For both men and women, essential hormones will fluctuate levels during their lifespan — for a variety of reasons.
Both sexes will find that their hormones can change as they grow older, which is a natural and expected process. Other reasons for a hormone imbalance include:
- Chronic stress
- Exposure to toxins
- Poor diet leading to nutrient deficiencies
- Inability to sleep well
- Genetic variations
How to Know if You Have a Hormone Imbalance.
Your body will provide clues to help you determine if you have a hormone imbalance. Each person is different, and symptoms will present differently in men than in women. If you experience any two of the following, you may be experiencing issues with your hormones:
- Hot flashes
- Sweating at night
- Gaining weight
- Losing muscle
- Overly tired
- Trouble sleeping
- Mood swings
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Becoming irritable
- Trouble concentrating
- Lack of energy
- Inability to think clearly
- Dry hair and skin
- Unexplained weight gain
- Low sex drive
For some people, these symptoms do not signal a hormone imbalance. For women, these symptoms could simply be because of their regular menstrual cycle, for example. For both men and women, these symptoms could also signal a poor diet, particularly when healthy foods are not chosen or the person engages in overeating. Stress also plays a large factor in the symptoms mentioned above. If you are too stressed with regular day-to-day life, it is considered normal to be tired, irritable, or lack energy — to name a few.
As previously mentioned, hormone changes are a typical part of aging. If you experience these symptoms and other outside forces — like diet and regular exercise and sleep — are considered healthy, then you may be experiencing hormone changes that come with advancing age.
A naturopathic doctor can help you determine if your symptoms are indeed a cause of a hormone imbalance. Through lab testing, results can prove the hypothesis and a treatment plan can be created to help you balance hormones naturally.
Why Bother to Balance Hormones?
So, if changing hormones are a fact of life and getting older, why bother doing anything to balance them? Will it make a difference if the hormone imbalance is inevitable anyway? The answer is that in order to feel more like yourself, naturally balancing your hormones is essential. Talk to your naturopathic doctor to learn if balancing your hormones would be a positive step in your overall health and wellbeing.
Hormone Balancing in Women.
Women in particular have found hormone balancing to be beneficial to improve their overall health and wellbeing. For women who experience premenstrual syndrome, otherwise known as PMS, hormone balancing afforded them a decrease in their symptoms. Estrogen and progesterone are integral to a woman’s health. Naturally, when estrogen increases and/or progesterone decreases, women experience menstrual cramps, mood swings, breast tenderness and other symptoms. Clearly, this is due to the imbalance of the hormones at that point in the woman’s cycle. When the hormones are evened out to normal levels, these symptoms will dissipate or disappear completely.
Another advantage to hormone balancing in women is the ability to sleep more soundly and even experience an improvement in libido.
Hormone Balancing in Men.
As men age, their testosterone levels decrease. A reduction of testosterone is also attributed to a variety of medical conditions. Either way, adding back the testosterone will offer an array of benefits for men. Testosterone is needed for men’s sexual development and reproductive function. It’s also essential for building muscle and ensuring proper that bone density is at an appropriate level. Testosterone is also responsible for maintaining a healthy level of red blood cells in the body. Once hormone balancing is introduced in men, they report an increase in energy, muscle-building and stamina.
What Are the 3 Benefits to Naturally Balancing Hormones?
Once your body’s hormones are balanced, you can expect to achieve the following three benefits. These benefits are reported by both men and women once they properly balance the hormone that is most essential to their individual needs.
- Feel Energized. Once your hormones are back to appropriate levels, you will get your energy back! That added spring in your step is the result of a properly balanced body.
- Better Sleep. Before your hormones were balanced, you likely tossed and turned in your sleep all night. You also likely experienced night sweats. No one wants to wake up simultaneously cold and hot while getting little to no truly restful sleep. Hormone balancing will give you back the night to sleep peacefully and at a consistent core body temperature.
- Lower Mood Swings. Before hormone balancing, you likely experienced mood swings. At the drop of a hat, you could go from elation to miserable. That’s no way to live your life, as it impacts your work environment, and your personal life with friends and family. Balancing out your hormones will get you back to feeling happy and ‘normal’ without becoming as easily irritated.
These benefits are in fact scientifically proven. Another extraordinary benefit demonstrated through scientific research is that the risk of certain diseases is minimized once hormone balancing treatment is introduced. For example, research has determined the following:
- 2015 Veterans Database Study: This study concluded that men with documented low testosterone were able to reduce their risk of strokes and heart disease once testosterone therapy commenced.
- 2016 New England Journal of Medicine Study: Men in this study who underwent testosterone therapy exhibited improvements in their mood. They also reported an improvement in sexual health and even were able to improve their physical fitness once additional testosterone was introduced to replace the hormones lost.
- 2016 New England Journal of Medicine “ELITE” Study: This study focused on women. As women began menopause, some in the study engaged in hormone therapy early in the menopause process. Study authors found a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in the women who received hormone therapy.
How are Hormones Balanced Naturally?
Your first step is to determine your hormone levels. A naturopathic doctor will draw blood and conduct lab testing to determine what is going on within your body at the cellular level. The lab results will tell you the underlying cause for your symptoms.
Once hard numbers are procured, a naturopathic doctor can develop a customized treatment plan to get your hormones balanced and optimize your health and wellness. Your specific plan may include all or some of the following, depending on your individual needs:
- Nutrition Coaching. Food plays a huge role in hormone balancing. A nutritionist can develop a nutrition plan to help you create healthy meals and make good choices. Some plans even include eating more frequently, but smaller portions. As with any lifestyle change, this could take time to implement. But the effort will be worth it once you begin to feel your best and your hormones begin to balance themselves out.
- Professional-grade Supplementation. If diet changes aren’t enough to get your hormones balanced, then a naturopathic doctor may also prescribe professional-grade supplements to ease your body back to where it should be.
- Natural Bioidentical Hormones. Bioidentical hormones are those that share the same molecular structure as the hormones produced by the body. However, they are created in a lab by professionals utilizing a variety of sources to create natural bioidentical hormones.
The process does not stop once the treatment plan is determined. The added benefit of working with a naturopathic doctor to balance your hormones is knowing you will receive ongoing monitoring and support from your medical team. Your doctor will ensure the plan is working well for your specific needs and will make adjustments to the plan as needed.
At KOI Wellbeing, this treatment plan is conducted over a 90-day period. This includes your initial assessment and consultation, lab testing and discussion of the results. Once the plan is introduced, your naturopathic doctor will continue to monitor and consult with you. At the end of the 90-day period, your hormones will once again be tested to determine how well the treatment plan worked. At this point, any adjustments will be made as necessary, or you will be asked to continue along with the treatment plan as initially outlined.
Taking the steps to address your symptoms and undergo hormone testing is literally life-changing. Don’t let aging or a chronic condition stop you from enjoying your life to the fullest. Get back on track with hormone balancing therapy to achieve the best health and wellness that you can.