This is an exercise I had one of my intern groups do a while back. Everyone gets a major hormone and gets to figure out it's effect on other hormones. This is the web that results. I know, right! And this is as neat as it usually turns out...
I meet a lot of women with one or more of the following: painful periods, irregular periods, heavy periods, horrible PMS including moods, breast tenderness, and back pain, problematic weight gain, acne, or fatigue. Balancing hormones takes a bit of investigative work to find out what's going on down at the root level. There's always a few common threads: cut out exogenous hormones, effectively clear metabolites, and regulate cortisol. Oh, cortisol.
Exogenous hormones come from non-organic meat and dairy and from endocrine disrupting chemicals from plastics and our personal care products. BPA, phthalates, triclosan, parabens, etc. are all examples of known endocrine disruptors. Check your cabinets and replace with healthier stuff as you go. This is a huge task and takes time, so work over the next year to have a healthier bathroom. Check out www.ewg.org for product comparisons.
Inability to clear metabolites refers to the organs of elimination, specifically the liver and the colon. Sex hormones are fat-soluble which means they are excreted in the bile and hopefully out of the colon, unless constipation is an issue. Getting lots of fibre and moving the bowels will prevent any of the hormone metabolites (specifically estrogen) from being reabsorbed for round 2. And round 2 isn't pretty. Fresh ground flaxseed is a wonderful and safe method for both helping move the bowels and for binding up the estrogen metabolites.
Regulate cortisol. If you look closely at the picture, you'll see a bunch of red (inhibitory) lines that come from one source... that source is cortisol. Stress reduction, exercise, proper sleep, rest, vacations, and mindfulness all keep cortisol in check. If you're doing the best you can but still are trying to cope with the day-to-day stress of the big city, talk to your ND about adrenal support. It can work wonders and can lift that big inhibitory burden off of your endocrine system.
For many, this is a serious concern and if hormones are too crazy, it can be a sign that something else is going on. Always ask your doctor or ND and get some hormone testing and investigatory work done.