We’ve asked a few experts on what they recommend to help restore hormonal balance to the body. Here’s what we got . . .
Hormone imbalance is a complicated topic that stems from a huge variety of underlying causes (often, multiple!); these may be related to genetics, lifestyle factors, environmental exposure(s), or a previous health condition. To address biorhythms, I often utilize chaste tree berry (vitex), an herb that works on the neurotransmitter dopamine to reset the menstrual cycle, or herbs that help to address daily stress responses called adaptogens. Since hormones are almost always produced, recycled, and/or processed for elimination by the liver, treating this incredible organ with herbs can be helpful to support re-balancing the menstrual and other hormonal cycles. I most often use herbal blends with milk thistle, turmeric, artichoke, and Oregon grape to address liver health while having patients take a very low-dose preparation called UNDA numbers that promote liver health at a cellular level. Regardless of the remedies used, hormone imbalance treatment plans should be individualized and incorporate targeted supplementation with lifestyle recommendations.
Dr. Katie Pickworth, ND, MS
Hormonal imbalances have become extremely common in today’s fast paced modern lifestyle. Following a nutritious diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors can help to improve your hormonal health and allow you to look and feel your absolute best. Diet plays a big part when it comes to hormones. It’s important to limit sugar and refined carbohydrates as these foods have been shown to drive insulin resistance. Consuming good quality protein and healthy fats is important as these are the fundamental building blocks for hormone production. Lifestyle factors such as stress and sleep can play havoc with hormones. It is essential to get consistent high-quality sleep because hormones work on a schedule. To maximize hormone function, it is best to stick with a regular sleep wake cycle as much as possible. Stress reducing practices will lower cortisol levels and will help to normalize hormones. Addressing toxicity also plays a key role in hormonal health. We’re bombarded daily with chemicals and many of these are considered endocrine or hormone disruptors because they interfere with hormone production. It’s important to be mindful of personal care products and their ingredients as these often are the biggest culprits. Lifestyle factors and consuming nutritious foods can go a long way toward improving hormonal health.
Dr. Barb Woegerer, ND
Whenever I have patients who come in and are struggling to lose weight, have thyroid issues, and really painful and heavy periods, I always look deeper at a gut level. We know SIBO can often be found at the root of hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance. Specific microbes affect estrogen detoxification and re-absorption, while also increasing the risk of the autoimmune disease development. I always run stool testing to determine their microbial landscape and use specific nutrients and herbs to re-establish a normal microbiome. Without this key piece, it can often be why hormonal protocols are resistant to produce true and lasting results.
Dr. Renata Zambo, ND