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All about hormones - Part one

Date Posted:16 March 2023 

Hormones play a vital role, and it is scary how many of us suffer from hormonal imbalance. Even scarier is how many of us think these symptoms are normal. PMS is not normal. It may be common, but that doesn’t mean it should be a normal part of our life. It is, in fact, a major indicator that your hormones are out of whack.


Hormonal imbalance is a common problem that affects many women. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, including acne, weight gain, hair loss and hair thinning, fatigue, muscle weakness, and more - and it can affect your mood as well as your physical health.

A hormonal imbalance occurs when your body produces too much or too little of certain hormones. When this happens, it can affect how your body functions on a day to day basis. Your hormones play a big role in regulating your cycle - so if they're off balance, it can lead to irregular periods or even infertility issues down the line.

Common signs of hormone imbalance include:

  • Infertility
  • Low libido
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular periods
  • Weight gain/loss

Hormonal imbalance can occur as a result of many factors, including:

  • A poor diet
  • A high stress level
  • Excessive exercise
  • Not getting enough sleep

Let’s break it down and look at two important hormones for women.




Progesterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands and plays a role in the development of the uterine wall in preparation for fertilisation. If an egg is not fertilised during the ovulation phase, progesterone levels drop and the cycle begins again. Symptoms of low progesterone include acne (in particular hormonal acne which presents predominantly around the jaw line), anxiety, insomnia, irregular periods, low libido, mood swings, bloating and depression. Symptoms, which are hormonally driven, will be exacerbated during PMS. Now, to make it even more confusing, symptoms of high progesterone can actually appear similar to that of low levels. Hormone balancing supplements are a great way to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and happy. 



In women, estrogen is involved in the development of the breasts, endometrium and in regulating the menstrual cycle. Estrogen also plays a protective role in relation to bone health and cholesterol, which is why as we age and estrogen decreases, the risk of osteoporosis increases. Symptoms of excess estrogen include breast tenderness, fluid retention and irritability during the pre menstrual phase. Also, weight gain that predominantly occurs around the hips, buttocks, breasts and the under side of the arms. Symptoms associated with low estrogen include vaginal dryness, dry skin with a lack of elasticity, irregular periods, hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, lack of cognitive function and depression.


Not all estrogens are the same

Estrogen is metabolised in the body to form three metabolites. Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2) and Estriol (E3). E1 is the most potent estrogen, which is then further metabolised into 16-OH-E1, 4-OH-E1 and 2-OH-E1. The 16 and 4 estrogen metabolites are associated with less desirable effects on the body, with high levels of 4 being associated with DNA damage, and an increase in estrogen driven cancers. Ideally, we want all 3 types of estrogen metabolites in balance with one another. When they become out of balance, hormonal symptoms can be experienced, and the risk of breast and ovarian cancers increase.



Why would someone have high estrogen?

In particular, high 4-OH (the bad kind) hormones work in balance with one another, so if one is low, the other will consequently be high. High estrogen can sometimes be driven by low progesterone, by which increasing progesterone levels can reduce estrogen and vice versa. One of the most common causes for estrogen excess is modern day living. Exposure to chemicals known as xenohormones (see our earlier blog post for additional information on this topic), have hormone mimicking effects on the body. Clinical studies in animal models have shown that exposure to xenohormones have hormone altering effects. As a result, glands, tissues and organs can be affected. In particular, is seems that xenohormones may increase the bad estrogen, which is associated with estrogen dominant cancers.


How to check hormone balance

Hormone balance is a hot topic right now, and it's no wonder: our hormones are responsible for regulating everything from sleep to digestion to mood. But what does that mean for you? It means that if your hormones don't work properly, it could have a big impact on your life. Luckily, testing hormone balance is easy - and we're going to tell you how!

First things first: the best way to test hormone balance is by getting tested by a professional. While there are some DIY methods out there, they aren't as accurate as a professional test would be. Your doctor can order the test for you and then give you detailed results with their recommendations for treatment options.

It is expected that your doctor would:

  • Test your blood levels of testosterone and estrogen.
  • Test your blood levels of cortisol, a hormone that helps you deal with stress.
  • Test your blood levels of DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate), which is a steroid hormone that affects mood and memory.

Depending on your results, your doctor may recommend a number of supplements for hormone balance



Best hormone balancing foods

The right diet can boost your hormone levels, reduce stress, increase energy, help you sleep better… and much more. We've put together a list of the best foods for hormone balance, so you can start eating your way to better health today!


Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, which helps with hormone production and supports the adrenal glands (which produce hormones). It's also high in fibre and contains compounds called glucosinolates that help regulate inflammation levels in the body (and thus reduce stress on your immune system).

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great way to get healthy fats into your diet without having to worry about overindulging! They contain essential vitamins like vitamin E as well as monounsaturated fats that support healthy hormone production by lowering cholesterol levels while keeping blood glucose levels stable throughout the day.


These seeds are packed with phytoestrogens (plant based compounds similar to real estrogens). They increase estrogen levels while lowering testosterone levels at the same time!


Best hormone balancing herbs

Herbs have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and they can be used to balance hormones naturally. The best part is that they're easy to use!.

  • Vitex (Chaste tree berry) - This herb helps reduce estrogen production in the body, which is especially helpful for women who suffer from PMS or menopausal symptoms. This hormone balance tea is a blend of delicate organic herbs, including chaste tree berry and has been perfectly blended to naturally support hormone balance & reproductive health
  • Red Clover (Trifolium pratense): This herb helps manage PMS symptoms like bloating and mood swings by balancing progesterone levels in women who experience these problems on a regular basis
  • Maca - Maca is a root vegetable that has been used by the people of Peru for centuries. Maca powder has been shown to be helpful in balancing hormone levels, and it also contains ingredients that can help reduce anxiety and stress
  • Licorice Root - Licorice has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for female hormones. It works by helping regulate estrogen levels in the body without suppressing them completely like many pharmaceuticals do; this makes it an effective alternative treatment option for women who are looking for something more natural than conventional medications but still want relief
  • Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis): Dong quai is a traditional Chinese herb that has been used for thousands of years as an anti inflammatory and blood purifier. It's also known for its ability to balance hormones, relieve PMS symptoms like cramps and bloating, and reduce hot flashes associated with menopause. You can use this herb as a tea or tincture (herbal extract).
  • Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa): Black cohosh is another ancient Chinese herb used for its anti inflammatory properties. In addition to being helpful for PMS symptoms like cramps and bloating, black cohosh can also help with menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats by calming



Treatment for hormonal imbalance

There are various ways to treat hormonal imbalance, through the use of herbal medicine and nutritional supplements, but if you do not treat the cause, the condition will only come back when you stop taking the medications or supplements. Medicines and supplements should help to correct the issue at hand, but ultimately, you need to address the reason as to why the issue came about in the first place. At the end of the day, it always comes back to diet and lifestyle. Eat well, exercise and minimise stress, but also, you need to reduce the amount of chemical exposure. This is one that is often over looked. As we are all exposed to literally thousands of chemicals each and every day, many of which are out of our control, it is imperative to minimise chemical exposure by reducing the ones we can control. This means, buying organic food over food that has been sprayed with chemicals. Using organic and natural skin care and natural make up.

There are also some foods that can help with hormonal imbalance. Some examples include whole grains like quinoa or oats, beans and legumes like chickpeas or lentils and fruits like apples or bananas. Another option is to use natural supplements such as herbs or vitamins. You can also try meditation or yoga to help balance your hormones naturally.

I'm a big fan of supplements, but I've found that there are a few specific types that work best for hormone balance. Here are the ones I think are worth exploring:

1. Omega-3s: These are great for balancing hormones because they help reduce inflammation, which is often caused by imbalances in your body. Omega 3 supplements also help reduce stress and anxiety, which can be caused by hormone imbalance.

2. Magnesium: Magnesium helps regulate serotonin levels in your body, which can be helpful when you're feeling out of whack. Magnesium powder also helps with sleep, which is often a problem with hormone imbalance.

3. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is responsible for regulating sleep and moods - two things that can be affected by hormonal imbalances. This supplement is particularly helpful when you're pregnant or breastfeeding, since those hormones play a big role in keeping you healthy! These vitamin 3 drops are a convenient way to keep your vitamin d levels in check. 


Importance of hormone balance for fertility

You've probably heard about hormone balance as it relates to fertility. But what does that actually mean, and why is it so important?

Hormone balance refers to the interplay between the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone in a woman's body. These hormones are responsible for making sure that ovulation happens every month, and for preparing the uterus for a fertilized egg to implant if it's present during ovulation.

The first step towards understanding how hormone balance affects your fertility is learning what happens when there is an imbalance of these three essential hormones. If you have too much estrogen or too little progesterone, then you may not be able to get pregnant because your ovulation cycle isn't functioning properly. On the other hand, if there's too much testosterone or not enough estrogen or progesterone then your eggs won't be able to mature properly and get released during ovulation - which also means no pregnancy!

If your hormones are out of whack, it can make it harder for you to get pregnant and carry a baby to term.

However, it's important to remember that infertility is a complex issue that can be caused by many different factors. In fact, sometimes it's caused by issues with the woman's body chemistry - and sometimes it's caused by issues with the man's body chemistry.

In order for you and your partner to conceive naturally, you need healthy levels of these hormones at key times in your menstrual cycle. It is important to speak to your medical practitioner in relation to this and educate yourself of the best way to balance your hormones naturally. You may speak to your doctor about incorporating hormone balance vitamins into your daily routine.


Final thoughts

Hormones are little chemical messengers that are released by your body to help control the way your body works. They're responsible for a lot of the things you do every day - from how you feel, to how you look, to how you react to stress.

Regardless of the cause, one thing is for sure: Hormonal imbalance is not something to be taken lightly. If you are experiencing any symptoms of hormonal imbalance, it's important that you seek medical attention immediately.

Balancing hormones is a great way to feel more balanced, but it's also a great way to boost your mood and feel better.




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