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Hormone Health 101

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What are hormones?

Hormones have become a bit of a buzzword these days. We often talk about hormones causing different changes in our bodies, but what are hormones and how do they function? Basically, hormones are produced by the endocrine glands and carried through the bloodstream to other parts of the body to deliver chemical messages. Hormones are produced in the adrenal glands, pituitary glands, pancreas, ovaries, and other parts of the body and control literally everything from blood sugar levels, blood pressure, sleep, inflammation, metabolism, fertility, our periods, and more. Literally all of the things.

It is crucial for hormones to be well regulated, or you can experience symptoms of hormonal imbalance. hormonal imbalance symptoms. It is important to know that in order to truly address these issues, you have to consider the WHOLE body. That’s why I take a holistic approach with my clients. The fact is that all our bodily systems are closely connected, and our hormones are linked to ALL of them. When hormones are out of whack, the symptoms they create are your body’s way of telling you it’s not getting the support it needs to function optimally. 

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Since hormones control so many areas of the body, identifying the symptoms of a hormone imbalance are crucial to finding a solution! Any one of those symptoms might be written off but when they occur together and frequently, a hormone imbalance might be to blame.

Many physical and mental symptoms can be attributed to a hormone imbalance including depression, fatigue, and a loss of appetite.

When symptoms start to stack up and have no obvious reason, there’s a good chance you’re looking at a hormone imbalance. This may be caused by outside issues like toxins in the air or in products around you or internally through problems with your thyroid or other hormonal glands!

If one hormone is off balance, all the others can be affected. Some symptoms of hormone imbalance are:

  • Stress
  • Acne Mood swings, anxiety, and depression
  • Change in sex drive
  • Irregular or painful periods
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic bloat
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Migraines

If you experience more than one of these symptoms, especially if they are constant or cyclic, it’s definitely worth taking a self-assessment, like my hormone imbalance quiz available HERE. From there, you can decide to get tested. I offer support for testing inside my Vibrant Woman Course. I always like to say “Test, don’t guess!” This way, you can nail down exactly what hormones are out of whack, and repair them at the root level. 

We’re seeing more and more women with hormone imbalance (more than 50% of women suffer from whacked out hormones!). This is due to our modern lifestyles which are so fast-paced. We’re always on the go, so we eat garbage and we’re stressed out. Also, as women age, they go through so many hormonal shifts in their life – from puberty, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause which naturally causes hormones to become imbalanced.

Don’t fret though, there are somethings you can do to improve your hormone health so that you can live a balanced, happy, and vibrant life where you show up looking and feeling your best literally every day. Proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, and supplementation are key to this which is why my Vibrant Woman Course uses my proprietary 4-part method to help women find hormone + weight loss harmony. It also includes my Savvy Supplement protocol. The course is basically a step-by-step roadmap for empowering women to take control of their health and live their best lives.

(You can learn more about my 4-part Happy Hormones Method here by watching my free webinar!)

What to Eat for Healthy Hormones (and What to Avoid!)

Hormonal imbalances can have a major impact on your health. A lot of things can alter the delicate balance of your hormones and diet is definitely one of the factors that can do this. Unexplained weight gain, tiredness, bad skin, sleep problems and PMS can all be subtle signs that your hormones aren’t as balanced as they could be. Looking at your diet can be one of the simplest ways to start to balance your hormones and improve hormone health.

Creating a healthy diet is an amazing place to start for helping you to balance your hormones! Feeding your body well can help you lose weight and be healthier in every area of your life including with your hormones.

Pack in the protein

Protein is a really underrated way to balance your hormones, especially insulin and estrogen. Eating protein can decrease levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” whereas large amounts of carbohydrates and sugar can increase levels of insulin. Both of these can also affect weight gain or loss and the resulting hormonal changes.
Lean meats, fish, eggs and soybeans are all great examples of ways to up your protein intake. Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are super smart protein choices as they contain anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids.

Red meats and processed meats are more of a grey area as they can increase inflammation, and this can raise the risk of hormone imbalances that are linked to inflammation, like PCOS and Endometriosis.

Eat carbs and healthy fats too

Alongside protein, you’ll also want to include some complex carbs and healthy fats. These three macronutrients are super important for balancing your hormones. Ideally, try to include protein, carbs and healthy fats every mealtime. For fats, choose olive oil over vegetable oils, for example. Vegetables oils and margarine are full of inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids. Don’t forget to pack your plate with veggies too!

Support your gut with probiotics

If you’re not already eating probiotics, you’re missing out on a super easy way to support hormone health. Probiotics help to reduce inflammation and balance hormone production.

Eat plenty of fiber

Eating lots of fiber isn’t just great for your digestive health. It can also bind to estrogen and help to reduce some of the effects of excess estrogen.

High glycemic foods raise insulin levels

Foods that rank highly on the Glycemic Index increase insulin levels and alter the way that your body uses estrogen. They’re also inflammatory and can raise your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Refined carbs such as white flours are a big culprit for hormone imbalances, partly due to their inflammatory nature. Eating more low GI foods helps to balance hormones.

Soy can be a problem

If you already have an excess of estrogen, soy can be an issue. It contains some natural estrogens so it stands to raise your levels of this hormone even more. This is good news if you have low estrogen levels but it can be a big problem if your levels are already on the high side due to factors such as contraceptive pills and hormone mimicking toxins from your lifestyle.

Soy contains isoflavones, which can increase the effects of hormones such as estrogen. The end result? You can end up with much higher estrogen levels than you realize, and this can present itself in problems such as heavy periods, bloating, acne, chronic headaches and mood swings.

There’s another problem with non-organic, GMO soy products too. They can often contain a chemical called glyphosate. And guess what? This is another known hormone disruptor. Fermented soy products avoid this, as do non GMO, organic options.

You might find soy to be an issue if you’re a vegan, as many vegan friendly foods are packed with soy and you can easily find yourself eating a lot of it.

If you suspect that your levels are already high, soy may be something you decide to stay clear of completely.

Processed foods can raise estrogen levels

Processed foods are another one to avoid as they can significantly raise estrogen levels. Experts suggest eating a diet rich in processed foods can lead to estrogen levels that are as much as double the “normal”, healthy levels. If you’re worried that your estrogen levels are on the high side, cutting back on processed and sugary foods is super important, along with “bad” fats and alcohol. Eating more fiber, especially from fruits and vegetables, and following a low GI diet can also help to bring estrogen levels back in balance again.

Ditch caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol can both affect hormone production. Drinking a lot of caffeine can raise cortisol levels and can also have an impact on the adrenal glands. This can have a knock-on effect for lots of areas of your health, from sleep to digestion. Alcohol has been linked to “estrogen dominance” and can potentially increase insulin resistance and lower testosterone levels. The latter can be a factor in low libido, vaginal dryness and impotence.

Don’t skip meals

It’s not just what you eat that affects your hormones; when you eat can be super important too, especially for insulin. Skipping meals is a surefire way to raise insulin levels.

If you want a little guidance on eating for hormone health, check out my free 3 Day Hormone Reset. It’s packed with tons of helpful info and 3 days worth of meals to get you started on the right path to happy hormones. 

The Best Supplements for Hormone Health

I’m a firm believer in the power of supplementation. In my hormone health course, The Vibrant Woman, I go in depth with my proprietary Savvy Supplement Protocol to address hormone imbalances at the root level based on specific imbalances.

Supplements that are amazing for overall cycle health that I recommend for literally every woman are a multivitamin, Omega 3, magnesium, B-complex, probiotic, vitamin D, and ascorbic acid.

When using supplements, it’s super important to make sure you’re using high quality, professional grade supplements. These are supplements that are highly absorbable and don’t contain extra ingredients and fillers.

Supplements are not meant to make up for poor lifestyle and nutrition habits, however, they can be super beneficial as an added tool in your “healthy habits” toolbox.

If supplementation is something you’re interested in, I recommend my Vibrant Woman course so you can learn more about the exact brands, specific dosages, and the reason why I personally use and recommend them to my private clients.

Supplement List for Overall Hormone Health

To sum it up...

Hormones are produced by the endocrine system and are crucial to your overall health and well-being. Stress, mood, reproduction, digestion, metabolism, and your general health can all be affected by your hormones. It’s important to keep hormone levels balanced, and the best ways to do so are through proper lifestyle, nutrition, and supplementation. 

Regular meals that help keep your blood sugar levels stable are the key to balancing your hormones. You’ll have to cut down on some foods that might cause issues with your hormones including foods that are high in sugar. Caffeine is also a culprit when you’re trying to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day and has to be cut down to get those hormones in a good place.

Want more?

If achieving hormone balance and optimal health is something you’re really feeling aligned with and perhaps a transformation that you’d like to experience, then get in touch with me!

I’d love to help you reach hormone harmony so you can really show up in your life looking and feeling your best. My Vibrant Woman course is online and completely self-paced. There’s a private community of amazing women supporting and empowering each other. And it’s just so amazing. For all of the juicy details, click here or text “VIBRANT” to 513-642-9221. If you’re interested in 1:1 coaching, click here to schedule a quick phone chat with me. 

Whether you’re one of my clients or not, I want to help you live a hormonally balanced life. If any of these resources can play a part in making that happen for you, that’s a win in my book! So, don’t be stranger — stay connected with me and let me know what you’re up to! And please, keep working towards your hormone health and wellness goals. If that’s something you want, don’t let it fizzle. Make it happen. I hope to welcome you into the Vibrant Woman Course very soon!

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