Restoring Natural Hormonal Balance Strategies
Treating hormone imbalances requires a whole-body approach; the best approaches are often preventive and involve diet, exercise and other lifestyle-based strategies.
Each woman will have a unique path to her hormonal balance.
Here are some of the strategies
- Reduce Exposure to Hormone-Disrupting Substances (Xenoestrogens). Read Tips to Reduce Exposure to Hormone-Disrupting Substances
- Reduce stress. So your answer might not necessarily lie in using hormones, but rather addressing your stress levels so that your body can normalize your hormone levels naturally. Link to Stress Handling.
- Stop using birth control pill. In case you are using birth control pill, you have to stop immediately and go for natural and safe alternatives. All other strategies described below are most likely useless, should you be against discontinuing the oral contraceptive.
- Healthy diet and exercising regularly can keep our hormones balanced as we age. Refined carbohydrates, processed food and heated fats raise our estrogen to abnormal levels. This is a major contributing cause of premenopausal and menopausal symptoms.
- Herbs & Supplements
- Vitamin E and Evening Primrose Oil can be very effective in restoring the hormonal balance and are my favorites to relieve the symptoms of pre-menopause like PMS and irregular period.
- Royal Macha seems to be a great aid for menopause symptoms that has helped many women. Make sure to obtain the authentic version from Peru.
- Black Cohosh is very effective and may help regulate body temperature and hot flashes. Black cohosh (a phytoestrogen) and the natural progesterone are very effective.
- Herb Eleuthero (“Siberian ginseng”) contains anti-fatigue and anti-stress properties that help to support the adrenal glands thus improving our tolerance to stress. Siberian ginseng is used when levels of cortisol are high.
- Licorice root. Herb famous for supporting adrenal imbalance, licorice root also increases energy, endurance, and vitality. Beware, it can increase the blood pressure.
- Indian ginseng, also known as Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Chasteberry (Vitex). Ancient cultures used these herbs as a natural way to restore the hormone functions.
5. Detox and Elimination. Detox and elimination are key to healthy hormones See here for some simple Guidelines.
6. Consuming plenty of phytoestrogens (plant-estrogens) such as licorice and alfalfa before menopause can also help moderate your day-to-day estrogen levels so that when menopause comes, the drop won’t be so dramatic.
7. Consider Progesterone Supplementation. Whilst natural progesterone supplementation is for sure warranted and work miracles for some women it is not a universal solution that works in every case. Progesterone Supplementation is a controversial and complex topic, please read more below.
8. Hormone Replacement Therapy HRT (using bioidentical and NOT synthetic hormones) seems to be warranted only in some sporadic cases especially in induced menopause (after hysterectomy). It is again a controversial and complex topic, please read more below.
Natural Progesterone Supplementation
The pioneer in this field, Dr. John Lee made a breakthrough when he stated that estrogen dominance was the real cause of pre/menopause symptoms. He suggested rebalancing the ratio of estrogen to progesterone through progesterone supplementation.
Whilst natural progesterone supplementation is for sure warranted and work miracles for some women it is not a universal solution that works in every case.
For example, if stress is creating your hormonal imbalance, adding progesterone may relieve the symptom, but will not tackle the cause.
That being said, the natural progesterone is very useful to somewhat balance excess estrogen which can be for example a major risk for breast cancer.
This natural progesterone helps to balance estrogen hormones and may help and provide: Relief from PMS and menopause symptoms, a normalized menstrual cycle, including relieving menstrual-related allergies , relief from breast pain and tenderness.
You will want to make sure you get your hormonal levels checked properly before embarking on any kind of hormone supplementation program, and work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner who can guide you as the assessment is never a straight-forward exercise. The hormones testing is a controversial topic because it is difficult to get an accurate measure of the levels. 24 hour urine test seems to be one of the better ways.
If you truly are progesterone deficient, then additional natural progesterone may be a good solution for you, particularly when used as part of a comprehensive plan that includes healthy lifestyle and healthy diet.
Only Natural Progesterone Supplement!
Extremely important to note is that the term « natural » progesterone means the real hormone. Synthetic versions like Provera will actually increase your risk of cancers and heart disease. Natural progesterone is made from a substance which is extracted from wild yams or soybeans. Even though it may be extracted from soy it is a purified hormone and there should be no remnants of soy that would cause any problem.
- In Europe hormones cannot be bought without prescription and it looks like FDA will soon impose the prescription requirement as well.
- Hormones should not be taken orally. When taken orally only 10-15% will eventually reach the target tissues and you will need to take an oral dose that is 500% higher than you need. Over 30 different metabolites are created in your liver when you swallow the progesterone and any of these can then have unwanted side effects.
- Dr.Mercola suggest “under the tongue” progesterone as opposed to cream or apply the cream to your mucous epithelial membranes that line your uterus and vagina.
- The cream applied to other parts of the skin may work at the beginning but after a while may saturate the fat tissue which can even make your symptoms worse.
- The last time I checked all natural high quality progesterone cream I used to use and have great experience with, still can be bought at http://www.life-flo.com/women-s-wellness/progesta-care-unscented.html
Estrogen Supplementation/Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Medical recommendations have fluctuated back and forth when it comes to replacing hormones like estrogen in women suffering from symptoms of menopause and induced menopause following a hysterectomy.
Most conventional doctors have been suggesting for years that all pre/peri/menopause symptoms result from a drop in estrogen production. Consequently, they prescribed estrogen supplementation, or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), usually with dangerous synthetic hormones.
Studies have found that HRT increases your breast cancer risk by at least one percent per year, and HRT with progestin increases your risk by eight percent per year, potentially going as high as 30 percent after just four years of use.
HRT (using bioidentical and NOT synthetic hormones) seems to be warranted only in some sporadic cases especially in induced menopause (after hysterectomy) – again, you’ll want to make sure you get your hormonal levels checked properly before embarking on any kind of hormone supplementation program, and work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner well-versed in bioidentical hormone replacement.
If a woman has had her ovaries surgically removed, there may be an indication to actually use a natural estrogen replacement (Triest or Biest) to support the physiology. Once the ovaries are removed the body tends to lose this normalization capacity.
Also if the hot flashes are persistent, small doses of natural human (NOT synthetic or horse!) estrogen may be warranted.
To minimize your risk of cancer it is very important to understand that you should never take any supplemental estrogen without taking natural progesterone.