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< Back to Hormone Health

Achieving Hormonal Harmony

There is something so soothing about balance. A balanced diet. Work-life balance. It’s something we aim for. It’s often not until the balance is disrupted that we realize its importance. The same is true for our hormones – when they’re out of balance, it becomes increasingly evident the impact they can have on us. This rings especially true leading up to, during and post menstruation.

What are hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that relay signals and instructions to and from cells. Humans have dozens of hormones circulating and fluctuating throughout the body at any given moment.

Let’s focus on some of the steroid hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and androgens. They’re not only involved in the menstrual cycle but also fertility, mood regulation, fat distribution, and even our bone and skin health.

What causes hormonal imbalance?

Factors that offset our regular hormone function are called endocrine disruptors. There are several internal and external factors that can lead to hormonal imbalance:

  • Air pollution
  • Chronic stress
  • Medication
  • Aging
  • Health complications
  • Impaired detoxification pathways
  • Pesticides
  • High sugar diet
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Conventional cleaning products
  • Conventional body care products
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption

The stress connection

Stress is a common cause of hormonal imbalance. Steroid hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol are all made from cholesterol. In stressful scenarios the body prioritizes making cortisol, the stress hormone, over sex hormones. This has been called “the pregnenolone steal”.

Tackle hormonal imbalance from all angles

Diet, exercise, stress management, and supplementation all contribute to feeling great. When it comes to diet and nutrition for healthy hormones, choose whole, real foods as often as possible.

This includes:

  • Nutrient dense fruits and vegetables
  • A daily dose of fibre from whole grains, beans and legumes
  • Healthy fats from fatty fish, avocados, and coconut
  • Quality protein sources

Exercise is great for blood sugar, mood, and overall health. Bonus: exercise also helps to ease stress. Find healthy ways of managing stress – whether it’s through releasing toxic food sources, improving relationships, finding a new hobby that engages you, or including some stress-busting loose leaf herbs (Chamomile, Fennel, Ginger, Holy Basil, Cinnamon) into your after work mocktail.

Combine key nutrients for hormone harmony

While herbs can be a great choice for easing stress their benefits are also associated with balancing hormones and relieving painful periods too.

Research shows when you combine herbs with specific key nutrients there is a synergistic effect that can help ease PMS and balance estrogen and progesterone.

Healthy Hormones – for estrogen dominance
PMS symptoms like low back pain, painful and/or irregular periods, breast tenderness, unexplained weight gain, low mood, and anxiety are telltale signs hormonal dysregulation might be an underlying issue. Does this sound like you?

Healthy Hormones formula is designed to help stabilize your menstrual cycle, manage PMS symptoms, and metabolize excess estrogen. It’s formulated with balancing plant extracts like I3C, chaste tree, and black cohosh plus vitamins D3, B6, and magnesium.

Naturally found in cruciferous vegetables, I3C is an antioxidant that supports the liver and detoxification of excess estrogen. Chaste tree (vitex) affects luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin which help improve the estrogen to progesterone ratio and decrease breast tenderness. Black cohosh works to modulate the effects of estrogen throughout the body. Vitamin D3, B6, and magnesium support the liver, estrogen metabolism, and mood.

Cramp Relief – managing painful periods
Painful cramping during menstruation (dysmenorrhea) is a common symptom of hormonal imbalance. To manage painful periods while balancing your hormones, Healthy Hormones can safely be paired with Cramp Relief.

Cramp Relief is a unique blend of herbs and nutrients to help relieve that achy discomfort and pain. Cramp bark targets inflammation and cramping of all types of muscles including digestive, uterine, and skeletal muscles. Ginger, sweet fennel, and cinnamon help to calm any digestive upset. Skullcap safely helps to ease the restlessness and nervousness that can accompany painful periods.

Healthy Mood – promoting mood balance
If you’ve ever experienced PMS, you know that changes in hormones can seriously alter your mood and anxiety levels. Mood can be affected by a multitude of other factors as well: neurotransmitter imbalance, life’s stressors, nutrition, and activity levels.

Healthy Mood takes a multi-pronged approach to regulating neurotransmitters and the stress response with key mood supportive nutrients and plant extracts. The star ingredient in the Healthy Mood formulation is saffron. It helps to reduce symptoms of low mood and anxiety, and has also been studied for its positive effects on PMS, fertility and libido.

Balancing hormones can be a tricky process. Listen to your body. If something feels off, chat with your MD or ND and ask them to run some hormone level tests.

CanPrev Women's Health

About the Author: CanPrev

“CanPrev”

At CanPrev, our mission is to keep advancing naturopathic medicine tools, working with the body’s natural healing ability, in order to improve quality of life. We’re working to put your health back into your hands. Learn more at canprev.ca.