Why is it that hormones go out of balance? And what are the underlying root causes? If we can identify and address the underlying root cause of your hormonal imbalance you’re looking at a much better prognosis and a much more likely return of your wellbeing.
Every day of your life, an incredible system of organs and glands in your body are producing hormones which affect your health and your wellbeing. Your hormones are directly influencing your emotional wellbeing and having a profound impact on every aspect of your health and your life.
Your hormonal system is called the endocrine system. Just like the flora and fauna in a rainforest rely on each other to create an optimal living environment, your endocrine system and the hormones it produces, work together to create optimum health for you… when they’re properly balanced.
So, why do they go out of balance?
The number 1 cause is actually stress. Sometimes stress is the chicken, sometimes it’s the egg. If you’ve got external stress in your life it will really impact the production of reproductive hormones. As your reproductive hormones oestrogen, testosterone, progesterone start to go out of balance, it definitely makes you feel more stressed. So, reducing stress and improving your body’s ability to cope with stress can have a major impact on improving hormonal regulation and stabilising your hormonal balance again.
2. Gut Flora
An imbalance in the bugs in your gut can also trigger a hormonal imbalance. The bugs in your gut help your body to digest foods, absorb nutrients, eliminate waste products and also eliminate excessive hormones from your system. 80% of our immune system is actually found in the bugs in your gut as well.
If you don’t have enough healthy bugs living in your gut, it’s hard for your body to do any of those jobs properly and hormones and waste products get reabsorbed from the bowel back into the bloodstream. It just perpetuates the cycle of imbalance in the body.
So, focussing on improving your gut health and regulating the microbiome of healthy bugs living in your gut can have a significantly positive impact on hormonal regulation.
3. Sub-optimal Detoxification of Hormones
Suboptimal detoxification of hormones through the P2 detox pathway in the liver can also cause a hormonal imbalance.
The P2 detox pathway is responsible for detoxifying a whole bunch of substances including caffeine, nicotine, chemicals, alcohol along with our hormones. If you want to improve your hormonal regulation, it’s really helpful to give your body a rest from chemical exposure. When you’re exposed to chemicals your body will down regulate the detoxification of hormones, which can exacerbate a hormonal imbalance.
If we want to upregulate the detoxification of hormones and help your body process and restore its own hormonal balance naturally, it’s important to minimise your exposure to chemicals where you can. I’d encourage you to have a look at what’s going on in your lifestyle and how you can work with your body to promote hormonal detoxification.
4. Nutritional Deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies are another common cause of a hormonal imbalance.
Certain nutrients are building blocks for the production of hormones and if your intake of those nutrients is suboptimal, it’s really hard for your body to regulate its own hormone production and produce the right quantity and ratio of hormones. Protein and cholesterol are both macro-nutrients that are essential for the production of progesterone. But other minerals including zinc, B vitamins, iron and even phytonutrients and antioxidants play a key role in improving the pathways of hormonal production within your system. So, we want to make sure that your diet’s spot on.
5. Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is a trigger for a hormonal imbalance as well. Especially for women who have a genetic pre-disposition to developing polycystic ovarian syndrome. If this is you, you want to make sure you get a fasting insulin test, a fasting glucose test and also an oral glucose tolerance test to find out whether insulin resistance could be triggering your hormonal imbalance.
6. Exposure to Xeno-estrogens
We know that environmental triggers and exposure to xeno-estrogens can have a significant impact on hormone regulation as well. And this is highly likely to be one of the reasons that the incidence of hormonal imbalance seems to be increasing. Xeno-estrogens are synthetic oestrogen mimickers that we’re exposed to through environmental toxins and they can really play havoc with your own natural hormone regulation.
You want to try and choose organic foods when you can to minimise exposure to herbicides and pesticides, protect yourself from environmental pollution and also make sure that you’re minimising your exposure to chemicals in the home too. Try and use natural cleaning products when you can. I love the old fashioned white vinegar and bi-carb combined with a little bit of eucalyptus oil, it’s great for cleaning. Try and make sure your personal care products are natural as well. Natural and organic toothpastes, hair conditioner, hair shampoo, moisturisers, body care products and even make-up can make a really big difference.
When you’re choosing storage containers for your food try to make sure they’re glass containers. You want to minimise your exposure to BPA which is in plastics. And definitely avoid using cling wrap, don’t even buy cling wrap just use glass storage containers instead.
7. Life Transitions
Life transitions can really play havoc with a women’s hormonal balance. The key times in your life when you’re most likely to experience a hormonal imbalance are at adolescence, also at the perinatal phase around the time women are having babies and during peri-menopause.
If you’re in any of these phases of life it’s even more important to address as many of these other underlying causes as you possibly can because that can help to ease your body’s transition through that phase.
We know that genetics can play a role as well in the incidence of hormonal imbalance. There are certain gynaecological or reproductive conditions where there’s a very clear genetic link including endometriosis, adenomyosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
There’s some new research coming through that’s also indicating that the age that your mum went through menopause is likely to be the age that you might experience menopause as well. But, we now know that just because you have a certain genetic pathway in your system it’s not necessarily your destiny to walk down that pathway.
There’s a wonderful new field of research called epigenetics which is looking at the influence of dietary, lifestyle and environmental factors on your genetic make-up. There is so much that can be done to influence the way that your genes are expressed.
And addressing the other underlying causes that we’ve discussed today can go a long way towards helping that genetic expression.
I hope the information today has been helpful for you and let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for watching and bye for now.