Updated: Jul 12, 2019
Healing your hormones can often feel like a never ending cycle of trial and error, inching only slightly toward balance, if at all! When we think of the term hormones, often people only consider the sex hormones; but the truth is, our body makes 1000's of hormones in order to thrive. These various hormones have unique jobs and carry out specific processes that we often take for granted. One hormonal imbalance equals many hormonal imbalances. Modern medicine tends to separate hormonal systems but what you're about to learn is that every hormonal system is connected. If your stress hormones are out of whack, so shall be your sleep hormones. Below you'll find just a few of the "hormonal systems" or categories that can become imbalanced and in need of love & attention.
TYPES OF HORMONES
Sleep/Rest Hormones/Mood - Melatonin & Seratonin
Sex Hormones - Testosterone, Estrogen & Progesterone
Digestive Hormones - Ghrelin & Leptin
Stress Hormones - Cortisol & Adrenaline
These are just a few of the hormones the body makes, but now you have an idea of how vast the term "hormone" actually is, and why healing them requires more than just a pill, which is often prescribed to women to inadequately "manage their symptoms." Not on my watch!
Without healthy hormones it's like a wild mosh pit in there! Nobody can hear or see what anybody else is doing and chaos is likely to ensue. We need our hormones to be in ship shape and clearly communicating the dealio to one another so that all our daily processes can be carried out optimally. When this communication is disrupted, hormone havoc becomes our reality causing all sorts of symptoms such as; brain fog, fatigue, exhaustion, irritability, insomnia, IBS, weight gain etc etc.
Women are on the front lines of hormonal health disorder.
Hormone havoc seems to be the new norm in our culture and more women are suffering from mysterious symptoms and being directed toward the birth control pill as the answer. The pill is NOT the answer. I don't care what your doctor says or how many of your friends have perfect glowing skin on it - AVOID THE PILL. As women our hormones fluctuate even more than men, so the best thing you can do is educate yourself on what your body needs during each phase of your menstrual cycle. Start by checking out the book WomanCode by Alissa Vitti for amazing info on healing your hormones naturally! If you're a menopausal woman I highly suggest anything written by Dr. Christiane Northrup, especially Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. Most importantly, stop playing victim to what your doctor says and start empowering yourself with knowledge!
Now, if you're serious about healthy hormones than its time to get serious about changing your lifestyle. The following 4 practices will help to kick start your journey into vibrant, happy hormone health!
There is no better medicine for the hormones than lots and lots of good quality rest! Modern women are on the go ALL THE TIME. They are running businesses, taking care of families, and trying to be superwoman. Our instinct is to take care of others first, but this leaves us sick and malnourished. Never underestimate the power of regular, good quality sleep! Create good sleep hygiene rituals and make sure to wind down 60 mins or more before bed. Turn off devices. Shut off the TV. Meditate or stretch to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. This helps our bodies to secrete the proper hormones for sleeping. Because so much of the population lives in a city and works under fluorescent light, they are out of sync with circadian rhythms which normally tell our bodies when it's time to wake and rest. Taking walks in nature can help to activate our natural sleep/rest cycle. Try going outside around dusk and watching the sun good down - I guarantee you'll feel a restful pang creep in. Removing blue lights from your bedroom and turning phones on airplane mode is also supportive of healthy sleep. Sleep is one of the most challenging things for the modern woman - but that's also because they aren't willing to let go of their anxious lifestyle. If you want to feel energetic, joyful and healthy...you've got to give your hormones a BIG, F-A-T nap and retire your addiction to stress!
2. Reduce Toxic Exposure
You know those deodorants and body washes with the longggg list of ingredients? Yeah, those gotta go! It's time to get rid of the fluoride toothpaste, the paraben rich shampoo, and the aluminum drenched deodorants! These toxins are hormone disruptors and reek havoc on your body. They muffle comms between hormones and keep your hormones from behaving naturally and effectively.
Are you a regular at the nail salon? Do you dye your hair every 6 weeks? If so, you are increasing your toxic exposure way more than is necessary. It's true we are all exposed to an incredible amount of toxins anyway, but that's not an excuse to throw caution to the wind and take on even more! There are many ways to off set your toxic exposure such as buying natural beauty products, keeping house plants and drinking filtered water. Stay away from water in plastic bottles as it is filled with plastic chemicals that leech directly into the water and thus into your body. Keep it simple. Learn how to use organic essential oils to make cleaning products, toothpaste, soaps or even natural perfumes. The reality is, we all need to be conscious, aware and well informed about what goes on and in our body.
3. Remove Stimulants (yes sugar!)
Wonder why you're often at the top of your stress level? STIMULANTS! Stimulants are the ones at the party instigating all the fights and drama. While they can be fun and entertaining for a time, they will eventually kill the mood. While healing your hormones and body it's important to limit your consumption of stimulants. Coffee & refined sugar can block the secretion of sleep or rest hormones which creates a whole slew of issues such as anxiety, insomnia, irritability, exhaustion, etc. As mentioned above, rest is my #1 suggestion for healthy hormones! If your stimulant addiction is getting in the way of rest than you'll be in a perpetual cycle of hormonal imbalance. Soda, black tea, coffee, and sugar are the main offenders. Switch to green tea or simply save your stimulant of choice for a special occasion. Coffee once a week or month is far more manageable than 1-2x a day! Refined sugar is very inflammatory and creates a lot of fuss in the body. Switch to natural sugars when you need a sweet treat; warm apples with cinnamon, broiled pineapple, or banana with almond butter can be just as satiating and less disruptive to the body.
4. Eat a Diet Rich in Healthy Fats
Once upon a time fats were the enemy. But after years of research we now know that the right fats are actually crucial for optimal health and hormone function. Foods like avocado, coconut cream/oil, grass fed butter, grass fed beef, walnuts, wild-caught salmon, olives & eggs are great sources of high quality fat. Healthy fat supports brain function which in turn helps to regulate hormones. Fat is also necessary for many vitamins and minerals to be absorbed properly into the body. Eating fat regularly with your meals helps to avoid vitamin/mineral deficiency. Even though fat is the highest calorie macronutrient, it is also the most important because every cell in our body is formed with fat. Our hormones need fat in order to thrive, which means women have to let go of their fat fear in order to lose weight, increase energy, and look/feel vibrant!
The big take away here is, everything in the body is connected. No organ, system or cell is unrelated to another. Our bodies move and function in a magnificent, harmonized synchronicity. Understanding and honoring this is the difference between vitality and suffering.
Need hormonal help? All new clients are welcome to a FREE 20 min clarity call with me to discuss their current state of health.