Simple dietary changes can also help support healthy estrogen levels through the intake of phytoestrogens, such as flaxseed and fermented soy products. Have one serving of organic, non-GMO soy along with two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in your smoothies or salads, daily. Increase your intake of vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts—they contain indols, compounds that are essential to healthy estrogen balance. Herbal products such as licorice, angelica, red clover or black cohosh are also used to support healthy estrogen levels. Natural hormone replacement in the form of creams containing two types of estrogen (estriol and estradiol) may also be beneficial, but these need to be obtained by prescription through your MD or ND practitioner.
Excessive testosterone, in women or men, may result in acne on the face, chest or back. With age, women tend to experience an increase in androgen (a male sex hormone) levels and a decline in estrogen, while men tend to experience the opposite – an increase in estrogen and a decline in testosterone, which causes the skin to dry out. If a testosterone deficiency is suspected, herbs such as tribulus terresteris, stress management and weight-bearing exercises may help to restore optimal levels for both men and women. You can also ask your health practitioner about bioidentical testosterone cream. For women who suspect too much testosterone, consider a supplement of saw palmetto.
Dry skin is a problem that increases with age. Interestingly, DHEA turns on oil production and seems to help combat this problem and improve hydration. DHEA is a hormone that is a precursor to other hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. DHEA levels tend to decline with stress as well as with age. DHEA also increases the production of collagen, making skin appear smoother and younger looking. Our skin’s immunity also appears to improve with DHEA, which may help healing. DHEA supplements are not, however, without risks and, like all other hormones, should not be taken unless a clear deficiency has been established through proper assessment. Relora has been found useful to increase DHEA levels and to lower levels of cortisol. Good sleep habits may also help establish healthy DHEA levels.