9 Signs Your Hormones Are Off-Balance (and How to Fix It)

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You stock your fridge with healthy foods, try to be as active as possible, and only indulge on special occasions—so why can’t you push past a weight plateau? According to Sara Gottfried, MD, author of The Hormone Cure and Younger, the answer could be your hormones. 

“When it comes to burning more calories than you consume, this so-called weight-loss equation only applies to perfect hormonal specimens; people who have their cortisol, thyroid, insulin, estrogen, and testosterone in perfect balance,” she says. Yes, sky-high cortisol levels or an under-active thyroid could wreak havoc on your overall well-being—even if you lead a perfectly healthy lifestyle. 

Women are, particularly at high risk. “Unfortunately, it is very common,” Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, tells MyDomaine. “Estimates on the number of women who have a hormonal imbalance are as high as 80%.” 

Thankfully, there is a way to improve your health without resorting to synthetic treatments. “I live by the philosophy that food is medicine, and the good news is that some relatively simple dietary changes and lifestyle factors can go a long way in correcting hormone imbalances,” he says. He notes that you shouldn’t forgo treatments for medically-diagnosed hormone imbalances, but “that doesn’t mean that some of these natural solutions couldn’t still dramatically improve your health.”

To delve deeper, we asked Gottfried and Axe to talk us through this surprisingly common health issue—and give their expert advice on how to combat it naturally.