In her book Hormone Heresy, Dr Sherrill Sellman said that when you have a hormone problem, it’s a wake-up call that you’re doing something wrong. Weight gain, mood swings, breast tenderness, skin problems, irregular periods – all of these can be symptoms of a hormone imbalance. This could be down to the food that you’re eating, the exercise you’re doing, the chemicals in your home, stress levels or poor gut health.
Unfortunately, when people go to their doctor for help with their hormone problems, they are often given the pill or HRT. These medications can stop the feedback loops in your body and it takes a long time for your body to put things right again when you stop taking these medications.
So, how can you deal with a hormone problem without taking any medications? Here are some ways in which you can help your body better balance your hormones and manage your symptoms:
1. Eliminate Xenoestrogens and Excess Phytoestrogens
Xenoestrogens are manmade chemicals that imitate oestrogen. They can be found in some plastics, tin, skincare products and even the water supply. Use glass instead of tins or plastic to store food where possible and also consider how you buy your food – buy legumes in a glass jar or dried instead of in a tin, for example. Use plant-based skincare and invest in a water filter for your home. It is also important to eliminate additives, preservatives and flavourings as some of these are known xenoestrogens.
While xenoestrogens are manmade, phytoestrogens are found in plants. You can’t get rid of all phytoestrogens but it is a good idea to remove any excess phytoestrogens. An example of a phytoestrogen is soy lecithin, a byproduct of soybean oil production. Avoid soy lecithin where possible. To find out more about soy, read our blog here.
2. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress can affect your hormone balance, which can affect your periods, make you moody and even make you crave sugar. When you are stressed, you have higher cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone and too much of any hormone can affect your hormone balance.
Under stress, your body goes into sympathetic overload (your ‘fight or flight’ response). However, you should only be in this state for a short period of time. Most of our time should be spent in the parasympathetic (‘rest and digest’) state. If you have sympathetic dominance, you are not resting, not digesting, and could even be having trouble reproducing. You might find yourself sensitive to light, noises, find that you are hunching your shoulders, that your mind won’t stop, you’re not sleeping, and you’re having digestive problems.
So, it’s important to try and reduce your stress levels and switch off throughout the day. You could try yoga, meditation or swimming. You can also try using herbs to reduce stress. Read more about adaptogenic herbs and their uses here.
And remember that what you’re eating can create stress on your body, in the form of inflammation. This may present as aches and pains, irritability, or lack of sleep. See below for the foods that you should be eating or avoiding for optimal hormone balance.
3. Learn About the Side-Effects of Glyphosate and Buy Organic Produce
Glyphosate is a major hormone disruptor. Unfortunately, it is commonly used as a pesticide so can be found in a lot of non-organic foods. Watch Cyndi O’Meara’s documentary What’s With Wheat? to find out more, or read her book Changing Habits Changing Lives.
To find out more about what you can do to help your hormonal balance, watch this video:
Main Takeaways From the Video
To address hormone imbalances, it is important to:
- Get your gut working
- Focus on the foods that you are eating
Our nutritionists can help you with your gut health. You can read more about their consultations (face-to-face, over the phone or via Skype) here.
When your gut is working at its best, you can then turn your attention to the foods you are eating. Essentially, eat real foods, avoid processed foods, sugar and high carbohydrate foods, and eat good amounts of proteins, good fats and greens.
Our fortnightly Facebook Live sessions are a great way to get the answers to the questions you need. Let us know what other topics you would like us to cover during these sessions in the comments below!
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