It can be incredibly frustrating when searching for a solution to imbalanced hormones. Most common “solutions” involved synthetic hormones as a replacement therapy. It’s important to address hormonal imbalance at the root cause, however, so we aren’t just masking symptoms of a bigger problem.
Not to mention that the side effects of synthetic hormones can be as bad as the original problem! (Source)
When you use natural methods to balance your hormones, you are creating an environment that enables your body to heal itself. By eliminating obstacles to hormonal balance, it clears the way for your body to do what it was designed to do.
Limit Your Exposure to Toxins as Much as Possible
Purchase organic food and hormone-free meats when you can so you won’t be ingesting pesticides. We all know the dangers of pesticides, but in relation to hormonal imbalance in particular, they have a lot of xenoestrogens, which we explored the dangers of in my last blog. Not only does it cause estrogen dominance, but it’s been linked to various cancers. (Source)
Limit your use of plastic. For instance, use glass or ceramic dishes to store your food. Plastics can contain xenestrogens like bisphenol A (monomer for polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin; antioxidant in plasticizers), phthalates (plasticizers), DEHP (plasticizer for PVC), polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (flame retardants used in plastics, foams, building materials, electronics, furnishings, motor vehicles), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). (Source)
Avoid dangerous chemicals by using creams and cosmetics that don’t have toxic chemicals and estrogenic ingredients such as parabens and stearalkonium chloride, and by using naturally based fragrances, such as high quality essential oils that I enjoy from Young living.
Work Anti-Inflammatory Foods into Your Diet (And Avoid Inflammatory Foods)
Make an effort to avoid sugars and refined carbs. These spike your blood sugar, which creates insulin resistance. (Source) These foods also create inflammation in your gut—which wreaks havoc on hormones. (Source)
Keep your carbohydrates low to moderate. Many studies have shown this can balance out insulin levels, which is crucial for pre-diabetic, diabetic and other insulin related diseases like PCOS. (Source) It’s best to get most of your carbohydrates from fiber-rich veggies.
Incorporate probiotic rich and gut-healing foods into your diet, since many hormones are produced and regulated in the gut. Think foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, bone broth, and kimchi will promote healthy gut bacteria.
Also, do your best to avoid alcohol. I know this doesn’t make me sound super fun, but regular, large consumption of alcohol can disrupt the communication between nervous, endocrine and immune system resulting in hormonal dysregulation and a slew of diseases. (Source). For those of you that enjoy your wine, check out Dry Farms Wines. They are low to no sugar, glyphosate free and delicious!
Don’t be afraid of consuming healthy fats. This means natural fats like those found in coconut oil, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and Omega-3’s from fish. These have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity (a good thing!) whereas trans fats increase insulin resistance. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may even help lower cortisol and epinephrine.
Regulate Your Sleep Cycle
Creating a regular sleep pattern where your body is getting a sufficient amount of high quality sleep is important for hormone regulation. (Source) Too little or poor quality sleep is linked to a number of negative side effects, including an increased risk for diabetes, metabolic dysfunction, thyroid hormone dysregulation and elevated cortisol levels at night when they should be decreasing.
Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake at the same time every day so your body establishes a natural rhythm. You can even download an app like Sleep Cycle which will work with your body’s sleep cycle to wake you at the most optimal time so you arise feeling well rested. And don’t forget to shut down those electronics at least an hour before bed. Your brain will appreciate it!
Make an Effort to Reduce Stress
Easier said than done, right? However, it is extremely crucial! Our hormones are inextricably linked to our emotions. Hormones like cortisol and adrenaline surge when we are stressed, and cortisol can become chronically elevated so much to where it is depleted resulting in adrenal fatigue.
To combat this, incorporate de-stressing activities throughout your day, even if you feel that you don’t have the time. Not much is more important than your health. I am a fan of getting regular massages to de-stress, but it can be something as simple as 10 minutes of meditation, breathing exercises, or yoga. (Source)
Here’s an easy breathing exercise you can do, and here is a guided 5-minute meditation. And treat yourself to a massage this week! Trina’s orders.