A Holistic Approach

This wraps up our final chapter in this hormone series. Hopefully, by now, you’ve learned a little more about your hormones and how they help you function on a daily basis. We’ve talked about food, but what are some of the other ways we can help support our hormone function? Read on to learn how simple shifts can lead to big change.

Awareness:

  • Pay attention to where you are in your cycle: journal or use a cycle tracker app like, ‘Clue.’ This will help you plan a little better and also notice patterns in your cycle in terms of mood, breast tenderness, energy levels, etc.
  • Typically, during the first half of your cycle you have more estrogen than progesterone floating around your body. This often means an increased appetite and extra energy. This is usually a good time for more intense workouts
  • Then during the second half of your cycle, you have more progesterone than estrogen in your body. This will often result in less of an appetite and your body will crave gentler workouts.

Exercise:

  • Exercise doesn’t have to hurt to count. Walking, swimming, lifting even small weights can help.
  • Excessive or intense exercise can have a negative impact on hormones – especially for those with hypothyroid or adrenal gland issues
  • The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns – increases metabolism
  • Lean muscle mass supports insulin sensitivity & bone health

Sleep:

  • Good quality sleep sets the stage for better hormone regulation, better mood and fewer cravings.
  • Make sure your room is as dark as possible and slightly cool. Pile on an extra blanket or two on your bed for an extra layer of coziness.
  • Use low lighting in your bedroom before sleep.
  • Keep technology out during sleeping hours.
  • Turn off the TV before you fall asleep so it doesn’t wake you in the middle of the night. If you enjoy watching television before falling asleep, make it a calm and happy type of show.
  • Establish regular sleeping hours – try to be in bed by 10 and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep depending on what your body needs to function optimally.

Stress Management:

  • Deep breathing/prayer or meditation
  • Exercising
  • Sleep
  • Eating healthy
  • Massages
  • Laughing
  • Gratitude lists

Self Care:

  • time just for you
  • no agenda or list of tasks
  • hobby, reading
  • time with friends
  • health & hygiene products

And finally, appreciate your womanhood. All too often I hear women gripping over their cycle. If I am being honest, I’ve joined in the chorus too. While it can be an inconvenience at times, it is part of what makes us who we are and we would serve ourselves better if we learned to find the positives here. Our menstrual cycle can give us clues about our overall wellbeing such as the health of our thyroid, bones and how to plan for creativity, romantic interludes and leverage our energy for adventure and exercise. Click here to read more about the benefits of your cycle.

If you are struggling to get a handle on your hormones, consider making an appointment with your health care provider for detailed hormonal testing. Many Naturopathic Doctors offer excellent options for testing hormones and while it may involve some out of pocket expenses, once you figure out how to best support your body, the experience just may be priceless!

If you want to know more about how to best support your hormones with food and lifestyle choices, drop me a line. I am always here to help cheer you on and guide you on your way to nutritious living!