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Is your stressful, busy lifestyle playing havoc with your hormones?

Let’s face it, most women juggle more than one thing at a time. Whether you're working, studying, going to gym, taking care of your family or even being your kids’ Uber driver. The stresses of being a woman can really affect your health.

If you are leading a busy life, the impact on your hormonal system needs to be considered. You are blessed with an intricate hormonal system that is continuously regulating your body into balance.

Your hormones are secreted from glands known as the endocrine system. To keep it simple, each of these glands helps the other. As a result, stress affects the adrenal glands. There is a strong relationship between them and your thyroid gland.

So how do you recognise if your thyroid gland is working sub-optimally? Currently you can have a thyroid test, which checks your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). One of the controversial problems with test results, is the wide gap for what is considered normal. In clinic, we compare previous thyroid tests to look for ‘slowing’ changes to your thyroid. I refer to these changes as ‘sub-optimal’ thyroid functioning. Here are some symptoms of a slowing thyroid gland:-

  • Fatigue and feeling dull headed
  • Dull hair or even excessive shedding
  • Fingernails becoming brittle
  • Weight gain unexplained
  • Fluid retention
  • Muscle soreness overall body malaise
  • Low iron
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Menstrual changes

Fortunately, to address these symptoms, you don’t need medication. Herbal care will do the job just fine.

There are several ways to support your thyroid gland. One the most important nutrients is iodine, which is required in micro amounts. Using Pink Himalayan salt, added to dulse or kelp will provide you with small amounts of iodine. Of course seaweed paper in your soups or home-made sushi will also help. It’s very important to speak to a trained health consultant before undertaking self-prescribing. The last thing you want is a medication interaction.

Happy hormones are very important for women to feel well. It doesn’t matter how old you are, if your hormones are out of balance, this will impact on your life. Sometimes improving the metabolism of hormones is just as important as using herbs that regulate oestrogen and progesterone levels.

How do you know if your hormones are imbalanced?

  • Painful heavy periods
  • Irregular cycle
  • Sore breasts
  • Mood Swings
  • Pimples or headaches
  • PCOS
  • Unexplained infertility

Natural remedies to help bring your hormones back into balance…

There are some great natural remedies to support your entire endocrine system. My favourite food powder is MACA. This amazing South American root vegetable provides a number of benefits. It has an ability to regulate your body’s system, without actually providing specific hormones. It has a long traditional use as an aphrodisiac and energy support, whilst reducing hot flushes.

One of my favourite traditional supplements is natural mixed Tocopherol i.e. vitamin E. Not only does it keep your skin looking good, it's a powerful antioxidant. It improves circulation and has some great scientific research supporting its benefits in breast health.

Fluctuating hormones can affect your hair. Sometimes your hair starts to lose its strength and breaks more easily. In more serious situations, you can experience excessive shedding or hair loss. A simple way to improve your hair and encourage it to grow is with the mineral silica. This powerful mineral also strengthens your nails.

It’s essential to remember your digestive system. Many of your hormones begin their process within your gut’s microbiome. Have you ever experienced sugar cravings and bloating during some menstrual cycles? Sugar aggravates PMS. So perhaps it’s time to add some fermented vegetables to your diet? Use both prebiotics and probiotics to help feed your good gut bacteria, to ensure you keep your ‘happy hormones’.

Maintaining good nutrition when you’re not eating well is essential. Using a Women’s Multivitamin ensures you are getting enough iron and calcium with the extra benefits of added B6. Evening Primrose Oil is often called the ‘ladies oil’. The active GLA loves to reduce breast tenderness and ensures young girls are getting all the essential fatty acids they need to support their hormonal transition.

And as I suggested before, it’s important to speak to a qualified and experienced health professional before combining any hormonal treatments with your current medications.

Article by Amanda Schultz - Advanced Diploma in Applied Science, Naturopathy

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