As we age, hormones seem to complicate life in general. As if we all need another complicated obstacle! However, for those of us who deal with symptoms of hormonal imbalance, have a lot more power over the way we feel than we think! With a little bit of knowledge and some lifestyle changes, we can achieve better hormone balance and improved quality of life.
Here are some of the more common indications your hormone levels may not be ideal:
Loss of libido
Reduced cognitive function/ brain fog
Unusual sensitivity to cold or heat
Weight loss or weight gain
Balancing your hormones is a process, and sometimes it has little twists and turns. But by sticking with a lifestyle program, we can change or reverse unwanted symptoms that disrupt our way of life. Surprise! Your diet is the foundation that helps balance your sex hormones.
The first step involves removing the bad stuff. We know that sugar, caffeine, alcohol, stress, and lack of exercise all contribute to hormonal imbalances – including menopause. Imbalances in your hormones are triggered by bad food. If you eat sugar, you’ll produce more insulin, more estrogen, and more testosterone. Any type of flour and sugar can lead to these imbalances. Dairy and gluten are often triggers for inflammation and hormonal imbalances.
After removing the bad stuff, you will want to replace it with good stuff. Eat a whole, real, unprocessed, organic or sustainably raised animal products. When you focus on this type of diet, you minimize intake of xenoestrogens, hormones, and antibiotics. Taking simple steps like choosing organic food and drinking filtered water can hugely impact hormone balance.
Diet aside, there’s a lot you can do to balance your sex hormones without resorting to medication.
•Try a balancing supplement. Fish oil and additional vitamin D and B vitamins help balance estrogen.
•Exercise. When you exercise, you have less PMS and other problems. Find something that you love to do! Replace your desk chair with a desk treadmill *wink wink :)
•Manage stress. Chronic stress can trigger or exacerbate hormonal imbalances. Enter: yoga, mediation, breathing exercises.
•Good sleep. Getting eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep every night is one of the best things you can do to balance hormonal levels.
•Reduce or eliminate alcohol. Alcohol – yes, even red wine – jacks up estrogen and increases chances of cancer, and is a big sleep disruptor.