Maybe you’re dealing with a spat of insomnia, finding yourself increasingly tired and irritable, gaining weight and struggling to lose what you gain. Or maybe you’re seeing more and more of your hair in your brush or on the bathroom floor. All of these somewhat non-specific signs and symptoms are commonly seen in people with hormonal imbalance.
Our hormones control everything, from maintaining a steady temperature and responding to stress to regulating our sleep-wake patterns and everything in between. Their job is to ensure that all of these important functions and rhythmic processes remain synchronised.
But while you’re unlikely to see your hormones, you definitely can feel them when they are out of alignment. Thankfully, these imbalances aren’t irreversible and it is possible to get your hormones back in balance again.
What is hormonal imbalance?
The human body is a complex system, and all complex systems require coordination between its various parts and subsystems. The endocrine system – an intricate network of glands and organs – uses hormones to regulate and coordinate key bodily functions of metabolism, mood, energy, growth, development, reproduction and our response to injury and stress.
Hormones are chemical messengers, and these messengers travel from endocrine glands, like the thyroid and reproductive organs, to communicate messages and relay warnings throughout the body. Our hormones exist in a delicate balance with each other, communicating and interacting to support the body’s day-to-day functions.
The problems with hormones arise when they are no longer able to effectively communicate. Many possible communication glitches might occur. It could relate to the production of hormones, when your body doesn’t produce enough of a particular hormone to allow for a specific process or function to work properly. Or it could relate to the sensitivity of the destination tissue, which is what we see in type 2 diabetes with the hormone insulin no longer able to open the channels to allow glucose to enter the cell.
When you factor in the very interconnected nature of these chemical messengers, where an imbalance in one hormone can contribute to an imbalance in another hormone, you begin to see why it is so important to maintain an overall balance in the endocrine system to support everyday life.
What causes hormonal imbalances?
Hormonal imbalances can make you feel like a stranger in your own body and the longer the endocrine system is off track the harder it can be to get it back into balance.
There are several lifestyle and environmental factors that contribute to hormonal imbalances. These include:
Chronic stress (including childhood or historical trauma)
In addition, a number of clinical conditions may also contribute to a hormonal imbalance, including:
By understanding some of the causes of hormonal imbalances, we now have some leverage points to intervene and address these issues before they develop into chronic conditions.
Achieving Hormonal Balance
So how do you go about bringing harmony to your hormones? The first step is to test for a hormonal imbalance. To do this you’ll need access to the advanced hormone testing that we have at The Thrive Practice. These tests are not direct-to-consumer tests, as you’ll need an expert to help you make sense of the results.
Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can then work with a practitioner to develop a personalised plan to naturally balance your hormones. Although each person’s plan will be different, your plan will likely include some changes to your diet and nutrition and stress management practices.
So you can scrap those big life overhauls – slow and steady wins the race. Treating a hormonal imbalance naturally is a process, one that involves taking care of yourself holistically by making small changes in your everyday life so that you can feel more balanced overall.
Looking for More Hormone Support?
At The Thrive Practice, we work with our clients to help them naturally rectify their hormonal imbalances. This starts with advanced hormone testing to get the big picture of your hormonal health and ends with you having the tools you need to change the picture yourself.
Learn more about our Rebalance wellness programme – a 4-month personalised program to help you get a better understanding of why you’re feeling the way you are and, most importantly, a plan to help you return to feeling like your best self.