A few years ago, October of 2005, I wrenched my shoulder. Because I was young and busy, I didn’t think much of it. To be blunt, I just thought that it would get better over time, like everything else. Unfortunately,
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BALANCE HORMONES TO BALANCE WOMEN’S HEALTHMay 14, 2013 Blog
Is stress affecting your hormone balance? Do you experience PMS, cravings, or cramping during your cycle? Do feel tired or anxious, moody, and/or have digestive worries?
Maintaining a healthy hormone balance can be difficult when you are under stress while juggling a job and family.
WHAT ARE HORMONES?
Hormones are the chemical messengers of your body that help with: growth and development, metabolism, reproduction, and mood. Hormones are produced using good fats and cholesterol.
The female endocrine system is an intricate network of glands that make and release hormones to control a range of functions in a woman’s body. The main function of the system is to send chemical messages to different areas of the body. Transitioning through life’s stages affects this hormonal messaging system, which strives to stay in balance as a woman grows from child, to adolescent, to adult, and to her senior years.
Chronic stress can create a cascading effect on the endocrine system’s balance. It triggers a cortisol release, which then affects levels of thyroid and sex hormones. Sustained high levels of cortisol causes disparities in hormone levels resulting in weight gain, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, low libido, and brain fog.
HOW DO WE BALANCE OUR HORMONES?
Here are some basic things you can do to create and balance your hormones:
Reduce and Maintain Low Levels of Stress while Maintain Blood Sugar Levels. During excessive stress, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels drop and cortisol is elevated to unhealthy levels. All these hormonal changes impact the menstrual cycle in various ways. Stress also disrupts thyroid function which affects every cell and function of the body. The adrenal glands are also affected by stress and hormonal disruption. This results in fatigue, emotional imbalance, and lowered sexual drive. For tips on how to prevent dramatic dips in blood sugar levels, minimize cortisol output and sustain energy throughout the day, click here.
Eat Good Fats. Hormones are made out of cholesterol. If you don’t eat enough good fats, your body cannot make hormones. Good fats contain omega-3s and are found primarily in fish, algae, flax, nuts, and eggs (from chicken). Omega-3s aid circulation by thinning the blood, fight systemic inflammation, support brain function and ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Dump the Sugar! Sugar disrupts your B vitamins which are essential for hormone regulation. It also affects the balance between estrogen receptors that are protective and those that promote growth.
Limit Caffeine. Too much caffeine can impact the endocrine system negatively, especially if there are other hormone stressors involved like pregnancy, presence of toxins, and stress. Substitute coffee for an herbal tea.
Get Some Sleep. Sleep is essential! If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your hormones will not be balanced. The lack of sleep puts stress on the body resulting in weight gain, hair loss, premature aging, hormone imbalances, infertility, and lowered immunity. Click here for more information on what sleep can do for you and tips to regulate and increase sleep!
Exercise Lightly. Exercise helps regulate hormone levels. Regular exercise strengthens the endocrine system – which is responsible for the regulation of all hormones in the body. If you have hormone imbalance, focus on relaxing exercises to start – like swimming, walking, taiji, and yoga. Then build up with short bursts of cardiovascular exercise.
Get Some Air & Sunshine! Get outside for at least 20-30 minutes a day for fresh air and sunshine. This supports your body in making Vitamin D and excreting the chemicals you breathe from indoor air. Fresh air replaces the buildup of hormone disrupting chemicals found in indoor air.
Supplement Wisely. Supplements such as Magnesium, Zinc, Cod Liver Oil, Vitamin D, Black Cohosh, and Dang Gui (or don quai) help to balance hormone levels – to name a few. Get advice from a health professional and get a nutritional assessment to help you with hormone balance support.
Get a Functional Health Workup. Get hormone testing and therapy to help get to the root cause of your current symptoms and imbalances. Use this information to help tailor treatment to your body’s needs.
Get Acupuncture and Herbs. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can help balance hormones naturally – specifically for regulating and balancing the menstrual period, infertility, improve thyroid function, and help improve sleep, energy, and mood swings. Chinese medicine emphasizes in helping to address the root causes of your symptoms and imbalances. Treatments are highly individualized.
Balance your hormones to balance your overall health. Hormones play a very important role in every woman’s life.