You know your hormones are out of whack. You’ve got no energy, your moods are all over the place and your crying and eating copious amounts of chocolate every time your period is due! Here are the main reasons why your hormones may be out of whack.
#1 You’re not eating regularly enough
When you don’t eat your blood sugar levels drop, causing low energy levels and a dip in your mood, focus and concentration. You’re also then craving sugar and caffeine to lift things up again. This can turn into a blood sugar roller-coaster leading to imbalanced insulin levels which have a knock on effect on your oestrogen levels, that control your menstrual cycle.
#2 Not eating enough fat
The good news is, fat is no longer the enemy! In fact the right types are essential for optimal health and that includes hormone balance. Essential fatty acids help support our bodies metabolism which means we burn fat more efficiently, stabilise our insulin levels, reduce mood swings and boost brain function.
Focus on these healthy fats; oily fish, nuts and seeds, coconut and olive oil and avocado are all great sources (and taste great too!).
#3 Poor sleep habits
When we don’t sleep well, it has a knock on effect on our hormones. Cortisol, serotonin and leptin are all regulated while we sleep and if we’re not getting enough, then that isn’t happening.
Staying up late, being on gadgets, drinking alcohol and caffeine before bed, all disrupt your circadian rhythm, which is your natural body clock. Get into good habits with a regular bedtime (by 10.30pm is ideal as we get our best quality sleep between 10pm and 2am, the equivalent of 2 hours at this time for every 1 hr at every other time), switch off gadgets at least 1 hr before bedtime and avoid stimulants.
#4 Too much sugar
Sugar affects our blood sugar levels, and when we eat too much it can make you grumpy, low in energy and have trouble concentrating. After we eat our insulin spikes and effects the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in the body and also has a knock on effect on our stress hormones, all of which can cause hot flushes, mood swings and headaches.
Cut back on the amount of sugar in your diet by eating a whole food diet, reducing refined carbohydrates and finding alternative options for your sweet treats.
#5 Gut Imbalances
If you have issues with your digestive system it also affects your hormonal balance. 90% of your serotonin is made in the gut and many other hormones are produced and released from it. Your gut flora is integral to optimal health and has been found to affect your ability to lose weight, how oestrogen is metabolised in the body and how excess hormones are eliminated (instead of circulating round causing hormonal havoc!).
Eat probiotic rich food, have a daily lemon elixir with apple cider vinegar to help boost levels (as well as supporting your liver which helps eliminate excess hormones).
#6 Lack of essential nutrients
Our hormones need certain vitamins and minerals to help support them and the processes in our body. Without them or when we have a deficiency it can cause imbalances which make the symptoms of PMS, fatigue, cravings and hot flushes worse. Making sure we have optimal levels of nutrients such as zinc, B6, vitamin D, vitamin C, iron and magnesium help to not only support our progesterone and oestrogen levels but also our stress hormones and those that help control our moods.
Eating a balanced diet of plant based foods, aiming for 7-10 a day of rainbow fruit and vegetables as well as beans and pulses, nuts and seeds for a wide range of nutrients.
In my opinion, stress is one of the main reasons that women struggle with their physical, mental and emotional health in society today. Although feminism has done us lots of favours, it has also put enormous pressure on us to do and be everything – the perfect mum, wife, housewife, friend, daughter, employee, the list goes on… We have so much to juggle and often beat ourselves up when we don’t get it all right!
When we’re stressed our body releases cortisol into our bloodstream and when too much is released it effects us physically and emotionally. It disrupts the balance of oestrogen and progesterone in our bodies which control our menstrual cycle and moods and our blood sugar balance.
Taking time for self-care is essential for hormone balance. Relax / recharge time should be scheduled into your diary regularly to ensure you actually take it and put yourself first.
If you’re resonating with all these and feel like you’re ready to make some changes, then book a Heal Your Hormones Strategy Call and find out how I can help support you in healing your hormones and starting to feel good about yourself again.