Hormones play a vital role in maintaining a healthy, well-functioning body. However, our lifestyle, certain genetic predispositions, and some environmental factors can cause imbalances or issues with hormones. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to promote healthy hormones or to address an imbalance.
Hormone Testing and Monitoring
There are many factors that can cause your hormones to become unbalanced, and if you are unsure where your hormone health lies or notice troubling symptoms, hormone testing can help you learn where the problem lies.
These tests should test a wide variety of hormones, including insulin, cortisol, testosterone, leptin, estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormones. Depending on the specific hormone being tested, you may need to undergo a blood, saliva, or urine test.
If you want to learn how to get hormones tested, the best option is to seek care from a functional medicine doctor who has a deep understanding of hormones and how they can cause dysfunction in the body.
There are several ways hormone testing contributes to your treatment plan:
- By understanding your body’s hormonal balance, you gain insight into which lifestyle changes you should make
- When testing multiple hormones, you get a clearer look at your whole hormonal profile and how imbalances are impacting your entire well-being
- Identifying hormonal imbalances through testing allows functional medicine doctors to identify the root cause of the imbalance and create a tailored treatment plan
- Learning you have a hormonal imbalance can help you identify dysfunctional areas in your physical and mental health
- With frequent testing, you can monitor hormone levels over time and see if treatment is working or if adjustments should be made
Lifestyle Changes for Healthy Hormones
Promoting healthy hormones involves adopting lifestyle habits and practices that support hormonal balance.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Focus on a nutrient-rich diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid processed foods, excessive sugar, and refined carbohydrates that can disrupt hormonal balance.
Get Regular Exercise
Engage in regular physical activity to support hormonal health. Both aerobic exercise and strength training have been shown to positively influence hormone levels. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
Chronic stress can disrupt hormonal balance. Incorporate stress-management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies that promote relaxation. Regular self-care and finding healthy ways to cope with stress can help regulate cortisol and other stress-related hormones.
Getting sufficient, quality sleep can promote hormone health and balance. Aim for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Establish a consistent sleep routine, create a sleep-friendly environment, and practice good sleep hygiene habits.
Professional Help From a Functional Medicine Doctor
One of the best ways to improve your hormonal health is to seek professional care from a qualified health provider. Seeing a functional medicine doctor for hormone-related concerns can offer several advantages and a more comprehensive approach to your health:
- Holistic Approach: Functional medicine considers the interconnectedness of body systems and addresses the root causes of hormonal imbalances instead of just treating symptoms.
- Personalized Care: Functional medicine doctors provide individualized treatment plans based on comprehensive assessments and personalized hormone testing.
- Prevention Focus: Functional medicine emphasizes the early identification of imbalances to prevent chronic diseases and optimize long-term health.
- Integrative Therapies: Functional medicine combines conventional medicine with complementary therapies and lifestyle interventions to support hormonal balance.
- Patient-Centered Care: Functional medicine doctors value patient education and involve you in the decision-making process.
- Long-Term Health Care: Functional medicine doctors don’t just treat your problem and send you on your way. Rather, they aim to improve your overall health, energy levels, healthy aging, and prevent future imbalances.
By prioritizing your hormonal health, you can improve your energy levels, mood, sleep, stress, and overall wellness. If you notice signs of an imbalance, it’s important to get tested and consult with a functional medicine doctor to proactively restore balance.