Switch To Clean Beauty
Here at CS, we love all-things clean beauty. From moisturizers to mascaras, weve tried em all. When it comes to skincare and makeup products, clean is keen. On a daily basis, we are exposed to so many chemicals, and as women, we are particularly targeted. Chemicals are found in our beauty and personal care productswhich we use, every day. In fact, women use an average of 12 personal care products, daily, that contain 168 different chemicals.
Although an individual beauty product may have small amounts of harmful chemicals, our overall exposure is what causes problems. More research is showing that the chemicals in these products can affect our hormones, fertility, and the health of our babies. Thankfully, clean beauty brands are a dime a dozen.
Hormones Menopause And Perimenopause
Menopause is the time when menstruation stops completely. The ovaries stop producing hormones and releasing eggs for fertilization, which means the bodys reproductive years are over.
The symptoms associated with menopause happen before, during perimenopause.
You may notice:
- Vaginal dryness and dry skin
- Urinary tract infections or frequent urination
When menopause occurs most -if not all- of these symptoms go away.
Hormones are secreted by various glands and organs throughout the body – not just the ovaries- working together to control, support, and regulate your organism in one synchronized network called the endocrine system. The pancreas, pituitary gland, thyroid, ovaries, and testicles, are all part of this system.
When you learn to balance hormones naturally, you get to influence more hormones than the ones secreted by the ovaries, which helps manage these symptoms better.
Avoid Foods That Wreak Hormone Havoc
Sugar and refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes and mess with your insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that helps turn glucose into energy and keeps your blood sugar stable. Too much sugar causes your body to release more and more insulin to help control blood glucose levels.3 This can lead to insulin resistance and eventually to type 2 diabetes. Keep refined carbs to a minimum and save sweet treats for special occasions. Choose natural sweetenersthat wont send your blood sugar on a roller coaster.
Another hormone-wrecking food to watch out for is soy. Soy contains phytoestrogens known as isoflavones that mimic estrogen in your body. These estrogen-like compounds have been shown to increase tumor growth in animals, leading researchers to speculate that they may have a harmful effect on a developing human as well. Avoid giving an infant soy-based formula, as they are rapidly developing and are especially sensitive to hormones and hormone-like compounds.
Eating the right fruits and veggies is a great tool for balancing hormones. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious hormone-balancing foods that you can incorporate into your daily diet. If you need some inspiration, I have a ton of recipes that incorporate foods to support healthy hormone levels on my blog that are FREE for you to enjoy.
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What Is A Hormonal Imbalance
A hormone imbalance occurs when there is too much or too little of a certain hormone in the body. An obgyn in Lake Success can help you figure out if you have a hormonal imbalance and how to fix the problems. Some hormone levels fluctuate throughout life and may occur due to aging, although other changes occur when endocrine glands are not functioning properly.
There are many signs and symptoms of a hormonal imbalance. These will depend on which hormones or glands arent working the right way. Several common hormonal conditions could cause any of the following symptoms:
- Muscle aches, tenderness, or stiffness
- Increased or decreased heart rate
- Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
- Frequent urination
- Puffy or rounded face
Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate a definite hormonal imbalance. Seeking medical advice from an obgyn in Lake Success can help diagnose and treat your symptoms and signs.
The normal hormonal cycle naturally changes during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause in females. There are some specific symptoms to look out for in women, indicating a hormonal imbalance. These include heavy or irregular periods, acne, hair loss, skin darkening, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, headaches, and more.
Reboot Your Stress Response
Its not everyday that a mother fights a polar bear to protect her seven year-old son, or two sisters lift a 3,000 pound tractor off their dad. However, both are examples of how the stress response primes us to act quickly in response to physical danger. Its an internal alarm that helps us respond to situations, sometimes in extraordinary ways.
Unfortunately, our bodies arent always good at differentiating major threats from minor stresses and annoyances. With modern life the way it is, our alarms can easily get stuck in on mode. When that happens, our bodies may steal the building blocks we need to make progesterone, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA to make extra cortisol instead.Here are eight ways to manually reset the alarm.
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What Is A Reference Range
A reference range is also known as normal values, and is determined by examining the normal test results of a group of healthy people. Most typical people will sit within this reference range.
However not everyone is âtypicalâ. Even if your results fall within the normal range you could still experience symptoms. If you are completely healthy it is also possible for your results to fall outside of the reference range. If either of these scenarios occur you will need further investigations.
Whats The Best Way To Start A New Exercise Routine
If youâre experiencing hormonal imbalance, it may be extra hard to get motivated. Hormone issues can zap your energy and make working out feel like a chore and this can lead to a frustrating cycle of weight gain and energy loss. Conditions that involve hormonal imbalance are also often linked to inflammation, which can make working out even harder. In this case, its important to find ways to make exercise fit into your life as smoothly and with as little difficultly as possible.
Physical Activity and Insulin Sensitivity:
Effects of 8-week Pilates exercise program on menopausal symptoms and lumbar strength and flexibility in postmenopausal women:
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Eat More Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts contain a compound called indol-3-carbinol that helps support estrogen metabolism and removing excess estrogen metabolites. This is also good news for helping to reduce the risk of estrogen-related cancers.
Friendly little note: If you have a thyroid condition you may want to limit your intake of too many raw crucifers due to their goitrogen content . Cooking crucifers can help to negate this effect, and generally small or moderate amounts of them are fine, but if youre concerned about goitrogens, be sure to speak to your healthcare practitioner.
How Are Hormonal Imbalances Diagnosed
Healthcare providers typically order blood tests to check hormone levels since your endocrine glands release hormones directly into your bloodstream.
Certain hormone levels vary drastically throughout the day, so providers may order other tests to measure your levels, such as a glucose tolerance test or insulin tolerance test.
Your provider will also ask you about your medical history and symptoms and perform a physical exam.
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Key Hormones That Affect Fertility
While its true that we have tons of different hormones coursing through our bodies, only a few come into play when were trying to conceive. Below, weve listed some of the key fertility hormones youll want to get familiar with if you suspect a hormone imbalance might be affecting your ability to get pregnant. The good news is, a hormone test will give you insight into these important hormones.
FSH is of the most important hormones for fertility, FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone is responsible for maintaining cycle regularity and producing healthy eggs.
LH or luteinizing hormone, may sound familiar its the hormone thats measured in at-home ovulation predictor kits . LH is the hormone that tells your body to release an egg thats ready to be fertilized.
AMH, also called anti-Mullerian hormone, is responsible for maintaining the immature eggs your body has. If you come across a hormone test that measures your ovarian reserve, or how many eggs you have left, its measuring AMH.
Progesterone is a key player both in preparing the body for pregnancy and for helping a new pregnancy to continue. Often when a woman suffers repeated miscarriages, plummeting progesterone levels are the culprit.
Prolactin If youre thinking that this hormone is the one that handles milk production, youre correct! But its also a key player in ensuring your cycle stays regular, which is essential when trying to conceive.
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Swap Carbs For Healthy Fats
Foods that balance hormones include a variety of fat-containing foods that provide short-, medium- and long-chain fatty acids. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol.
Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
Healthy fats have the opposite effect of refined carbohydrates, which lead to inflammation and can mess with the balance of your hormones.
My four favorite sources of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats include coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon.
- Coconut oil uses are plentiful. For example, coconut oil has natural antibacterial and fat-burning effects.
- Avocado benefits include improving heart health, lowering inflammation, controlling your appetite, and contributing to your daily intake of fiber and nutrients, such as potassium.
- Salmon nutrition is also impressive. Its one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower inflammation and help with cognitive functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are a large component of brain-cell membranes and are important for cell-to-cell communication in the brain. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help protect against hippocampal neuronal loss and reduce pro-inflammatory responses.
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Maintain Your Gut Health
Your gut health also needs to be maintained because it contributes to balancing hormone levels. Your gut has more than a hundred trillion friendly bacteria which lead to more metabolites. It affects hormone health in both ways, positive and negative.
The other responsibility of the gut microbiome is that it regulates hormones by modulating insulin resistance and making you feel full.
Losing fat can lead to composition changes in the gut microbiome. It enhances insulin resistance and inflammation.
Eat Foods With Less Sugar
Sugar impacts your risk for metabolic disease. Dyslipidemia, or lipid imbalance, includes dysregulated cholesterol levels and reduces insulin sensitivity. Fructose, a type of sugar, was also shown to stimulate inflammatory responses that impacted insulin signaling in the liver. Keep your hormones healthy by choosing whole foods, especially vegetables and low-processed foods.
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What Causes Hormonal Imbalances
Throughout your life and even throughout the day your hormone levels naturally rise and fall.
Certain periods of life cause more dramatic changes and fluctuations in hormones, including:
However, there are several other reasons why your hormone levels may be irregular at unexpected times. Some of the most common causes of fluctuating or imbalanced hormone levels include:
- Certain medications.
These hormonal imbalances are more likely to be temporary or fixable with a change in medication or properly managing stress.
Chronic hormone-related conditions can have several different possible causes. In general, the main conditions or situations that cause medically significant hormone imbalances include:
Tumors, adenomas and growths
Any kind of growth on a gland or organ that produces hormones, such as a tumor, adenoma or nodule, could affect its ability to do so.
Rare endocrine tumors form in glands or in cells that produce hormones and can cause hormone imbalances. Some of the rare endocrine tumors include:
An adenoma is a benign tumor. Many adenomas are nonfunctioning, meaning they dont produce hormones. But some can produce excess hormones. These are called functioning adenomas. Adenomas that affect your endocrine system and cause hormone imbalances include:
Damage or injury to an endocrine gland
Get More Sleep And Wake Up To Sunshine
A healthy circadian rhythm has been shown to impact all body rhythms including hormonal cycling. Melatonin is your moon and promotes sleep, produced when the sun goes down and encourages rest. Cortisol is your sun and is secreted in response to sun exposure, it gives us energy. When you give yourself the gift of 8-10 hours of sleep each night and exposing yourself to direct sunlight each morning upon waking, you are encouraging biological rhythms that can in turn, help your sex hormones and menstrual cycle to function in a healthy and consistent pattern.
As always, all nutrient and supplement changes should be discussed with your doctor prior to beginning or changing your routine or regimen. to learn more about your hormone patterns today!
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Rethink Your Beauty Products
Xenoestrogens, or foreign compounds that mimic estrogen, are also found in GMO cleaning and beauty products, phthalates, parabens, lead, formaldehyde, are all toxic and affect your endocrine system.
Our Tip: Go for organic, vegan, 5-Free, 7-Free or 10-Free beauty products and makeup. Read the labels and research the ingredients to help balance hormones naturally.
Taking Supplements Or Herbs
Certain vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements can help support healthy hormone levels. For example, consuming a probiotic supplement may help reduce estrogen dominance, while taking magnesium may help boost thyroid function and improve symptoms of hypothyroidism.
While there are many factors that can affect hormone balance, making changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you maintain healthy hormone levels and improve your overall well-being. By implementing a few of these strategies, you can support your bodys natural ability to stay regulated and feel your best.
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Avoid Plastic Containers And Bottled Water
When plastic freezes, it tends to break down into smaller particles that become toxins, our bodies inadvertently consume them when they seep into water or food they contain. The body takes these compounds as xenoestrogen, and it adds to the hormonal imbalance, not to mention the strain on your liver for detox.
Xenoestrogens also make it hard to lose weight. Learn more about the female hormone weight loss connection.
Our Tip: Balance hormones naturally by simply ditching plastic! Switch to a reusable glass or metal water bottle.
What Time Of Day Should I Take My Hormones
In general, blood samples are best taken in the first half of the cycle when normal and abnormal hormone levels are more clearly separated. However, progesterone may be deliberately measured on day 21 in the middle of the second half to see if ovulation has occurred.
How can I check my female hormone levels at home?
When you order an FDA approved hormone test kit online from Health Testing Centers, you can test at home for hormone levels with an easy sample collection such as a saliva testing or finger prick . All home collection health test kits include a prepaid shipping label.
What food causes hormonal imbalance?
Here are 6 foods you need to cut out of your diet to steer clear of hormonal issues:
- Red meat. Red meat is rich in saturated and hydrogenated fats which are considered unhealthy and should be avoided.
- Certain vegetables.
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Balancing Hormones For Pregnancy
First, let me share with you my personal hormone balancing story.
Lets dive right in sis! It used to take me 7 days to poop. Yes, a bowel movement only happened once a week for me.
I went to doctor after doctor seeking guidance on why this was and was prescribed medication after medication. Yes, the Miralax helped but in my eyes, it was not a long-term solution.
Plus, taking Miralax every day was not conducive to my social life. AT ALL.
I remember one night in a bible study where my flatulence couldnt be contained. Talk about so embarrassing!
So it was certainly apparent that I had gut-health issues and the constipation was just one symptom that contributed. Constipation was also followed by constant bloating, of course, anxiety, and the inability to get pregnant.
That last one hit me hard in 2017. I was in my first year of marriage and obviously having the usual baby fever. We were off birth control and just knew that IT would happen right away. We were wrong.
I was at a loss because I was having what I thought were normal and balanced monthly cycles. Im talking every 28 days like the medical books say, type of cycles. But still nothing.
After two miscarriages in 2018, I went to the Lord. He revealed to me the issue that I already was aware of but didnt know directly correlated with my conception efforts. My gut was unhealthy.
My body was holding onto unwanted waste and in turn, causing my body to yield unhealthy results.
Appetite And Weight Gain
You may gain weight during hormonal shifts, such as menopause. But hormone changes donÃ¢t directly affect your weight. Instead, it likely happens because of other factors, like aging or lifestyle. For example, when youÃ¢re feeling blue or irritated, as you can be when your estrogen levels drop, you may want to eat more. It can also impact your bodyÃ¢s levels of leptin, a hunger-revving hormone.
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Eat Some Dark Chocolate
If, like us, you think good chocolate solves everything, were about to make your day. And if youre someone who doesnt like chocolate Were not sure you actually exist. But on the off chance that you do, we might be about to change your mind. Because dark chocolate, in moderate amounts, natch, can actually help balance your hormones. Amazing, no? Heres the deal: Plain, or dark chocolate is magnesium rich, which is great news for your thyroid. But it also contains pre-biotic fiber, which helps with gut health. And as we discussed recently, theres no thyroid health without it. But it gets even better. Dark chocolate is also packed with copper, manganese, iron and antioxidants. Convinced yet? Join us! Eat the dark chocolate! Its good for you!
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