How to tell if you have a hormonal imbalance

If you’re like me, you want to keep your skin looking as young as possible, for as long as possible. So, did you know that your delicate balance of hormones plays a huge role in determining how fast your skin ages?

Estrogen is arguably the most important hormone for skin aging.  Low estrogen levels can turn fine lines into deep creases, and lead to sagging and a loss of elasticity.

A lack of estrogen also reduces the number of blood vessels in your skin, reducing blood flow and nutrients to your skin’s outermost layers and causing it to look pale and less vibrant.

Our estrogen levels decrease with age and if you are over 40, you may have low estrogen levels if you are experiencing the following symptoms: dry skin, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood changes, and bone loss.

High estrogen levels are more damaging than low estrogen levels because an excess of estrogen can cause breast tumors.

Hyperpigmentation, melasma, and dark spots are symptoms of high levels of estrogen, which is often seen in pregnant women and women who take birth control pills.

If you suddenly have oily skin or an onset of adult acne, your testosterone levels may be too high. Women who take high-androgen birth control pills or who are about to enter menopause can experience a surge in testosterone.

Sudden dry, thickened, and rough-looking skin is a symptom of low thyroid, as is weight gain, fatigue, low sex drive, and the reduced ability to sweat.  On the other hand, high thyroid levels can cause your skin to look flushed and sweaty.

To find out for sure if you have a hormone imbalance, ask your doctor for full hormone screening which includes the following tests: TSH, free T4, free T3, and reverse T3.  Also, have your Vitamin D levels checked because Vitamin D is necessary to maintain healthy hormone receptors.

What you can do to balance your hormones

Managing your stress, getting good sleep (check out my 13 tips for your best beauty sleep here), eating a nutrient-rich diet, and exercising regularly will go a long way in restoring balance to your hormones.

As much as you can, try to stay away from beauty and personal care products that contain ingredients that are known hormone disrupters.  Find out how to read ingredient labels like a pro here.

Ask your doctor about taking DHEA and DIM supplements.  DHEA supports the adrenal glands which produce your hormones, while DIM supports estrogen metabolism, helping to keep estrogen levels from getting too high.

Eating superfoods such as flaxseed and maca have been shown to be effective in balancing estrogen levels.  And, chaste tree berry is an herbal supplement that has a long history for supporting estrogen and progesterone balance and increasing female fertility.

If you have high testosterone, avoiding dairy products will help lower your levels because dairy products contain hormones that the human body converts into testosterone.

Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish and supplements, and foods high in zinc (green beans, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds), help to balance testosterone levels.

Foods that help detoxify the body will also help balance the hormones by aiding in hormone metabolism.  Detoxifying foods include garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale.

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