Let’s talk about PMS.
We can all agree that there’s nothing worse than the symptoms that come with our menstrual cycle. Between being moody, bloated, and tired, our periods take quite a toll on all aspects of our health.
Over 75% of women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
But did you know that PMS may actually be an indicator that your hormones are out of sync? The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recently declared the menstrual cycle as the fifth vital sign in determining your overall health.
If you dread the symptoms of your period you may want to take a closer look at your hormones. But don’t worry, *balancing your hormones is easier than you think!*
Keep reading to learn how your hormones affect your health, what signs you should look out for, and three natural ways you can balance your hormones today.
How Your Hormones Effect Your Health
Think of your hormones as telephone operators. They travel through your body relaying information to your tissues and organs letting them know how to perform. And it turns out, they’re responsible for many of your body’s major functions, including metabolism and reproduction.
Too much or too little of a hormone is known as an imbalance, and even the slightest imbalance can really set things off. The most common hormonal imbalance among women is having too much estrogen, or estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance occurs when your body has higher estrogen levels in relation to progesterone levels. This can be a result of your diet, too much stress, the products you use, lack of sleep, and much more.
Research shows that 80 percent of women suffer from hormonal imbalance.
Women experience the effects of hormonal imbalance from their teenage years to their 40’s, and oftentimes, they aren’t even aware of it. The truth is, when your hormones are off balance, your body sends you signals to alert you something’s off. These signals can come in many forms. Here are some red flags to look out for...
10 Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance
- Weight gain
- Hot Flashes & Night Sweats
- Irregular Periods
- Mood Swings
- Depression & Low Mood
- Low Libido
3 Natural Ways To Support Your Hormones
Making a few lifestyle changes is the best way to naturally support your hormones and prevent any disruptors that may cause hormonal imbalance. If you experience any of the above symptoms on a regular basis, here’s what you should do...
#1 - Eat A Nutrient Rich Diet
Research shows that your diet is key in maintaining hormonal balance. But if you’re anything like me, there’s nothing you crave more than a pint of ice cream during that time of the month. However, that pint is doing a lot more harm to your hormones than you think. Sugar and carbs are the main food offenders disrupting your hormones. The more sugar and carbs you eat, the more fat cells you create. These fat cells secrete estrogen, which can lead to estrogen dominance.
One of the easiest (and healthiest!) ways to support your hormones is by eating a nutrient-rich diet. Leafy greens, organic whole foods, and prebiotic foods can help keep hormones in balance and support a healthy gut.
#2 - Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on hormone-related health issues like stress, depression, and mood swings. Thanks to a boost in serotonin, exercise releases feel-good transmitters that can help relieve symptoms of PMS and menopause. But its benefits don’t stop there. Exercise increases your heart rate, which helps boost estrogen levels.
Women’s health expert and founder of FLO Living, Alisa Vitti, says that tailoring your workout to your period cycle is the best way to support your mind and body. For instance, in your menstrual cycle you’d focus more on light movements, such as stretching or practicing yoga. In your follicular phase your hormones are low, so light cardio is best. High-intensity exercises are recommended for ovulation, and in your luteal phase you’ll want to engage in light to medium exercise.
#3 - Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Studies show that if you suffer from symptoms of PMS, infertility, or other hormone-related health issues, caffeine is only making things worse. Especially coffee. Not only does coffee increase your cortisol levels and stress your adrenals, but it depletes your body of essential nutrients and minerals. This makes it more difficult for your endocrine system to balance your hormones. Caffeine is also metabolized slower in postmenopaual women and women taking oral contraceptives.
Although quitting coffee may seem like an impossible feat, there are steps you can take to reduce your consumption, and wean yourself off caffeine. Click here for 5 healthy coffee alternatives!
Healthy Hormones, Happy You
Balancing your hormones doesn’t always require medication or therapy, sometimes the root of these issues lie in your diet and lifestyle choices. Luckily, paying attention to your body and adjusting to its needs is an easy way to get your health back on track!
If you suffer from symptoms of hormonal imbalance, try these simple lifestyle changes and talk to your doctor about testing your hormone levels.
Remember, balancing your hormones is key to optimal health and unlocking your happiness.