Did you ever wonder if you really were steering the ship of your life? I seemed to have stretches of time that what I felt, what I ate, how I slept, and even what I said was completely out of my control. All this started with adolescence and my first period when everything about me, and the world I was living in changed. It was like my ship was taken over by a rogue pirate!
After reading The Female Brain by Luann Brizendine, MD, about 8 years ago, it all made sense! Just as I suspected, hormones control everything from our sleep patterns, appetite, energy levels, who we fall in love with and how we feel about ourselves. This started a personal and professional interest in hormones. I was determined to throw Jack Sparrow overboard and get a handle on mine.
It wasn’t until after I read The Hormone Cure by Harvard trained OB-GYN Dr. Sara Gottfried and then was trained in her protocols that I feel I have control over my hormones. Due to my age, I should be in the midst of complete Hormone Havoc and am happy to report I am sleeping through most nights and my moods are stable. Life is good! This information made such a difference in my life; I want to share some basics of the most common hormonal imbalances and how to control the Queen of all hormones. This will give you more energy, may lead to weight loss and to better moods. This approach starts with lifestyle changes first, and hormone replacement as a last resort.
The major hormones of the body work closely together. This means that if one is off, it can reduce or block the production of another essential hormone. The most common scenario is that the stress hormone, cortisol (the Queen) is often high in busy women. High cortisol can interfere with thyroid hormone, which controls your metabolism, and progesterone that helps to calm the female brain and prevent PMS. This leads to weight gain and cranky moods. Sound familiar?
Balancing hormones is complicated and it is important to try to uncover the root cause. Is it too much stress, could it be an underactive thyroid? Perhaps it is both. If it is due to prolonged stress leading to high cortisol, which slows down your thyroid, then addressing the stress and cortisol seem to be a logical first step to restoring your thyroid function.
Everyone is unique with different hormonal imbalances but there are some lifestyle changes you can make today to help keep or put your hormones in balance.
- Start your day with enough protein and fat
- Eat enough fiber to help estrogen balance – 35-45 gms.
- Limit screen time after 8pm
- Get enough Omega 3 fatty acids
- Change your perception of stressful events – ask yourself, is it true?
- Take deep belly breaths throughout the day.
- Limit sugar intake (including alcohol)
- Don’t over exercise. Walk, do yoga, lift some weight and sprint a few times/week.
- Treat yourself to high quality dark chocolate (check the sugar content!)It takes at least 21 days to make a new habit effortless so pick one thing and commit to it and then when that’s easy, try something else.
Once you start feeling better, you will be more energized and committed to make more changes. You are worth it!!If you are interested in finding solutions to your hormonal imbalances within a whole health framework, please check out the Hormone Balancing page of my website.