After having Owen, my hormone levels were a mess. They were even worse after I stopped breastfeeding. This was one of those weird postpartum symptoms that no one told me about and took so much longer to correct than I ever imagined—mostly because I didn’t have a good plan in place to get them balanced. This time around, I feel so much more prepared!
That being said, not everyone will experience a horrible hormone imbalance. And even if you haven’t given birth, you can still experience a hormone imbalance.
Our diets, lifestyle and the chronic stress from work, relationships, and life can all play a role in hormone balance or major imbalance. For me, I think pregnancy, child-birth and those tough newborn days pushed my body past it’s edge and sent me into hormonal hell.
Over the past two years, I’ve learned a lot and done even more trial and error on my path to healing myself holistically. It’s had it’s ups and downs, but focusing on healing my hormones has been so incredibly beneficial.
How To Balance Your Hormones Naturally
The Importance Of Having Balanced Hormones
Our endocrine glands (the system of glands that make our hormones) help manage just about every function in our body to reproductive health, growth, digestion, development, metabolism and much more. That alone is a good enough reason to nurture them, isn’t it?!
When our hormones are out of balance we start experiencing symptoms ranging from weight gain to acne to brain fog to fatigue to insomnia and more. When we have long term hormone imbalance, it can lead to bigger issues like reproductive problems, PCOS, endometriosis, and other diseases and illnesses.
So when we take the time to eat right, exercise and relax we’re able to help balance our hormones which improves every function in our body and helps us to feel our best!
It’s easy to see how important hormonal health is in keeping us healthy and feeling amazing.
Thankfully, our hormones want to be balanced! We just have to give them a little help, and thankfully we can balance our hormones naturally without any medication or crazy treatments.
It just takes patience and dedication.
So, trust your body—it will never turn on you! Even if it feels like it has sometimes. Put that faith back into yourself and you can make it happen! I want to emphasis the patience part of this because healing holistically doesn’t happen overnight or even in a few weeks or months.
Being patient, keeping up your new hormone-healing practices and believing that you are on a healing path are essential. You might hit some bumps in the road, but don’t forget that each and every day, you are making progress.
I think it took my body a solid 18 months after having Owen before I really felt like myself again. I continued to feel better and better each month, but one morning I just woke up and realized, “wow, I’m not having any of those same problems anymore!” and felt so grateful for patience and for staying the course.
How To Balance Your Hormones Naturally
First off, this is not medical advice. This is what I’ve learned from my personal experience, but I always suggest you talk to a doctor about getting your hormones balanced. Everyone’s body is different, so figuring out what YOUR body needs is your best plan of action!
Here are a few tips and things that have worked for me.
Balance your Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar is imbalanced, it puts stress on your body. Thankfully, balancing your blood sugar isn’t rocket science!
First off, you want to make sure you’re eating balanced meals that have enough protein, fat, fiber and carbs with each meal. You’ll stay full longer when you’re eating balanced meals and this will also keep your blood sugar from spiking and crashing throughout the day. You also want to make sure you’re eating at regular intervals—don’t skip lunch or go too long in between meals.
That long wait will bring your blood sugar down, and often causes us to crave sweet things like carbs and sugar for a quick fix, and that sends our blood sugar to the sky.
Instead, pair meals and snacks with proteins and healthy fats. Those help slow down the absorption of glucose into our blood and keep those spikes and crashes at bay.
At lot of us think of type 2 diabetes when we hear blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar balanced for the long term can help prevent diabetes by protecting us from insulin resistance. Avoid eating excess overly processed carbs and sugar (white flour and white sugar), which can lead to insulin resistance. Don’t confuse that statement with “don’t eat carbs!” because healthy carbs in fruits and potatoes and other starchy plant-based foods are great for you.
Drinking plenty of water will make every function of your body work better. You’ll think clearer, have better digestion, more energy, sleep better and so much more.
I aim for 96oz. a day—that might be too much for you. But I’ve found that it’s ideal for me. I sleep like a rock on days when I’ve had more water. I also have better digestion and more energy!
Keep a large water bottle on your desk and download a water tracking app to keep tabs on how much water you’ve had that day.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so underrated, but it’s one of the essential things that keeps us healthy and balanced. If you’re not getting enough, it’s going to make it tough to balance your hormones.
While we sleep, our bodies go into repair mode! Aim for 8 hours each night—I know with babies, kids and jobs it can be tough, but creating healthy sleep habits will be so helpful. Start by setting a bedtime and wake up time and stick to it.
Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every night to helps get your circadian rhythm aligned.
Chronic stress is so common these days and so hard on our adrenal glands and hormones. When we’re thrown into a stressful situation our blood pressure temporarily goes up and sends chemical messengers to our adrenal glands to send out that stress hormone because we’re under attack.
Except, we’re not really under attack.
Originally this was designed to help us run away from predators, but today our bodies do this on the regular when things like work or life situations blow up. When our adrenals get overworked, they tire out and our bodies can’t produce the hormone adequately, leading to, you guessed it—hormone imbalance.
It throws everything off, so learning to manage your stress is essential in balancing your hormones and keeping them balanced.
Try deep breathing, meditating, yoga, exercising, journaling, seeing a therapist, talking to a friend—anything that helps you cope.
Exercising is a natural way to reduce stress, so making sure that you’ve got a regular workout routine is essential. It doesn’t have to be crazy intense, in fact, it’s better if it’s gentle.
Extreme workouts can stress our adrenals even more. Find something you love and stick to it. For me, that’s barre, strength training with my trainer, yoga and walking.
Not a topic I thought I’d ever discuss on my blog, but I’ve realized how important it is to be “regular” (yes, I’m talking about bowel movements) and go to the bathroom every day.
This is our body removes waste and toxins from our body, including used up hormones. When you’re not regular, estrogen stays in our bodies longer than it’s suppose to and can cause hormonal imbalances.
The best way to get regular is to make sure you’re getting plenty of fiber and plenty of water every single day. If your digestion is really out of whack, try a probiotic to help get things balanced.
Eat More Fiber
Over the past 6 months, I’ve become so aware of just how important a fiber-rich diet is to keeping us healthy and keeping our hormones balanced. When you get plenty of fiber, paired with good hydration your digestion works amazingly.
And when digestion works correctly, used up hormones in your body gets removed via going to the bathroom in a timely matter. When hormones don’t leave your body, they stick around too long and can cause problems and imbalance. I can’t stress this one enough, get in your fiber and if you haven’t added a prebiotic to your daily routine, do it! This one is my favorite and I simply add it to my morning smoothie.
I did this for several months before getting pregnant with Jack, our second! I was hesitant at first, but had heard great things about it, plus it’s such an easy way to boost your hormone balance.
For the first 14 days of your cycle (starting with the first day of your menstrual cycle), you want to eat 1 Tbsp flaxseed and 1 Tbsp of pumpkin seeds every day.
For the second 14 days, you’ll eat 1 Tbsp sesame seeds and 1 Tbsp of sunflower seeds a day.
Sounds weird and also hard—like, when do you eat 1 Tbsp of seeds? Just add them to my smoothie in the morning! You can’t taste them and you know you’re getting them in! I also add cauliflower and spinach to my smoothie so I’m getting in extra veggies, greens and FIBER!
Cooking for Hormone Balance
Making tweaks to your diet can be one of the most beneficial steps you can take to balance your hormones. I personally try to eat a mostly anti-inflammatory diet. I don’t eat much meat and almost no dairy, and and focus on getting in plenty of fiber, healthy fats, protein, leafy greens and fresh fruits and veggies.
Adding things like flaxseed (great to mix into a smoothie or sprinkle onto a salad), cruciferous veggies (like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), leafy greens (kale, spinach, dandelion greens, etc.) and enough healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts/seeds, chia and flax to be specific).
All these things improve digestion and help to remove estrogen from the body in a timely manner. These foods will also improve your overall health and make you feel great!
Probiotic-rich foods are also a must! Sauerkraut, kimchi, Bubbie’s fermented pickles, live culture yogurt and kombucha are a few great options. I’ve also learned that probiotics are nothing without adequate prebiotic fiber, so make sure you’re getting that in!
Vitamins and supplements can be hugely helpful in getting your hormonal imbalance back in line. I always suggest talking to a doctor and even having your blood work done to see which hormones are out of balance.
A few that I take are Vitamin D with K3, Magnesium, Zinc, a prebiotic and probiotic. Again, always check with your doctor before you start a vitamin or supplement regimen.
Hormone Balancing Tea
This was actually news to me when I was doing research for this post, but I wanted to include it. Incorporating a hormone balancing tea to your daily routine can help lower stress levels and help balance hormones over time.
Check this list for great tea options to help balance hormones.
Hormone imbalance didn’t happen overnight, so don’t expect them to get balanced overnight either. It’s not a quick fix, but rather a lifestyle change that will leave you feeling healthier and more vibrant with each month you stick to it—I know, because I’m living it! Give yourself grace and patience and stick with it—I promise you won’t regret it!
Have you dealt with a hormonal imbalance before? What tips do you have for reversing it and getting your hormones balanced again?