12 Causes of Hormonal Imbalances
Hormones are the chemicals in our body that control many functions like hunger, thirst, energy, activity, emotions, fertility, sleep, and stress.
All of our hormones are connected, so when one becomes imbalanced, best to believe others are. And this is what can set off a series of events in our body. As this all happens our body signals to us through many symptoms like pain, inflammation, constipation, stress, fatigue, period problems, infertility, extreme cravings, and changes in weight.
It's why we need to pay attention to these symptoms and figure out the root cause of them.
Here are 12 potential causes of hormone imbalances:
Stress is one of the most common causes of hormone imbalances. Stressors can be things going on in our life like school, work, family, and relationships, but they could also be internal stressors like a gut infection, inflammation, low sleep. Cortisol is our stress hormone, which when elevated for long periods of time can negatively impact all other hormones.
2. Nutrient Deficiences
Many nutrients are building blocks for hormones in our body. When we aren’t eating enough of the right foods this can diminish our reserves and these hormone levels can deplete. Some of the important hormone-balancing nutrients are omega 3s, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B complex, vitamin D, and vitamin C.
3. Gut Imbalances
Gut imbalances are another one of the causes of hormone imbalances. The gut is our natural estrogen detoxifier. We do not want to over accumulate estrogen because when it recirculates in the body, the estrogen can offset progesterone causing estrogen dominance.
You want to maintain healthy gut bacteria to make sure you are keeping your digestion functioning. Symptoms that you have gut imbalances include constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.
4. Underlying Infections
Underlying infections may also be one of the causes of hormone imbalances. If you’re dealing with persistent gut issues then this might be something to look into further.
Our gut is normally lined with a variety of healthy bacteria that help us absorb nutrients, pass bowel movements, and protect our internal cells. When you have an infection of bad bacteria, sometimes the good bacteria can no longer compete and the bad bacteria ends up winning. As a result, our digestion takes a decline.
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5. Environmental Toxins
Another one of the causes of hormone imbalances is environmental toxins. Many times these toxins can be in the air you breathe, the paint on your walls, and even in the lotions, you put on your skin. It is important to recognize these toxins and figure out if they can be eliminated or avoided. Toxins to look out for are Phthalates, Atrazines, Bisphenols, and Heavy metals.
6. Blood Sugar Dysregulation
Blood sugar imbalances are another one of the causes of hormone imbalances. When blood sugar is imbalanced this means you do not have stable levels of blood sugar throughout the day. Over time this can lead to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance causes high levels of testosterone because when insulin levels are high in the blood, it will stimulate an enzyme called 17-hydroxylase which will promote the ovaries to make more testosterone.
Additionally, this process will inhibit the synthesis of a binding protein to testosterone which increases the abundance of free testosterone in the blood. Increasing testosterone too high in women can cause a whole host of symptoms like hair loss, acne, irregular periods, hirsutism, and infertility.
Another one of the causes of hormone imbalances as overexercising. Overexercising can mean you either being physically active too frequently, too intensely or for too long. When you are pushing your body too much during exercise this can cause your cortisol levels to remain high even after the session is done. This is because your body can’t handle the stress it is under, and to combat this you release cortisol.
Undereating is another one of the causes of hormone imbalances. Undereating means eating fewer calories than you burn throughout the day. This is detrimental to hormones because undereating patterns put our body into a state of panic and stress because we are trying to survive at an energy level insufficient for our current size.
From this stress, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease because we need to preserve our energy and avoid the most taxing human function which is pregnancy. Our body fat percentage is most likely decreasing as well due to the undereating and because estrogen is produced from fat tissue, our levels can decline as a result.
9. Genetic Factors
There are also genetic factors that are causes of hormone imbalances.
The gene MTHFR is responsible for making the enzyme Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, which is a regulatory enzyme for the metabolism of folate. Folate is an important nutrient that will aid in the detoxification of estrogen. Thus, when MTHFR is not working properly in methylation, this can be a factor for why you aren’t fertile.
The gene COMT is responsible for making the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase which aids in the production of estrogen and is also important in dopamine metabolism. A study showed a positive correlation that those with the COMT genotype had higher levels of estrogen in women, so COMT can be a factor for what causes high estrogen.
Another one of the causes of hormone imbalances is alcohol. It is known to overwhelm the liver and affect hormone metabolism. Specifically, estrogen dominance can be caused by the overconsumption of alcohol.
11. Past Trauma
Though hard to deal with, past traumas can be a cause of hormone imbalances. This is because past traumas can cause a build-up of stress internally because your baseline nervous system is shifted.
Chronic stress over time can and does lead to hormone imbalances.
12. Lack of Self-Care
Lack of self-care is another one of the causes of hormone imbalances. Self-care is doing whatever you feel you need to do to put yourself first. Check-in with your feelings, your stress, and your responsibilities. Love on yourself more.
Going long periods without checking in with yourself to self-reflect can cause an accumulation of stress. Remember you can not give from an empty cup.
Take a step back and provide yourself with your needs before exteneding yourself to others. You matter.
Do you want to take the steps to effectively balance your hormones and feel beeter in your body??
If so, reply back to me and let’s have a conversation about your next steps to make this dream a reality <3
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