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Hormone Hacking: How to Support your Hormonal Balance Naturally

Updated: May 10

Natural Support for Hormonal Balance

Think of hormones as little messengers in your body that help regulate different body functions. They work slowly over time, affecting major body processes, including growth and development, metabolism, reproduction, response to stress, and mood. Your endocrine system creates these chemicals, dispersing them through glands. The amount they produce is actually super important. Having too little or too much can affect the body negatively.

Hormones travel through the bloodstream to reach their target organs and tissues where they exert their effects. When a gland releases hormones into the bloodstream, they are carried throughout the body, eventually reaching specific cells or organs that have receptors for those particular hormones. Once at their target destination, hormones bind to these receptors, triggering a response within the target cells.

The effects of hormones on cells can indeed vary depending on the type of hormone and the receptors present on the cell membrane or within the cell. When a hormone binds to its specific receptor on a target cell, it triggers a cascade of molecular events inside the cell, leading to changes in gene expression, protein synthesis, or other cellular processes. The response of the cell to a hormone depends on the type of hormone, the type of receptor, and the specific signaling pathways activated within the cell.

So, while all cells contain the same genetic material (DNA), their responses to hormones can differ significantly based on their specific characteristics and the presence of appropriate receptors for the hormones. This specificity ensures that hormones can exert precise effects on target cells and tissues throughout the body, contributing to the regulation of various physiological processes.

The endocrine system relies on this mode of communication to regulate various physiological processes, including metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stress. Hormones act as chemical messengers that coordinate the activities of different organs and tissues to maintain homeostasis and ensure the proper functioning of the body.

Here are glands of the endocrine system that work together to regulate hormones and various physiological processes:

  • Pineal gland: Located deep within the brain, the pineal gland secretes melatonin, which regulates sleep-wake cycles and helps in the regulation of certain reproductive hormones.

  • Hypothalamus: While technically not a gland, the hypothalamus plays a crucial role in the endocrine system by producing hormones that control the pituitary gland. It regulates body temperature, hunger, thirst, and other basic biological functions.

  • Pituitary gland: Often referred to as the "master gland," the pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain and secretes hormones that control other endocrine glands, as well as regulating growth, metabolism, and various physiological processes.

  • Thyroid gland: Situated in the neck, the thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism and energy levels throughout the body. These hormones also play a crucial role in growth and development.

  • Parathyroid glands: There are four small parathyroid glands located behind the thyroid gland. They produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which regulates calcium levels in the blood and bones.

  • Adrenal glands: Positioned atop the kidneys, the adrenal glands produce hormones such as cortisol (which helps the body respond to stress), aldosterone (which regulates salt and water balance), and adrenaline (which triggers the body's "fight or flight" response).

  • Pancreas: Functioning as both an endocrine and exocrine gland, the pancreas produces insulin and glucagon, which regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels, while glucagon raises them.

  • Ovaries: In females, the ovaries produce hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which regulate the menstrual cycle, fertility, and secondary sexual characteristics.

  • Testes: In males, the testes produce testosterone, which regulates sperm production, sex drive, muscle mass, and bone density.

There are around 50 hormones that exist in the body. Here are some of the most important hormones in the human body along with their major contributions:

  • Insulin: Produced by the pancreas, insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels by promoting the uptake of glucose into cells for energy or storage.

  • Glucagon: Also produced by the pancreas, glucagon raises blood sugar levels by stimulating the liver to release stored glucose into the bloodstream.

  • Thyroid hormones (T3 and T4): Produced by the thyroid gland, these hormones regulate metabolism, growth, and development throughout the body.

  • Cortisol: Produced by the adrenal glands, cortisol helps regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation, and respond to stress.

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an important hormone produced primarily by the adrenal glands, along with cortisol. While cortisol is involved in the body's stress response and has catabolic effects (breaking down molecules for energy), DHEA acts as a counter-regulatory hormone with primarily anabolic effects (promoting growth and repair).

  • Epinephrine (adrenaline): Also produced by the adrenal glands, epinephrine triggers the body's "fight or flight" response, increasing heart rate, dilating airways, and mobilizing energy reserves.

  • Estrogen: Predominantly produced by the ovaries in females, estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle, promotes the development of secondary sexual characteristics, and plays a role in bone health.

  • Progesterone: Produced by the ovaries and the placenta during pregnancy, progesterone helps regulate the menstrual cycle and supports pregnancy by maintaining the uterine lining.

  • Testosterone: Mainly produced by the testes in males and in smaller amounts by the ovaries in females, testosterone is a key hormone for the development of male reproductive tissues, maintaining muscle mass, and regulating sex drive.

  • Growth hormone (GH): Produced by the pituitary gland, growth hormone stimulates growth and development in children and helps maintain muscle and bone mass in adults.

  • Prolactin: Also produced by the pituitary gland, prolactin stimulates milk production in breastfeeding women and plays a role in reproductive health.

  • Melatonin: Produced by the pineal gland, melatonin regulates sleep-wake cycles (circadian rhythms) and may have other roles in the body, such as antioxidant activity.

Menopause, Women, Estrogen, Progesterone hormones decline

Signs Of HORMONE IMBALANCE in men, Testosterone

Historically, hormones were thought to be difficult to control naturally. And there’s some truth in that, but you can do a lot more than you think. What should you do to support balanced hormones naturally?

Manage stress as best you can

When you experience any kind of stress, your brain sends signals to your body to release catabolic hormones like cortisol and aldosterone (adrenaline). These hormones are part of the body's "fight or flight" response, designed to prepare you to respond to perceived threats or challenges. However, prolonged or chronic stress can lead to an overproduction of these hormones, negatively impacting your hormonal balance and overall health.

Steroid Hormone Metabolic Pathways:

Steroid Hormone Metabolic Pathways

If we imagine Steroid Hormone Metabolic Pathways as an upside-down tree with a trunk and two branches, the tree trunk presents dietary sources and the mother hormone, pregnenolone. On one branch, there are progesterone, cortisol, aldosterone, and some other hormones. On another branch, there are DHEAs, testosterone, estrogen, and other hormones as well. Our body can only create the mother hormone pregnenolone from dietary sources, and all other hormones are synthesized from pregnenolone. When stress affects the body, dietary sources are diverted to produce cortisol on one branch, suppressing hormone production on the other branch.

You cannot avoid all stress in your life, and you do not need to do so. Some amount of eustress - good stress - can be beneficial to improve your resilience, and hormesis - as seen in moderate exercise improving health, while excessive exercise harms it. Find more about eustress and distress, and how to measure it in my blog post: Eustress vs. Distress

🎁 Join us for a transformative one-day Stress Management practical workshop and retreat at Faena Hotel, Miami Beach.

The event features an enlightening educational lecture on Holistic Health and the Stress Response System across physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realms. Participants will also engage in powerful practices designed to help manage stress effectively, facilitating a holistic journey of self-care and balance. Attendees will enjoy exclusive access to Faena's state-of-the-art wellness facilities, including the sauna, steam room, and hammam. 🌹We have limited spots available; hurry to reserve yours at the next Stress Management Workshop

As for what you eat, these foods and plants can help promote happy vibes and mood control:

- Green leafy veggies, the main ingredients in Purium Green Spectrum

- Blueberries

- Pumpkin and flax seeds, blend these in your fave Purium shake - Dark Berry Protein or Power Shake Apple Berry

- Dark chocolate.

Sleep well

How did you sleep last night? Your answer can affect the hormones your body produces today. One study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests how long you sleep can affect the regulation of cortisol and other hormones. This makes sense when you remember how cortisol is related to stress. We don’t know about you, but when we don’t get enough sleep, we’re often more stressed the next day.

Your quality of sleep is also important because growth hormones are released during efficient sleep. So, it’s best to sleep uninterrupted.

Supporting healthy Pineal gland can help you to balance your Melatonin production, and sleep better, which can aid hormone production.

Here’s some of my favorite sleep-supporters:

- Pineal Clear, organic drops designed to support pineal gland health and decalcification.

- Apothe-Cherry, Tart cherries are the only ingredient in this Purium’s product which supports natural melatonin production in the body.

- Bio Relax, this formula provides for deep, restful sleep and tension relief while awake.

Exercising regularly

Increasing your healthy muscle mass not only changes your body's physical structure but also promotes hormonal balance by regulating various hormones involved in stress response, metabolism, appetite control, and overall physiological function. By incorporating physical activity into your routine, especially resistance training, you can support your Metabolic Health, and enjoy numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being.

Avoid sugar

Okay, maybe we’re being dramatic, but you get the point. Do your best to limit your sugar intake. Sugar, excessive fructose intake in fresh juices, and sugary drinks may spike your blood sugar levels, which can affect healthy hormone production, digestion, sleep, and more. Then, BOOM, cortisol increases!

Try opting for smarter sweets like blending cacao into your green smoothies. Try Purium Cocoa-Mint Spirulina - all the benefits of spirulina with a great cocoa mint flavor.

Moreover, you should stay away from pesticides and harmful chemicals

Emerging research suggests that pesticides used in farming and home gardens may have an effect on hormones. This is because they negatively impact the endocrine system (which we know is responsible for releasing the body chemicals). Go non-GMO and organic whenever possible! Find the list of seven foods that you might be consuming, which can create a lot of inflammation in your body and compromise your health, in my Blog Post

A balanced healthy diet and supplementation can help your body regulate the production of necessary hormones.

Get enough Protein

Consuming enough protein is crucial for supporting optimal hormonal function and balance throughout the body. Protein is essential for balanced hormones related to hunger, such as ghrelin and leptin, as it helps produce hormones that contribute to the feeling of fullness. Additionally, protein plays a multifaceted role in hormonal balance. Firstly, it is necessary for the synthesis and regulation of various hormones involved in metabolism, growth, and repair. For instance, proteins are integral components of insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels, and growth hormone, which facilitates muscle growth and repair. Secondly, protein contributes to the production of enzymes and neurotransmitters involved in hormone metabolism and signaling. Furthermore, adequate protein intake supports the maintenance of lean muscle mass, which influences hormone production and sensitivity. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommends getting about 20-30 grams of protein per meal. However, it's essential to be discerning about the type of protein consumed. For further insights into this vital macronutrient, please refer to my blog post Protein, and find some complete protein breakfast options here

Eat healthy fats

Healthy dietary fats play a crucial role in supporting hormonal balance by providing the building blocks for hormone production and aiding in hormone transportation and signaling. In addition to being involved in the synthesis of hormones related to hunger, such as ghrelin and leptin, dietary fats are essential for the production of steroid hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. These hormones are synthesized from cholesterol, a type of lipid found in dietary fats. Moreover, fats help transport fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), which are necessary for hormone synthesis and regulation. Additionally, fats contribute to the structure of cell membranes, influencing cell signaling pathways involved in hormone release and receptor activation. Overall, incorporating healthy fats into your diet supports optimal hormonal function and balance. Please find more information about healthy dietary fats in my blog post Healthy Fats

Ensure that you have enough Fiber in your Diet

Fiber plays a crucial role in maintaining hormonal balance by promoting gut health and supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Adequate fiber intake helps regulate digestion and promote the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) through fermentation in the colon. SCFAs, such as butyrate, acetate, and propionate, not only serve as an energy source for colon cells but also play a role in signaling pathways that influence hormone production and secretion. Moreover, a healthy gut microbiota supported by fiber consumption can contribute to the regulation of hormones involved in appetite control, such as leptin and ghrelin, helping to maintain a healthy weight and metabolic function. Additionally, fiber can help stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose, which can contribute to the prevention of insulin resistance and promote overall hormonal balance in the body. Please find more information about Fiber in my blog post Carbs

Healthy nutrition that benefits your hormones can be challenging to achieve. That's why some people choose to supplement. Here are just a few of my favorite natural remedies to support hormones:

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a medical treatment that involves taking synthetic hormones to replace the hormones that the body no longer produces in adequate amounts on its own.

HRT is commonly used to alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal changes that occur during menopause in women, which involve a significant decline in the production of estrogen and progesterone by the ovaries. These symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.

In men, HRT may be prescribed to address symptoms of low testosterone levels, such as decreased libido, fatigue, and loss of muscle mass. HRT can be administered in various forms, including pills, patches, creams, gels, or injections, and the specific hormone or combination of hormones used depends on the individual's needs and medical history.

While HRT can effectively alleviate menopausal symptoms, it is not suitable for everyone and should be used with caution due to potential risks and side effects, including an increased risk of certain cancers (such as breast cancer), blood clots, stroke, and heart disease. The decision to use HRT should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider, who can help weigh the potential benefits and risks based on an individual's medical history, age, and risk factors.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been around for several decades. It gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily for the management of menopausal symptoms in women. The development and use of synthetic hormones for HRT began around this time. However, it's essential to note that the concept of hormone replacement predates modern synthetic hormone therapy. For example, in the late 1800s, physicians used extracts from animal ovaries as a form of hormone replacement for women experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Bio-identical Hormones

Bio-identical hormones are hormones that are chemically identical to the hormones naturally produced by the human body. They are derived from plant sources and are designed to replicate the molecular structure of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The term "bio-identical" refers to the fact that these hormones are identical in structure to the hormones produced by the human body.

Bio-identical hormones offer a natural and potentially individualized approach to hormone replacement therapy, but they are not without risks. The decision to use bio-identical hormones should be based on an individual's medical history, symptoms, and risk factors and should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider who can help weigh the potential benefits and risks.

Types of Bio-identical Hormones:

  • Estrogen: Bio-identical estrogen can be prescribed in various forms, including pills, patches, gels, creams, and vaginal suppositories. Examples of bio-identical estrogen include estradiol, estrone, and estriol.

  • Progesterone: Bio-identical progesterone is available in oral capsules, creams, and vaginal suppositories. It is chemically identical to the progesterone produced by the ovaries.

  • Testosterone: Bio-identical testosterone is prescribed to treat testosterone deficiency in women and men. It is available in various forms, including patches, gels, and injections.

Benefits of Bio-identical Hormones:

  • Individualized Treatment: Bio-identical hormones can be compounded or customized to meet the specific needs of an individual patient, allowing for more personalized hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

  • Natural Source: Bio-identical hormones are derived from plant sources such as soy or yams, making them a more natural alternative to synthetic hormones.

  • Potential Symptom Relief: Like conventional HRT, bio-identical hormones can effectively alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood changes.

Considerations and Risks:

  • Regulation and Safety: While bio-identical hormones are considered natural, they are not necessarily safer than conventional HRT. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate compounded bio-identical hormones in the same way as commercial pharmaceutical products, which can pose potential risks in terms of quality, purity, and dosage consistency.

  • Side Effects and Risks: Like all forms of HRT, bio-identical hormones can have side effects and risks, including an increased risk of certain cancers (such as breast cancer), blood clots, stroke, and heart disease. It's essential to discuss these risks with a healthcare provider and undergo regular monitoring to ensure the safe and effective use of bio-identical hormones.

  • Cost: Bio-identical hormones can be more expensive than conventional HRT, especially if they are customized or compounded.

Sending Optimal Health & Ultimate Wellness,

Julia Smila, Holistic Health Practitioner & Pranic Healer

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May 09
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great information. Thank you ✨

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