“Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They are made in small organs called Endocrine Glands. The major endocrine glands are the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, pancreas, adrenal glands, ovaries in women and testes in men. Some of the hormones that these glands release, you may be familiar with like estrogen, progesterone, melatonin, oxytocin, Cortisol, Luteinizing hormone, and Follicle-stimulating hormone. It's amazing how the hormones work with the organs. Your brain communicates with your thyroid, adrenals and ovaries to trigger ovulation and menstruation and at the same time it’s regulating your metabolism, mood, energy levels, weight and sex drive.
So our hormones play a critical role in our growth and development, our metabolism, sexual function and reproduction. If the hormones are imbalanced then the body can’t function at it’s best. So let’s look at some tips that you can start right now to help balance your hormones.
Sleep is the best medicine for stress. We don’t get nearly enough of it. We’re burning the candle on both ends, and our hormones are paying for our fast pace lifestyle. Lack of sleep causes high cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Women these days are wearing many hats– they’re on top in their careers and are managing families and home life after 12 hour work days. This type of stress can cause your hormones to go haywire. Blame cortisol, your main stress hormone, cortisol is not bad, but high cortisol can become problematic. Chronic stress can drain your female hormones, especially progesterone. (The other main female hormone is estrogen). Low progesterone can cause irregular menstruation, depression, breast tenderness, mood swings, insomnia, low sex drive, fatigue, and anxiety.
Try to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep. And Don’t be afraid of a 20 minute power nap on the weekends (or during the workday). When I worked in the corporate, I would take 30 minute power naps whenever I could. It may sound a bit much but it helps if you’re working 10 plus hours a day.
2. Support Your Liver
The liver is in charge of metabolizing our hormones. It helps breakdown and remove excess hormones in the body. The liver is the hardest working organ in the body, so we should love our liver’s a lil more. We should cut back on toxins that will make the liver work extra hard like alcohol, drugs, refined sugars, sugar substitutes and other toxic foods like sodas, coffee and junk foods. The best way to support your liver is to eat leafy bitter greens, like dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, watercress and arugula. These leafy biter greens helps the liver break down excess hormones in the body as well as help the liver produce bile to help break down fats. When the liver is not functioning proper its because it’s bogged down with too many toxins.
3. Avoid Soy
I think one of the other big reasons we are seeing more hormonal problems today is due to the increase of soy in our diets. Soy is a goitrogen, which blocks iodine intake in the body. In women, iodine is stored in the thyroid gland, the breasts and the ovaries. So if you have a deficiency of Iodine it can cause thyroid disorders - hypothyroidism (low metabolism), hyperthyroidism (high metabolism) and thyroid cancer, cysts in the breasts and ovaries, and breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Soy is a phytoestrogen plant-base food that mimic estrogen in our bodies. The more soy you eat, it raising the estrogen in the body. Recent studies shows how soy formula giving to babies is too hard on the digestive system. Scientist are now learning that certain foods are causing rapid hormonal growth in young girls, causing their moontimes to start early as six years old.
You may not drink soy milk and don’t eat tofu but soy is in just about all processed foods, it's also used iin cosmetics. Soy is from China and the seeds were brought to america in the 1800’s so that it could be used for animal feed, but one amazing chemist name of George Washington Carver realized the benefits for soybeans for preserving good quality soil. By doing so it produced better crop the next year. In the 1900’s Henry Ford started using soil to make plastic parts for cars. Now soy is used to feed all chickens, turkeys, cattle, pigs and form raised fish. I mention these things about soy so that you can see that it is not a good food source. Please read the ingredients on all your food labels and to see if soy is used in it. Try to cut back on the intake of soy.
4. Herbal Remedies
In my practice with Traditional Chinese Herbs, Donq Quai has been useful for balancing hormones for both puberty and menopause. There’s also other herbs that helps balance the hormones like black cohosh, licorice and wild yam. I use all of these herbs in my formula Lady Chi. I used to have tender breast and lower back pain a week before my moontime, so I create Lady Chi and started taking it during ovulation up the first day of my moontime and my PMS symptoms vanished immediately.
Movement is the name of the game ladies. Exercise will help relieve stress and help your body rid excess hormones. I particularly like yoga, kick boxing and running. I get a full body detox with doing all three. I do yoga on Mondays, kick boxing on Thursdays and I run on the other days. Even if you do a 20 minute power walk or swim a few laps that will get things moving and grooving in your body. So try to incorporate some type of exercise in your daily routine.
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