Ways to keep your Hormones balanced
Can we use our diets and lifestyles to balance our hormones? That is a question I asked myself a lot in the past, and that women are asking me now.
When I was younger and going through menopause, I remember clearly all the sleepless nights, weight gain, hot flashes and feeling out of control with mood swings, breast tenderness, and just feeling desperate, and miserable as to what to do.
I didn’t know that my extreme cardio, and some of my lifestyle choices were contributing to my sleep less nights, hot flashes, and weight gain. Of course my drop in estrogen and progesterone was also a huge contributing factor too.
But even when I finally got onto bio identical estrogen and progesterone cream, I was still having sleep issues, and some hot flashes off and on. I will tell you the lack of sleep was the one thing I really was miserable about.
I had almost given up on ever getting a good night sleep again, can you relate? When you don’t sleep it effects everything else in your life, your relationships, your energy, and especially your mood.
If I knew what I know now then, I would have changed some of my exercise, and tweaked my diet, and other lifestyle habits.
Hormones are really sensitive, finicky you could say, they need to be kept in synergy, balanced.
A lot of women when they hit peri-menopause start to have signs of low estrogen with hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, plus the weight gain.
We can be low estrogen and low progesterone, but still be estrogen dominant as well. It is the ratio between the those hormones, I always thought I was low estrogen, which I did have low estrogen, but I also had low progesterone and like a lot of women I was then estrogen dominant, since my progesterone was lower, which it does drop first and the fastest.
Those pre & peri-menopausal years though are like a roller coaster with our hormones with surges in estrogen and then dips, that is what causes all the crazy symptoms. Progesterone relaxes us and helps us sleep….Ahhh….
We need our hormones in optimal ranges to feel our best. It also makes it really hard to do blood tests because the hormones at this time are changing so much from day to day.
The doctor needs to go by how you feel, not just your blood labs. If you are not sleeping they can prescribe bio identical progesterone, in a micronized pill form to take at bedtime, that form does help with sleep.
Also you could track your symptoms for your doctor and tell him how you are feeling through out your cycle, that would be really helpful.
Tracking things like, I’m having breast tenderness on this day of my cycle, or bleeding heavily this month, or can’t sleep at all, or on what days that happens.
How to keep our hormones balanced, what can we do to help ourselves?
- Eliminating sugar, alcohol, spicy foods and sometimes coffee. Plus eating a very clean diet, the hot flashes will diminish, or go away.
- These 4 factor’s, reducing stress, getting your sleep, Aerobic Exercise, Nutrition, eating a clean diet of organic real food and for the most part unprocessed foods. Meat, fish, veggies, fruit, good fats, and moderate starch. I say organic as they put hormones in conventional meats, and pesticides are on regular veggies and fruit.
- Using environmental friendly natural, soaps, detergents, personal care items, lotions, creams, less plastics. Can really help because all those things in our environment and our food, especially things we put on our skin effect our hormones.
- check out www.ewg.org which stands for the environmental working group, to check about all products, skin care and cleaning, plus get the dirty dozen of the veggies and fruits you should especially get organic.
- Is huge with hormones, making that time for ourselves, yoga is fantastic for lowering our stress hormones and not that power yoga I used to do
- Walk in nature is #1 if you can’t walk in nature, just walk where you can.
Read a good book
- Deep breathing
- Laughter, time with our loved ones, friends and pets 🙂
- Exercise not to much and not to little as exercise in the right amount is very beneficial for hormonal health, plus your mood.
- Massage, all these things will help with balancing your stress and thus your hormones.
I wrote a page, on stress, sleep, hormones, diet, insulin and cortisol in my FREE Blast Your Belly Fat Resource Guide, which you can get here
- Is very important, we always think oh! I don’t need sleep, I know sleep is not sexy. But we do need a regular bedtime routine and we do need quality sleep, Arianna Huffington the author of The Sleep Revolution.
- Goes into why sleep is so important with a ton of studies to back it up.
- She talks about using lavender which has been used for sleep through out history, and for healing, and relaxation.
- Also having a ritual before bed taking a hot Epsom salts bath, as I always say this to. She likes a candle flickering near by…sometimes a cup of chamomile or lavender tea, I like yogi bedtime tea as well.
- I also like to do my foam rolling and stretching out, and I wrote in my journal to get things off my mind for better sleep.
- Sleep, really if they could bottle it, and put a label on it, is health promoting, helps weight loss, energy, and is mood enchanting, plus a craving buster
- Resistance training, is king it can really optimize your metabolism as the more muscle we have the better.
- Try a circuit based training workout 2 x a week. Those workouts can increase calorie burn enhancing fat loss.
- Choose full body exercises, like squats, push-ups or bench press, bent-over rows, shoulder press etc…pick 4 going in circuit fashion, 10-12 reps repeat until 15-20 minutes is up.
- Train with intensity, 1-2 HIIT workouts. sprints, or plyo’s are great for fat burning
- Walking is also my number one thing to do, when I’m stressed.
- Try to walk at least 1 hour daily.
Less body fat will reduce your load of toxins, as toxins are stored in our body fat as our bodies way of protecting us so they are not floating around in our blood streams. Just having a lot of adipose tissue changes hormones in men and women.
Weight around the middle, increased insulin & cortisol negative feedback-less starchy carbs, keeping your body fat lower helps your hormones if you don’t or can’t use hormone replacement.
you can get my Free Belly Fat Guide here with more useful tips, and strategies.
Hormones and Testing
Some women may want to use bio identical hormones, or start off with a clean diet, eliminating the sugar and alcohol, and maybe using some herbs, and see how they do, bio identical hormones are not magical.
Adaptogen herbs are a unique class of healing plants that can promote hormone balance and protect the body from a wide variety diseases, including those caused by stress, in addition to boosting immune function and combating stress. Research shows that various adaptogens such as ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, rhodiola, and holy basil can balance hormones. Dr Axe talks about this, others talk about maca like Dr Tami Meraglia. Some say chase berry, its ask your doctor and see if they work for you.
I use MacaPause by femmenessence I love it.
You can get blood tests the doctor will know what time of month or day to run them, based on your cycle.
There is also a 24 hour urine test looking at free fractions, looks at the downstream metabolites, and testosterone and DHEA. I’m not a doctor, but I did have a urine test done and had blood work when I was younger. Each doctor believes in different ways, some will test both ways, which is good.
Post menopause they already know they are low hormones so they don’t want to test.
Most would just start you on a treatment, or bio identical hormones the lowest dose and see how your symptoms are after 6-8 weeks and adjust.
They all do it a different way, and I found out you need to go into your doctor after doing your own research, so they know you mean business, and want your issues resolved.
We live in a very toxic environment, compared to our ancestors 🙂
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