Our hormones are constantly changing in response to our external and internal environment. The reproductive hormones follow a general pattern called the menstrual cycle for most people while they're of a certain age range. Having balanced hormones is a colloquialism for meaning having hormones that don't cause us any trouble. It has very little to do with the actual levels of our hormones we might expect to see on any test results.
Most will think that balancing blood sugar is just something diabetics do. Few realise that it's crucial for regulating female hormones as well.
When our blood sugar dramatically rises and drops throughout the day we release insulin to try and compensate. But if we do this for a long time gradually we build up a tolerance to the insulin and this throws other hormones like oestrogen out of whack. This happens in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). A woman with PCOS may experience male pattern hair growth (hirsutism), irregular periods and infertility. They often struggle to maintain a healthy weight too.
When I was a teenager I took "the pill" for contraception. But I found myself in a never-ending loop of Cystitis leading to antibiotics, leading to Thrush, leading to anti-candida drugs. This pattern would rinse and repeat itself every few months. It was awful. When I started working at Neal's Yard Remedies I told one of my colleagues and they suggested it was the pill upsetting my hormone levels. I was intrigued to say the least. The thought of ending the burning pain, the itching, scratching, horrible symptoms, was so tempting. I just had to find out.