My Top Hormone-Balancing Tips

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Hormone health has been a buzz topic recently; with more and more people finding themselves worn out, overstressed, overtired, and undernourished. What’s interesting is that so many of my clients are sleep deprived and although relatively happy, they are super stressed out. Often times we really don’t recognize it in ourselves, especially when we’re on auto pilot and under the assumption that everything has to be the way it is right now in order to stay afloat.

My wakeup call came when I moved out of the city, and decided to come off of the birth control pill – something that for me was really one of the final few things I was ingesting that was synthetic and not serving my body. I had gone on the pill because of very heavy periods and intense PMS; I was seeking a better way of life, but became too complacent with the idea of never having to get my period. After 14 years on the pill, I had no idea what my cycle actually was, no idea if I would be able to conceive – all things that were pretty scary to me. Knowing that my body had been relieved of its role in making and regulating hormones, my fear was that I’d come off the pill and everything would go awry.

There was some good and some bad news.

  • The good news? I did not experience breakouts, severe weight gain or loss, or any other super severe symptoms like that. I think the reason for this was because my diet was comprised of mainly clean, whole foods and loads of water and my routine consisted of pretty regular exercise and around 6-7 hours of sleep as often as possible.
  • The bad news? After spotting for 3 months, I finally lost my period completely (a condition called amenorrhea which affects people coming off of the pill, as well as many athletes, undernourished individuals, or highly stressed individuals), and my hormones reared their true feelings about the matter – they didn’t know what to do at all. After a series of blood tests, I learned that my adrenal glands were so fatigued and my reproductive hormones had shifted to a place mirroring menopause. Not only that, but my liver wasn’t able to move toxins or blood the way it should. So long story short, my systems had in large shut down, and I was feeling the effects.
    • Bloating, constipation, fatigue, weight gain (about 5-6lbs), mood swings, and loss of motivation

I knew this wouldn’t be the case forever, I just needed to figure out a solution that would help my body repair the damage I had done and I wanted to make sure I did so in a way that didn’t rely on more pills but rather allowed me to give my system a chance to relearn how it should function. I have so much that I learned on this journey, and so much that I want to share with you, starting with my top three tips to balance your hormones, whether you’re in need of a rebalance or seeking to keep your hormones stable.

What I will say, is that everyone is different and we all need different things so you shouldn’t go about this alone. I recommend working with a naturopath, acupuncturist, functional medicine doctor, health coach – whomever you have in your corner who can also help you understand what is going on internally for YOU. But I hope these help you in some way like they helped me. I truly believe everyone can benefit from these tips!

  1. Healthy Fats & A Colorful Plate

    • Fats are not the enemy – in fact your body relies on fat to function and this is even truer for women. Fats play a critical role in balancing hormones, as your endocrine system literally uses fat to produce and regulate hormonal secretions. However we need to consume the correct types of fats, especially Omega-3 fatty acids that provide the necessary building blocks for hormone production.
      • Try for non-made made unrefined food sources such as Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado, Pastured Organic Eggs, Nuts, and Seeds.
    • You also receive a lot of essential vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. Aim to have a plate that is made up of leafy greens and add in variety of non-starchy and starchy vegetables or fruit so your plate has at least 2-3 colors per meal!
    • Protein of course is also important, whether animal or plant (lentils, garbanzo, peas, black beans, etc.) make sure you’re getting some high quality protein in as well
  2. Adequate Sleep

    • During the process of sleep, your body is actually doing the opposite of that! While you’re asleep, toxins are being actively removed, your mind is being recharged from the day, and your hormones are being created. Due to this, missing even a few hours or a night of good rest can impact these processes therefore creating imbalance in your hormones!
    • Create a routine that supports a regular cycle:
      • Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends to keep your hormones regular as well
      • Shutting down 30 minutes before bed allows your body to relax and unwind. You can do simple activities such as reading, meditating, listening to some gentle music while stretching, going for a light walk outside - these are all ways to destress your mind and body and will help tremendously with recognizing how tired you truly are and giving your body the signal that it’s time for bed. If you are always on the go, your body will remain in fight or flight mode and won’t know that it’s time to shut off
  3. Smart Supplementation

    • While I am a huge advocate for getting the nutrients we need from the food we eat, proper hydration, exercise, the ocean, and the sun it is rarely the case that we can fit all of this in on a given day (more on the state of our food supply in another blog post…)
    • Since this is the case, supplements can play a great role in aiding the absorption of important nutrients and minerals – especially for hormone balance. While there are quite a few supplements that can really help, and depending on your situation some may have a higher impact then others, these are the four that I think almost anyone can benefit from:
      • Be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider before taking any new supplements, especially if you are taking any medications or contraceptives
      • Maca – this hormone-boosting root has a long history of use for fertility, reducing PMS symptoms, among other benefits! It is a great source of essential fatty acids and minerals, which you read earlier is also important to your hormonal balance! One of my favorites is Organic Burst – I enjoy mixing Maca in smoothies as it gives them a subtle nutty flavor
      • Magnesium – your pituitary gland loves Magnesium and when there is a deficit, you produce less of certain hormones responsible for fertility, menstrual ease, and thyroid function as well as over 300 reactions in the body. Bloating and headaches are good signs of a magnesium deficiency. Powder products such as Natural Calm can be a great addition to your routine – and bonus: it improves sleep quality!
      • Liver Supporters, such as Dandelion Root & Turmeric – your liver is responsible for the regulation and removal of excess hormones. If the liver is stressed and cannot perform this function, you may run the risk of imbalances. A clean diet is important, however you can also incorporate detoxifying supplements such as dandelion root, milk thistle, turmeric, and vitamin-C to help nourish and regulate your liver so that it can process toxins such as excess hormones! Try teas and powders!
      • Probiotics – your gut is more important to your overall health and hormones then you may think. Aside from having bacteria that aid in the production of certain enzymes related to hormones, your gut is also responsible for ushering hormones out of your body. When your microbiome is disrupted, it can impact your hormones. Probiotics help to introduce healthy bacteria back into your gut and aid in regulating that system

I'll be sharing more hormone tips in the future, but let me know in the comments below what would be helpful or of interest!!