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Identifying Hormone Imbalances

Correcting with nutrition, lifestyle and supplementation


Virtually everyone experiences hormone imbalance at some point in their lives, whether its during the teen years, during or after birth of children, perimenopause, or with age. This happens in both men and women. I wanted to address this month HOW and WHERE to get baseline hormone testing and how to decide next steps in correcting any identified imbalances. There are multiple lifestyle, nutritional and supplement interventions that can naturally balance your hormones. There is also HRT (hormone replacement therapy) becoming more available. Individual sessions with a practitioner are ideal to determine course of action for your individual results and symptoms, however.


For the purpose of this month, I’ll be focusing mostly on female and male sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. Cortisol and other hormones (like thyroid) can play a part as well, but we will focus this month on the primary sex hormones. (Stay tuned in November for a focus on adrenal dysfunction and cortisol)


Symptoms of hormone imbalance may include but are not limited to the following: bloating and GI issues, weight gain or loss, chronic fatigue, anxiety or depression, low libido, brain fog, headaches, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, osteoporosis, and thinning hair. Let’s do a brief review of each of the primary sex hormones.


ESTROGEN - produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands. Symptoms of not enough include decreased libido, fatigue, weak bones, trouble “finding words”, inflammation, hair loss, mood swings, weight gain dry skin and migraines. Excessive amounts can cause bloating breast tenderness. I’m seeing men with high estrogen which correlates to higher body fat and inactivity.


PROGESTERONE - Responsible for the monthly cycle in women. High levels can cause bloat, mood issues, and low can cause migraines, depression, low libido, hot flashes.


TESTOSTERONE - primarily responsible for muscle mass, libido, energy levels. Too much causes aggression and irritability in men, not enough causes fatigue mood issues and increased body fat and low libido. Women can have low T as well with similar symptoms.


DHEA - creates testosterone ad estrogen. Can be connected with low energy and low adrenal function if levels are low.


Common causes of hormone imbalances include but are not limited to the following: chronic stress, lack of sleep, elevated blood sugar, use of birth control, being overweight, endocrine disruptors like pesticides and plastics, certain medications. The 4 most common imbalances I see in my practice are estrogen dominance in men and women, lack of estrogen for women, low testosterone in men, and PCOS in women. PCOS symptoms include acne, depression, loss of scalp hair but more hair otherwise, insulin resistance. infertility irregular cycles and weight gain.


Balancing your hormones naturally:


  1. EAT PROTEIN. One gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. The rest of diet you can “fill in” with complex carbs and healthy fats. My favorite proteins are grass fed beef, wild caught fish and seafood and locally raised poultry and eggs. I also love Ancient Nutrition’s protein shake.

  2. AVOID PROCESSED SUGARS AND CARBOHYDRATES. You know what I’m talking about… pastries, crackers, bars… anything that’s not whole food. Keep sugars to a minimum and use things like raw honey or maple syrup in moderation for sweetness.

  3. MOVE YOUR BODY. EVERYDAY. Activity will regulate your sleep, digestion, memory, and boost serotonin. Declining levels of testosterone are seen in men as early as 40 if they are metabolically unhealthy… Weight bearing exercise is my number one suggestion for men and women alike.

  4. DON’T USE PLASTIC. There are so many reasons not to use plastic but hormone imbalance is a big one. Plastic releases chemicals that mimic estrogen in your body and can lead to breast or prostate cancer, or fertility issues.

  5. CHOOSE NON-TOXIC HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS. Check out ewg.org/skindeep to search products you already use or use the YUCA app. Many personal care products use parabens and hormone disrupting chemicals.

  6. SLEEP WELL. While you sleep hormones are released that boost your immune system and decrease inflammation. Sleep also positively impacts cortisol.

  7. MANAGE STRESS. Chronic stress impacts high cortisol levels which impacts weight loss, sleep and insulin resistance. Sleep issues can lead to adrenal fatigue, sexual dysfunction and mood issues.

  8. EAT WHOLE FOODS

  9. EXPLORE the use of non- hormonal birth control

  10. MAINTAIN an optimal body weight

  11. TEST YOUR HORMONES AND MEET WITH A PROFESSIONAL TO EVALUATE SUPPLEMENTS OR HRT. To find some links to labs that you can obtain and test at home for a baseline hormone panel click HERE. I am available to review in sessions and help you naturally obtain balance and or refer to HRT if needed.

Want a hormone baseline? Go to walkinlabs.com and go to all tests, then at home kits, ZRT, and order the ZRT female/male saliva III profile and let me know when you have results if you’d like to review as well as any other health questions and receive a whole foods meal plan! I prefer to discuss supplements with people individually and tailor a lifestyle plan. There are other lab kits that may suit your needs instead of the III- I like the male comprehensive profile II as well.


Keep Moving Forward 😊 Sarah



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