Respecting Hormonal Balance
Hormone balance. It seems like a simple concept, but we need to respect that these tiny chemical messengers are anything but simple. Our body has dozens of hormones, all of which play a very important part of our normal daily functioning. They engage in complex interactions with each other to moderate a response within the body. If one hormone isn’t up to the task, the downstream effect can alter your health is many different ways—too many to count.
Female hormones include the class of steroid hormones which are made by the body from cholesterol. This includes estrogens, androgens, progesterone and cortisol. These hormones have far reaching effects in women: they influence thoughts, moods, reproductive health, fertility, skin health, transition times such as puberty, PMS, menopause and regulate the stress response.
How can we attempt to know how or what to balance?
Proper testing and assessment takes the guess work out of hormone balance. Following our symptoms is the first step, but knowing and checking your levels is the second step in addressing the often confusing symptoms.
What can I do at home to get started?
Here are a few things you can start today. Your body needs appropriate fats to create and maintain healthy hormone production. Eating plenty of olive oil (un-heated!), coconut oil, avocado, flax seeds, fish and fish oils does just that. Adequate sleep is a key player as well. Respect those hormones and get eight hours of restful sleep—your body will thank you for it. Limit your caffeine intake, it’s almost as bad as not getting enough sleep! Keep your hormones in check by switching some cups of java to the more balancing green tea. You can get extra antioxidants and a mild caffeine boost as well. And lastly, while attempting to balance hormones, participate in light to moderate exercise like yoga, walking or swimming—if you exercise too intensely your hormones risk going into over-drive.
These are daily tips to respect your hormones and get them working for you, not against you. Even if they may seem simple, these nutritional and lifestyle changes allow you to find hormonal balance to make sure you are thriving everyday!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Dr. Josée Boyer, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor at Ottawa Holistic Wellness Centre. Her clinical focus the study of interactions between the psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body. She focuses on anxiety, stress, insomnia, hormone health and depression which can cause fatigue, digestive complaints, a weak immune system and pain.