10 sneaky signs your hormones are out of whack and what you can do about it!
You’re constantly hungry and your moods seem to only come in two types: irritable or angry (or ‘hangry’ as I like to refer to it as). You often wake up feeling groggy, and a little bit ‘hungover’ despite a full nine hours sleep the night before… and all with zero alcohol involved.
Many of the women I meet in my clinic report experiencing similar complaints and although these symptoms can be completely different, there may be one common cause involved - a hormonal imbalance.
Hormone imbalances don’t just affect ladies going through the ‘change’. Although, if you already have an undiagnosed hormonal imbalance prior to starting menopause, this can ultimately make this transition even more uncomfortable. In fact, hormone imbalances can ultimately affect us ladies at any given age.
What’s more is that we are now living in a world where synthetic hormones and chemicals exist readily in our food, beauty care and cleaning products. Our bodies are exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis, contributing to even more hormone havoc!
Of course, a hormonal imbalance can’t be properly diagnosed without some proper testing but the following signs can be a fairly good indication that your hormones could use some TLC.
1. You are struggling to lose weight.
2. You’re constantly hungry.
3. Your mood swings and anxiety are out of control.
4. You’re tired all the time.
5. You experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) on a monthly basis.
6. You have irregular periods (with either heavy or light bleeding).
7. You have skin problems.
8. You experience brain fog.
9. You feel bloated.
10. You struggle with getting to sleep, despite feeling exhausted.
How to support (and love!) your hormones
Despite the opinion of some medical professionals, let me tell you that none of the symptoms mentioned above are normal and they should definitely not be ignored.
In fact, some research suggests that women who experience untreated hormonal issues such as PMS or infertility prior to menopause, are more likely develop diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, later in life. This study also revealed that women can improve their hormonal balance with diet and lifestyle.
I always recommend consulting your GP, they may be able to help you get the appropriate hormone tests. However, you can start balancing your hormones naturally using the tips below.
Support your liver
Your liver is one of the most important organs in the body and is crucial to hormone health (think healthy liver = healthy hormones). Help your liver to break down excess oestrogen effectively by increasing your intake of brassica vegetables such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower. Ideally, gently steam these prior to eating.
Eat plenty of healthy fats
Healthy fats and essential fatty acids are hormone building blocks, so be sure to consume these on a daily basis to keep your hormones in check. Be wary that not all fats are created equal and stay clear of those high in omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable oil, sunflower oil. My favourite sources include coconut oil, flaxseed, oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, avocado and walnuts.
Reduce your sugar intake
A diet high in sugar and processed foods can make PMS and hormone imbalances worse. Opt for a whole-foods diet full of low sugar fruits and vegetables.
Chronic stress can trigger and exacerbate a hormonal imbalance. Use a stress-reduction technique that works for you and do it daily! Great stress relievers include yoga, meditation (I like the headspace app) or some light exercise.
If any of these symptoms mentioned sound familiar, you do not need to suffer in silence. Let me show you that, by implementing just a few simple steps, you can balance your hormones and enable yourself to feel happy and at home in your body again.
For more help and advice, visit the women’s nutrition section. Here you can find specific nutrition information for a range of topics, including pregnancy and preconception, PMS, polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and the menopause.