Your health affects your cycle, and your cycle affects your health!
Did you know that hormones play all kinds of roles in the body that go well beyond your period?
However, once I understood it, I quickly began to realize how CRITICAL it is to live in harmony with them. In fact, hormone health is so important that I plan my fitness, diet and lifestyle around keeping these babies in balance. After all, my skin, bones, gut, cycle, hair, heart, and brain depend on it.
This became especially true after my mother had experienced breast cancer, I knew I had to start doing some serious prevention.
Ladies, I can't stress enough the importance of hormone health, everything comes back to these important messengers.
Take progesterone for example, just look below to see the list of bodily functions it plays a role in beyond your cycle. As you can imagine, when progesterone is low you're looking at all kinds of problems.
Signs of low progesterone:
thyroid function problems
infertility or trouble maintaining a pregnancy
What's worse, is that our lifestyles and environment, which is packed with hormone disruption, is making it extra challenging to keep our hormones humming along smoothly.
So, what's a girl to do? For starters, awareness is essential!
For most of us, we weren't taught much about our hormones beyond our periods and fertility. We certainly weren't shown that by learning how to properly love and nourish our hormones, we are empowered and more in control of how we feel.
Body literacy and menstrual awareness are key to tapping in and uncovering what's maybe not going so well with our health. By understanding our bodies better we have a clearer understanding of what to do and when.
You see, since hormones all talk to one another and work together, if one hormone is off the rest will be off too. This is why a holistic approach is key. There's a much larger picture going on and various systems are in need of support.
Educate yourself and learn to recognize that signs of a hormone imbalance is so much more than PMS.
Signs of a hormonal imbalance include:
Too much estrogen (estrogen dominance): Heavy periods, painful periods, ovarian cysts, sore breasts, breast cysts.
Low Progesterone: infertility, mood swings, anxiety, shorter cycles, sleep problems
Too much testosterone: acne, hair loss, hair on face and chest, oily skin
Too little testosterone: low mood, lack of motivation, low libido, loss of muscle mass
Too much cortisol: wired and tired, belly fat, tired body but fast brain
Too little cortisol (adrenal fatigue): poor immune function, chronic headaches, sluggish in the morning, chronic fatigue
Underactive thyroid: dry skin, hair loss, brain fog, infertility, and irregular periods
When hormones are balanced, you feel amazing. Hormone balance looks like this:
clear and soft skin
motivation and drive
calm and centered mind
regular and easy periods
sleeping well and waking up feeling rested
body responds well to diet and lifestyle changes
My 5 quick-start tips for hormone balance:
Make sure you are having a bowel movement everyday within 20 minutes upon waking. Twice a day is ideal.
Coffee and alcohol seem innocent enough, but regular use of these can wear down your adrenals which take priority over all other hormones. If they are busy dealing with stress you're not digesting, reproducing, or functioning optimally, so it's wise to limit these or avoid them entirely if you can.
Kick your sugar habit
Sugar throws your endocrine system out of whack by producing inflammation. Make sure you are eating plenty of complex carbohydrates instead which help keep blood sugar balanced and stress signals at bay.
Move your body
Hormones respond well to regular exercise. Make sure to include strength exercises along with cardiovascular activity as well. If you sense that you may have too little cortisol (burn-out) listen to your body by going slow and keeping exercise under 20 minutes to avoid additional stress on your glands.
Reduce chemical exposure and avoid anything with fragrance
Switch to organic meats and produce, and cleaner cosmetics, household cleaners and toiletries to reduce your exposure to endocrine disruption. Store your food in glass, ceramic and stainless over plastic.
A girls gotta start somewhere which is why I recommend downloading one of my FREE health guides: