“How do I know if my hormones are out of whack?” you ask.
Most women know there’s a problem, because they have premenstrual symptoms, such as: breast tenderness, moodiness, bloating, abdominal cramping, headaches, and more. Some might think that these things are normal for all menstruating women prior to menses, but that isn’t the case. Others may have issues that are more than just premenstrual, such as: migraines, fibroids, PCOS, endometriosis, depression/anxiety, painful periods, menopause, and fatigue, to name a few.
Problems can arise, that disrupt regular hormonal signals, for many different reasons. These 3 areas are key:
- We aren’t getting enough good nutrition/supplementation to feed our body properly, so we don’t get all the nutrients to make the hormones that we need for our menstrual cycles to function well.
- We aren’t getting enough sleep at night. This is a big problem, as sleep is where we hit the “reset button” for our system. We need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep to have our bodies function at their best.
- We are living in a toxic environment that is stressing our mind/body/spirit, which will disrupt our hormones.
- Mental toxins could mean that your next-door-neighbor is making your life miserable with their loud music, and/or lack of consideration to your sleep habits.
- Home toxins, such as: water damage, and you’re living with mold and may not know it. Mold can cause a lot of health issues starting with sinuses and the lungs! (More on mold, next time.) Using toxic cleaning products in our home, using plastic containers or wraps to contain our left-over foods, breathing the pesticides sprayed or used around our home and/or work spaces.
- Stress itself, due to: either a poor work environment, or a death in the family, or other personal issues that have increased the stress load. Long-term physical trauma can also be very stressful mentally and emotionally.
- Lifestyle choices that can further disrupt hormones, include: GMO and non-organic foods, drinking or cooking with tap water, alcohol use, smoking cigarettes (or breathing second hand smoke), and more.
Begin with changing your food and drink choices. Good nutrition starts with eating more: organic greens, vegetables, fruits, as well as good grass-fed, non-hormone meats, chicken and fish (avoid farm raised!) I just began having Butchers Box grass-fed meats delivered to my home, and I love it!
Eat at least 2 healthy meals a day. Make sure to pack a healthy lunch and take some time to enjoy it. These days, you can have healthy foods delivered (in most big cities), so you should be able to get lunch, if you forget to pack one.
Aim to get to bed by 9-9:30pm. For late birds, try shaving off 30 minutes every 3 nights, until you are close to 9:30pm. Our adrenals reset between 10pm and 2am, so you want to be asleep before 10pm.
Reduce your homes toxic load. Since plastics are such a big hormone disruptor, start by getting rid all plastic containers, and instead get Pyrex or glass containers (Costco and Amazon have great deals on these), even stainless steel is preferable.
Check all of your shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and anything that you apply topically or use in cleaning. They should not contain any of the following hormone disrupting chemicals:
Phthalate, BPA’s, PFC’s and others. (See: https://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors#.W7eYrmhKiUk)
Get a good water purification system for your home that clears out heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, chlorine, (and fluoride, if possible.) Even the water that we shower and brush our teeth with is absorbed in to our skin. (I recommend: Aquasana)
An air-filtration system is a great way to reduce the air toxins in your home, which includes: dust, debris, bacteria, viruses, and molds that may be affecting your health and ability to sleep.
(Try to find one that clears the smallest particulate, like mold.)
For mental stress, I suggest finding time for things that you love doing. Get fresh air every day, connect with nature, try meditation or just deep belly breathing each day, journal your thoughts, keep levity in your day, laughter is really good for you!
If you’re not sure of what you can do to regulate your hormones and other systems, I use several didn’t lab tests to understand what is happening in the individual. Everyone is different so, I wouldn’t address every woman the same with my recommendations. It really helps to see what is happening internally with testing, and then we can streamline a plan that will get you feeling good again!
I offer health, nutrition, and fertility consultations, so please contact me if you’d like help. I do Skype and phone consults if you’re aren’t a local San Diegan. Contact me at: Skrahn@fertilelifestyle.com