Get The Sleep You Need
While you sleep, growth hormones are released that boost your immune system and aid in tissue repair.8 A good nights sleep also helps control your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, so you are better equipped to deal with stress during the day ahead. If you find you have trouble falling and staying asleep, you can make simple lifestyle changes to reach optimal sleep, such as supplementing with my Rest and Restore sleep formula.
A Few Important Topics To Raise With Your Doctor
It seems like, every day, the advice from the medical community about healthy aging changes. For example, our bodies need cholesterol, so, you may want to see if your doctor can recommend a natural approach to your cholesterol management plan. Eggs, for example, are a wonderful source of healthy cholesterol. Just dont forget to eat both the white and the yoke to get the right balance of nutrients.
An important vitamin that may help to keep our hormones in balance after 60 is B6. This is found in walnuts, lean red meat, poultry, spinach and beans. Personally, Im a fan of supplements, but, Julie reminds us that, where possible, its best to get your nutrients naturally. Another nutrient to consider is zinc, which is found in dark chocolate.
At the end of the day, everyones body is different, but, dont be afraid to have a conversation with your doctor about dealing with your hormones after 60. There are plenty of natural ways to bring your body back into balance.
Prioritize Sleep And Relaxation
In addition to a hormone balancing diet you can help balance hormones naturally with simple lifestyle changes, starting with a sleep routine and schedule that spans over the weekend. Theres a significant relationship between cortisol and sleep, the infamous stress hormone can leave your adrenal glands depleted when its overactive.
Our Tip: Leave the phone one hour before bed, avoid caffeine after 2:00 PM, and make relaxation time part of your schedule.
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Eat More Fruits And Vegetables
Separate studies have found that a plant-based diet is associated with fewer menopause symptoms and that an omnivore diet rich in fruits and vegetables is inversely proportional to menopause symptoms.
Our Tip: Since the recommended dietary intake for adults in the US is five portions of fruits and vegetables per day, consider drinking vegetable juice to help you get your greens in and balance hormones naturally.
Weight Gain Or Difficulty Losing Weight
Why do so many people struggle with weight loss and maintenance? Usually, its because they are eating nutrient-poor foods and working too hard. The body processes this hard work as stress and when the body is stressed, it goes into survival or fight or flight mode, producing cortisol. When youre chronically stressed, your cortisol is always high and in an effort to protect itself from whatever danger it senses, your body holds onto fat as a form of energy.
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Using Real Food To Naturally Balance Hormones
KARA: So Marcie, the next section that we’re going to talk about is how to incorporate real food to balance some of these hormonal issues that people have in their perimenopausal years. And as a nutritional counseling company, I know that Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we always promote food first. So instead of jumping to supplements, things like that, which can be very helpful and we will address, but we always want to start with an eating plan.
We sure do. And whether you’re in perimenopause or Menopausal, the meal plans remain the same. It’s not different for each category of your life.
KARA: And that is a question that we do get quite a bit. Do I have to eat a certain way and perimenopause versus menopause?
Right. And we just want you to eat in balance. So it is one of those things that I always tell my clients too. We’re going to start with food first because you need to get this under control before we can move on. So, if a woman is having many different symptoms, I always start her out by maybe eating every three or four hours.
KARA: Marcie, that makes a lot of sense how you described that. So basically, having a bowel movement is one way, that’s one of our detoxification systems, is our intestinal track. So it’s basically all those things are getting backed up, like excess hormones. They’re not being released.
I always say if you’re constipated, your toxic. So, we need to get you moving.
The Naturopaths Approach To Balancing Female Hormones
The endocrine system consists of glands that produce hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that send instructions to the various organ systems in order to regulate vital bodily functions. A high stress lifestyle combined with poor eating habits can wreak havoc on a womens delicately balanced hormonal function. Even healthy women with a good diet can end up with hormones unbalanced.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance may include PMS, uterine fibroids, osteoporosis, reduced sex drive, allergies,weight gain, changes in the skin, fatigue, water retention, hair loss, facial hair growth and sometimes anxiety and depression.
A naturopath takes time to review a patients medical history in detail and tailor a herbal mix and provide dietary and lifestyle advice specific to the patient. Below are some suggested tips and a selection of herbs for treating hormonal imbalances.
Developing Good Habits To Decrease Cortisol Levels
KARA: Right. And then the last part you had mentioned reducing cortisol levels. And one thing that can help that, I mean people might be thinking, Oh I have stress in my life. How do I reduce cortisol? Well, waiting too long to eat or maybe not eating the right balance of foods can cause more stress on the body. So just simply by eating in balance every three to four hours actually will help to reduce cortisol just all by itself.
It sure will. It’s very easy.
KARA: And then as much as we can, getting that seven and a half to eight hours per night of sleep will definitely help. So, you must know that this whole program to rebalance hormones doesn’t happen overnight. It can take months to change your food habits, but it’s really important. You have to start somewhere.
And truth be told, the only real way to balance out those hormones is by taking a look at what we’re eating and to start incorporating real food. You had mentioned a couple of key supplements. Estrofactors and the natural progesterone cream. And meeting with a nutritionist on a regular basis is really going to give you that additional support so these things will start becoming habits.
KARA: I think it’s interesting that you had mentioned increased risk of breast and prostate cancer and really any reproductive type cancer is more likely to occur with high levels of estrogen.
Exactly. So like we said earlier in the show, men are not counted out on this. This is important for them.
Support The Adrenal System With Herbs Roots And More
Consider a hormone balancing diet that includes naturally calming herbs, adaptogen mushrooms, and relaxing root extracts. Some options:
- Licorice root: could help manage cortisol.
- Curcumin: one of the benefits of turmeric is that it may lower anxiety and treat depression.
- Valerian root: a natural sleep and relaxation aid.
- Reishi and Cordyceps mushrooms: both adaptogens that naturally manage stress and energy expenditure.
- Rhodiola: An adaptogenic herb that may reduce cortisol levels.
- Ashwagandha: another adaptogenic herb with calming effects.
- Holy basil leaf: not the regular basil, also known as tulsi or Ocimum sanctum L its been linked to neuroprotective, cognition-enhancing and stress-relieving effects
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What Happens When These Hormones Become Imbalanced
When there is an excess of estrogen in your system, this can lead to heavy and painful periods, sore breasts, PMS, and weight retention around thighs and hips. The causes of estrogen excess include higher production from ovaries and poor metabolism and detoxification.
Low estrogen can also have negative effects on your health, which include low libido, missing periods, or very long cycles. The causes for low estrogen include under-eating, over-exercising, stress, and smoking.
The consequences of low progesterone include PMS, spotting before period begins, anxiety, and prolonged bleeding. The causes of low progesterone include stress and not ovulating.
Having high testosterone can cause acne, male pattern hair growth, hair loss, and irregular cycles. It is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome , which is associated with irregular cycles and excess androgens .
Get A Good Nights Sleep
Do yourself a favor and sleep 7 to 8 hours per day! If youre wondering why its because our hormones work on a schedule. Hormone production follows our bodys biological clock. When our sleeping pattern is not definite, it will also mess up our hormones. If you want to balance hormones naturally, make sure to get quality and uninterrupted sleep every night.
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Thyroid Disorders Dont Occur Overnight
There is often a lengthy period of time before a thyroid disorder is diagnosed that a woman has experienced symptoms. This is often called sub-clinic hypothyroidism or sub-clinical hyperthyroidism .
If the thyroid auto-antibodies are elevated above the normal range, it means you have an auto-immune condition. The conditions are named Hashimotos Disease or Graves Disease . By assessing the complete thyroid hormone profile you will get to the underlying root cause of your symptoms.
The hormonal changes that occur during peri-menopause can also be a trigger for the activation of a thyroid hormone imbalance. You want to make sure all of your thyroid hormones are within the optimal range to protect your hormonal health long-term.
S To Balance Hormones Naturally
Hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline and insulin are extremely important chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your overall health.
Conventional treatments for hormonal imbalances typically include synthetic hormone replacement therapies, birth control pills, insulin injections, thyroid medications and more. Unfortunately, for the majority of people suffering from hormonal disorders, relying on these types of synthetic treatments often does three things:
Is it possible to balance hormones naturally? The good news is: yes, in many cases it is. Below youll learn about some root causes of hormonal problems, as well as about treatment options to help you balance your hormones naturally.
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What Do Hormones Do In Our Body
Our bodies contain over 50 types of hormones that act as chemical messengers that impact the way that our cells and organs function. Theyre responsible for several important functions such as metabolising food, growth and development, controlling our thirst and appetite, maintaining the bodys temperature, regulating our moods and cognitive functioning as well as initiating or maintaining our reproductive system.
Some of the most commonly known hormones are oestrogen, testosterone, progesterone, insulin, cortisol, ghrelin, leptin and thyroid hormones are the most known. These are associated with metabolism, mood, and fertility. So, with these hormones playing such essential roles in our bodies, its easy how an imbalance can affect us so strongly.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy :
For my women who have more severe symptoms supplements to balance hormones may not be enough and in this case Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can be a great option. With proper labs, follow-up, and customized dosing, this can be a safe step up in a patients therapy from more natural treatments. Remember, its all about safety first, so using the lowest level of therapy to provide adequate symptom relief is ideal!
There is no one herb, nutritional plan, product, or therapy that is good for everything hormones related. It is vital to determine what type of hormone imbalance you have and why. Finding the root cause to your health issues can bring you back to long-lasting optimal health herbals, nutrition, and medications can help you there. A qualified health care professional can offer testing, interpretation, diagnosis, and treatment for your unique needs and goals!
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Try Stress Reduction Techniques
Stress harms your hormones in several ways.
The hormone cortisol is known as the stress hormone because it helps your body cope with long-term stress.
Your bodys response to stress activates a cascade of events that leads to cortisol production. Once the stressor has passed, the response ends. However, chronic stress impairs the feedback mechanisms that return your hormonal systems to normal .
Therefore, chronic stress causes cortisol levels to remain elevated, which stimulates appetite and increases your intake of sugary and high fat foods. In turn, this may lead to excessive calorie intake and obesity (
In a review of 21 studies in 2,250 people, those assigned to a short sleep group showed higher ghrelin levels than those who got the recommended amount of sleep .
Plus, your brain needs uninterrupted sleep to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle. This is especially important for the release of growth hormone, which occurs mainly at night during deep sleep .
To maintain optimal hormonal balance, aim for at least 7 hours of high quality sleep per night.
Poor sleep has been shown to decrease fullness hormones, increase hunger and stress hormones, and increase insulin resistance.
How To Test Your Hormone Health
If you are concerned about your hormone health, you can have your hormone levels tested in the following ways:
- Saliva testing: Saliva testing measures your bodys hormones levels at the cellular level. A saliva test can measure your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol and DHEA levels. When you provide and test multiple samples over time, your healthcare provider can formulate charting changes in hormones with saliva testing.
- Blood testing: This type of hormone test requires that your blood is collected at a lab and then measured for hormone levels. A blood test can measure free and total hormone levels, which saliva and urine testing cannot do.
- Urine testing: A urine hormone test requires that you collect every drop of urine for a 24-hour period. Then your urine is tested to identify each hormone that is present and at what levels on that particular day. This is the most extensive hormone health test because it measures your hormone levels throughout the entire day, instead of the levels for a moment in time, which is the case for blood and saliva tests.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone testing: This type of test is commonly used to measure the hormonal status of premenopausal women who are beginning to experience symptoms of menopause.
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Can Perimenopause Be Treated
There isnt any treatment to stop perimenopause. Perimenopause is a natural part of life. The cure for perimenopause occurs when your periods stop and you enter menopause.
But your healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter or prescription perimenopause treatment to help ease symptoms. Your provider may recommend:
- Antidepressants: These medications help with mood swings or depression.
- Birth control pills. These medications stabilize your hormone levels and typically relieve symptoms.
- Estrogen therapy: This treatment stabilizes estrogen levels. You may take estrogen therapy as a cream, gel, patch or swallowable pill.
- Gabapentin : This medicine is a seizure medication that also relieves hot flashes for some women.
- Vaginal creams: Your provider can tell you about prescription and over-the-counter options. Treatment can decrease pain related to sex and relieve vaginal dryness.
Your healthcare provider will discuss the risks and benefits of perimenopause treatment with you and recommend the best option based on your needs. Certain lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, light exercise and avoiding foods or activities that trigger hot flashes can also help.
Natural Solutions For Dryness
At menopause, vaginal blood flow falls. Dryness and irritation can occur, and bacteria infections that pass to the urinary tract are more likely.
What is to be done? First of all, even after the ovaries stop, the adrenal glands and the fat tissue continue to contribute to estrogen production after menopause. In addition, phytoestrogens in plants provide weak estrogen effects. Soy products, such as tofu, tempeh, and miso, contain huge amounts of these natural compounds.
The plant-derived estrogen and progesterone creams described above can be helpful. Used on a regular basis, these creams maintain a moist vaginal lining. However, please note that they should not be used as a sexual lubricant. Estrogen cream is a medication, not a lubricant, and it goes through any skin it touches, including mens. Many women prefer to avoid hormone creams entirely and use ordinary lubricants or moisturizers instead.
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What Causes Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Every womans menstrual cycle is different. Some women get their period at the same time each month. Others are more irregular. Some women bleed more heavily or for a longer number of days than others. Your menstrual cycle can also change during certain times of your life. That said, its really helpful to track your periods. Eventually, the goal is to sync your cycle with your life. Spoiler alertthats part of how to balance your hormones, naturally. Any of these things can alter your menstrual cycle, causing hormonal imbalance:
This is not an exhaustive list of reasons why a menstrual cycle can be irregular. If you sense your period is irregular .
Image courtesy of Liana Levi