Before we discuss what hormone imbalance is, it is important to know what hormones are and what role they play in the body. Hormones are chemical signals which are produced by the glands in the endocrine system. The endocrine system is the whole network of glands in the body that make the hormones.
These hormones regulate:
- Metabolism and appetite
- Heart rate
- Sexual function and reproductive cycle
- Sleep cycle
- Mood and stress levels
- Body temperature
- Growth and Development
What is Hormone Imbalance?
Hormone imbalances occur when you have too much or too little of a hormone, which can cause symptoms in the body.
What are the Symptoms?
Both Men and women can be affected by hormone imbalances in insulin, growth hormones, steroids and adrenaline. Men can experience testosterone imbalances and women can experience estrogen and progesterone imbalances .
Depending on which hormones are imbalanced you will experience different side effects as the hormones regulate different processes. Common symptoms for both men and women are:
- Sudden weight fluctuations
- Sleeping difficulties
- Muscle weakness
- Dry skin
- Hair thinning
- Decreased sex drive
- Anxiety and depression
- Joint and muscle pain
Additional symptoms for men:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of muscle
- Decrease in beard and hair growth
- Breast tissue development
Additional symptoms for women:
- Irregular or heavy periods
- Acne around the side of the face
- Vaginal dryness
- Pain during intercourse
What causes Hormone Imbalance?
We all experience natural fluctuations, but the problem occurs when the glands in the endocrine system don’t properly function. There are many causes for hormonal imbalances, but lifestyle and diet play a massive part.
Stress – when your body is stressed it raises your cortisol levels which can cause muscle loss, weight gain, effect concentration levels and cause fatigue.
Alcohol – consuming alcohol is a form of sugar, which raises blood sugar levels. Also the liver which is responsible for detoxing your body of estrogen is negatively affected by alcohol, which means your body cannot detoxify as efficiently, causing a surplus. This can cause breast tenderness, decreased sex drive, headaches and mood swings.
Food – the foods we eat can play a role in the endocrine system as certain food groups have growth hormones and estrogen.
How to Restore Balance?
One of the best natural treatments to use is maca root for hormone balance. Native to Peru maca has a similar appearance to a parsnip and comes in four varieties purple, yellow, black and red, with each bringing different benefits. Maca powder is a natural adaptogen which means it naturally helps the body reduce stress.
It helps to balance hormones in the body by stimulating the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, which are the major glands in the body which help regulate the smaller glands.
As it can creates hormonal balance it helps relieve symptoms in both men and women by increasing libido, improve energy and endurance, reduce blood pressure, improve your mood and aid memory.
Maca powder benefits for men include boosting fertility and testosterone levels, and reducing erectile dysfunction. And for women it can help with menopause, hormonal acne and period pains.
How to take Maca Powder?
Maca powder has a natural caramel and malt like flavour. A great way to add maca into your diet is by including it with your favourite smoothie, porridge or even sweet baking dishes. Try out this tasty smoothie recipe:
450ml plant based milk
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon of maca powder
1 tablespoon of cacao powder
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Few cubes of ice
Add all ingredients into a blender, blend together and enjoy the amazing maca powder health benefits. This makes a great morning shake or a guilt free evening dessert.
|||J. Huizen, “What to know about hormonal imbalances,” 12 April 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321486.php#targetText=Hormonal%20imbalances%20occur%20when%20there,glands%20in%20the%20endocrine%20system..|
|||C. O. Osborn, “Everything You Should Know About Hormonal Imbalance,” 18 December 2017. [Online]. Available: https://www.healthline.com/health/hormonal-imbalance#symptoms.|