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5 Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally

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Updated on: May 20, 2021
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Hormones are a molecule in the body. There are many different types of hormones in varying degrees in male and female bodies. All hormones originate within the endocrine system. Each has a purpose and greatly influences everything from growth and development to sexual function, metabolism, and mood. When hormones are out of balance, it affects your emotional and physical well-being.

What do you need to know about hormone health and hormone balancing?

The Hormones and the Functions They Influence

Hormones affect a variety of functions in the body. For example:

  • Aldosterone: Produced in the adrenal glands and responsible for regulating salt, water balance, and blood pressure
  • Corticosteroid: Produced in the adrenal glands and responsible for controlling various bodily functions, controlling inflammation, maintaining blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and regulating salt and water balance
  • Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin): Produced in the pituitary gland and responsible for water retention in the kidneys and controlling blood pressure
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): Produced in the pituitary gland and responsible for controlling the production of sex hormones and the production of eggs and sperm
  • Growth hormone (GH): Produced in the pituitary gland and responsible for growth and development, stimulating protein production, and fat distribution
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): Produced in the pituitary gland and responsible for controlling sex hormones and the production of eggs and sperm
  • Oxytocin: Produced in the pituitary gland and responsible for stimulating contraction of the uterus and milk ducts
  • Prolactin: Produced in the pituitary gland and responsible for initiating and maintaining milk production and sex hormone levels
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): Produced in the pituitary gland and responsible for stimulating the production and secretion of thyroid hormones
  • Renin and angiotensin: Produced in the kidneys and responsible for controlling blood pressure directly and indirectly
  • Erythropoietin: Produced in the kidneys and responsible for red blood cell production
  • Glucagon: Produced in the pancreas and responsible for raising blood sugar levels
  • Insulin: Produced in the pancreas and responsible for lowering blood sugar levels and stimulating metabolisms of glucose, fat, and protein
  • Estrogen: Produced in the ovaries and responsible for the development of female sexual characteristics and reproductive development, protecting bone health, and controlling the function of the uterus and breasts
  • Progesterone: Produced in the ovaries and responsible for stimulating the lining of the uterus and preparing the breasts for milk production
  • Parathyroid hormone (PTH): Produced in the parathyroid glands and responsible for regulating blood calcium levels
  • Thyroid hormone: Produced in the thyroid gland and responsible for controlling metabolism, growth, maturation, nervous system activity, and metabolism
  • Epinephrine: Produced in the adrenal glands and responsible for increasing heart rate, oxygen intake, and blood flow
  • Norepinephrine: Produced in the adrenal glands and responsible for maintaining blood pressure
  • Testosterone: Produced in the testes and responsible for developing and maintaining male sexual characteristics
  • Melatonin: Produced in the pineal gland and responsible for releasing melatonin to promote sleep
  • Growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH): Produced in the hypothalamus and responsible for regulating thyroid stimulating hormone in the pituitary gland
  • Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH): Produced in the hypothalamus and responsible for regulating thyroid stimulating hormone release in the pituitary gland
  • Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH): Produced in the hypothalamus and responsible for regulating LH/FSH production in the pituitary gland
  • Corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH): Produced in the hypothalamus and regulating adrenocorticotropin release in the pituitary gland
  • Humoral factors: Produced in the thymus and responsible for the development of the lymphoid system

What Can Cause a Hormonal Imbalance?

A variety of issues can lead to hormonal imbalance. For example:

  • Under (hypo)- or over (hyper)-thyroidism
  • Chronic stress
  • Certain types of birth control
  • Hormonal replacement treatment
  • Diabetes
  • Poor diet
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Exposure to endocrine disruptors
5 Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally 1

Poor diet

Diet plays a vital role in the balance of hormones. Certain foods improve or interfere with the body’s hormonal balance.

One of the best things you can do if you experience hormone imbalance is to improve your diet. A well-balanced diet is essential to overall health, including hormone levels. Eating too much leads to weight gain and also raises insulin resistance and the risk of diabetes. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to lose weight. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Caffeine and alcohol also interfere with hormonal balance. Studies have shown that both increase cortisol secretion.

Lack of sleep

Not getting enough quality sleep affects the functions of the body, including its production of hormones. Lack of sleep also increases your hunger and your stress and insulin levels.

Again, this is a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep causes hormone imbalance which makes it difficult to sleep. It also affects the body’s ability to process glucose, which puts you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Improper sleep affects thyroid function, leptin levels, ghrelin production, sex hormones, and the function of the adrenal glands. It lowers testosterone levels, lowers libido, makes it difficult to concentrate, and lowers energy levels. 

Ways to Balance Your Hormones

There are several things you can do to better balance your hormones and eliminate hormonal imbalances. Supplemental hormone therapy is an option in some cases, but there are many other things you can do on your own to improve your hormone balance and overall health. 

You can balance your hormones naturally by:

  1. Reduce your intake of carbohydrates and replace them with healthy fats. 

Your body needs fat to create hormones. Fats reduce inflammation and boost your metabolism. Healthy fats including avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, and wild-caught salmon that are high in omega-3 fatty acids offer antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, fat-burning benefits. 

Conversely, processed carbs, sugar, and refined vegetable and seed oils trigger hormone imbalance. Avoiding processed foods, eating a healthy diet, focusing on weight loss if you’re overweight, and ensuring the foods you eat don’t cause your body to produce too much or too little insulin helps you achieve hormone balancing naturally.

Women can use food to deal with the natural hormone fluctuations that occur due to their menstrual cycle. The food you eat affects your mood, your energy, and your overall well-being. Exercise is also an important part of avoiding drastic hormonal changes linked to reproductive activity. In many cases, simple life changes are enough to help balance hormones and naturally improve health and well-being.

  1. Carefully supplement your diet. 

Ideally, you’ll get everything your body needs from the foods you eat, but this is rarely the case. Supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals ensures you’re getting what you need to keep your hormones in balance. 

Supplements that promote healthy hormone levels include evening primrose oil, vitamin D, probiotics, bone broth, and adaptogen herbs. Improving your supplement regime might be enough to alleviate hormonal imbalances. 

To deal with hormones naturally, adaptogens including ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, holy basil, and rhodiola promote:

  • Healthy thyroid function
  • Reduced cholesterol
  • Brain cell degeneration
  • Stable insulin and blood sugar levels
  • Healthy adrenal function

3. Deal with any emotional imbalances. 

Our emotions are linked to the function of our bodies, especially when it comes to hormones. Reducing stress levels by meditating, spending time outdoors, exercising, or through deep breathing exercises helps your body better balance hormones.

4. If possible, avoid medications including birth control. 

Certain medications affect hormone balance.

5. Make quality sleep a priority. 

Hormones work on a schedule. When you interfere with that schedule by not getting enough sleep, you affect the production of hormones. The resulting imbalance of hormones then interferes with sleep quality creating a problematic cycle. 

The Endocrine System

The endocrine system is responsible for coordinating the relationship between hormones and the body. It’s made up of organs including the thyroid, ovaries, testicles, pancreas, and the pituitary and adrenal glands that manufacture and release hormones into the body. 

Once released, hormones target cells and tissues, sending chemical messages to help the body perform its daily functions. When the endocrine system isn’t functioning properly, hormonal imbalances are likely to occur.

Hormones in Balance

Often when your hormones are in balance, you’ll notice nothing. You’ll feel your best and your body performs optimally. Most of the time, you only notice an issue with your hormones when there is a problem or when you fix a problem and your health improves.

People whose hormones are in balance experience:

  • Easy weight gain when needed
  • Feeling of restedness
  • Strong muscles
  • Lack of aches and pains
  • Moderated heart rate and blood pressure
  • Normal reaction to heat and cold
  • Regular bowel movements and urination
  • Healthy sex drive
  • Healthy appetite
  • Emotional well-being

In general and when otherwise healthy, someone with balanced hormones feels healthy, energetic, alert, and content. Balancing hormones helps you achieve this overall feeling of good health. If you are experiencing poor health and no other diseases and conditions are present, a hormonal imbalance could be the cause.


The Ultimate Guide to At-Home Hormone Testing: What you need to know.

Resources +

Marks, Vincent. “How Our Food Affects Our Hormones.” Clinical Biochemistry, vol. 18, no. 3, June 1985, pp. 149–153, 10.1016/s0009-9120(85)80099-0.

“Hormones and the Endocrine System.” Www.hopkinsmedicine.org, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hormones-and-the-endocrine-system#. Accessed 19 May 2021.

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