A woman’s hormonal health is delicate. Unhealthy eating habits, high stress, and a sedentary lifestyle can all wreak havoc on your hormones. However, even women who eat healthily and get proper exercise can struggle with hormonal issues.
Keep reading for a breakdown of symptoms of hormone imbalance and the key hormones women should track. Then learn about the best vitamins for hormonal imbalance, including vitamin D and vitamin B12. Plus: herbal supplements and tips for optimal hormonal health.
hormonal imbalance Symptoms
There are many signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance, such as:
- weight gain
- altered sex drive
- urinary tract infections
- skin conditions (too dry or too oily)
- water retention
- hair loss
- facial hair growth
By keeping hormones balanced, it’ll be easier to maintain healthy weight, keep a regular menstrual cycle, and have optimal energy levels.
key hormones to keep in check
Cortisol is your main stress hormone. When your body is under stress, your adrenal glands release cortisol. Many of us carry too much of this stress and don’t make time to switch it off. When cortisol levels are high for too long, you may experience greater fatigue, mood swings, and stubborn belly fat.
The pancreas secretes this fat-storing hormone that controls your body’s blood sugar levels. When you have too many blood sugar surges and dips—usually from eating too much at once or not eating enough at other times—insulin can keep you in fat-storing mode.
Thyroid hormones regulate both your body’s energy use and metabolism. If you often feel tired or sluggish, or if you witness changes in your metabolism, your thyroid might not function properly.
Estrogen is the female sex hormone that gives you female characteristics. It’s vital for your mood, weight, bones, brain, and energy. After age 35, estrogen levels can start to decline. Ensuing issues can include night sweats, irregular periods, mood swings, and anxiety.
The Best Vitamins for hormonal imbalance
We know that bad foods can cause stress on your body, elevate blood sugar, and slow your metabolism. You can stave off hormonal imbalances with the following vitamins and nutrients:
Omega-3 fish oil can positively affect hormones. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary components of cell function and are vital in creating hormones. Without a healthy supply of omega-3s, the body has difficulty producing the hormones it needs. Instead, it relies on lower-quality fats, which in turn puts females at higher risk for inflammation-related issues. Additionally, a 2012 study found that greater consumption of omega-3s may diminish insulin resistance.
Vitamin D plays a vital role in the production and activity of hormones including estrogen and progesterone. This vitamin helps prevent hormonal imbalances that can lead to breast cancer. It also aids insulin regulation and blood sugar balance. Additionally, vitamin D supplements—such as HUM’s Here Comes the Sun—can help prevent bone loss caused by low blood estrogen levels. The recommended dosage for most individuals is 600-800 IU per day.
If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome or are on birth control, you might have low zinc levels. You need sufficient levels of zinc to balance your thyroid hormones. It’s also a necessary trace nutrient used to regulate the menstrual cycle and fertility. Next, zinc is a natural antimicrobial that kills bacteria and opens pores, thereby helping reduce acne. Even further, zinc can help reduce period pain, which is symptomatic of hormonal imbalance. The standard dose is typically eight milligrams per day. However, since zinc can affect copper and iron levels, it’s best to work with a health professional to determine what’s best for you.
Vitamin B12 is essential for proper nerve function. It’s mainly found in animal protein, so vegans and vegetarians are at higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 is responsible for energy levels, memory, and learning and retaining information. Low levels can make you feel fatigued and depleted. Methylcobalamin—a form of the vitamin available in food and supplements like HUM’s B12 Turbo—is easier to absorb and retain than its counterpart, cyanocobalamin.
Herbal Supplements for Hormone Imbalance
Looking to go beyond vitamins for hormonal imbalance? There are also a number of herbs that can keep everything in check.
First, Dong Quai (found in HUM’s Moody Bird) is commonly used in Chinese medicine to balance hormonal excesses and deficits. Next, studies show the many benefits of rhodilola rosea, an adaptogenic herb included in HUM’s Uber Energy and Big Chill. Rhodiola aids thyroid function, improves immune function, and helps the body adapt to stress—all of which factor into hormonal balance. Finally, ashwagandha has the unique ability to encourage hormonal health at a cellular level, aiding your resilience to stress.
Lifestyle tips to Balance Your Hormones
While vitamins and herbal remedies can certainly help, your lifestyle also plays a pivotal role in combatting hormonal imbalances. Adapt the following tips to foster optimal hormonal health:
Watch Your Stress Levels
Winding down is crucial. Many women lead hectic lifestyles, allowing their bodies little time to readjust from life’s demands. Ensuing stress can disrupt women’s natural hormone cycles. Find small ways to reset and relax, such as through meditation and other self-care rituals.
Catch Adequate ZZZ’s
Sleep allows the body to recover from any duress it may have suffered throughout the day. A lack of sleep means less recovery time, thus swinging hormones into overdrive. Try to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night to stave off hormonal imbalances.
Enrich Your diet for Healthy, Well-Rounded Nutrition
Incorporate more fresh, organic fruits and vegetables plus an abundance of raw nuts and seeds into your diet. Refined carbohydrates, fried foods, soft drinks, processed vegetable oil, and trans fats may all alter hormone balance.
Sweat It Out
Get moving for 45-to-60 minutes at least three times a week. Form a routine that you enjoy and can stick to on a consistent basis.
Get Some Sunshine
Giving your body a healthy helping of full-spectrum sunlight can help stabilize hormones. Go outside and take a walk around the block a couple of times a week. It’ll help get you the movement you need plus the feel-good sunshine your body craves.