Is Hormone Imbalance Affecting You? A List to Jumpstart Your Healing!
This past week I had the pleasure of talking to hormonal health expert, Candance Burch, on the Wine and Shine Podcast. (Check it out here!) Our conversation was such a fantastic reminder that we have the ability to balance our hormones, naturally, in order to live our happiest and healthiest lives. By now you all know that I nerd out over hormone balance and my passion for spreading awareness on this issue keeps growing stronger the more I learn.
There is so much we can do to keep ourselves well! start believing in the natural healing ability of the body - because it is freaking amazing.
For so many years of my life, I thought that my symptoms (painful periods, fatigue, anxiety, acne...) needed to be fixed by resources outside of myself. It wasn’t until I took a hard look at my lifestyle and nutrition - and really learned to slow down and tune in - that I completely flipped that belief upside down.
In my previous hormones post, I focused on imbalances and how they affect women throughout their menstrual cycle, but hormones affect our health and wellbeing in so many more ways than our periods.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, acne, sleep disturbances, allergies, thyroid issues, and even sugar cravings (just to name a few) … these disruptions are a sign that your hormones are need of some love.
Our conversation with Candace really touched on the interconnectedness of our bodies. Think of your hormones like jenga blocks. When one block is off balance, the rest of the tower becomes unstable. There is no surprise that when you’re struggling with one area of your health, a few others surface around the same time.
Take a moment to think about the areas in your life you wish to improve. Are you struggling with energy levels throughout your day? Finding it difficult to maintain a healthy weight? Mood fluctuations cramping your style? If you go to the doctor, they will give you a prescription for each alignment, and of course, this may help ease some of your discomfort. Doctors are wonderful people trying to help you feel better after all! But are all the sleeping pills, anxiety meds, and birth control perscriptions really getting to the root cause of the issue? They may be masking the symptoms and helping you feel better, but until you discover what caused your hormones to get out of balance in the first place, your body will continue down the same path. Let’s fix it for good, what do you say?
So here's the good news... through lifestyle, nutrition, and really learning to connect and listen to your body...you will find balance.
It will take time, patience, and a deep love for what your body is capable of, but the outcome is so worth it. Just remember, it took a long time for your body to become out of balance and it will take time and patience for it to heal again, too. The beauty comes from watching and FEELING your body get better, slowly and surely, all on its own. Also, that’s what health coaches are for … to help support you along the way! ;)
So now what? You understand that there is a root cause behind all of your symptoms, but how do you start making improvements? Check out my jump starter list below! I will deep dive into each of these topics in future blog posts, but for now, pick a few of the areas and send a little extra love and attention their way. Don’t worry about fixing everything all at once - baby steps are key ;)
Our lifestyle plays a HUGE role in our hormonal health. If you think that your body is sending you signals of imbalance, you may want to take a look at your stress levels. Stress directly affects our adrenal glands and makes them work on overdrive. This in turn prompts our body to dish out the cortisol (often called the stress hormone!). When our cortisol levels are out of balance it triggers feelings of exhaustion, anxiety, inability to fall asleep at night, and weakens your immune system. It may seem obvious that stress plays a negative role in our overall health, but until we make conscious choices to reduce it, it will keep bringing us down! Here are a few areas to examine in your own life:
Exercise - When our adrenals are already worn out, overdoing the workouts can actually make things worse. Try incorporating more walks, yoga, and low-impact workouts while you heal.
Family and Relationships - Spend some time evaluating this area. Is the majority of your stress coming from family and friends? Perhaps prioritizing communication with your spouse, or re-organizing the hectic family schedule, could help. Are there other relationships in your life that continually bring you down? Whether it be a boss, friend, or in-law...it is important to remember that your health and happiness MATTERS. Brainstorm ways to reduce toxic relationships in your life.
Work Environment - If you dread getting up and going to work each day, this can put a lot of mental and physical stress on your body. Take some time to reflect on what truly makes you happy. Start taking action and seeking what lights you up. Maybe you can find creative ways to add JOY to your current job or perhaps it is time to take the leap and explore a new passion!
Lack of Sleep - We all know it is true! Getting enough sleep recharges your body, evens out your cortisol levels, and gives your system time to repair. How can you make sleep a priority in your life?
You are what you eat! What we put in our body affects the way it functions and operates. If you're dealing with any type of hormone imbalance, your body is in need of supportive and nourishing food.
Food - Choosing whole and organic food to nourish and heal your body is KEY. Choose items with 5 or less ingredients on the label and go for food in its purest form!
Inflammation - Strive for an anti-inflammatory diet. Listen to what makes your body feel good and eliminate any food intolerances. Watch hydrogenated oils (canola, soybean, sunflower/safflower) which causes inflammation in the body. Coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and avocado oil are great substitutions!
Coffee - I know it is HARD, but cutting down your coffee will do wonders for your adrenals. I sub for decaf and some almond milk when I’m craving a cup!
Alcohol - Your nightly glass of vino may be messing with your sleep cycle, blood sugar, and triggering inflammation. Save the wine for a night out with the gals instead!
Sugar - Oy! Sugar raises our insulin, spikes blood sugar, and seriously disrupts our hormones. Sticking to natural forms of sugar while you work on those cravings is best.
Supplements - There are so many supplements that help support our hormones. I personally take NAC, Berberine, Omega-3, and B-Complex. I take Magnesium as needed. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions on supplements and I would be happy to help!
Connecting to your body - Slowing it down. Listening to your body’s needs. What is she trying to tell you? Yoga, meditation, and journaling are GREAT practices to help you move inward and connect.
Calming the nervous system - Take a hot bath, read a book, light a candle, listen to soothing music... let yourself unwind and enjoy some YOU time.
Believing you have the ability to heal - Oh man, this is a big one. We must, first and foremost, believe that our body has the ability to be well. Our thoughts manifest in physical symptoms in the body. We must retrain the way we have been wired to think about our health and wellbeing. Medicine absolutely has a time and place, but your body WILL find balance and happiness on its own when you provide it with the proper nourishment and love. Trust in it! :)
WHEW!! I could elaborate forever on the list above, but we'll save that for future posts ;) For now, I hope the above bullet points can point you in the right direction as you work to find balance in your own life. As always - I am only an email away and would LOVE to support and guide you in your healing process. I've been there, (I'm still there!) and I know how it goes.
Love you all!