What are hormones?
Hormones are natural substances that act as messengers in your body. They help relay messages throughout your body and impact how your body does most things. They dictate our appetites, sleep patterns, stress and anxiety levels, fertility, libido, mood, and so much more.
What are female hormones?
There are two main female sex hormones: estrogen and progesterone. (Females also produce small amounts the male sex hormone testosterone.) Estrogen plays a major role in reproductive and sexual development during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Progesterone is the hormone released by the ovaries after ovulation and works in the body to balance estrogen.
What exactly is hormone imbalance?
A hormone imbalance is when you have too much or too little of certain hormones in your body. It’s a broad term that covers many different types of hormone-related issues. Some hormone imbalances can be temporary and your body naturally comes back into balance by itself. Some hormone imbalances can be more chronic and you need to make diet and lifestyle changes to support your body coming back into balance. Many different health conditions are caused by hormone imbalances, including infertility, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, and obesity.
What is estrogen dominance?
Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormone imbalances in women and is especially problematic because it affects so many functions in a woman’s body. Estrogen dominance is a metabolic state when your estrogen levels outweigh your progesterone levels. Without progesterone’s balancing effect, estrogen levels in your body can get out of control and cause a host of problems including infertility, weight gain, low energy, anxiety and depression. Estrogen dominance can also put you at a higher risk of breast cancer, uterine fibroids, thyroid dysfunction, and autoimmune disease.
What are signs and symptoms of hormone imbalance?
1. Weight Gain
Did you know your weight is directly related to your hormones? Hormones play a vital role in the healthy functioning of your metabolism. To maintain a healthy weight, your hormones must be in balance. Unexplained weight gain is the most common and obvious sign of a hormone imbalance.
2. Heavy or painful periods
In a normal menstrual cycle, progesterone balances estrogen to regulate and modulate the build up of the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, which is what sheds during your period. If you have a hormone imbalance, the endometrium builds up too much resulting in a very heavy flow, which is called menorrhagia.
Hormone imbalances are the leading cause of infertility in women. Estrogen dominance points to irregular ovulation. When ovulation is irregular, it’s less likely to get pregnant, because there are fewer opportunities for an egg to be fertilized.
4. Insomnia and Fatigue
Estrogen dominance can cause insomnia because too little progesterone can make it hard to sleep.
5. Depression, Anxiety & Mood Swings
Estrogen plays a role in every part of your body, including your brain, which impacts your emotions. Estrogen has been linked to mood disruptions including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and postpartum depression. Estrogen dominance affects the balance of chemicals in your brain, particularly serotonin and GABA, which impacts mood.
What causes estrogen dominance?
The main cause of estrogen dominance is irregular or a complete lack of ovulation. Since progesterone, which balances out estrogen, is only released in the ovaries after ovulation occurs, if ovulation doesn’t occur, estrogen is allowed to become dominant.
What causes problems with ovulation?
A number of factors can cause a lack of ovulation or irregular ovulation, including different foods, stress, low body weight or excess body weight, thyroid disorders, and environmental toxins like BPA, phthalates, etc. that mimic estrogen in your body. Estrogen dominance is also linked to blood clots, endometriosis, fertility issues, fibroids, menstrual migraines, and ovarian cysts.
How does estrogen dominance affect weight?
Estrogen plays a major role in how much fat you have. Too much estrogen can mean too much fat tissue. Progesterone balances out estrogen and helps the body use fat for energy. Low progesterone levels, or estrogen dominance, can make it hard to lose weight, especially around your midsection. If you feel like you’ve tried everything to lose weight and nothing seems to be working, it might be because you are estrogen dominant.
7 WAYS TO BALANCE YOUR HORMONES NATURALLY
1. Eat more cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens. These include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and spinach.
2. Eat more healthy fats. These include avocados, cold pressed olive oil, grass-fed beef, grass-fed butter, wild salmon, and walnuts. Did you know? Your body actually holds onto fat if you're not getting enough of the right kinds of fat in your diet. Fat is also essential to ovulation, so avoiding fat can actually cause hormone imbalance.
3. Get enough protein. Protein helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin, which reduces inflammation in your body and supports the healthy functioning of your ovaries for ovulation.
4. Eat organic. As much as possible, try to eat organic, grass-fed, and locally sourced food to avoid the estrogen mimicking chemicals in the pesticides they spray on food. But do what’s reasonable within your budget and try not to stress too much about the foods you eat.
5. Take magnesium. Magnesium supports a healthy menstrual cycle in many ways. An added benefit is that it helps relax your muscles (including the muscles in your uterus), which helps reduce cramps or even eliminate them altogether! (We recommend our bestselling Mellö Magnesium Superblend, which is specially formulated to be gentle on your stomach. It combines three of the most highly-absorbable forms of magnesium, so it doesn’t just pass straight through you – if you catch our drift!)
6. Find ways to reduce your stress. Chronic stress can lead to adrenal fatigue. This is when your body blows through all its supply of cortisol and starts stealing your valuable progesterone to produce it. With even less progesterone you become even more estrogen dominant. Check out our article on 5 Ways to De-Stress When you’re Feeling Overwhelmed. (We also recommend our bestselling De-Stress Blend. Taking De-Stress Blend everyday helps regulate your nervous system, reduce stress, and lower your cortisol levels.)
7. Support your hormonal health long-term. We recommend our USDA certified organic Balance Blend. Taking it daily provides you with a complete combination of balancing minerals, healing antioxidants, nourishing fatty acids & revitalizing vitamins to support your hormonal health long-term and ease symptoms related to PMS and menopause. Learn more about Balance Blend and what goes into slow crafting it.
BALANCE BLEND FOR PERIODS
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