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Female Hormones: Finding Balance

Modern living is responsible for many choices that contribute hormone imbalance at its root cause. Stress, toxins, and nutrient-poor food are often key drivers for imbalance in the body leading to downstream diseases. If you’re concerned with your hormone health, there are many important lifestyle choices that can make a major difference. 

Stress

Make stress reduction a priority. In today’s world, there are constant stressors all around us which keep most of us in fight or flight mode. That continuous activation of the sympathetic system has negative consequences. Take time regularly to practice mindfulness, whether that be meditation, yoga, gratitude journaling, or simply a relaxing bath.1,2

Sleep

Optimize sleep. We talked about the power of sleep in a recent blog post and when it comes to hormone balance, sleep is critical. Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule, and wind down with a routine every night. Do not use screens for two hours before bedtime, and ensure your sleep environment is cool and dark.1,3

Toxins

Reduce exposure to toxins. Some environmental toxins in cleaning and hygiene products, as well as plastic packaging, are estrogenic in nature. These xenoestrogens, also known as endocrine disruptors, mimic the estrogen in our bodies and can interfere with endocrine processes causing hormone-related symptoms.1,4,5 You can visit this blog post to learn more about how the body eliminates toxins and for simple lifestyle modifications you can make to reduce your overall toxin exposure.

Diet

Make nutritious food choices. Your body requires a variety of nutrients to adequately synthesize and metabolize hormones. Additionally, eat slowly and chew food thoroughly to help with digestion and absorption.1,4 

Audit caffeine and alcohol consumption. Both affect hormone balance through different pathways, and overuse can set off a cascade of imbalances in sensitive people.1,4,6,7

Blood sugar 

Maintain stable blood sugar. Wild swings in insulin can affect hormone imbalance, so eat regular, balanced meals throughout the day that include sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fresh produce. Avoid sugar and processed carbohydrates whenever possible. Fiber is your friend when it comes to hormone balance!1,4,8,9 To learn more about blood sugar regulation, visit this blog post.

Food sensitivities 

Explore food sensitivities. Food sensitivities are a common root cause of hormone imbalance, but they can be difficult to identify. One of the best and cheapest ways to identify food sensitivities is by completing an elimination diet. This consists of removing certain foods including gluten, dairy, and sugar, for a certain amount of time and then strategically reintroducing them while looking for symptoms. 1,4,10 Additionally, your functional medicine practitioner can order food allergy and food sensitivity testing. If you have questions about completing an elimination diet or food sensitivity testing, our pharmacists at PharmToTable would love to talk with you.

Bottom line

Proper hormone balance is critical for optimal functioning of several bodily processes but also for maintaining a consistent state of overall wellbeing. If you suspect that your hormones are imbalanced, partner with one of our pharmacists who can help identify and resolve the root cause. Every person is unique, and the cause of hormone imbalance can be different and multifactorial for each person. It is critical to identify the source of the imbalance to achieve resolution, and typically, it is a process that involves commitment and accountability. However, restoring your wellbeing is a journey worth taking…you deserve to feel good every day! 

Our Pharmacists at PharmToTable specialize in functional medicine using a lifestyle-based approach. We also have health coaches on our team who can help you start to make changes towards improving your health.  

Book an appointment or schedule a free 15-minute discovery call today!

By Lindsey Palmer, PharmD, MBA 

References

  1. How Do I Naturally Balance Female Sex Hormones? Dr. Mark Hyman. https://drhyman.com/ blog/2015/08/14/how-do-i-naturally-balance-female-sex-hormones/. Published December 19, 2019. Accessed May 20, 2021. 
  2. Lim SA, Cheong KJ. Regular Yoga Practice Improves Antioxidant Status, Immune Function, and Stress Hormone Releases in Young Healthy People: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Pilot Study. J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Sep;21(9):530-8. doi: 10.1089/ acm.2014.0044. Epub 2015 Jul 16. PMID: 26181573.
  3. Spiegel K, Leproult R, Van Cauter E. Impact of sleep debt on metabolic and endocrine function. Lancet. 1999 Oct 23;354(9188):1435-9. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(99)01376-8. PMID: 10543671. 
  4. Gottfried S. The Hormone Reset Diet: Heal Your Metabolism to Lose up to 15 Pounds in 21 Days. Toronto: Collins; 2017. 
  5. Paterni I, Granchi C, Minutolo F. Risks and benefits related to alimentary exposure to xenoestrogens. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Nov 2;57(16):3384-3404. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1126547. PMID: 26744831; PMCID: PMC6104637. 
  6. Sisti JS, Hankinson SE, Caporaso NE, Gu F, Tamimi RM, Rosner B, Xu X, Ziegler R, Eliassen AH. Caffeine, coffee, and tea intake and urinary estrogens and estrogen metabolites in premenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Aug;24(8):1174-83. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0246. Epub 2015 Jun 10. PMID: 26063478; PMCID: PMC4526325. 
  7. Pubs.niaaa.nih.gov. 2021. Alcohol·s Effects on Female Reproductive Function. [online] Available at: <https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh26-4/274-281.htm> [Accessed 20 May 2021]. 
  8. Lana A, Rodríguez-Artalejo F, Lopez-Garcia E. Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is positively related to insulin resistance and higher plasma leptin concentrations in men and nonoverweight women. J Nutr. 2014 Jul;144(7):1099-105. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.195230. Epub 2014 May 14. PMID: 24828025. 
  9. Weickert MO, Pfeiffer AF. Metabolic effects of dietary fiber consumption and prevention of diabetes. J Nutr. 2008 Mar;138(3):439-42. doi: 10.1093/jn/138.3.439. PMID: 18287346. 
  10. Malekinejad H, Rezabakhsh A. Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health – A Narrative Review Article. Iran J Public Health. 2015 Jun;44(6):742-58. PMID: 26258087; PMCID: PMC4524299. 
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