You may have found yourself saying, “I’m so hormonal,” but what does that really mean? Natural health and wellness expert Nat Kringoudis shows us how to give our hormones a little more TLC.
By Nat Kringoudis
Did you know that there are 50 known hormones within the human body, all contributing to your overall health every second of the day and night? Yep, pretty impressive.
These hormones are the messaging signals that direct everyday function within your body. Things like sleep, your period, your mood, and hunger. Think of it like a symphony orchestra – when it’s all in tune, it’s perfect and when it’s not, it can be a disaster.
“Check in with yourself daily about how you’re feeling and if you are feeling overwhelmed ask yourself if it is necessary OR if you’re choosing stress out of habit. When we can become conscious around stress, we can actively choose again when it isn’t necessary.”
And you may have found yourself from time to time saying, “I’m so hormonal,” but what does that really mean? For women, my focus sits between two main groups – your sex hormones and your stress hormones.
Sex hormones vs. stress hormones
Your sex hormones are responsible for your menstrual cycle, ovulation, your period, as well as your libido, skin, moods and more.
Your stress hormones are triggered in times of stress and overwhelm, also necessary to regulate the body to do its best under pressure and help to keep us safe.
However, when stress hormones are high, we pull the handbrake on sex hormones as a means of priority. Your body will simply weaken or take them offline as a means of coping to keep things as regulated as possible under the circumstances.
Having balanced sex hormones is essential for good health. When our sex hormones are out of balance we can experience a swag of symptoms from acne to heavy bleeding, PMS to missing periods and more.
Knowing when your body is out of balance
Your body is constantly serving up clues to help you. Your job is to simply become curious as to what they are trying to show you.
Common signs of imbalance may look like issues with ovulation, short or long cycles, pain including headaches and period pain, mood swings especially in the lead up to the period, and irregular cycles to name a few.
Consider this – if your symptoms are cyclic, it’s likely hormone related.
Rather than feel like you’re at the mercy of your hormones, here are 6 things you can do to help take back the control of your hormones and live your best life.
1. Get to bed by 10pm
Your circadian rhythm is essential for balanced hormones. That is your body’s own internal 24 hour clock. Under stress, cortisol can rise which means melatonin (your sleepy hormone) doesn’t adequately rise.
To support your melatonin, avoid bright lights at night, opting for more subtle lighting to help support your melatonin to do its job. This includes avoiding the bright light of your phone before bed.
2. Avoid heating in plastic containers and repurposing plastic water bottles
Chemicals found in plastics mimic your body’s own oestrogen – the hormone that serves many purposes including that of building your endometrial lining.
When there is too much oestrogen you may experience heavier periods, but excess oestrogen is also a contributing factor of conditions like endometriosis and migraines.
Ditch the plastic and switch to glass containers and stainless steel water bottles.
3. Check in on stress levels
Long periods of elevated stress can have a major impact on sex hormones. We are conditioned now to feel that if we aren’t stressed, we are likely not going to be successful.
Check in with yourself daily about how you’re feeling and if you are feeling overwhelmed ask yourself if it is necessary OR if you’re choosing stress out of habit. When we can become conscious around stress, we can actively choose again when it isn’t necessary.
It’s as simple and being aware and choosing again should it not warrant the reaction. Contrary to what you’ve observed, you can be successful without being stressed or under pressure.
4. Poop on the daily
Seems obvious, but excess hormones are removed from the body via the bowels. If this mechanism isn’t happening regularly, hormones can be reabsorbed adding to various imbalances.
The trick? FIBRE. Fibre is a binder which excess hormones will stick to and be shipped out via the bowels. It’s a simple way to ensure your body is ridding of waste including your hormones.
5. Turn off your router at night
Electro Magnetic Fields (EMFs) have been shown to influence hormones. Turning off your Wi-Fi at night means your body gets a rest from the influence of these EMFs which may be contributing to your hormone imbalances.
6. Keep it tidy (as much as you can with kids!)
We are a product of our environment. If you live in a messy space, your health picks up on this and stress hormones are heightened. A temporarily messy space won’t cause much harm, but long term mess keeps us in a state of overwhelm.
Keep your surroundings tidy as a simple hack to keep the stress levels down.
Whilst we can’t wrap ourselves in bubble wrap, we can make small adjustments that do add up.
Checking in with your body’s own signs and listening to its clues may be the first very simple step in giving your hormones a little more TLC. Bottom line – less stress more play … your hormones will love you for it.