Our hormones are regulated by a complex network of glands and organs called The Endocrine System and it includes our hypothalamus, pineal gland, thymus, thyroid gland, pancreas, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, ovaries and testes.
Our hormones control how the body functions in regards to growth and development, energy levels, stress and mood, metabolism, digestion, sleep, mental health, and reproduction.
The following signs may indicate you are experiencing a hormonal imbalance. Keep in mind that since hormones are closely interconnected and impacted by one another, each of these symptoms may have more than one potential root cause:
Unexplained weight gain or loss or difficulty maintaining a healthy weight
Digestive issues like distention, bloating, abdominal pain, food sensitivities, and irregular bowel habits/movements
Acne, dry skin or other skin issues
Increased thirst or frequent urination, often signs of blood sugar dysregulation
Increased hunger or cravings, specifically sugar and carbs
Feeling nervous or anxious
Irregular menstrual cycles including length, flow and pain level
Hair loss or thinning hair
Low mood, mood swings, or irritability
Autoimmune conditions and/or frequent illness
Common causes of hormonal imbalances can be from chronic stress, poor diet, exposure to environmental pollutants, chemicals, molds and other toxins, poor sleep and too much or too little exercise. Taking certain medications, such as birth control, can also affect your hormones.
How to support your hormones with a healthy lifestyle:
Eat more antioxidant rich foods: dark colored fruits and vegetables, foods rich in vitamin C and E like citrus fruits, nuts and seeds, pumpkin, and spinach.
Choose a good daily multivitamin to make sure you aren't missing any vitamins and minerals. I like the daily activated multi from Equi.life. "The composition of the gut microbiota has an influence on the availability of essential micronutrients for the thyroid gland. Iodine, iron, and copper are crucial for thyroid hormone synthesis, selenium and zinc are needed for converting T4 to T3, and vitamin D assists in regulating the immune response." (PMID: 32545596)
Eat enough fiber: minimum of 25-30g for females and 30-38g for males or more if tolerated! (toleration means you are neither constipated or incontinent)
Eat enough protein daily: general rule of thumb can be between 1.2 - 2.0g protein per kg of body weight protein per day (depends on your activity level) which is 0.68-0.9g protein per pound of bodyweight.
Eat enough healthy fats: this means foods like salmon, trout, nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butters and non-inflammatory cooking oils like olive, avocado and flaxseed oil.
Reduce and manage your stress levels: do this by incorporating relaxing and restorative activities into your weekly routine that activate your "rest and digest" parasympathetic nervous system state. Examples- daily walks, a stretch or yoga practice, screen detox, breathing practice, playing with your pets, seeing friends and family, etc.
Get enough sleep, this looks like 7-9 hours! "Deficient REM sleep has been connected to a reduction in microbiome diversity, repressed immune function, and higher rates of chronic inflammation in the intestines." (source).
Minimize processed foods: this means anything that comes prepackaged and "Ready-to-eat" so to speak; also includes fast food and most foods cooked in restaurants due to the methods of cooking the foods and the quality of food purchased.
Eat prebiotic rich foods like fermented foods such as kimchi, pickles, pickled vegetables, and sauerkraut. They may not sound the most appetizing but they're great foods for feeding your gut bacteria!
Moderate your alcohol intake: the CDC says 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men is considered healthy moderate drinking but alcohol provides us with zero health benefits (yes, even red wine drinkers).
Practice mindful eating: sit down when you eat, breath in between bites, don't drink fluids with meals as this can interrupt the functional capacity of digestive juices, and chew your food!!
Use a specifically formulated protocol designed to rebalance the gut at the deepest level by removing unwanted microbes, slowly restore the gut lining and replenish beneficial microbes. Many of the protocols I like to use and personally have used before can be found HERE but they should be purchased under the guidance of a nutrition professional.
Test, don't guess! A simple at-home lab test that looks at specific microbial markers and hormone levels can reveal exactly what's going on inside your body. The tests I like to use can be found HERE.
Make the investment in chemical free, organic skin care products. I personally use all Beauty By Earth products because they're made with real, organic ingredients, safe to use on all skin types! (Code ALEXISFITCO saves you money!)
Swap out your traditional cleaning products for ecofriendly and sustainable products made with little to no harmful chemicals. Most chemicals can be endocrine disruptors and alter your natural hormone production. I only use products from Grove Collaborative in my home! This link will get you a free Mrs. Myers gift set!
If you need accountability when making these lifestyle changes, are unsure how much you should be eating to reach your goals, or if you need assistance with picking out the right supplements or testing, please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any and all questions! You can also sign up for a free discovery call and we can chat about your goals!