The two weeks before my period is due, almost as bad as the week of my period, thanks to an imbalance of progesterone and oestrogen. However, since I’ve taken steps to balance the hormones, my premenstrual symptoms are much better and easier to manage.
Balancing your oestrogen and progesterone can lead to fewer premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. By avoiding dairy and caffeine, exercising regularly and taking natural supplements, you can control your mood swings, breakouts, fatigue and pain for a more manageable period.
So why are you letting your period control your life when you can make some simple changes and control your period? Balancing your hormones is the key to a more manageable period, and here’s what to do.
Symptoms of oestrogen and progesterone imbalance
Premenstrual syndrome, otherwise called PMS, is caused by a change in oestrogen and progesterone during your monthly cycle. The more unbalanced your hormones are, the more extreme your PMS, worsening your period symptoms.
Oestrogen and progesterone work together to support your reproductive system and fertility. This means that when your progesterone levels surge, your oestrogen levels drop, and vice versa. And your unbalanced hormones could be because of an increase or decrease in either hormone.
The premenstrual syndrome caused by hormone imbalance can result in bloating, cramps, nausea, dizziness and headache, mood swings, food cravings, sore breasts, fatigue and more. The level of oestrogen and progesterone in your body can change what symptoms you have.
Depending on your hormones, you could be oestrogen dominant and progesterone deficient, or progesterone dominant and oestrogen insufficient. The two different conditions have different symptoms.
Here are the various signs of hormonal imbalance.
Symptoms of low oestrogen, high progesterone:
- Irregular cycle
- Urinary tract infections
- Water retention
- Mood swings/feeling negative
- Hot flushes
- Breast tenderness
Symptoms of low progesterone, high oestrogen:
- Feeling anxious/worried
- Weight gain
- Decreased sex drive
- Bloating and water retention
- Swollen or lumpy breasts
- Hair loss
- Memory problems
As you can see, some of the symptoms are very similar, so it can be hard to tell which way your hormones are unbalanced. One very common PMS sign is water retention. Check out this article to find natural remedies for pre-period water retention.
As oestrogen and progesterone are linked, your hormone imbalance could be caused by varying levels of either hormone. Depending on which hormone is dominant, you could experience bloating, stomach cramps, sore breasts, headaches, mood swings and more.
Cut dairy to level out oestrogen and progesterone naturally
According to research, both oestrogen and progesterone have been found in dairy products. By substituting dairy for other products, you can help manage hormones naturally and prevent interference which could cause imbalance.
Everyone’s body processes hormones differently, which is why dairy could cause a surge of oestrogen, or it could cause an increase of progesterone; it really depends on your body. Whether you have high progesterone or oestrogen, dairy products could make the situation worse.
Studies have found that cow’s milk is full of hormones for baby calves, including oestrogen and progesterone, so you may add additional hormones to your body when you ingest it. Depending on how your body breaks down and processes the hormones, drinking the milk could cause an imbalance.
Try replacing some dairy in your diet with substitutes. Instead of cow’s milk, you could use:
- oat milk
- almond milk
- rice milk
- soy milk
- soy yoghurts
- vegan cheese
If you are concerned about getting a balanced diet with enough calcium, you can take supplements or ensure you are eating other calcium-rich food such as sardines, beans, cereals, and green vegetables. You can also find milk substitutes fortified with additional calcium.
Cows milk is usually very high in hormones, including oestrogen and progesterone, which can impact your body’s natural hormone levels. Replace cow milk with oat milk, soy milk, and almond milk alternatives. Some of these milk substitutes are fortified with additional calcium to ensure you still get vital nutrients.
Swap caffeine for green tea to manage oestrogen
If you suffer from low oestrogen, replacing your morning coffee with green tea can ensure you still get your caffeine hit while naturally increasing oestrogen levels at the same time.
The caffeine in green tea is slightly different to the caffeine in coffee, and it takes longer for your body to metabolise and break it down. This is why you don’t get the same spike and crash in energy levels when you drink green tea.
The same effect of green tea also helps stabilise oestrogen levels. Your hormones will stay balanced for longer, rather than having a sudden spike in oestrogen.
Can green tea help to boost oestrogen differently in women of different races?
Interestingly, the caffeine in green tea helps to boost oestrogen differently in women of different races. Research suggests that green tea can raise oestrogen levels in all women, while caffeine in coffee only gives Asian women a slight boost.
So, depending on your hormone imbalance and your genetic heritage, coffee could help solve your imbalance or make it worse. However, if you want to boost your oestrogen naturally, the same study found that caffeine in green tea significantly increases the oestrogen levels in all women.
Check out this article to learn more about the best green teas in Australia.
Caffeine can help boost your oestrogen levels. While coffee helped raise the oestrogen levels in Asian women, caffeine in green tea can help increase oestrogen levels in all women. Green tea caffeine also takes longer to metabolise and can help stabilise levels for longer than caffeine from coffee which only causes a spike in oestrogen levels.
Exercise daily to balance oestrogen and progesterone naturally
Exercising gives your body the kickstart to start balancing hormones without additional support. Working out frequently can increase the production of oestrogen and progesterone and circulate your hormones through your bloodstream.
When you exercise, your body starts to produce loads of hormones, and your increased blood flow moves them around your body more effectively. The result is that your body can get a better natural gauge of where you are hormone deficient and which hormones it needs to produce more of.
Basic exercises is enough to promote hormone balance. For example:
- HIIT training
When you work out, your body does everything from boosting serotonin levels and reducing cortisol to regulating progesterone and oestrogen. Exercise naturally increases hormones because your brain signals that exercise is healthy.
It triggers the release of a cocktail of oestrogen and progesterone to make you feel good in the hope you might exercise again. So, your brain floods your body with just the right amount of hormones to feel at your best, naturally balancing your hormones.
The even better news is that only a little bit of exercise is enough to balance your hormones, and too much exercise can cause an imbalance. One study found that yoga could significantly change the hormone balance in women in just a few weeks.
However, too much exercise can cause a surge in testosterone more than other hormones. Excess testosterone can be converted into a type of oestrogen, causing an imbalance between oestrogen and progesterone and making PMS symptoms worse.
Experts recommend gentle walks every day and more intense exercise at least twice a week. Jogging, gym classes, dancing, and other forms of exercise can be enough to balance hormones without overproducing testosterone.
Regular gentle exercise can help your body naturally produce more hormones and effectively balance hormones naturally. Too much exercise can cause an increase in testosterone which leads to excess oestrogen. Walking daily and other activities such as dancing, running, swimming and going to the gym can all help keep hormones in check naturally.
Red Raspberry tea for boosted hormones
Drinking red raspberry tea is a natural way to boost both progesterone and oestrogen levels for balanced hormones. Raspberry leaves contain properties that boost both hormones depending on what you need.
Red raspberry leaves contain Vitamin B6, which binds with oestrogen and progesterone to help regulate hormones. It is an essential nutrient for hormonal imbalance as it helps break down and remove excess hormones.
Vitamin B6 metabolises and removes excess hormones through your liver detoxification process. Effective hormone detoxification prevents one hormone from becoming dominant.
Furthermore, red raspberry leaves have Phyto-progesterone and Phyto-oestrogen properties. This means it stimulates both hormones.
This 2018 study found that mice given an extract of the leaves saw better hormonal imbalance as the red raspberry leaf was able to boost one hormone while removing excess of the other for hormonal balance.
How many cups of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea should I drink to balance my hormones?
Depending on how extreme your hormonal imbalance is, you should start by drinking just one cup a day to balance hormones and ease cramps, prevent bloating and manage other PMS symptoms.
If you find your symptoms are improving but you want even more relief, you can increase your consumption to two cups a day.
When choosing your tea, make sure it is organic like the Black Leaves Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, as chemicals and pesticides could cause further hormonal imbalance.
If you want to learn more about red raspberry leaf tea and how it affects your reproductive system, hormones, and fertility, there is more information here.
Red raspberry leaf tea contains compounds that mimic both oestrogen and progesterone to boost whichever hormone you are missing. Furthermore, the Vitamin B6 in the leaves helps detoxify and remove excess hormones for better hormonal balance.
Fenugreek to balance progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone
Fenugreek is a great way to naturally boost both your progesterone and oestrogen levels to ease PMS symptoms. And it does this in a surprising way; by boosting testosterone!
Fenugreek has a high concentration of a compound called diosgenin which has been proven to boost oestrogen and progesterone to help improve your hormonal balance. As your hormones fluctuate, supplementing with Fenugreek can ensure your body has enough of both hormones for fewer PMS symptoms.
Fenugreek works with your body to boost your hormones to restore balance by inhibiting the production of aromatase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down oestrogen and converting hormones which could cause an imbalance.
When you consume Fenugreek, your body makes less of this enzyme, stabilising your hormone production, thereby naturally regulating your hormone levels.
Fenugreek also works by gentling and increasing your testosterone levels. Don’t panic! All women have testosterone, and boosting your testosterone won’t make you grow a beard.
In women, testosterone helps keep your other hormones in check to avoid a significant hormone imbalance. The increase in testosterone caused by Fenugreek means your testosterone can keep everything else in line.
Fenugreek is so good at altering your hormone levels; it’s recommended that pregnant women don’t take Fenugreek as it could cause problems with the pregnancy and even result in miscarriage. So, make sure you check with your doctor before taking supplements.
However, if you suffer from hormonal imbalance, you should take one teaspoon of Fenugreek every day. You can add it to smoothies, salads, yoghurt, or water. Find out more about the health benefits of Fenugreek in
Fenugreek stops the production of an enzyme that converts hormones and can cause hormonal imbalance. It also boosts testosterone which is a natural way to manage your hormone levels. This means that when you consume Fenugreek, you encourage your body to control your hormone levels naturally.
Reduce stress to boost progesterone
Stress is a state of chaos for your body, so your fertility hormone, progesterone, is ignored. To increase your progesterone levels, you need to reduce your stress.
When you’re stressed, your body goes crazy, producing all sorts of hormones to make you feel better, help you focus and help you relax. While your body is busy producing cortisol, it stops producing progesterone, so by relaxing, your body can naturally increase progesterone.
A study from 2014 found that small stressful moments cause a spike in both cortisol and progesterone as your body produces both hormones in response to the stress. However, regular exposure to anxiety or chronic daily stress caused a noticeable drop in overall progesterone levels.
If your hormone imbalance is caused by low progesterone, you should take steps to relax helping naturally boost progesterone levels and manage PMS. Some good ways to relax is by boosting your progesterone levels naturally include:
- Taking a warm bath
- Reading a book
- Meditation and yoga
- Call a friend
- Get some fresh air
- Chamomile tea
It is better to treat the cause of your stress as a prevention rather than treat stress after it happens.
One of the most common sources of stress is work-related stress, so you should find out how to tackle work-related stress and anxiety in
When you are stressed, your body prioritises producing cortisol over progesterone. Short irregular moments of stress can actually boost progesterone levels, but prolonged exposure to stress decreases your body’s progesterone levels. Treating the cause of your stress and finding ways to relax is crucial for balancing your oestrogen and progesterone levels.
When your progesterone and oestrogen are out of balance, your PMS symptoms may worsen, and your period can be more painful. Naturally balancing your hormones means fewer symptoms, less pain and a more manageable period without relying on pain medication. It’s better to stop the pain than hide it!
There are several ways you can naturally regulate hormone levels, including making sure you get enough exercise, trying to relax and destress, and changing from coffee to green tea. You can also take herbal teas to provide your body with critical nutrients to manage hormones.
The best herbal remedies to naturally manage your hormonal imbalance include red raspberry leaf, green tea, and fenugreek powder. You should also avoid dairy and find substitutes like oat milk and soy milk.
Balancing hormones is a challenge, but natural remedies can help reach a good balance of both hormones. If you want to learn more about hormonal imbalance during menopause, the article below has all the information you need.