Hormones in the body can get out of balance due to many factors including age, genetics and lifestyle. You do not have to live with hormonal imbalance and there are many ways to restore it. Depending on the symptoms, it is possible to find out which of the hormones the body is deficient in so that the issue can be addressed accordingly.

The body’s hormones can be compared to musical instruments playing in an orchestra. Each of them plays a different and unique part and together they create a perfect concert. This happens until the day that one of them goes out of tune and disturbs the melody of the whole orchestra. One of the most common causes of hormonal imbalance is age.

WHY RESTORING HORMONAL BALANCE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED

Hormone deficiency does not occur due to age, rather aging occurs due to the deficiency of hormones. All body cells require hormones to function normally; however, almost half of the hormones stop being produced as a person reaches the age of 50. Apart from increasing age, genetic and lifestyle factors also play roles in the decline of hormone levels. According to studies, receptors to estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and thyroid hormone are present in cells of the skin, bones, nerves, heart, brain and arteries. With a decline in the levels of these hormones, the stimulation of these cells also decline, which leads to cell death, producing symptoms of fatigue and tiredness, mood swings, decreased sexual desire, difficulty sleeping and a decrease in mental faculties initially and degenerative diseases, including cancer, heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, in the later stages.

HOW TO RESTORE HORMONAL BALANCE

Though hormonal decline seems inevitable as one ages, no one has to live with an untreated hormonal imbalance. Almost all hormonal problems can be addressed and harmony can be restored. Some hormonal issues may need medical care, whereas others can be managed using lifestyle modifications.

ESTROGEN: To restore your estrogen balance, it is essential that you lose your excess weight. For females who have high estrogen levels, it is advised that they avoid foods that have high phytoestrogens such as whole soy products. Menopausal females can use herbal supplements including black cohosh and hops to relieve symptoms; however, for severe symptoms, women should see their physician who can consider providing hormone replacement therapy.

TESTOSTERONE: Low libido is a common result of low levels of this hormone. Try eating foods that are rich in zinc such as oysters and sesame seeds. High levels of testosterone are usually due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), in which case a physician may prescribe birth control pills to reduce the secretion of testosterone. Another consideration is the avoidance of refined sugar and other carbohydrate-rich foods and the consumption of more fiber-rich foods.

MELATONIN: To restore melatonin levels, try ingesting 0.5 mg of a melatonin supplement before going to bed to get relief from insomnia.

GHRELIN AND LEPTIN: To keep the levels of these hormones in sync, get a good night’s sleep of at least an eight-hour duration. Moreover, getting regular exercise and reducing stress levels is also associated with maintenance of normal levels of Ghrelin.

THYROID HORMONE: A physician may prescribe a thyroid replacement pill for patients with hypothyroidism. Radioactive iodine ablation or surgery is the treatment of choice in cases of hyperthyroidism.

By Dr. Ritu Goel