Occasional, acute, or even chronic hormonal imbalance is much more common than most people think. Men and women alike often struggle with symptoms of hormone fluctuations at some point in their lives.
Due to the way the female reproductive cycle works, however, women are far more likely to experience them. It’s a good thing, then, that supplements for hormonal imbalance are not only widely available but also very effective.
I’m not talking about medicine here; I wouldn’t suggest that you alter your body’s hormone levels by taking over-the-counter drugs. Rather, I will talk about natural supplements for hormonal imbalance that will not have a drastic effect on your body chemistry.
I will also be specific in stating which aspect (cause or symptom) of the condition each supplement is for. If a part of the text rings a bell in regard to your symptoms, you will probably want to read it carefully.
Before I tackle the issue and how to deal with it, though, I would like to explain what hormones are, how they work, and how their imbalance can affect a person’s life. After all, you won’t be able to cure or manage a condition that you know nothing about.
What Hormones Are and How They Work
Simply put, hormones are chemicals made by your body’s endocrine system. They have a clear and vital role: to relay orders from the glands that create them to the other parts of the body.
Hormones not only control nearly all processes that take place inside you—but they also start them. Your sex drive, your appetite, the way you think—even your ability to think, are just some examples of what hormones regulate.
To make things more complicated, hormones do more than simply affect your organs and the way they work. They also interact with one another to no small degree. Elevated levels of one hormone will lead to a spike (or dip) of another, or maybe even several others. If one is out of sync with the rest, the normally self-regulating hormone system may stop working properly.
Thus, if you want your whole body to work well, you will want to even out its hormone levels. Too much or too little of one will make another rise or drop. That rise or drop will then cause a domino effect, leading to ever-worsening symptoms.
How Hormonal Imbalance Can Impact Your Health
Because hormones regulate so many processes, a hormone imbalance can lead to a wide array of symptoms. These symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
• A constant thirst
• A persistent bad mood and even anxiety or depression
• An unusually tender, perhaps even enlarged, chest area
• Breathing difficulties
• Constantly feeling hot or cold, regardless of the actual temperature
• Difficulty or inability to concentrate
• Facial hair (on women)
• Frequent or constant fatigue
• Hair loss (in men)
• High blood pressure
• Hot flashes (a very common symptom)
• Infertility in women or low sperm count in men
• Irregular menstrual cycles in women
• Low, high, or inconsistent appetite
• Lowered or unpredictable sex drive
• Memory problems
• Mood swings
• Increased heart rate
• Sudden or rapid weight loss or weight gain
• Trouble sleeping
• Uncontrollable cravings for a specific kind of food, often sugar
• Vaginal dryness
Depending on the exact cause of your issues, symptoms may come and go, or they may persist. Regardless, you will want to pinpoint the cause as soon as possible, so that you can start working on solving (or at the very least managing) the problem. Only then should you consider buying any supplements for hormonal imbalance.
Potential Causes of Hormone Imbalance
Many different factors can disturb a body’s hormone levels. Most commonly, women experience normal (and often predictable) hormone changes throughout the month. These are sometimes bearable, at other times they are anything but. Debilitating menstrual pains may be a sign of a major underlying problem, but they don’t always have to be.
When it comes to chronic and unwanted hormonal imbalance, however, the most common causes include:
• Constant stress
• Insufficient sleep
• Excess body fat
• A general lack of physical activity
• Substance abuse
• An unhealthy or harmful diet
You will usually be able to fix most of the above with a simple (if difficult) change of habit. Sadly, though, sometimes the body malfunctions and starts making less (or more) of a specific chemical on its own.
In those cases, you will definitely want to see a doctor and check if your condition is dangerous. Altered hormone production is often a result of a tumor, and you should have it checked as soon as possible.
The 11 Best Supplements for Hormonal Imbalance
Some of these will be good for you in general, and help even out your hormone levels and bring them under control. Others will be more focused, helping you deal with specific issues you may be experiencing.
Because women tend to suffer more extreme hormonal peaks and valleys, I’ve included some female-specific remedies. Not to leave the men hanging, I’ve also listed a testosterone booster at the end.
1. Maca Root for Hormone Balance and Sexual Function
Maca root, often called Peruvian Ginseng, is a healthy and nutritious plant that was originally discovered in Peru. The locals have found many uses for it, and it is a staple of their diet. They eat it without preparation, cook it, and even grind it up to use as flour. While maca bread is a local specialty, outsiders are usually much more interested in the powder itself, often for the health benefits that it can provide.
Indeed, maca powder offers a long list of perks, most of which relate to hormone levels and sexual health. Simply put, as long as you eat maca, your body’s hormone levels will be less prone to extremes. Better yet, both men and women can consume it without worry, and it won’t have any negative effects. Let’s get more specific.
Women in their early postmenopause can take maca powder to help with a slew of problems. Maca will not only make the behavioral changes that tend to follow menopause less drastic but will also lessen the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.
Also, it will help offset the loss of bone density that typically occurs in that period of life. All in all, if you’re in the early postmenopause, you can use maca to notably ease the transition.
As I’ve said before, men can also reap the many benefits of maca. Regular intake of the powder will lead to increased male fertility. Additionally, men taking maca tend to enjoy a rise in libido after two to three months. It is indeed one of the best and most overall useful supplements for hormonal imbalance.
If you intend to give maca a try, you should dose it between 1,500 and 3,000 mg per day.
2. Vitamin D3 for Balancing Your Body’s Hormones
Your body naturally produces vitamin D3 while you are in the sun. So far, so good, huh? Well, for one reason or another, as many as 41 percent of Americans have a lack of it. That is a shame because vitamin D3 plays a great role in the human body.
Vitamin D3 is, in fact, a hormone that interacts heavily with the other hormones inside you. Thus, it is essential for evening out your hormone levels. As a bonus, having healthy levels of vitamin D3 lowers the risk of heart disease.
If you have a busy schedule and can’t spend enough time under the sun, though, there’s no need to despair. There are plenty of supplements for hormonal imbalance that are rich in vitamin D3.
The recommended dose of vitamin D3 is 25 mcg per day. For best results, take it after a greasy meal. Both men and women can use it without any side effects, assuming that they do not go over the specified dose.
3. Zinc to Further Help With Stress Management
The human body is, for lack of a better term, full of metal. The most abundant metal in your body is iron, with zinc coming in at a close second. Without zinc, that little chemistry lab inside you would be unable to make well over 300 different (and vital) enzymes. Needless to say, zinc is important, and a zinc deficiency is not something you want.
The most common issue that can result from a lack of zinc is a decrease in bone density. Given that that very same problem often follows menopause, it goes without saying that everyone beyond a certain age should look into zinc supplements for hormonal imbalance. Breaking a bone after 50 can lead to long-lasting or permanent loss of ability or mobility.
Moving along, zinc deficiency can lead to trouble with focusing or mood swings. Thus, adding zinc to your diet will generally be good for your brain. Also, it will help balance your emotions. You will handle stress better, and won’t be as prone to fits of anxiety.
If you want to take zinc (and you probably should), aim for 8 mg if you’re female or 11 mg if you’re male. Be careful, though; too much zinc can lead to heart trouble later down the line. Only take as much as you need or less; nevermore.
4. Magnesium and Vitamin B6 for Helping You Manage Stress
Magnesium is a mineral that your body uses for a large number of important processes. A lack of magnesium is no small issue. It can lead to heart problems, heightened blood pressure, general stress, and trouble sleeping. Taking a magnesium supplement will, of course, ease these symptoms, or remove them altogether. Check out these frequently asked questions about magnesium to learn more.
Vitamin B6 is essential for energy production; over one-hundred enzymes require it in order to give you the power you need to go about your day. Low energy leads to low productivity, which in turn results in stress and leads to anxiety. And as we’ve already gone over, stress and anxiety can and will mess with your hormone levels.
So, why am I listing these two together? Well, as it turns out, magnesium and vitamin B6 are some of the most potent supplements for hormonal imbalance that you can use—when you take them together. A combination of these two will significantly lower stress and anxiety (even in severe cases), and will even help ease PMS symptoms in women.
If you intend to take magnesium, then I recommend a dose between 300 and 400 mg. As for vitamin B6, men need 1.4 mg per day, while women need 1.2.
5. Copper Against Depression and for Bone Density
Copper is yet another mineral that plays a crucial role in your body chemistry. It is a natural conductor for all sorts of electricity, including the bio-electricity that you create.
Furthermore, copper also transports oxygen throughout your body. Just as importantly, copper is necessary for the making of superoxide dismutase, which helps protect your cells from damage.
Copper is one of the best supplements for hormonal imbalance out there, and it may help with other medical problems, too. It strengthens bones, improves your mood, helps you fight depression, and is even good for the heart.
Copper can be difficult to dose properly due to how much of it you actually take in from food. You normally consume about 1 to 1.5 mg of copper per day. The upper limit is about 10 mg. Therefore, most supplements should be on the safe side, unless you eat abnormal amounts of copper-rich food.
6. Vitamin C for Boosting Immunity and Fighting Inflammation
Vitamin C is many things. It is (obviously) a vitamin, an antioxidant, an important nutrient, and is also crucial for your immunity. Additionally, vitamin C is involved in the making of cortisol, the stress hormone that you want to avoid. If you have high cortisol, chances are that your vitamin C was effectively used up in order to create the cortisol.
Similar to copper, vitamin C is one of the most amazing supplements for hormonal imbalance, as well as almost everything else. When you take vitamin C, you may enjoy a long list of potential benefits:
• Better regulation of blood pressure
• Increased fertility for women
• Lowered cancer risk in men
• Less inflammation overall
• Reduced cortisol and adrenaline levels, leading to less stress and anxiety
• Stronger immune system
You will typically want to take at least 60 mg of vitamin C per day, whether or not you suffer from any health problems. Vitamin C supplements are well-tolerated, and you usually won’t have any unwanted side effects if you consume a little bit more than recommended.
7. Calcium for Improving Bone Density
Your bones are made up of collagen and calcium. Therefore, a lack of calcium will make them brittle and easier to damage or break. Admittedly, calcium is not something that will treat a hormone imbalance. What it will do, however, is stop the bone degradation that typically follows such an imbalance dead in its tracks, and perhaps even help reverse it.
If you are anywhere between the ages of 15 and 50, you will need one gram of calcium per day. If you are a woman over the age of 50, you should increase your intake to 1.2 grams. The same goes if you are older than 70 and male. You don’t want to exceed the recommended dosage, though, because it may lead to heart disease.
8. Glycine Against Anxiety and for a Better Night’s Rest
If your hormone imbalance is a consequence of a chronic lack of rest, then you should probably consider glycine. It is an amino acid and neurotransmitter that can greatly lower anxiety levels, as well as help you fall asleep. If you take it before bedtime, not only will you find it easier to doze off but you will also enjoy a deeper, more refreshing slumber.
And if you are not a morning person, glycine may change that as well. It staves off morning fatigue, so you will wake up more energetic than you normally would. Additionally, glycine can help fight inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, some forms of cancer, and diabetes.
Please keep in mind, however, that glycine will not directly change your hormone levels. Other supplements for hormonal imbalance will go straight for the cause of the imbalance. Glycine will remove a symptom and possibly affect the source in doing so. If your problems are not sleep-related, glycine will probably not help you, though it will give you a good night’s sleep.
If you do decide to try glycine, you should take 3 grams, right before turning in for the night. It will work better if you hold it under your tongue until it dissolves instead of swallowing. Notably, glycine is remarkably safe, so if the above-mentioned dosage doesn’t work for you, feel free to increase it.
9. DIM to Help Regulate Women’s Hormone Levels
DIM (or Diindolylmethane) is a chemical that is created during the digestion of vegetables like cabbage or kale. As it turns out, it not only helps you metabolize estrogen more efficiently but also prevents testosterone and other “male” hormones from doing their thing.
Furthermore, DIM inhibits aromatase, which is a chemical that turns testosterone into estrogen. That is a good thing because it will prevent your body from making more estrogen than it needs.
And as if all of the above isn’t impressive enough, DIM is also effective at fighting breast cancer. If you are a woman facing hormonal issues, you owe it to yourself to add it to your list of supplements for hormonal imbalance.
You should start with one capsule per day, preferably before a meal. You shouldn’t take DIM if you are pregnant, however, even though it is remarkably safe when going over the recommended dose.
10. Vitex Agnus-Castus to Help With PMS and Female Infertility
Vitex agnus-castus is a plant with a variety of alleged medicinal properties. Some of them may not be entirely true, but the most important ones—those about easing PMS symptoms—most certainly are.
Vitex is one of the most overall useful supplements for hormonal imbalance that you can find. As I’ve said above, it will make the bad parts of your PMS cycle much easier to bear. You will not only be in less pain but will also experience less extreme mood swings. If you also suffer from fertility problems, you’ll be glad to know that the plant can help with those as well.
When taking vitex in pill form, you should start with 40 mg per day and go up from there, while not exceeding 1800. If you’ve opted for vitex extract, though, start with 4 mg and never go above 40.
11. D-Aspartic Acid for Boosting Testosterone Levels in Men
D-Aspartic acid is a natural amino-acid, but what sets it apart from others is its potential to increase testosterone levels in men. As far as supplements for hormonal imbalance go, this one works fast. It’s been known to increase testosterone within as little as 14 days.
An interesting bit of data suggests that D-Aspartic acid only seems to help with low testosterone. Giving it to men who already have high testosterone to begin with will do little to nothing. That fact may rule it out as an aid for bodybuilders, but it does mean that it’s safe to use without worry. It won’t make your testosterone levels go overboard.
D-Aspartic acid also seems to help with male fertility, increasing both sperm production and sperm quality.
I recommend starting at 3 grams per day and seeing where it takes you. You can freely increase the dose, but try not to go over 6.
Conclusion: It Can Happen to Anyone, But It’s Not the End of the World
Admitting to yourself that you suffer from a hormonal imbalance is never easy. The human body is meant to function like a well-oiled machine, and dealing with its malfunctions can get both humiliating and unpleasant. Sometimes you will be able to fix everything completely, at other times that will simply be impossible.
But here’s the thing: no matter what your condition may be (and whether or not it is permanent), it can always be managed. By educating yourself on what you’ve been doing wrong and changing your habits, you will often be able to eliminate or reduce the severity of most of your symptoms.
And with clever use of these supplements for hormonal imbalance, you may even forget that you had a condition to begin with.