Hormone Health: Start Here
Sex hormones are very complicated. There are so many systems in the body that need to be healthy and balanced to maintain stable hormones. These three systems are the most crucial for women with any hormonal imbalances, but especially as hormones decline during peri-menopause and into menopause.
1. Blood Sugar - get it balanced!
This tip is HUGE for peri-menopause - - > When you were younger, you could maybe get away with staying up all night, late-night pizza or drinking binges. You body is much less forgiving as we age, which you probably already realized... so we have to adapt and give it a little grace.
If you're approaching peri-menopause or in full blown throws of it, balancing out blood sugar can address common complaints of this time like weight gain, sleep issues and some level of brain fog or cloudiness.
Spikes and dips in your blood sugar can make you cranky, crave carbs and hello weight gain, right? Sugars also feed the unhealthy bacteria in your gut, and you need a healthy gut to clear old hormones and to make chemicals that make you feel good.
My best tip for blood sugar: start the day with low sugar and high protein and fiber. When you start you day this way, you will have less cravings and make better choices throughout the day. It can be an uncomfortable change at first, but as your body adapts you will feel great.
- Smoothies with greens powder & protein powder
- Trail mix
- Leftovers from dinner
- Organic breakfast sausage
- Chia Bowls
- or Just Fast =)
2. Love Your Adrenals
The adrenals are two glands on top of each kidney (lower back) that make hormones for energy and stress. They also make some female hormones (sex hormones) and you rely on them more as your ovarian function declines.
Managing stress is the best way to love on your adrenals. We think of a bad day at work as stress, but there are lots of other sources:
- Blood sugar spikes and dips (above)
- Getting annoyed in traffic and waiting in line
- Caring for kids or elderly parents
- Chronic pain
- Eating low-quality foods or inflammatory foods
I could go on and on with this list, but you get the idea. Get to bed by 10 PM, come up with ways to settle yourself like meditation, breathing or prayer, and try to just have fun!
3. Support Detox Pathways
Hormonal balance requires that we clear toxins. Excess hormones re-circulating in your blood stream, or toxins that mimic hormones can lead to peri-menopause and menopausal symptoms.
In an effort to keep this short and sweet, I'll review two mechanisms that clear toxins and how to support them: the liver and the digestive tract.
The liver is the best known detox organ, for good reason. It breaks down toxins and used hormones into a form that can be eliminated. To support the liver, eat foods that contain the nutrients your liver needs to do its tasks, try an infrared sauna sometime and just break a sweat a few days a week.
Some liver-loving foods include: pasture-raised eggs, beets, carrots, lemon, broccoli, chard, dandelion, cabbage, onions and garlic.
Once toxins and used hormones are broken down, they need to be eliminated from the body. The main exit route is the digestive tract. If you are constipated or have an inflamed digestive tract, these waste products may not be eliminated. When they are not eliminated, they recirculate and can be reabsorbed = NO good!
Natural sources of fat, such as coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, unprocessed meats and fish, are needed by the gallbladder to make the bile that the toxins travel with from the liver to the digestive tract.
Once in the digestive tract, keep your bowels moving with regular exercise and drinking plenty of water. Reduce inflammation by avoiding inflammatory foods such as sugar, alcohol, gluten and processed dairy products.
Please take one tip from above and get started!
Reach out, I'd love to hear from you.
Yours in health,