Optimizing Natural Hormones: Turn Your Body Into a Machine
By: Brock Ogle
April 27, 2018
Everyone knows diet and exercise are necessary to get fit, but results won’t be optimal if your body isn’t releasing the proper amount of hormones. Your body is like a car - nutrition provides the fuel, exercise gets it moving, but if no one is behind the wheel, you’re not going anywhere. That is why hormones are just as important as diet and exercise.
Your body’s Endocrine System is the driver behind the wheel releasing hormones necessary for many vital functions. The effects of a hormonal imbalance can typically be obvious: slow metabolism and weight gain, stagnant muscle growth/strength, mood swings, decreased libido, depression, fatigue, acne, hair-loss, irregular periods, bloating, intense cramping and excessive menstrual bleeding, PCOS, Hashimoto’s disease, Gynecomastia, increase risk of breast/prostate cancer, diabetes, infertility, and MANY others!
The first step to reversing these effects is getting your blood tested. Once you discover your insufficiencies, there are countless herbs, supplements, and medications to help balance your hormones. Below are some helpful remedies.
- D-Aspartic Acid, ZMA, and Ginger while lifting heavy weights consistently.
- Vitex (Chasteberry), Maca, Iron with Vitamin C, L-Arginine.
- A good way to indirectly increase natural estrogen production without phytoestrogens, xenoestrogens, synthetic hormones, etc. is to balance your testosterone and progesterone levels. Estrogen tends to follow suit.
Regulate excess estrogen, reduce hormonal acne
- Take Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and its metabolite Diindolylmethane (DIM) daily. Wash affected areas with antibacterial soap and warm water. Wait 15min, then pour Isopropyl alcohol 70% on clean cloth and wipe affected area. If area becomes too dry, apply an oil-free non-comedogenic moisturizer (small amounts go a long way, so use minimally). Change bed sheets and pillowcases often.
Regulate excess estrogen, reduce hair-loss
- Take DIM and I3C daily with Saw Palmetto. In extreme cases, you may look into a prescription 5-alpha reductase inhibitor such as Dutasteride.
Improve thyroid function
- Salt your food with iodized sea salt while taking small amounts of Selenium throughout the day with meals.
Increase insulin sensitivity, restore pancreatic functions
- Fenugreek, Gymnema Sylvestre, Ginseng. Avoid Metformin if possible.
- Maca, Muira Puama, Tribulus Terrestris, Damiana Leaf, Catuaba.
- For men — Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG or Menotropin), Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), and Clomid when taken together work wonders.
- For women — this is more complicated because you have to take different herbs/medications at different times of your menstrual cycle.
- Physicians should analyze hormone levels prior to prescribing so they can better match patients with a birth control to minimize side effects. Unfortunately, the vast majority blindly prescribe so it is like a coin flip. This is why half of women love birth control because it reduced PMS symptoms and leveled them out, while the others experience side effects such as weight gain, cravings, irregular bleeding, and mood swings. This trial & error method when it comes to birth control is misguided.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
- HRT is best only when necessary. Most of the remedies I listed increase/decrease your body’s own hormonal production. HRT provides your body with supplemental hormones directly. This may inhibit your body’s own production
- Everyone should be take Vitamin D3 daily. If you consume animal-based protein, eat grass/vegetarian-fed beef, poultry, and eggs with no added hormones. Eat wild caught fish as well. For optimal cholesterol levels, consume Red Yeast Rice daily.
- For vegans – try not to over-consume Polyunsaturated fats as they tend to imbalance hormones. Replace with Monounsaturated and Saturated fat sources.
Once your hormones are balanced, the work you put in the kitchen and gym will be so much more efficient. But fitness results are just the beginning! Less mood swings, increased libido, and less PMS symptoms tend to improve relationships and decrease depression. Balance on the inside will lead to more balance on the outside, increased energy, and sustained happiness.