Nowadays, hormonal imbalances are an epidemic. When talking about hormones, have them compare to a symphony. All the hormones interact with each other, so when some are out of order, others soon follow. There are many musicians who have a role in this orchestra – the adrenals, the thyroid, insulin – however in this article we will see in particular the female sex hormones.
Conventional medicine seems to think that women are destined to suffer throughout their lives. Women suffer from mood swings and behaviors resulting from the three P’s: puberty, premenstrual syndrome, and peri-menopause (years before and just after their last period), or 3 million: menstrual cramps, menopause and anxiety!
Is there a problem in women’s bodies?
Why do sex hormone levels drop up to 90% during aging?
Are they intended to suffer from mood disorders, muscle loss, sleep disorders, memory problems and sexual problems?
Of course not !
The sufferings associated with your menstrual period cycle are useless. They do not result from bad luck, but due to bad habits, such as the consumption of alcohol, tobacco; a lot of refined sugar and carbohydrates; dairy products and sometimes gluten; a sedentary life without exercise; exposure to toxins from your environment, chronic stress (to name just that).
75% of women have an intrinsic defect that inflicts PMS and requires medical treatment but all too often this is absurd. To think that women will weaken, dry out and lose their emotional, physical and sexual vitality is an aberration.
There are countless examples of healthy balance at any age. An 81-year-old patient once told me, with a sparkle in her eyes, of her new boyfriend and their wonderful love life! Flourishing is possible at any age and it does not have to come necessarily from a pill.
In other words, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal symptoms and other worries are all problems of dysregulation of your sex hormones. They are not the result of genes that destroy your sexual vitality as you age.
Instead, these are symptoms of imbalance underlying one of the basic systems of your body that can be treated. Rebalance your sex hormones, and these problems, in general, disappear.
The truth is that women do not need to suffer.
Instead of resorting to hormonal substitution (which might be your doctor’s first treatment idea), it is necessary to understand the origin of the symptoms and the “why”.
In other words, understand what creates these imbalances, and deal with the underlying problem. That’s where functional medicine comes in: you treat the underlying cause of the imbalance and the symptoms begin to subside.
Most of us have an unbalanced life. Unfortunately, we come to accept as “normal” many symptoms that are only signs of imbalance and the type of imbalance that affects almost everyone in our society is a hormonal imbalance.
It is possible to restore harmony for these disturbances and others.
Do you struggle with unbalanced sex hormones?
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When patients assume that their sex hormones may be chaotic, I ask them to self-assess using this questionnaire:
I have PMS.
My weight is yoyo every month.
I have edema, swelling, swelling, or water retention.
I feel puffy.
I have a headache.
I have mood swings.
I have soft breasts and too big.
I feel depressed.
I do not feel able to cope with ordinary obligations.
My back, joints, or muscles hurt.
I have premenstrual cravings (especially sugar or salt).
I have irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, or slight bleeding.
I am infertile.
I use birth control pills or other hormones.
I have premenstrual migraines.
I have breast cysts or fibrocystic breasts.
I have a family history of breast, ovarian or uterine cancer.
I have uterine fibroids.
I have peri-menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, mood swings, headaches, irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, fluid retention, breast tenderness, vaginal dryness, brain fog, muscle and joint pain, weak libido, weight gain).
I have hot flashes.
I feel anxious.
I have night sweats.
I have insomnia.
I lost my libido.
I have dry skin, dry hair and / or dry vagina.
I have heart palpitations.
I have problems with memory or concentration.
I have bloating or weight gain at the waist.
I have hair on my face.
I have been exposed to pesticides or heavy metals (in food, water, air, vaccines, dental care and others).
Count one point each time you answer “yes”, then check how much you got using the scale below:
0 to 9 – You may have a slight imbalance of sex hormones.
10-14 – You may have a moderate imbalance of sex hormones.
15 or more – You can have a serious sex hormone imbalance.
Now that you’ve determined the severity of your imbalance, let’s talk about the only thing you can do today to start treating your symptoms.
The right diet becomes your first priority to balance your hormones
Balancing your hormones is a process, and sometimes there can be ups and downs. But by putting yourself right now, you can become full of vitality, happy, alert, bright and fulfilled.
Your diet is the foundation that helps balance your sex hormones.
The first step is to remove the bad things. We know that sugar, caffeine, alcohol, stress and lack of exercise contribute to worsening premenstrual syndromes and hormonal imbalances – including menopause.
Hormonal imbalances are triggered by poor diet. If you eat sugar, you will produce more insulin, more estrogen, and more testosterone. Any type of flour and sugar can lead to these imbalances. Dairy products and gluten are often triggers for inflammation and hormonal imbalances. Xenobiotics and environmental chemicals like pesticides in our food can act as powerful hormonal disruptors and cause the imbalance of our own hormones. If you are interested in knowing how these toxins disrupt our hormones, you can read Our Stolen Future by Theo Colburn.
Dairy products are one of the main triggers of hormonal imbalances because of all the hormones naturally found in milk and also because of the hormones and antibiotics added to milk. Even organic milk can come from pregnant cows, which further increases hormone levels. In fact, dairy products contain more than 60 hormones that can contribute to imbalances. Dairy products and gluten are among the most common food sensitivities and you could benefit a great deal by eliminating them from your diet.
After eliminating the bad products, you’ll want to replace them with healthy products. Choose a complete, organic, unprocessed diet, for the most part composed of plants with organic animal products or in a respectful way. When you concentrate your diet on these types of ingredients, you reduce your consumption of xenoestrogens, hormones and antibiotics. Starting with small steps like choosing organic foods and drinking filtered water can have enormous effects on your hormonal balance.
You could consider following my diet to completely detoxify sugar in 10 days, which will naturally help restore your hormones by eliminating sugary processed foods and food sensitivities, while focusing on organic and complete unprocessed foods. To restore female hormones, focus on specific foods that balance hormones. Increase certain foods like flaxseeds, cruciferous vegetables, good fats, miso. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed every day to your food.
Other strategies to balance your sex hormones
Aside from diet, there are many ways to balance your sex hormones without the need for medication.
Take supplements intelligently. Fish oil and vitamin D supplements and B vitamins help balance estrogen. Also take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement with enough calcium and magnesium. Probiotics, antioxidants and phytonutrients (vitamin E, resveratrol, curcumin, n-acetylcysteine, green tea, selenium) and omega 3 anti-inflammatory fats can help balance sex hormones.
Exercise.When you exercise, you experience fewer premenstrual syndromes and other hormonal problems. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy: running, long walks, bodybuilding, dancing, or any other form of movement that you enjoy and that you enjoy.
Reduce stressChronic stress can trigger or aggravate hormonal imbalances. The solution here is to find what works for you to reduce your stress. This can be meditation, yoga, EFT, therapies, or a method of creative expression: art therapy, mandalas, singing, biodanza, etc. This piece helps to dispel stress, anxiety, and tension.
It is important to keep in mind that when the body is under stress, the body’s protective functions are put on hold, opening the door to inflammations and disorders of all kinds. Stress should only occur in case of immediate danger and short-term, because it “launches” then are program “fight or flight” by producing an excess of cortisol and adrenaline.
Sleep well. Lack of sleep can have a negative impact on premenstrual syndromes, menopause, and other conditions. Having eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep each night is one of the best things I can think of to balance hormonal levels.
Reduce or eliminate the alcohol.Alcohol – yes, even red wine – increases estrogen and therefore the risk of cancer.