5 Symptoms of hormonal imbalance & how to manage them

Hormonal imbalance refers to hormones such as stress hormones, sex hormones and hunger hormones being out of whack, or at the wrong levels.


Hormonal imbalance can be caused by a range of factors, and can result in the following symptoms:


  1. Unexplained weight gain/weight loss
  2. Fatigue
  3. Mood swings
  4. Skin breakouts 
  5. Reduced sex drive

So what can cause your hormones going out of whack? There are many factors, including:


Diet

Although food is not produced in the body, it travels through the blood, where a nutrient can act as a signal and affect hormones. This is why it’s so important to consider the food you eat! Foods we love for hormone support:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), eggs, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. 
  • Dark green leafy veggies: Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and broccoli - the true superfoods! 
  • Fibre (this helps to metabolise estrogen): Oats, barley, chia seeds, pear, brown rice, beans, lentils and all fruits and vegetables (Aim to keep the skin on!).

Exercise

The practice of regular physical activity is recommended for the prevention of many health conditions. We love a balance of high intensity such as running, weights and HIIT with more restorative exercises like pilates, yoga and walking. This balance along with rest days can support our cortisol levels (our stress hormone).


Sleep

Sleep loss may have an adverse impact on hormonal function and metabolism. Hormones fluctuate according to the light and dark cycle and are also affected by sleep, food and general behaviour. The metabolism of many hormones are influenced by interactions between the effect of sleep and the circadian system. Growth hormone, melatonin, cortisol, leptin and ghrelin (hunger hormones) are linked to sleep and your circadian rhythm.

Sleep disruptions are also associated with obesity, insulin insensitivity, diabetes, hormonal imbalances and appetite dysregulation. 

We recommend incorporating a nourishing nighttime routine to help you achieve a deeper, quality sleep. You may like to put your legs up against a wall for 10-15 minutes, ditch technology for 1-2 hours before bed, read and practice a few yoga poses. 


Stress

Stress can lead to changes in the total level of many hormones including glucocorticoids and catecholamines (these release in response to stress), growth hormone and prolactin (involved in breast milk production). Some of these changes are important for the flight or fight response to protect oneself. However, long-term stress exposure may lead to hormonal conditions, including the menstrual cycle and reproduction. 

Stress management techniques we like to incorporate day to day, include yoga flows, meditation, a walk around the block and breathing sequences. 


How Hormone + PMS Support can help you...

Our Hormone + PMS vitamin contains herbs such as Chaste Tree and Dong Quai to support your reproductive hormones, relieve symptoms of premenstrual tension and menstrual irregularity. It also contains B vitamins to support energy production and the function of the nervous system, and Magnesium to support muscle relaxation and stable blood sugars. Finally, it contains adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwagandha to help the body to adapt to stressful situations and ultimately reduce cortisol levels. When you let cortisol rise too high, it can affect the rest of your hormones.

Basically, this formula can support healthy, stable hormones, and banish the mood swings, cramping, breakouts, fatigue, and all the not-so-fun stuff caused by out of whack hormones!




References:

Kim, T. W., Jeong, J. H., & Hong, S. C. (2015). The impact of sleep and circadian disturbance on hormones and metabolism. International journal of endocrinology, 2015, 591729. 


Ranabir, S., & Reetu, K. (2011). Stress and hormones. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 

15(1), 18–22. 


Ralph C, Lehman M, Goodman R, Tilbrook A. Impact of psychosocial stress on gonadotrophins and sexual behaviour in females: role for cortisol?. Reproduction. 2016;152(1):R1-R14.