You can balance hormones naturally
Hormones are chemical messengers produced by glands such as your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas. The regulation of your hormone production is continuous and if your hormones become even slightly imbalanced it can cause major health issues. The most common side effects of hormone imbalance include:
Menstrual problems in young girls and women
Infertility, Low libido
Weight gain, Insulin resistance
Fatigue and low self confidence
Muscle pain and general inflammation
Dry skin, hair loss and hair thinning
Acne and acne rosacea
Your digestive health plays a significant role in hormone regulation so if your diet and lifestyle has created a “ leaky gut” it can also cause hormone imbalance.
Turning to synthetic treatments such as hormone replacement therapy can create: dependency, mask symptoms and increase the risk of stroke, osteoporosis and cancer.
Here are the keys to balanced hormones without negative side effects
Get More Sleep
7 – 8 hours of sleep every night will do your body a great favour. Lack of sleep may be the worst habit people have that disrupts hormone balance.
Hormones work on a schedule and the stress hormone, cortisol is regulated at midnight. Going to bed late does not allow the body time to unwind from the flight/fight stress response. This creates more stress for the body and disrupting the hormonal system. One hour of sleep between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. is equal to two hours of sleep before through other hours of the night. Managing our work load and levels of stress is therefore essential for busy people which leads to the next key point
Get out and about and use those muscles
20 – 30 minutes 3 – 4 time a week is at a pace that gets your heart rate up is all that’s needed to reduce stress levels, enhance your immune system, regulate metabolic function and keep you at the body weight your body was designed for. Add in yoga, Pilates, Taichi, gardening or whatever activity is useful to get out of the head and into the body.
Look after you digestive health and heal a “Leaky Gut”
Damage to your digestive health is caused by alcohol, processed foods, gluten, hydrogenated oils, and drugs such as anti-inflammatory drugs, emotional stress and infections. Impaired digestion leads to undigested food particles of food, like gluten, to leak through your gut wall into your blood stream creating inflammation of the entire body. People with leaky gut usually have a deficiency of the good bacteria, probiotics that are essential for producing vitamins that effect hormone levels like insulin.
The top foods and supplements that support the healing of a leaky gut include: bone broth, kefir, fermented vegetables, kombucha and fiber from vegetables. Supplementation with digestive enzymes and probiotics aid the repair of your gut lining, which ultimately improves nutritional uptake and balancing of hormones.
Coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild caught salmon oil (available in tablet form) are the top essential fats that are the fundamental building blocks for hormone production; they speed up your metabolism and promote weight loss.
Adaptogens are a class of herbal medicines that promote hormone balance and boost immune function, and help us adapt to stress. There are a variety of these herbs and research has shown that they enhance hormone balance by:
Balancing and enhancing thyroid function
Relieving anxiety and depression and enhancing self-esteem
Slowing brain cell degeneration and enhancing cognitive function
Stabilizing blood sugar
Supporting adrenal glands and the stress responsse
Drinking too much caffeine elevates your cortisol levels, lowers your thyroid hormone levels and creates an acidic environment in your body and is as bad as not getting enough sleep.
If you need a little boost, check on all of these key points, switch to 1-2 cups of green tea or tulsi tea, talk to a herbalist about adaptogens and nutritional supplements.
Supplement with Vitamin D3
Recent research suggests that Vitamin D3’s role in promoting human life is paramount. This is a big issue in NZ as we try to cover up to protect ourselves from the sun on one hand and otherwise spend most of our days indoors due to work commitments. Vitamin D is involved in immune system, insulin secretion, heart function and blood pressure regulation, brain and fetal development.
People who live in superficial light suffer more signs of depression and health disorders unless they supplement with around 2,000IU to 5,000IU daily of vitamin D3 on days they’re not in the sun.
Balance your fat intake: Omega-3/6 Ratio
The use of vegetable oil in our diets has rocketed from the 1:1 Omega-3/6 ratio our hunter-gather ancestors to 20:1 ratio for many people today resulting in an epidemic of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer
Avoid: oils high in Omega-6s (safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut) and load up on rich sources of natural Omega-3s (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass-fed animal products).
There is one type of Omega-6 fat, GLA you can include that supports healthy progesterone levels in women. GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) taken as a supplement comes from evening primrose oil or borage oil and as a food source is also found in hemp seeds.
Detox your body by eliminating toxic kitchen and bathroom cleaning and body care products and replace toxic make-up with natural make-up
Reduce toxins in your body by avoiding conventional body care products that are high in DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. Check out EWG’s web site for the good to ugly on the cosmetic front. Remember to check your sunblock!
Due to BPA’s, replace plastic bottles and plastic wrap with glass or stainless steel bottles and containers, and replace teflon pans with stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron. All are better choices for hormonal health.
Minimise or eradicate the use of HRT, including male hormonal therapy and birth control pills
Finding a suitable contraceptive is always a challenge for women, however it has never been more important as “the pill” is HRT, elevating estrogen levels and is now deemed dangerous causing:
Increased risk of breast, cervical and uterine cancer
Increased risk of blood clotting, heart attack and stroke
Gall bladder disease
Increased blood pressure
Nausea, irregular bleeding or spotting
Benign liver tumours
The hormone balancing saviour for most women is a combination of all the points listed here. Get professional advice to take combinations of herbal medicines to balance hormones, specifically Vitex, and all the herbs that are known to reduce stress and assist the liver with its naturally occurring detoxification processes. Supplementing with other specific nutrients is also required in many cases.
Link with hormonal therapy and cance research published in 2014:
Risk of Cancer with Combined Oral Contraceptive Use among Iranian Women.
Oral contraceptive use is the most common type of contraception. More than 300 million women worldwide take oral contraceptives every day. However, there is a concern about the relationship with the incidence of cancer. The use of oral contraceptives may triple the incidence of cervical cancer and doubles the incidence of breast cancer. Therefore, performing Pap smears every six months and breast cancer screening are warranted for long-term oral contraceptive users.
Recent Oral Contraceptive Use by Formulation and Breast Cancer Risk among Women 20 to 49 Years of Age.
“results suggest that recent use of contemporary oral contraceptives is associated with an increased breast cancer risk, which may vary by formulation. If confirmed, consideration of the breast cancer risk associated with different oral contraceptive types could impact discussions weighing recognized health benefits and potential risks”. Cancer Res; 74(15); 4078-89. ©2014 AACR. ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=search&term=Malone%20KE[au]&dispmax=50 Cancer Res. 2014 Aug 1;74(15):4078-89. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-3400.
In regard to fertility and contraception there are other methods available to oral contraceptives that will give you great control over a woman’s reproductive life through natural fertility specialist
For advice or a consultation please contact us.