Listen up! I'm going to tell you exactly why you SHOULD give a sh*t about balancing hormones. Your hormones control almost everything your body does. You can think of them as messengers that relay instructions between the organs. Hormones don’t carry out the jobs but they keep the rest of your body on task. So yeah, keeping those hormones happy and balanced is super important for overall well-being.
Some of the main hormones you need to understand include:
Estrogen: Estrogen is responsible for female physical features and reproduction. Men have estrogen too but far less. Estrogen helps control the menstrual cycle and is important for fertility. It also keeps cholesterol in check, keeps bones healthy, and affects your brain, heart, skin, and other tissues.
Progesterone: Progesterone is produced in the ovaries and when its imbalanced and progesterone levels are low you may experience headaches, mood swings, weight gain, fibroids, thyroid dysfunction, irregular menstrual cycle etc Low progesterone also tends to mean low libido (sex drive)! Low progesterone also makes it difficult to conceive a baby.
Testosterone: Testosterone belongs to a class of male hormones called androgens but women also have testosterone. The ovaries produce both testosterone and estrogen. If your body produces too much testosterone, you may have irregular or absent menstrual periods, extra body hair, acne etc. High testosterone levels can lead to infertility.
Cortisol: Cortisol is often called the "stress hormone" but it is much more than just a hormone released during stress. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, and assist with memory. Cortisol also supports the developing fetus during pregnancy. Studies have found that anxiety and depression may also be linked to high cortisol levels.
Insulin: Insulin is one of the body’s master hormones and when it gets out of balance your mood can go out of balance with it. Insulin controls how the body uses carbohydrates found in certain types of food. Insulin is most commonly thought of in connection to diabetes but it's a hormone we should all be aware of.
When we don’t live in accordance with our fluctuating hormone needs, we experience problems like bloating, PMS,acne, depressed mood, brain fog, and increased anxiety.
Here are some symptoms that may be indicative of a hormonal imbalance:
- brain fog or trouble with memory retention
- weight loss or weight gain
- decreased libido
- anxiety and/or depression
- hot flashes
- vaginal dryness
- cold intolerance
You should give a sh*t about your hormones because when they are out of whack, YOU FEEL IT. You've gotta keep those suckers as balanced as you can in order to feel your best- and girl, you DESERVE to feel your best always.
Estrogen Dominance is one of the most common hormonal imbalances in women. Estrogen dominance can develop from excess body fat, environmental estrogens, poor digestion, stress, adrenal issues, and even autoimmune conditions. One of the main reasons there has been a noticeable rise in estrogen dominance is because hormonal birth control is so popular. The food you eat also affects estrogen levels whether it's from pesticides, glysophate (an herbicide), hormones fed to the animals you consume (including dairy) etc
We need more progesterone than estrogen in our bodies. The problem is that this can be hard to achieve because the environment in which we live is saturated with xenoestrogens, chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body. Xenoestrogens are found in many types of fish (because of high mercury levels), BPA plastic, paraben, phthalates and other sources.
Balancing hormones can also help with PMS/period symptoms like mood changes, anxiety, headaches, gastrointestinal symptoms, tender breasts, and fatigue. PMS in many patients is associated with higher estrogen and lower progesterone states. Heavy menstrual bleeding is usually caused by estrogen dominance. High cortisol levels can also contribute to changes in a woman's libido and menstrual cycle. Want a less sh*tty period? Balance those hormones, girl!
Ready to learn more about your hormones and how to balance them?
Ready to learn which FOODS will serve you best (and at what time of the month!), which toxins to watch out for, how to keep cortisol and insulin levels balanced), how to heal hormonal acne, how to use essential oils for hormonal balance and so much more?