How I Have Been Balancing My Hormones – NATURALLY

How I Have Been Balancing My Hormones – NATURALLY
OK, if you have been reading my blog for sometime now, you have come to learn that I am open, honest and sincere in what I like to discuss with you all.  Sometimes, you might think “that’s a little too much information”, but to me, we all go thru things and situations in life.  It is helpful and comforting to read about others who are going thru or have gone thru the same situation as you and to learn more.    This enables us to become empowered to take our health into our own hands.   To start seeing where the disharmony and imbalance is occurring in our selves .  Well, today I am here to discuss HORMONES and how I have been balancing mine (and continue to do so) thru a mind-body connection.

 

So, how did this all start.  It goes back MONTHS.  Over the summer, I started to notice some small symptoms:  hair shedding,  trouble sleeping, low energy, irregular periods, dry skin and hair, anxiety, increased muscle tension, sore muscles, tendons and joints.  It could have been due to anything.  The weather, emotions, food, cleansing/detoxing of body, etc.  I was in a different place back then than I am now.  We’re constantly EVOLVING and CHANGING in every moment.

 

Since I have adopted the Ayurveda lifestyle, I have become so much more in-tune with my body and mind. For the past month or so, I have kept a journal of my lifestyle changes (food, supplements, tonics, water intake, sleep patterns, eliminations, exercise, AND even emotional issues, old thoughts, old behaviors, etc.) and it has helped me immensely in keeping track what works and doesn’t work for ME.  So, these symptoms were still there and getting more so.  I had some intuitive thoughts/feelings/insight about what could be the cause.   Upon reflection of my habits/ patterns/ behaviors and dietary intake and discussing these occurrences with my new acupuncturist doctor (I’ll post about her soon and the experience) it was shown that YES, my thoughts were correct.

 

So let’s look at the foundations of our hormones and what triggers them to get out of balance AND some things that we can do to bring them back into harmony.

 

Hormone imbalance is the root cause of various diseases and disorders. Modern city-life involves a sedentary but hectic lifestyle, lack of free time, lack of exercise, increased stress, frequent consumption of fast food, excessive consumption of alcohol, excessive smoking, air, noise and water pollution resulting in exposure to harmful chemicals, intake of food that contains preservatives or harmful additives, over-consumption of processed foods, etc. Even our emotional issues can trigger and throw us out of balance.  Our thoughts about ourselves, our behaviors  and more.  All these factors are responsible for hormonal imbalance and the related health complications. Regular exercises and good eating and sleeping habits help enhance the production of hormones in the body. A healthy diet which provides all the essential nutrients in proper proportions is essential for the release of hormones by endocrine glands.

 

Hormones determine the ‘fight or flight’ response of your body to a stressful condition, and they also control your appetite and fat deposition. They determine the quality of your hair and skin. Hormonal imbalance can affect your looks significantly, and it can affect your memory and cognizance too. Thus, maintaining hormone balance is crucial for good physical and mental health.

 

Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids like fish, fish oil, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds help improve the hormone levels in the body. They improve your memory and cognitive thinking by replenishing the body with fatty acids (that are destroyed due to hormonal imbalances). Antioxidant rich fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds help strengthen your endocrine system, as they cancel the effects of free radicals on the body. Consumption of organic food (foods produced without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides) with plenty of clean, filtered water is essential if you want to prevent hormone imbalance.

 

If you decide to take healthy foods and sustain a healthy eating plan, you should make sure that you avoid the consumption of junk foods and processed foods. The reason is most of these foods consist of high amount of additives and food coloring, unhealthy fats and sugars. Animal products obtained from animals fed with artificial growth hormones as well as antibiotics are harmful as well, and this may also affect the production of hormones within your body.

You can start by being mindful of when, where, and how you eat. All of these factors affect both your hormonal balance and the way your body stores fat and builds muscle. A diet that limits carbohydrates and emphasizes quality proteins and fats provides the building blocks for all your hormones, including major hormones like cortisol and insulin, as well as minor, but important, hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

 

Here is the protocol that I am taking (and this is evolving as I see/feel fit for ME:

1)  Cleanse thy LIVER!  –   The liver is responsible for eliminating excess hormones (e.g. in the case of estrogen dominance). In addition, estrogen-mimicking chemicals found in many products and in the environment would also be eliminated by the liver. Therefore, supporting the liver is (in my opinion) THE most important and essential part of treating hormonal imbalance.  If the liver is congested, fatty or overtaxed, ALL the good things you are doing won’t be very effective until that liver is cleansed and balanced.  I am taking these supplements:  Life Extension, Liver Efficiency Formula and Life Extension, Silymarin (Milk Thistle).

2)  Get the sleep you need.  Limited sleep is linked to hormonal changes that increase hunger and appetite, triggering weight gain. One particular hormone, called leptin, is particularly sensitive to variations in sleep cycle. Leptin controls your appetite and metabolic rate.  Insufficient sleep will result in lower leptin levels leading to slower metabolism and weight gain.(source)   So there is a vicious, depleting cycle, which leaves you heavier, moodier and less energetic. 

 

 

My sleep cycle had been “wonkers” and I had not been getting good deep REM sleep.  I have no problem getting to sleep, but I would wake up around 2 a.m. and not be able to sleep for several hours till around 4,5 or 6.  I was going to bed around midnight (after watching tv , being on the computer or reading for awhile).  Working up until the very last minute before bed is not conducive to a “good nights sleep”.   My sleep has improved since implementing Ayurveda and some of the suggestions below along with having a nightly routine, especially one that involves relaxing activities.  I now go to bed by 10:30 p.m. and do some light yoga stretching, deep breathing/meditation beforehand.  A HOT aromatherapy bath works WONDERS too!  :)

3) Shoulder stands/ Inversions -  Inversions stimulate the pituitary gland, the master gland.  The pituitary gland is “in charge” of the body’s overall hormonal functioning.  Stimulating this gland promotes hormonal balance and healthy hormonal functioning.  Inversions increase the flow of oxygen, internal fluids and blood thus cleansing the body’s many systems.   Headstands, shoulderstands, Legs Up the Wall, bridge pose, forward bends and similar asanas can be intimidating for many students, but they are vital to overall health. 

 

Sarvangasana

 

The benefits are worth overcoming fear.  They also increase mental power, concentration and stimulate the chakras.  Check out this article for more information and how to do shoulder stand pose correctly.

4) Add fat into your diet - This was the BIGGIE for me! 

Fat was long considered the enemy of dieters, but the simple truth of the matter is–fat does not make you fat. Your body needs fat to fuel the body’s hormonal systems, including the production of sex hormones like testosterone. Normal testosterone levels are necessary for a healthy sex drive, strong energy levels, and the retention of lean muscle mass. Dieters sticking to a low-fat regime sometimes skirt the minimal acceptable levels of fat intake, playing Russian roulette with their hormone levels.

My acupuncturist said that she sees these symptoms quite a bit from women on low-fat diets and she feels that by restricting my fat intake (I wasn’t consciously doing it) that I had put myself into peri-menopause.  Over the summer time, I tend to eat lighter with fruits, salads, veggies (mostly raw) and tend to not eat as much fat (avocados are the exception).  Over the past two months of being on the Ayurvedic diet and eating a good bit of ghee in my EVERY meal – I have noticed improvements with skin, hair, mood, energy level, teeth/gums, more centered and calm (not as reactionary), happier, have more strength and muscle tone, and yes, menstrual cycle back to normal.  ** Just to note: I had some blood work done while visiting acupuncturist doctor and the results came back great.  My cholesterol levels were better than ever (and they have been GREAT with past results).  **  So including HEALTHY fats into a diet will help cholesterol levels and much more.

 

 

My acupuncturist feels that the Ayurvedic diet/lifestyle is working for me and to keep doing what I am doing.  It might take some time (a few months) to get back into complete balance.  It took time to get this way and it will take some time to reverse.  So, I learned that I need more fat in my diet than what I had “brain washed myself to think”.   I am not saying anything bad about the raw food diet (so NOT!).   I just know NOW that I will continue to  incorporate more fat (avocados, nuts, ghee, fresh coconuts, etc.) into my diet when I start eating more fruit and salads again during the warmer months.  Being aware of balance.

Eat fats in their raw and unprocessed state and be sure to get enough omega 3 fatty acids daily, in the form of chia seed, flax seed, hemp seed, pumpkin seed and blue green algae.  I am currently taking some flax oil supplements to get more essential fatty acids – Udo’s Oil  would be great too (I am out and need to order more this week!)

*  So, my friends, if you are on any type of low-fat diet, please be careful and watch for any symptoms or reactions in your body and mind.  I know I felt great in the beginning on mostly fruit and leafy greens with little fat, but obviously, that caught up with me.  Once the imbalance occurs, it can take several months for it to manifest and show itself with symptoms.  Little to no-fat diets are not sustainable for long term and the body NEEDS fat to perform MANY functions, tasks and to be healthy.  We are like automobiles, if we don’t add oil to the system when it gets low (or very little) it will “throw a rod” or worse.   Let’s aim to take care and maintain these beautiful vehicles that we reside in -  for they are the only ones we have in this lifetime. 

5)  Herbs and herbal tonics - Turmeric, ashwaganda, Maca (see #7 below) and ginseng (also good liver cleansers) are some herbs which helps balance both female and male hormones.  Red raspberry, dong quai, wild yam, black cohosh, red clover are some other herbs that are phytoestrogens in the form of plants that assist the bodies hormones back into balance.  So, I have been upping my intake of hot herbal tonic drinks that balance the hormones and cleanse the liver.  Check out my recipes here.

 

6)  Foods/Diet -  Examples of foods which contain phytoestrogens are tofu, tempeh, soybeans (I personally don’t eat these in my diet)  and sprouts, wheat-berries, fenugreek, lentils, yams, rice, all sprouted seeds, alfalfa, linseed, oil seeds like sesame, sunflower etc., uncooked olive oil, wheat germ, rice bran, corn, barley, oats, parsley, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, parsnip, celery, green peas, green beans, cucumber, apples, anise, carrots, pomegranates, etc. (source)

 The Ayurveda dietary changes have helped me immensely.  My body is getting the proper foods that seem to be healing my body and mind. 

7) Adrenal fatigue -  Reduce stress!  The stress hormone cortisol is a big player in messing with our hormones and keeping them “out of whack”.   Stress is one of the key contributors to hormone imbalance.  When you’re in a stressful situation, your body produces a cascade of chemicals-hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters — that mobilize your body to escape or fight.  When this is chronic, the excessive demands of on your adrenal glands, the “stress soldiers”, cause less nutrients and hormone precursors to be available to make other hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. Studies show that you can transform a stressful state through the power of deep breathing and appreciation. Take frequent deep breathing and appreciation breaks throughout the day to support your hormones.
 

 

http://rimjhimj.edublogs.org/files/2012/02/Ways-To-Destress-1vpxfxt.jpg

 

 

* MACA:   Peru’s maca root is the best organic adaptogen nutrient in the world to stabilize hormone imbalance in women. Maca is a powerful adaptogen and also enhances natural production of progesterone testosterone and estrogen hormones in women.  It is important to know that herbal maca does not “replaces” human hormone with plant-hormones or plant estrogens like black cohosh and other phyto estrogen herbs, but its action in the body nourishes and jogs the pituitary gland into producing your own bio identical human hormone and ends up raising not only estrogen, but also progesterone and testosterone hormones naturally.  Maca is also a natural adaptogen, which means it has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s hormonal system. Adaptogens also boost immunity and harmonize the body’s overall vitality.  

(So, needless to say, I am taking MACA daily to see how the results come about.)

I reduce stress through exercise (mine has been  yoga, walking outside in nature and Rebounding), deep breathing, self-nurturing practices such as yoga stretching/breathing and affirming GRATITUDE first thing in the mornings, hot aromatherapy baths at night, BREATHING throughout the day, getting away from stimulating activities at night (computer, tv, etc.) and chilling before bedtime. 

8) Deep Breathing –  Deep breathing stimulates vital hormone secretions throughout the endocrine system by exciting the pneumogastric nerve and providing direct massage to glands in the abdomen  and sacrum, thereby balancing all vital functions, including sexual potency and fertility.   Deep breathing permits deep, uninterrupted sleep and reduces time required for a complete rest.   It also improves digestion, metabolism, excretion and and aids the liver. (from the book – The Tao of Health, Sex and Longevity

Take a slow deep breath in for a count of 4 seconds. Hold the breath in for 4 seconds. Release the breath for a count of 4 seconds. Slow and controlled.  Do for as long as you can.  Just focus on your breathing. 

 

I know this was LONG, but there are so many factors to take into account on this topic.  This is my experience and the choices I decided to make for my journey.   I hope you found some of this information helpful and you can create balance and peace in your life with healthier hormone levels.  This whole approach is fabulous not only for our hormones but our OVERALL HEALTH.

 **  Come back tomorrow because I will share with you an herbal tonic that I have been making for my hormones. **

** Have you balanced your hormones in a natural way – would love to hear about it! **

  For more healthy living and organic gardening tips, quick recipes, what I’m eating and inspirational quotes, LOVE me on Facebook and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Lots of fun stuff!

May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired!
Kibby

 

About

I am passionate about healthy living, healthy eating, organic gardening, and having fun along the way. My approach to healing focuses not only on the foods you put into your mouth but also incorporates the elements of body, mind and spirit.

19 Responses »

  1. Thank you Kibby! I just s checking out FB and read this thru and thru! Great info on balancing the Hormones~ I went thru such an imbalance for so many years~ and sometimes you really are not sure what your body is telling you. I am interested in your tonics , but what do you use as a sweetner? I am hooked on Stevia but I use it all day long in my teas. I am trying to watch carbs too.. so honey can add up over the day. Thanks so much !

    • Hi Becky! Thanks and I am so glad you liked it. Stevia is great to use all the time, but if you want something different, opt for some Grade B maple syrup or dates. I am using some dates in my tonics right now and loving how thick and creamy they make them. You only need a few (depending on size). If I feel like I want it sweeter – in goes a few drops of stevia. The dates also give you some fiber/nutrients. Mix it up. One day use honey, maple syrup or dates. Stevia keeps the drink less calories and low glycemic. Hope that helps. :)

  2. Hi Miss Kibby !!! You are so wonderful !!! Another beautiful Wealth of Kibby Wisdom (; Wow !! I can’t wait for the TONIC. You need to write a book, you are so good at this, and I absolutely LOVE reading your stuff. If you don’t mind my asking, how young are you? Or maybe just wondering if you are menopausal (sorry if I’m being to personal) I know I am, and all this is such great information and couldn’t come at a better time (; Sounds like you are really coming full circle into your “Holistic” self, I’m happy to hear that. Until next time friend…..xoxo

    • Hi gorgeous! I was thinking about you today and how you are doing! On the same wavelength I guess. :) I don’t mind you asking – I am 42 years young and getting younger! I was experiencing peri-menopause symptoms due to the lack of fat, stress and such. Now, that I am applying the techniques into lifestyle so far, I am seeing good results to more balance and will continue to tweak and assess with weekly monitoring thru my food/lifestyle journal. And yes, Debbie, I am currently writing a book. Thanks for the inspiration and support for it. I will let you know more details about it soon and get your feedback. Thanks again for the lovely care package last week or so. I wore the earrings last week and they were PERFECT! Thanks. I am loving all the goodies!! Love you back. XO

      • Awwww you are so sweet, smart, talented, and and and so many things (; !!!!!! You are welcome for the care package !! I really did think those earrings would look beautiful on you, happy someone special gets to enjoy them (; I’m sure your book will be the BEST out there, hopefully I will get a signed copy. I really appreciate that you have found and speak the truth as to how we are all different, and have our individual makeup (; Your articles are so reader friendly. We have had some pretty cold weather here, ice, snow etc. it’s been stressful to work in. Can’t wait for more daylight hours and maybe less freezing,cold weather (; Thinking about you lots, and staying connected with you reading and watching all you share, because you are the best !! (; Let me know how you are doing with the Life extension product I’m very interested. Just love you to bits Miss Kibby…. !!

  3. Hi Kibby, What a great post! A wealth of information and insight. Thank goodness women are talking about hormones and sharing their personal experiences. Not too long ago, the subject was taboo! You can never share too much, your way of explaining makes everything fall into place. You have a special knack of taking a complicated subject and making it easy to “get it”. Many “light bulb” moments when reading your posts. Thrilled to learn you are working on a book!! Look forward to your tonic, and hopefully, more sharing of your Ayurvedic journey. Would love recipes for the doshas. It’s so true for me, being Kapha…I have always been a slow learner. But! Once I “get it” I’ll never forget it! Just need nudges along the way! Thank you again Kibby, you are the absolute best. :)

    • Thanks Linda! I appreciate all your detailed feedback – Love it! Funny you mention it, but I have been getting together some recipes to try for myself and then if they are WORTHY, I will share out with you all with dosha appropriate variations. Sound good? Have a great day, my friend! <3

  4. Hey Kibby! Always love your posts they are so inspiring. I am really interested in your change to the Ayurevda lifstyle, as I have also been experiencing the same symptoms that you described a while back. I eat super healthy mostly raw vegan and find that I am often bloated, constipated or lethargic/tired, and from how you have benefited so much through Ayruveda I think it would be wise for me to incorporate this into my diet/lifestyle. However, I have NO idea where to start. Maybe you could do a post soon on what an average day entails for you (what you eat, what you do exercise wise, and cleansing techniques you have), would be so so helpful.
    Sending love and light from Australia! Keep Inspiring :-)
    Erin

    • Hi Erin! So nice to hear from you! Thank you for your support and inspiration. It could be several things with your symptoms, but definitely start with looking at your diet. Are you implementing any cleansing techniques (colonics, enemas, sweating, etc.) that could assist with any toxins that are getting stirred up out of your system? Something to look into. Have you done an Ayurveda dosha test yet to see what body/mind constitution you are? That will help you get started and what to keep in diet and what foods you can keep out and see if there is a difference. I will be happy to do a “day in the life of what I do/eat/exercise/practice/cleanse, etc.” post. I will work on it soon. Let me know if you have any other questions/details personally thru email and I will be happy to assist. Much love!!

  5. This post is so great! I have used a few of the techniques you listed above to rebalance after coming off birth control- it can be a difficult journey but you shared so many wonderful tips! You can bet I’ll be incorporating some more inversions to my routine so thank you :)

  6. Pingback: » Thoughtful Thursday Kibby's Blended Life

  7. I started with new supplements, healthy fat diet, meditatio, liver cleansing etc about a month ago, but my hormonal imbalance symptoms seemed to get worse. Is it normal? Maybe Its all new to body and the hormones try to get into balance? Anyway great article, thanks :-)

    • Sandra, stress is an intrical part of this equation to finding balance. I find that stress disrupts hormonal balance the fastest and it is also the one thing that most people don’t think they have or experience. We’ve built up a resistance over time that it hits a tipping point. I find stress reduction is KEY for me. Everything else you are doing is important, but RELAX about it and enjoy the journey, not the destination of NOW. It seems you could be stressing yourself out about getting hormones into balance which is keeping you in a vicious cycle of being out of balance. Does this make sense?

      • Yes it does! I was thinking the same thing lately, so I decided not to research information so much from the internet about hormones etc, I know I am eating very well now, walking a lot, drinking water, eating the right supplements etc. So I just watch myself and my body Now, what is happening and how I feel every day. I also started a journal,hopefully it helps me not to stress so much and having a little fun out of this hormonal balancing lifestyle :D

  8. So so so SO fascinating, Kibby! What is your doshta? Also, when and how much maca do you take in a day?

    • Hi Linda! Welcome and glad you liked the post. I am Vata. I usually take a tsp. of Maca per day in my morning smoothie. It gives me energy, balances hormones and so much more.

Hi! I love hearing from you!