Hot flashes, weight changes, mood swings, irregular menstrual cycles – if you’ve ever experienced these hormonal health issues or a variety of other symptoms, you’re not alone. In many women, these signs and symptoms can indicate hormonal imbalance.
In fact, nearly 80 percent of American women suffer from some kind of hormonal imbalance. If you’re a part of this unfortunate club, you probably have plenty of questions – questions like, “what caused this hormone imbalance,” “how can I treat it,” and finally, “are there any supplements I can use to balance my hormones?”
In this post, we’ll explore what exactly a hormonal imbalance is, how they arise, and what women can do to take control of their health again
Hormonal Imbalance in Women
Hormones are essentially little messengers within your body. The human body generates more than 50 hormones, which can send signals telling the body to do anything from maintaining metabolism to starting ovulation.
Hormones originate in endocrine glands. From there, they travel through the bloodstream before reaching the brain and delivering their messages.
However, hormone levels are extremely delicate. Even a slight hormonal imbalance can lead to a variety of symptoms for many women.
Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Since the signs of hormonal imbalance can vary wildly, it can be difficult to identify the problem. Sometimes, they may not paint a clear picture of what the problem is. In women, hormonal imbalance can include several symptoms like:
- Period irregularity – missed periods, frequent periods, or a stopped period may all indicate hormonal imbalance.
- Mood changes – overly sensitive, easily frustrated, or irritability are all common complaints
- Acne – since hormones can play a huge part in skin inflammation, an imbalance can lead to acne outbreaks.
- Vaginal issues – including dryness, atrophy, or pain during sex.
- Hair changes – paradoxically, hormonal imbalance can both manifest as unusually excessive face and body hair or trigger hair loss.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance in Women?
Hormonal imbalance can trace its roots to several causes. For example, menopause is one of the most common reasons for hormone issues. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can also play a role. In addition, a common hormonal disorder named polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can cause imbalances.
Outside of reproductive functions and hormonal disorders, there’s one major trigger for hormonal imbalance in women. Since nearly all birth control methods, from the pill to IUDs, use hormones to function, they can sometimes throw a woman’s hormonal balance into flux.
Finally, aging can play a part in hormone imbalances. As you get older, your hormonal levels shift – just like nearly everything else in your body. Women in their 20s and 30s may begin to experience hormonal changes naturally, affecting things like reproductive health.
Ultimately, most hormonal imbalances that women experience have to do with one of two specific neurotransmitters: estrogen and cortisol.
How to Treat Hormonal Imbalance
Today, healthcare providers can offer women suffering from hormonal imbalances one of several options. First among them is hormone therapy. Many women respond well to estrogen therapy, either via pills or vaginal inserts. In a curious twist, some women use birth control drugs when trying to learn how to treat hormonal imbalance.
However, there may be some non-pharmaceutical options, too.
Supplements to Balance Hormones
Want to treat hormone imbalance symptoms without prescription drugs? Many women worldwide use supplements to balance their hormones. These supplements include:
- Black Cohosh – a member of the buttercup family native to North America. Doesn’t affect hormone levels but may help manage symptoms through other methods.
- Soy Foods – women in Asian countries who eat high-soy diets statistically report less hormone imbalance. Like Black Cohosh, foods heavy in soy don’t seem to affect hormone levels directly but help control symptoms in different ways.
- Red Clover – like soy, Red Clover contains several organic compounds that can eliminate symptoms of hormone imbalance, but not directly affect hormone levels.
While these natural remedies and a slew of supplements may be able to rebalance a woman’s hormones, there’s one organic compound that has enjoyed particularly high popularity recently: CBD.
Can CBD Balance Hormones?
CBD may offer some women a solution to their hormonal imbalances. And unlike the three herbs mentioned above – which simply manage symptoms – CBD may be able to strike at the root cause of hormonal imbalances by actually shifting hormone levels.
Some research shows that CBD can affect both levels of human growth hormone and the stress hormone cortisol. That’s how CBD may access its purported stress-relieving properties. Since cortisol may be an underlying factor affecting hormone imbalance in women, this could attack the problem at the source.
One study demonstrated that once-weekly doses of either 300 or 600 mg of CBD could significantly reduce cortisol levels in a group of 11 subjects. Not only that, but participants reported feeling less stress and fewer mood swings related to their hormone imbalances.
That data is extremely promising. Unfortunately, it’s still somewhat preliminary. Currently, it’s too early to definitively say that CBD can re-balance hormone levels. However, since 2018 Farm Bill legalized CBD nationwide, we may soon see more concrete studies in the future.
While CBD may not be a silver bullet panacea for hormonal imbalance in women, it may be an effective solution for women wondering how to treat their symptoms.
Ultimately, using CBD to alleviate hormonal balance is your choice alone – no one can make the decision for you. However, if you have any specific questions, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor. And if you do decide to try CBD, make sure to check out our full selection of infused oil, candies, capsules, and more!