⚠ What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals messengers produced by a number of endocrine glands including the thyroid glands, adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, and pancreas.
These glands produce hormones that travel through the bloodstream to communicate with your tissues and organs, such as your brain, gut, muscles, and bones.
They are responsible for your mood, digestion, hunger, libido, energy levels, and so much more.
For example, when the hunger hormone leptin is released, it signals to your brain that you are not hungry. Melatonin makes sure you get a good night’s sleep.
Some other commonly known hormones include insulin, estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol.
What do hormones do?
Hormones are very delicately balanced and regulated by our bodies. Most of our internal systems are dependent on proper hormone regulation and signaling.
When a single hormone is too high or too low, it can affect several aspects of your health and create unwanted short-term and long-term effects.
For example, women with too little estrogen can have lower bone mineral density, which dramatically increases their risk of fractures and developing osteoporosis later in life (1). Low estrogen levels also cause irregular periods, fertility problems, depression, and mood swings.
Women with too much estrogen, also known as estrogen dominance, can increase their risk of developing breast cancer (2). Too much estrogen also causes weight gain, PMS, bloating, and headaches.
Hormone Balance and Your Liver
We can’t talk about hormone regulation without bringing up the liver. Your liver is your body’s filtration system, removing harmful substances from your body in a two phase process.
It is also responsible for recycling and eliminating hormones and toxins in your blood. Once a hormone completes its job in the body, it is sent to the liver to be removed and excreted through bile, urine, or the colon.
When it is not working properly, excess used hormones accumulate in the blood causing an imbalance and a slew of symtpoms (3).
One common hormone imbalance among women is the buildup of estrogen known as estrogen dominance.
This is a common reason why a lot of women have trouble losing weight, experience irregular/painful periods, and can even increase the risk of breast cancer (4).
With all of the environmental toxins we absorb everyday, the liver has to work a lot harder to filter our blood. Without a proper filtration system, toxins and hormones will continue to accumulate in your body. This is why detoxifying your liver should be the first step to regulate your hormones.
If you think you might have a hormonal imbalance, cleansing and detoxifying your liver is an essential and effective way to get rid of your symptoms.
⚡Related: 5 Signs You Need A Detox
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How To Check For Hormone Imbalance?
Do you feel tired all the time? Do you have trouble sleeping? Can’t keep the weight off? These are all signs of a potential hormonal imbalance, which can present in many ways depending on the person.
All of these symptoms are your bodies way of telling you that something is not right.
Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are all too common and overlooked in the medical world. Hormone tests are expensive and we turn to medication as a seemingly cheaper and quicker fix.
Listen to your body and try to get to the root cause rather than putting a bandaid on the problem.
Fortunately, simple lifestyle and diet changes can eliminate these symptoms and improve your energy levels, mental, and physical health.
However, if these lifestyle and diet changes aren’t showing any results, there may be more complex issues that need to be addressed.
In this case, seeing a doctor and getting a serum blood test can be really helpful and give you a lot of information about possible root causes.
⚠ Top 6 Signs and Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance ⚠
- Irregular or painful periods and PMS
- Unexplained weight gain or inability to lose weight
- Poor digestion, bloating, constipation
- Low energy and fatigue
- Hormonal acne
- Brain fog and poor memory
What Causes Hormone Imbalance?
- Too much stress
Too much stress in your life, whether it’s physical or mental, results in overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol. When cortisol levels are too high, your levels of various hormones change (ie. sex hormones, thyroid hormones, insulin, etc…) (5).
- Sleep deprivation
Not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your hormonal system. Sleep deprivation messes with your hunger hormones (leptin and ghrelin), insulin sensitivity, and cortisol levels (6).
- Environmental toxins
We are constantly exposed to environmental toxins from pollution in the air, pesticides in our food, and chemicals in self-care and household products. These “endocrine disruptors” can enter our body and mimic our natural hormones, throwing everything out of balance (7).
⚡Related: Everyday Pollutants You Are Breathing In
- Gut inflammation and poor diet
Hormones need healthy fats and cholesterol in order to be produced. Not consuming enough of these healthy fats in your diet can reduce your hormone production (8).
There is a lot of research on the gut-brain axis showing that many of our neurotransmitters and hormones are actually made in and regulated by the gut.
When your digestive tract is inflamed, alterations in your gut bacteria, hormones, and neurotransmitters can cause low energy levels, depression, and weight gain (9).
A common condition called ‘leaky gut’ can put you at a higher risk for hormone imbalances. Leaky gut is caused by an inflammatory diet and/or food allergies and can even be caused by stress (10).
These factors can cause gaps to form in the tight junctions lining your intestines, causing toxins to move in and out of your gut.
If you have digestive symptoms (bloating, gas, constipation, etc…), Detox Organics is loaded with antioxidant rich vegetables, fruits, herbs, and plants that can help soothe your digestive tract and reduce inflammation.
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- Too little or too much exercise
Exercising can help increase or decrease certain hormones in the body. Studies show that women with excess estrogen (estrogen dominance) see an improvement after exercising regularly (11).
On the other hand, women who exercise too much can experience symptoms of low estrogen levels. Men see an increase in testosterone levels with resistance training (12).
🌿 How To Balance Hormones Naturally?
1. Detoxify your liver
This is the most important and first step you should take to balance your hormones naturally. Focus on increasing fiber by eating more fruits and vegetables, while removing processed inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy, and refined carbohydrates.
Include Detox Organics supplements in your daily routine.
Each scoop of the Chocolate Superfoods is loaded with alkalizing vegetables and antioxidants that will support your liver throughout the detoxification process. You’ll feel the cleansing effects after just one glass!
2. Decrease stress
Simple lifestyle changes can significantly reduce stress, like including yoga, meditation, or some form of daily exercise. Focus on spending quality time with friends and family — laughing and smiling reduces cortisol levels!
3. Improve sleep
Create a nightly routine to help regulate your sleep patterns. Focus on removing stress (see above) to help improve sleep.
4. Remove toxins
Try to buy organic produce and grass-fed meats when possible. Replace toxic household cleaning products with more natural alternatives. Try to reduce using plastic bottles, tupperware, and food containers by replacing them with glass or paper alternatives.
5. Eat the rainbow
Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables and remove processed and inflammatory foods (refined grains, sugar, packaged foods). One scoop of Detox Organics Chocolate Superfoods contains 10 pounds of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and plants.
6. Exercise regularly
Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise everyday (walking, yoga, resistance training, etc…). Make sure to properly fuel yourself before and after exercising with healthy fats, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates.
Final Thoughts on Hormone Imbalances
- Hormones are extremely important for our physical, mental, and emotional health. When a single hormone is too high or too low, it can throw all the other hormones off.
- Common symptoms of hormonal imbalance include irregular or painful periods, PMS, unexplained weight gain or inability to lose weight, poor digestion, low energy and fatigue, hormonal acne, and brain fog.
- Causes of hormone imbalance include too much stress, too little sleep, environmental toxins, poor diet, gut inflammation, and lack of exercise.
- Take steps to balance your hormones naturally by detoxifying your liver, removing stress, improving sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
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1. Weitzmann MN, Pacifici R. Estrogen deficiency and bone loss: an inflammatory tale. J Clin Invest. 2006;116(5):1186-94.
2. Available at: http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=401. Accessed December 19, 2017.
3. Genes SG. [Role of the liver in hormone metabolism and in the regulation of their content in the blood]. Arkh Patol. 1977;39(6):74-80.
4. Hoffman, Ronald. Estrogen Dominance Syndrome.
Available at: http://drhoffman.com/article/estrogen-dominance-syndrome-2/. Accessed December 14, 2017.
5. Ranabir S, Reetu K. Stress and hormones. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2011;15(1):18-22.
6. Leproult R, Van cauter E. Role of sleep and sleep loss in hormonal release and metabolism. Endocr Dev. 2010;17:11-21.
7. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Endocrine Disruptors.
8. Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine. Fat and Hormonal Effects.
9. Evrensel A, Ceylan ME. The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2015;13(3):239-44.
10. Buret AG. How stress induces intestinal hypersensitivity. Am J Pathol. 2006;168(1):3-5.
11. Ennour-idrissi K, Maunsell E, Diorio C. Effect of physical activity on sex hormones in women: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Breast Cancer Res. 2015;17(1):139.
12. Craig BW, Brown R, Everhart J. Effects of progressive resistance training on growth hormone and testosterone levels in young and elderly subjects. Mech Ageing Dev. 1989;49(2):159-69.