7 "Innocent" Habits That May Cause Hormonal Imbalances

There are many everyday things that seem harmless but may be triggering hormonal imbalances without you even knowing it, thus affecting your overall health. Find out what they are in this article.
7 "Innocent" Habits That May Cause Hormonal Imbalances
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Last update: 09 October, 2022

Hormonal imbalances can cause a lot of issues. Hormones play a very important role in your body. After all, they’re in charge of regulating your major bodily systems.

They are chemical transmitters secreted by your endocrine glands that stimulate cell development and some cognitive processes.

They even directly participate in your metabolism, growth, and sexual functions, making it clear how essential hormonal balance is for your health.

The problem is that people often have hormonal issues because some factors can interrupt their production or activity.

As a result, it sets off a chain of negative reactions in your body. If not controlled, these can lead to all kinds of illnesses.

However, many people are unaware that their every day, “innocent” habits can cause these kinds of imbalances.

Find out what they are!

1. Not sleeping well


Having a sleep disorder or sleeping less than the recommended number of hours a night significantly increases your risk of hormonal issues.

It has been proven that there is a close relationship between sleep cycles and the secretion of certain important hormones, especially for women.

Imbalances can even affect your mood, blood sugar levels, and body weight.

2. Following a low-fat diet

Cutting out all sources of fat from your diet is actually one of the worst things you can do when you’re trying to lose weight.

While it’s true that fat contains a lot of calories, it’s not true that all of them are bad for your body.

Healthy fats, like omega 3 fatty acids, manage inflammatory processes and assist in the regulation of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

Limiting your consumption of fat actually increases your likelihood of being overweight, in addition to experiencing irregular menstrual periods or getting cysts.

Good fats can be found in:

  • Oily fish
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

3. Being sedentary


Physical inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle has a lot to do with hormonal imbalances that affect men as much as women.

Exercise stimulates the secretion of endorphins, a chemical substance released in the brain to promote a feeling of well-being and energy.

It is also closely related to the management of sex hormones since exercise supports their job of managing sex drive.

4. Overdoing it with processed foods

Highly processed meat and other processed foods taste great and can add a special touch to your meals.

The bad thing is that they’re full of added chemical substances. Over time, these cause hormonal imbalances, along with metabolic issues and even cancer.

They’re related to increased levels of cortisol, a chemical linked to stress, depression, and irritability.

5. Using hand sanitizer too much


It may seem ironic, but it actually has been shown that excessive use of hand sanitizer can have adverse effects.

While many people consider it a good hygiene practice, it alters the balance between healthy bacteria and bad bacteria, and weakens your immune system.

The chemicals in it are associated with the risk of inflammation and out-of-control hormones.

Compounds like triclosan in particular get your estrogen levels out of balance and affect your thyroid hormones.

6. Exercising too much

All extremes are harmful, and exercising excessively is no exception.

While a sedentary lifestyle can ravage your health, excessive physical activity can also lead to negative consequences.

Spending too many hours at the gym or doing high-impact exercise increases your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

In addition, over time it interferes with the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle and fertility.

7. Eating canned food


Canned food may seem to be a quick, healthy food choice, but that actually is not the case.

Chemical substances like BPA have been found in canned foods. This chemical is associated with various types of hormonal imbalances and illnesses.

Canned food is also high in conservatives which, if eaten in excess, can also have negative consequences.

Changing these habits is essential to lowering your risk of developing conditions related to hormonal issues. However, it’s also a good idea to see a doctor if you see anything out of the ordinary, since timely detection is key to avoiding complications.

Do you struggle with hormonal imbalances?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., & Mignot, E. (2004). Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062

  • De Kloet, E. R. (2003). Hormones, brain and stress. Endocrine Regulations.

  • Kim, T. W., Jeong, J.-H., & Hong, S.-C. (2015). The impact of sleep deprivation on hormones and metabolism. International Journal of Endocrinology. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/591729

  • Cadegiani, F. A., & Kater, C. E. (2017). Hormonal aspects of overtraining syndrome: A systematic review. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13102-017-0079-8

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.