If your hormones aren’t healthy, you are going to have some recurring symptoms that need tackling. As well as talking to your doctor or health specialist to get the background on what is happening, you can also take action yourself to both prevent and alleviate many conditions.
Hormonal health is very much linked to your general health, so the best way to take care of yourself is to follow the general guidelines for good health that apply to all of us. Eat a good varied diet and try to exercise regularly as it has been proved to reduce excess oestrogen levels in the body significantly, and help to regulate overall hormone levels.
A healthy hormone diet
Obviously diet is very much a matter of individual choice but here are some basic guidelines that you can follow and adapt to suit your particular circumstances: A good hormone health diet is based around these factors:
The big 4 to reduce drastically are sugar, refined carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol as they can play havoc with blood sugar levels. Replace them with ‘green’ and ‘brown’ foods such as vegetables, brown rice, wholemeal bread and mueslis for ‘white’ foods such as sugary breakfast cereals, white bread or rice, pastry and biscuits.
• Fibre will really help normalize oestrogen levels so eat more porridge, fruits and bran cereals
• Don’t underestimate the effect of food allergies or sensitivities on your hormones to deal with them first. Wheat and dairy are the most common so switch to rye, corn, rice, buckwheat and oat products, and try goats and sheep’ cheeses or yoghurts, soya milk and yoghurt, rice milk, oat milk or coconut milk (diluted).
• If you are already feeling the effects of oestrogen dominance try to make your life as stress free as possible as it will increase symptoms. Use any relaxation method that works for you such as aromatherapy, yoga or consult with a professional.
The Big 3 Hormonal Conditions:
You will be a lucky woman if you get through life without being affected by PMS, mood swings and period problems, though hopefully not all three together!
· PMS affects around 80% of pre-menopausal women and around 70% of these have been found to be linked to oestrogen dominance.Simple dietary changes can make a big difference so switch to using soya milk and tofu and include linseeds in your diet. Most women find that a general B complex, plus some additional B6 seems to help and the most important nutrients to supplement are magnesium (deficient in around 50 per cent of women with PMS), vitamin E, and GLA in the form of evening primrose oil, starflower oil or borage oil.
· Mood swings really do respond well to cutting out sugar and stimulants as that regulates blood sugar swings which can affect mood. In really severe cases it can also help to have a small snack every 2 hours to keep your blood sugar levels topped up. Go for hummus, live yoghurt, fresh fruit, unsalted nuts and seeds. Avoid coffee, strong tea and alcohol as these stimulants use up B-vitamins which normalize levels of serotonin which is vital to regulate moods.
· Period Problems often arise because during a period the muscles of the womb have to work hard to shed the inner lining, and this can result in painful cramps. Avoid this by cutting back on red meat and dairy produce as they contain the type of fats which interfere with short-term hormones called prostaglandins, and this can encourage inflammation.
· Switch to eating oily fish and eating polyunsaturated fats to see an improvement. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol can also make it worse by interfering with mineral absorption from the diet and influencing the conversion of fats into prostaglandins. Painful cramps respond to supplementing with magnesium as, with its sister mineral calcium, it affects the nerves which regulate muscle contractions.
For more information, visit http://mf3shop.com, and get free booklets on menopause and osteoporosis, expert views from doctors and health professionals and news on what is happening that concerns women’s health.