liver’s ability to do its job: detoxify the blood, converting thyroid hormone, making cholesterol, etc.
If your liver can’t clear (detoxify) the hormones, then more hormones build up in the body, throwing off your normal levels of female and male hormones.
Some patients, especially thyroid patients, have gene mutations that impact the liver’s ability to do its job. You can test for this by running the genetic test www.23andme.com. You will need a knowledgeable doctor to explain the genetic results to you.
5-Tips to Help Balance Your Hormones
- Manage your stress levels: This is KEY to stabilizing your hormones. Too much stress and not enough recovery will force your adrenals to work overtime, taking your hormones on a roller coaster ride!
Meditation and yoga are fantastic to help keep the body in balance and manage your stress levels.
- Stabilize your blood sugar: Keep in mind, when your blood sugar drops, cortisol rises. Cortisol equals weight gain, brain fog, and thyroid dysfunction.
Eating too large of meals will spike your insulin levels. Insulin triggers the ovaries to make more testosterone, pushing a woman’s estrogen levels down and triggering PCOS to begin.
- Perform a liver flush: There are many ways to perform liver flushing. I teach three of my favorite liver flushes in my online course: thefundamentalsforhealing.com
- Check your genes: Science is always improving and through the use of genetic testing, we now have more pieces to the health puzzle. If you have genetic mutations (specifically, the MTHFR gene), your liver will not function optimally, affecting thyroid and female/male hormones.
- Work on your sleep patterns: Nothing throws off hormones more than lack of sleep or irregular sleep patterns. Sleep is controlled by the adrenal glands and your body’s circadian rhythm (fancy terms for your sleep cycle).
If you voluntarily throw off your sleep patterns, your body’s hormones will begin to suffer as the adrenal glands are impacted.
Don’t Settle for Less Than You Deserve
If you are struggling with any of the symptoms we have discussed, find a doctor that can help you. I am a little biased, as I am an Integrative/Functional Medicine doctor, and I have seen thousands of patients thrown through the medical merry-go-round. I recommend more of an integrative approach vs. seeing a “hormone specialist” that only looks at your hormones.
Remember, there are many pieces to your health puzzle! Don’t work on the side effects, fix the problem.
Dr. Corey King, D.C., B.C.I.M. utilizes Integrative/Functional Medicine to help his patients heal. Dr. King has been specializing in autoimmune diseases, thyroid gland dysfunction, diabetes and gastro-intestinal dysfunction for the past 12-years. You can learn more atwww.askdrking.com, his many social media channels, and his online course,www.thefundamentalsforhealing.com