How many times have you heard that your symptoms are just 'part of being a woman'? That it’s normal to have pain, headaches, bloating and acne each period? That your mood swings are just because you're 'hormonal'?
The truth is, your body is always trying to communicate with you. When you experience hormonal symptoms like mood changes, tender breasts, irregular periods or acne, your body is sending you a message that something is going on at a deeper level.
Common signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance
- No period, irregular periods, or infertility
- Extremely heavy or extremely light periods, spotting
- Frequent mood swings
- Anxiety, depression or anger
- Low libido
- Restless sleeps or insomnia
- Intense food cravings
- Weight fluctuations
- Digestive issues like bloating
- Chronic fatigue
Our hormones are responsible for a wide variety of important bodily functions, from hunger and managing emotions, to regulating sleep and your menstrual cycle, to our body's stress response.
An overview of female hormones
Estrogen: Estrogen is responsible for the development of female reproductive organs, regulation of the menstrual cycle, and maintenance of healthy skin and hair.
Progesterone: Progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy, helps regulate the menstrual cycle, and promotes relaxation and sleep.
Testosterone: Testosterone contributes to muscle mass, bone density, libido, and overall energy levels in women.
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH): FSH stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles, which contain eggs, and is involved in the menstrual cycle and fertility.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH): LH triggers ovulation, the release of a mature egg from the ovary, and helps regulate the menstrual cycle.
Unfortunately, there isn’t one quick fix or magic solution which will fix all of your hormonal problems. However, by addressing nutrition, lifestyle, stress, exercise and emotional health, it is possible to improve your hormone health.
3 tips to balance your hormones
#1: Balance your blood sugar
Insulin resistance is where your body gets tired of receiving the signal that your blood sugar is high, so then becomes less responsive to it. Eating large amounts of processed foods like refined carbohydrates and sugary foods (think lollies, cake/pastries, packeted foods, soft drinks etc.) can lead to insulin resistance.
This is where your body gets tired of receiving the signal that your blood sugar is high, and becomes less responsive to it. Excess insulin production causes inflammation in the body and increased production of testosterone from the ovaries. This can lead to irregular cycles, acne and hair growth on the face.
How to balance blood sugar
Eat regular, balanced meals: Establish regular eating patterns by consuming balanced meals every 3-4 hours. Include a combination of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats in each meal. This combination helps slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream, preventing sharp spikes and drops in blood sugar levels.
#2: Implement Stress Management Techniques
Stress is unfortunately one of the biggest factors affecting hormonal health. Chronic, unmanaged stress can disrupt the delicate balance of female hormones, leading to menstrual irregularities, fertility challenges, hormonal acne, mood changes, weight gain, sleep disruptions, and thyroid dysfunction. Engage in activities like yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or regular physical activity to reduce stress levels and promote hormonal balance.
#3: Support hormone detoxification
Both the liver and gut play vital roles in metabolising and eliminating hormones from the body after they have served their purpose. Ensuring the proper functioning of these organs is crucial in preventing the accumulation of hormones, which can lead to hormonal imbalances.
Our liver and gut are the two major organs responsible for breaking down and clearing hormones once they have been used in the body. It's so important that these systems are working properly to prevent build-up of hormones which contributes to hormonal imbalances. Here’s a brief overview of how to support these two systems of detoxification.
Support your liver by incorporating cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts, and reducing the load on the liver by reducing alcohol intake and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (perfumes & fragrances, cosmetics and plastics etc.). To support digestion, focus on mindful eating, chewing your food well and adding in digestive enzymes for further support.
Each of us are unique, so it is important to get individualised support if you are suffering from symptoms that you are struggling to improve. While general guidelines can be helpful, it's essential to work with a qualified healthcare professional to address your specific hormonal concerns.