7 signs of hormone imbalance and what you can do to (naturally) fix them.

Hormones are chemical messengers that are responsible for relaying and carrying information to the cells and organs within our bodies, instructing them to perform certain processes that have influence over almost every function in our bodies.

The role that hormones play often goes underestimated in mainstream medicine as treatments are usually quick fixes that act on shutting down the body’s natural production of hormones which yes, does reduce symptoms, but long-term, this masking of symptoms can lead to many additional issues.

Some studies show that as many as 80% of women experience hormonal imbalance, which is not surprising due to the number I see within my clinic and when we stop to think about their significant roles within the body, it is no wonder we don’t feel well (emotionally, physically and mentally) when they are out of balance.

Balancing our hormones requires both nutritional and lifestyle approaches that both facilitate the making and breaking down of hormones and enable them to carry out their incredibly important roles within the body, such as growth, energy production, reproduction, sexual function, repair, digestion and so much more. Here’s 7 (of the many) signs of hormonal imbalance

-Irregular, absent or heavy periods -PMS -Infertility -Acne -Weight gain -Fatigue

-Sleep issues

Here’s my top 5 hormone nurturing nutrients to help you balance your hormones

1 - Magnesium – Easily my favourite (along with zinc). This amazing mineral supports over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It supports serotonin and melatonin (our happy and sleep hormones), is critical for progesterone production (all kinds of important) and helps to calm us by reducing cortisol and adrenalin which allows our bodies and muscles to recover from stress

Eat more – leafy greens, nuts and seeds, good quality dark chocolate and legumes

2 - Zinc – Like magnesium, zinc is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body and plays a big role in hormone regulation. Zinc is needed to produce hormones (oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone) and to help balance them out. (This is one of the main reasons zinc can help with hormonal acne (especially in adolescence).

Eat more – Meat, legumes, shellfish (especially oysters), nuts and seeds and wholegrains.

3 - B6 (pyridoxine) – All of the B’s are important, but this is one of the most crucial when it comes to hormones. B6 helps to boost your mood thorough supporting serotonin and progesterone production; which helps to manage PMS symptoms, anxiety and your mood in general! It also plays a key role in clearing (detoxing) excess oestrogen to keep things more balanced.

Eat more – Salmon (wild-caught), lean chicken breast, sweet and normal potatoes, avocado, bananas, beef and pistachios.

4 - B5 (pantothenic acid) – B5 helps to lower inflammation (which helps our hormones to be more balanced) and assists in producing sex and stress hormones in the adrenal glands, Its role in both of these can help to reduce the frequency and severity of acne breakouts.

Eat more – Broccoli, cabbage, sweet and white potatoes and wholegrains.

5 - Vitamin D – The sunshine vitamin, is a precursor for production of the hormone progesterone. If we have low progesterone, we may experience PMS, spotting and sore boobs before our period and shorter cycles. Vitamin D helps with mood, immune function, bone growth and insulin sensitivity (particularly in those with PCOS).

Eat more – Egg yolks, organic butter, salmon (wild-caught) and sardines.

(And to make things easier for you – I have created a free 3 day hormone balancing meal planner, complete with recipes and shopping list for you to download below if you're interested!)

What else can we do?

In addition to focusing on key nutrients, there are also a number of lifestyle interventions we can make to further assist us to balance our hormones and get you back to feeling your best.

- Swapping out products with synthetic chemicals for natural alternatives (visit us in store or online!) - Eating organic foods when possible - Keeping stress at bay - Drinking enough quality water - (Trying) to get enough sleep - Reducing alcohol, coffee and sugar intake - Maintaining a healthy weight Unfortunately, our modern-day lifestyles are constantly exposing us to things that are throwing our hormonal balance out. The first step is being aware, and the second step is to begin to make changes, even if it is one thing at a time. In health,

Megan x

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