Hormones – It’s a Balancing Act!
Hormones get blamed for everything: bad skin, bad moods, bad periods, etc. If it’s “that time of the month,” watch out. Or, maybe you are “going through the change” but it seems like things are changing and changing but you are not sure into what (or who). Throw in the non-reproductive hormone systems like adrenal, thyroid, or the hypothalamic/pituitary axis and you can really have a mess. Symptoms can include irregular/heavy/absent/painful periods, infertility, fatigue, heart palpitations, mood changes, acne, hair loss AND hair where it’s not supposed to be, weight gain, breast pain, dry skin, digestive issues, insomnia, hot flashes/night sweats, and a sex drive that’s gone missing.
What’s a Matriarch to do?
First stop is always The Basics: food choices, staying hydrated, managing stress, prioritizing sleep, some sort of physical movement, and optimizing detoxification/elimination pathways. You can actually affect excess estrogen levels by increasing fiber and ensuring regular (at least once daily) bowel movements!
Next stop is standard lab work and correcting/optimizing thyroid and adrenal function, your gut, and nutrition status through food, supplements, and sometimes prescriptions. This is when lifestyle changes are even more critical, especially those related to the balance between sympathetic (“fight-or-flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) states. It comes at no surprise to anyone that hormones get even wackier when stress levels are high.
Finally, specialized hormone testing might be indicated in tough cases or to fine-tune your plan. Currently, my favorite way to assess hormone status is the DUTCH test. It is an easy 4-spot urine test (and sometimes 1 saliva sample) that you can collect at home and send back by mail.
Most women experience rapid improvement even with small adjustments in their hormonal milieu. When your hormones are balanced, Life is just better all around.
Do you need some hormone balancing?
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