Exactly How To Detox Your Body To Balance Your Hormones Naturally
Considering your hormones play a major role in how you feel, it’s no surprise that hormone problems are one of the top health concerns that I see in my telehealth functional medicine clinic and are linked to everything from toxin overload to chronic stress. Since I’m often asked the best way to address hormone imbalances, I put together a step-by-step guide on how to detox the body and overcome hormone imbalances. Read on for everything you need to know about your hormones, detoxification, and restoring hormone balance.
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What is a hormone imbalance?
Your hormones influence every area of your health including your mood, energy levels, digestion, weight, and more. This is because their main role is to act as messengers, sending instructions to every organ in your body to carry out specific tasks to keep you healthy.
However, problems occur when your body produces too much or too little of a certain type of hormone, leading to a multitude of health problems. And since an imbalance with one hormone often leads to an imbalance with another, it’s vital that we learn how to care for our hormones in order to achieve optimal health.
Symptoms of a hormone imbalance
Since your hormones control all aspects of your health, symptoms of a hormone imbalance can manifest in different areas of your body. There is no one set of symptoms that is associated with hormone imbalance, but there are some that are more indicative than others that your hormones need a little TLC.
- Low libido
- Weight loss resistance
- Sudden weight loss
- Thinning hair / hair loss
- Frequent headaches / migraines
- Blood sugar problems / cravings
- Brain fog
- Irregular periods
Does detoxing help hormonal imbalance?
Detoxing can help your hormones in a couple different ways. The first being that certain chemicals have been shown to act as endocrine disruptors that mess with healthy hormone production. This onslaught of toxins can lead to chronic inflammation that also blunts hormone communication as well as your body’s ability to produce hormones effectively.
How to detox the body and balance hormones
Restoring hormone balance is twofold - enhance detoxification and support your body’s own natural hormone production. While there are many ways this can be done, this six step process provides a baseline for addressing all areas of your health typically involved in poor hormone health.
Step 1: Move daily
Studies have shown that working out can help restore balance to hormones like cortisol, insulin, thyroid hormones, and more. Exercise also promotes sweating which further enhances detoxification from any hormone disrupting toxins in your system.
What to do: Start off slow and find a workout that challenges you without overdoing it. Remember to give yourself rest days as too much exercise without enough down time can lead to chronic inflammation that can contribute to hormone imbalance and production.
Step 2: Reduce stress
Stress is the ultimate junk food for your body. You can be eating the cleanest diet and doing all the “right” things, but if you are feeding your body a slice of stress everyday you’re still going to have trouble with your hormones.
When you are stressed, cortisol - your body’s main stress hormone - spikes as a normal, healthy response to protect you from the stressful situation at hand. The problem is when you are stressed out 24/7 your body never has a chance to return back to its baseline state of calm. These chronically high cortisol levels can lead to adrenal fatigue, poor metabolic health, and other hormone problems like insulin resistance.
What you can do: We all find ourselves in stressful situations. Start incorporating stress reducing techniques like meditation (there are some great apps out there like Headspace and Calm) and breathwork that you can do any time, any where. The next step? Take stock of what brings you the most stress and look for ways to reorganize your life. It may be time to finally set up boundaries for those toxic people in your life!
Step 3: Sleep more
Sleep is essential for healthy hormones. In fact, hormone imbalances have been shown (1) to be a direct result of a lack of sleep. What’s even worse? Hormone imbalances can further perpetuate poor sleep. In order to get out of this vicious cycle we have to prioritize getting the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night.
But that can be tough when there are many things that can hinder your ability to get high quality, uninterrupted sleep. Everything from light pollution to blue light exposure can limit your melatonin production (this “sleepy time” hormone should be high in the evening to help you wind down) and spike cortisol levels, keeping you wide awake in the middle of the night.
What you can do: With more research being done around the importance of sleep, there are so many cool products on the market designed to help you sleep better for longer. Items like blackout curtains can help reduce light pollution and blue-light blocking glasses can make it possible to use technology before bed without messing with melatonin levels. Read my article here for a complete guide to cultivating a nighttime routine that works for you.
Step 4: Assess your diet
Your body relies on a specific ratio of macro and micro nutrients to fuel hormone production. In my teleheatlh functional medicine clinic I often find nutrient deficiencies to be the reason behind many people’s hormone imbalances.
For example, vitamin D is one of the main nutrients involved in proper hormone production, but it is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world! I also see the long-term effects of the “fat is bad” narrative. Healthy fats fuel hormone production, yet America is still struggling to move past the antiquated advice that choosing low-fat is the healthiest option.
What you can do: Incorporate more healthy fats from clean, whole food sources like wild-caught seafood, avocados, walnuts, and coconut oil and eat more vitamin D rich foods like wild-caught salmon and eggs. Sometimes you need some extra support, so supplements like The D3-K2 and The Omega+ can be helpful when taken in conjunction with dietary changes to overcome deficiencies.
Step 5: Try supplements
In conventional medicine, medications like birth control are the standard treatment for hormone imbalances. Unfortunately, these only act like a bandaid for your symptoms rather than treating the root cause behind your hormone imbalances. In functional medicine, instead of piling on more medications that have their own set of side effects, we focus on remedies like clinically backed natural supplements that have been shown to restore balance to hormone levels. Whether you are dealing with fatigue or female hormone imbalances like estrogen dominance, there are supplements out there that have been studied for their
What you can do: Look no further than adaptogens. These plant and herbal medicines are generally safe for most people and are known for their balancing effect on hormones and stress levels. With so many kinds of adaptogens that help support different areas of your health, you’ll be able to find one for your particular symptoms. Just be sure to check with your doctor if you are on any medications or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
I always recommend The Brain-Adrenal Balancer from my supplement line The Collection, that is formulated with clinically backed herbs to help your overstressed body and mind work toward their normal state of balance as a result of repeated, frequent exposure to stress and cortisol.
Step 6: Cut out toxins
My number one way to support your hormones is by cutting out toxins as much as possible. Our world has become increasingly more toxic and this onslaught of toxin exposure has been linked to severe hormone problems. For example, xenoestrogens can be found in everything from household cleaning supplies, plastic, and beauty products.
These synthetic chemicals act as estrogen in your body which increases your estrogen levels while making it more difficult for your body to effectively break down and eliminate excess estrogen. This doesn’t even take into account the thousands of other chemicals like pesticides, PCBs, plastics, heavy metals, and more that also play a role in developing hormone imbalances.
What you can do: Make your life a cleanse. You can’t avoid toxins altogether but what you can do is mitigate their effects by supporting your body’s own detoxification pathways as much as possible.
How functional medicine can help
I say it a lot but it’s true: There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to healing. Especially when it comes to hormone imbalances. Supporting detoxification is just one way to rebalance hormones but it all comes back to your individual health case.
In my telehealth functional medicine clinic, we run a wide array of hormone labs to get a definitive look at what is going on underneath the surface. By determining what is causing your hormone imbalances, we can customize recommendations to address the areas that are needing support in your life. Whether that is poor sleep or dietary changes, we approach hormone health through the lens of bioindividuality.
If you are struggling with a hormone imbalances and want to learn how to detox the body and balance hormones naturally, schedule a telehealth functional medicine consultation.
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- Kim, Tae Won et al. “The impact of sleep and circadian disturbance on hormones and metabolism.” International journal of endocrinology vol. 2015 (2015): 591729. doi:10.1155/2015/591729
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BY DR. WILL COLE
Dr. Will Cole, DNM, IFMCP, DC is a leading functional medicine expert who consults people around the globe, starting one of the first functional medicine telehealth centers in the world. Named one of the top 50 functional and integrative doctors in the nation, Dr. Will Cole provides a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. He is the host of the popular The Art Of Being Well podcast and the New York Times bestselling author of Intuitive Fasting, Ketotarian, The Inflammation Spectrum and the brand new book Gut Feelings: Healing the Shame-Fueled Relationship Between What You Eat and How You Feel.
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