Feeling cranky? It’s probably “just your hormones.”
Breaking out at that time of the month? It’s those annoying hormones “flaring up.”
Hot flashes? Ugh, “the hormones” again!
There are so many medical conditions and facets of women’s health that get blamed on a “hormone imbalance.” Anything from PMS to menopause to irritability are attributed to “the hormones.” Why are hormones the punching bag of the medical field?
Here’s what’s really behind a “hormone imbalance,” and how you can help fix it.
To see more about unusual menstrual cycles, see also this article.
SYMPTOMS OF “HORMONE IMBALANCE”
What can a hormone imbalance do to your body?
You might have blamed these symptoms on your hormones before:
- Weight gain or change in metabolism
- Acne, or acne breakouts during “that time of the month”
- Postpartum depression/anxiety
- Prenatal depression/anxiety
- Low libido or overzealous libido
- Irritability, moodiness, emotional sensitivity
- Hot flashes or excessive sweating
- Change in appetite
- Insomnia, difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
- Puffy face
- Blurred vision
- Breast tenderness
- Deepening voice
- Hyper- or hypothyroidism
- Foggy thinking
- Painful periods
- Heavy periods
- Absence of periods
We could make this list a mile long, but you get the idea.
The hormones are often blamed for these symptoms, but the truth is that it is very rarely just a hormone issue. You have to look deeper to find the true cause – there are other underlying issues in the body that cause the hormones to be unbalanced. So if it isn’t an imbalance of hormones that cause these symptoms, what is really behind it?
What are hormones? They are chemicals made by the body to communicate to its different parts. When the body is not able to transport and use these chemicals to effectively communicate, we must examine this more closely. There is usually a deeper cause – something that is impeding the hormones, or something that has invaded the body and is preventing proper hormone function. Let’s dive into some common underlying causes.
The Circulatory System
How do hormones travel to different areas of the body? Via the circulatory system! If the blood is clean and flowing well, hormones have no problem traversing your veins to different organs. However, the blood can become clean or “dirty” according to our diet/lifestyle and the toxins in our environment. If the blood is thick, sluggish, full of debris, and/or has a virus present, hormones are unable to travel well to your organs.
Aside from being a transportation system for hormones, your blood also acts as a carrier for nutrients to your body’s organs. Many of the same symptoms from “hormone imbalance” can occur from mineral or nutrient deficiencies in the blood. Your organs aren’t getting all the vital macro– and micro-minerals they need to thrive. Deficiencies can show up as fatigue, foggy thinking, irritability, and so much more.
During menstruation, the body begins to undergo lots of change. Your body readies itself to make more blood and shed blood and tissue – and if there is already a deficiency and the body can’t draw on the nutrients it needs for these changes, more symptoms can show up during this time of month. It can show up as cravings, tiredness, spaciness, moodiness, etc. How to prepare your body for this? Nourish the blood (find out more below).
Why are your hormones out of balance? Viruses and pathogens are actually causing all these symptoms. An overburdened, swollen, fatty, acidic, dense, congested liver can’t possibly keep all of that bacteria back. One of the functions of the liver is to filter the blood. However, this is one of many vital functions the liver performs in your body. If the liver is already overburdened by toxins, fats, viruses, and other tasks – not to mention being undernourished – this hardworking organ simply can’t keep up. It can’t filter everything out of the blood like it would if it were functioning at its best. So as we abuse our livers – sometimes unknowingly – through poor diet, alcohol, and chemicals in our home and environment, the blood gets more and more full of toxins, impeding the transportation and communication of hormones.
Did you know the liver performs over 2,000 chemical functions for your body? One of these functions is creating and recycling hormones. The liver plays a major role in hormone production. If the liver is congested and not functioning well, it has a hard time producing and recycling hormones. The hormones that are not recycled get swept up in the blood leaving the liver and travels all over the body. The organs sense these old, unwanted, unrecycled hormones in the blood and get confused – what information does this hormone bring? In this way, mixed signals get sent all over the body. Some old hormones can get stuck by certain organs or in certain pockets of the body. Thus it creates an environment for bacteria and viruses to grow, which just means trouble.
Genetically Modified Food
Before you groan and roll your eyes – or raise your fist in solidarity – take a deep breath. The next paragraph touch on a controversial topic, but it is one I must mention because I’ve seen it affect people over and over.
The effects of genetically modified food on human health are widely debated and at times highly controversial. The research is still inconclusive at this point, once we understand who is paying for the research studies and the soundness of the methods. If any negative effects are showing up in studies – such as effects on the reproductive system and pancreas, liver and kidneys, and increases in food allergies due to cross contamination – shouldn’t we question its safety? Regardless, what I cannot deny is the effects I sense and see in my clients. They come to me with a wide variety of health conditions – stomach issues, liver failure, skin cancer, “hormone imbalance,” just to name a scarce few – and I can sense the effects of invasive DNA disruptors and pesticides in their system. Once they remove GMO foods from their diet, they begin seeing the positive difference in their health – and the results are undeniable. For more information on GMOs, check out the Environmental Working Group and/or the Non-GMO Project’s websites. To understand the myths circulated about GMOs, refer to this document.
Soy is a plant-based estrogen, or phytoestrogen. It contains two isoflavones that behave exactly like the human sex hormone estrogen. When this is consumed, the body can mistake this estrogen-like substance for the body’s own estrogen. Studies have shown that soy caused hypothyroidism in infants consuming soy-based formula, inhibit thyroid hormones, and prevent the absorption of iron, among many other effects. In my clients, I have also seen various bodily functions disrupted by consuming soy. Almost all soy is also GMO or cross-contaminated by GMO crops, causing more issues in the body. In my experience working with clients, if you have any imbalance in the body or dealing with any health issue, it is best to avoid soy altogether on your healing journey.
What’s in it, and can it harm my body?
This is the question that needs to be asked of every product for personal care, home, cleaning, children, gardening and lawn care, food preparation, clothing, crafting, and more. The amount of chemicals we are surrounded by has exponentially grown since the 1940’s and 50’s, and we see in parallel a rise in mystery illness. From the air fresheners in a public building to the flame retardants and fungicides sprayed on store-bought clothing, to carcinogens and endocrine disruptors found in shampoo, we are now – more than ever – swimming in toxic soup. My suggestion? Do your research. The Environmental Working Group has a wide database of products, and you can scan the barcode on your products to see if there are any chemicals of concern in it (via their Healthy Living app). There are also consumer guides available to make consumers aware of the harmful chemicals in products. EWG also has a great article on the top 12 hormone-altering chemicals. If you want to learn more, I go in depth into this topic in the Goddess Glow online course.
HOME REMEDIES FOR HORMONE IMBALANCE
If the answers can’t always be found in the doctor’s office, what can you do yourself to help a “hormone imbalance?”
Drink lots of water and tea.
There are so many clients I see who are chronically dehydrated. My best starting advice for any health problem? Drink lots of pure, clean water! The body needs to be flushed. Even if you are eating well and detoxing, the body needs to flush out those toxins. There is often a buildup in the body of years of toxins and drinking water will only help move them out. Pro tip: Adding fresh lemon juice to your water makes it ultra-hydrating for your organs! See more hydration hacks here.
Tea can also be a powerful tool for healing the underlying causes of hormone imbalances. Drinking red raspberry leaf tea is one of the quickest remedies for hormones. This tea helps clean up the lady organs, but it also strengthens the immune system by boosting your white blood cell count (hence why not just women can drink this tea). To help any issues with menstruation, I recommend drinking 6 cups a day for one month. After one month, drink 1-2 cups every day, except while menstruating drink 6 cups each day of menstruation. Nettle tea is also a powerful tea to drink, as it nourishes and cleanses the blood.
Use essential and carrier oils.
Having a hot flash? Put a drop of sage essential oil on the back of your hand and lick it. It will dissipate the hot flash almost immediately!
For painful periods, use this combination massage on the lower abdomen and lower back/glutes: 1 tsp St. John’s Wort oil and 1 drop each of black pepper essential oil, melissa (lemonbalm) essential oil, and cypress essential oil.
(You can use the coupon code amberbodilyhealth for a 10% discount on these oils.)
Learn more about using essential and carrier oils and their uses for various bodily ailments in my Face Rejuvenation online course.
Avoid animal products.
Animal products contain hormones from the animal it was derived from. Hormones found in dairy products have been shown to be a risk factor for various cancers. It’s also no secret that livestock, including poultry, are injected with hormones to affect the amount of meat they produce. Those synthetic hormones stay in the meat – along with the animal’s own natural hormones, including stress hormones before slaughter – and transfer into our own bodies when we consume meat. The presence of these foreign hormones causes stress on our bodies and confusion amongst your hormone communication system between organs. Imagine you are trying to listen to driving directions from a friend on a phone call, but there are many voices on the other end of the line. Because it’s difficult to hear your friend, you end up lost! If only you could have been able to hear your friend’s voice more clearly! The body is making its best effort to listen to its own hormones, but keeps making mistakes because of foreign animal hormones.
Animals also contain fast-acting growth hormones. Their systems are designed to have their young grow to adulthood dramatically faster than a human. For example, a baby calf matures into an adult cow within two years. A baby chick transforms into a full grown chicken in roughly four months. These fast-acting growth hormones, when in the human body, can play a large factor in abnormal growths in the body, especially on the reproductive organs. If you have cysts, fibroids, tumors, calcifications, endometriosis, etc. I recommend staying away from animal products during your healing process. Eggs and dairy will furiously feed dormant viruses in the body, causing them to grow in strength and numbers and wreak havoc on your health. We could talk for hours about meat and animal product consumption and all the research, but instead I will just say that in regards to hormone disruption, my recommendation is to minimize or omit animal products – including eggs – while healing from any condition, especially when a hormone issue is presenting in the body. Worried about protein? Here’s the truth on plant-based vs. animal protein.
Get the right supplements to support your system.
These supplements would be particularly helpful to heal underlying causes of hormone imbalance.
- Schizandra Berry by Nature’s Answer is particularly helpful for hot flashes. Start taking the recommended dosage on the bottle, but one could do more.
- Vitex Berry by Gaia will also help hot flashes, but also help you feel more balanced during that time of the month.
- Zinc is extremely helpful for “hormone imbalance” because zinc nourishes the blood and boosts the immune system. Your immune system drops when going through menstruation, because the body is working hard for that bodily transition. Zinc helps healthy cell reproduction, which is necessary when shedding and rebuilding tissue. Zinc is a basic mineral that is needed for holding iron in the blood and for nourishing and strengthening all cells.
- Vitamin B12 also strengthens and nourishes the blood, and additionally helps soothe the nerves. This can help moodiness, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. It is needed for healthy cell reproduction and for a strong and well-functioning endocrine system.
Increase awareness of the products you consume.
Learn more about what chemicals you are bringing into your home that can disrupt your bodily systems. Use the Environmental Working Group’s database to see a product’s rating and potentially toxic ingredients. This is also a good resource to educate yourself on what to look for and avoid on the labels of products. Slowly, you can begin choosing less toxic options. There’s no harm in having less chemicals in your life! I go into more detail about personal care product alternatives in the Goddess Glow online course.
CELEBRATE YOUR BODY
Our bodies, particularly women’s bodies, take a lot of blame and shame. Early on in history, doctors were blaming women’s hormones for making them “crazy.” This attitude towards your own body can only be damaging. I encourage you to celebrate your body! Find something to be grateful for about your body, whether it be the ability to sit up and get out of bed, to go on a walk, or complete a marathon – your body has amazing capabilities. If you are struggling with your health, have hope that your body can heal and trust that it will when given what it needs!
If you would like to learn to recognize the real causes behind your body’s symptoms, I teach you how to use the signal system in the face to pinpoint and heal them in the Face Rejuvenation online course! It is also possible to see a health issue coming by these signals before you feel symptoms in the body. If you think you have a “hormone imbalance,” learning how to read your face will unlock the true cause. In the Face Rejuvenation course you will also learn a treatment to renew your face and organs to bring a new vitality to your life! Learn more here or register here.
Sending many blessings to surround you,
P.S. To learn more about harnessing natural remedies to better your health, check out my online course The All-Natural Medicine Cabinet: Your Guide to Powerful Remedies For Common Ailments here.