know your dna logo
search iconmenu Icon

5 Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally

Updated on September 16, 2021
Written by
Joel
2 sources cited
KnowYourDNA is reader-supported. This means we may receive a commission when you buy something from one of the links on this page.

Hormones are considered messenger molecules. They are chemical substances that stimulate specific tissues or cells into action. 

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 body functions. Hormones play a part in growth and development, sexual function, metabolism, mood, and many more.

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. Here are some examples of hormones and their corresponding functions:

Aldosterone

This is produced in the adrenal glands. It is responsible for regulating salt, water balance, and blood pressure.

Corticosteroid

This is produced in the adrenal glands. It is responsible for: 

  • controlling various bodily functions
  • controlling inflammation
  • maintaining blood sugar levels and blood pressure
  • regulating salt and water balance

Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin)

This is produced in the pituitary gland. It is responsible for water retention in the kidneys and controlling blood pressure.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)

This is produced in the pituitary gland. It is responsible for controlling the production of sex hormones and the production of eggs and sperm.

Growth hormone (GH)

This is produced in the pituitary gland. It is responsible for: 

  • growth and development
  • stimulating protein production
  • fat distribution

Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

This is produced in the pituitary gland. It is responsible for controlling sex hormones and the production of eggs and sperm.

Oxytocin

This is produced in the pituitary gland. It is responsible for stimulating the contraction of the uterus and milk ducts.

Prolactin

This is produced in the pituitary gland. It is responsible for initiating and maintaining milk production and sex hormone levels.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

This is produced in the pituitary gland. It is responsible for stimulating the production and secretion of thyroid hormones.

Renin and angiotensin

This is produced in the kidneys. It is responsible for controlling blood pressure directly and indirectly.

Erythropoietin

This is produced in the kidneys. It is responsible for red blood cell production.

Glucagon

This is produced in the pancreas. It is responsible for raising blood sugar levels.

Insulin

This is produced in the pancreas. It is responsible for lowering blood sugar levels and stimulating metabolisms of glucose, fat, and protein.

Estrogen

This is produced in the ovaries. It is responsible for: 

  • the development of female sexual characteristics
  • reproductive development 
  • protecting bone health
  • controlling the function of the uterus and breasts

Progesterone

This is produced in the ovaries. It is responsible for stimulating the lining of the uterus and preparing the breasts for milk production.

Parathyroid hormone (PTH)

This is produced in the parathyroid glands. It is responsible for regulating blood calcium levels.

Thyroid hormone

This is produced in the thyroid gland. It is responsible for: 

  • controlling metabolism 
  • growth
  • maturation
  • nervous system activity
  • metabolism

Epinephrine

This is produced in the adrenal glands. It is responsible for increasing heart rate, oxygen intake, and blood flow.

Norepinephrine

This is produced in the adrenal glands. It is responsible for maintaining blood pressure.

Testosterone

This is produced in the testes. It is responsible for developing and maintaining male sexual characteristics.

Melatonin

This is produced in the pineal gland. It is responsible for releasing melatonin to promote sleep.

Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH)

This is produced in the hypothalamus. It is responsible for regulating thyroid-stimulating hormone in the pituitary gland.

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)

This is produced in the hypothalamus. It is responsible for regulating thyroid-stimulating hormone release in the pituitary gland

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)

This is produced in the hypothalamus. It is responsible for regulating LH/FSH production in the pituitary gland.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)

This is produced in the hypothalamus. It is responsible for regulating adrenocorticotropin release in the pituitary gland.

Humoral factors

This is produced in the thymus. It is responsible for the development of the lymphoid system.

5 Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally 3

EverlyWell - Women's Health Test

EverlyWell’s Test for Women's Health will tell you if your hormone levels are abnormal. It will then give you some steps you can take to get them back into balance.

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 4

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 hormonal imbalance is to improve your diet. 

A well-balanced diet is essential to overall health, including hormone levels. Overeating 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 hormonal imbalance, which makes it difficult to sleep. It also affects the body’s ability to process glucose. This puts you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Improper sleep affects: 

  • thyroid function
  • leptin levels
  • ghrelin production
  • sex hormones
  • the function of the adrenal glands

It lowers testosterone levels, libido, and energy levels. It also makes it difficult to concentrate.

Ways to Balance Your Hormones

There are several things you can do to balance your hormones better and eliminate hormonal imbalances. 

Supplemental hormone therapy is an option in some cases. However, you can do many other things on your own to improve your hormone balance and overall health.  

You can balance your hormones naturally by:

1. Reducing your intake of carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy fats. 

Your body needs fat to create hormones. Fats reduce inflammation and boost your metabolism. 

Healthy fats offer antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and fat-burning benefits. Recommended sources are as follows: 

  • avocados
  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • wild-caught salmon

Conversely, processed carbs, sugar, and refined vegetable and seed oils trigger hormonal imbalance. 

Here are some ways to achieve hormone balance naturally:

  • Avoiding processed foods
  • eating a healthy diet
  • focusing on weight loss if you’re overweight
  • ensuring the foods you eat don’t cause your body to produce too much or too little insulin

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 help balance hormones and naturally improve health and well-being.

2. 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. 

Improving your supplement regime might be enough to alleviate hormonal imbalances. Supplements that promote healthy hormone levels include: 

  • evening primrose oil
  • vitamin D
  • probiotics
  • bone broth
  • adaptogen herbs

To deal with hormones naturally, taking adaptogen supplements help. Examples are ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, holy basil, and Rhodiola. They 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. Reduce stress levels by: 

  • meditating
  • spending time outdoors
  • exercising
  • deep breathing exercises

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 restfulness
  • Strong muscles
  • Lack of aches and pains
  • Moderated heart rate and blood pressure
  • A 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 hormone imbalance could be the cause.

Resources

SHOW
HIDE

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.

Joel
Content Contributor
Joel is a writer with a passion for the science of DNA and the power of its manipulation.
back to top