Tips to Balance Women's Hormones
There are three main sexual hormones in women:
- Testosterone (to a lesser extent.)
When these hormones are in balance we feel GREAT: energetic, focused and ready to take on the world. But when our hormones are out of balance it can impact us physically, mentally and emotionally. We can suffer from a lack of energy, tiredness, bloating, weight gain, anxiety, depression, missed periods, lack of sexual desire, miscarriages, and so much more.
For all of these reasons, and a lot more, we formulated STAIT for Women with the clinical dose of TESTOFEN®, ZINC and TRIBULUS. Following is a brief explanation about how each of these extracts help to balance our female hormones.
Aspecialised fenugreek extract that has been proven in double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical studies to be a safe and effective way to positively enhance sexual function and libido in both healthy menstruating women and menopausal women.
Zinc is required for the production and action of hormones, as well as being associated with sexual function, and emotional balance, and can be effective in treating PMS, regulating hormone levels and menstrual cycles.
The specific tribulus that we source for STAIT for Women has been shown to improve mood, enhance libido and balance PMS symptoms as well as helping to support a healthy stress response in the body.
YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO CONSIDER OTHER CONTRIBUTING FACTORS THAT MAY BE CAUSING YOUR HORMONES TO BE OUT OF BALANCE, SUCH AS:
1. DAILY FOOD CHOICES
For healthy hormones it’s imperative to consume a balanced diet with high fibre and healthy fats, as well as being mindful to detox the body from harmful environmental toxins (i.e. hormone disruptors) on a daily/weekly basis. Low levels of fibre and high levels of 'bad' fats can contribute to excess estrogen as it becomes more difficult for the liver and bowel to eliminate estrogens.
- Eat when you are hungry, not when the clock tells you, and remember to chew your food. Please be mindful not to overeat. Large meals are harder to digest, place a strain on your organs and may result in indigestion.
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet based on seasonal whole foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to ensure a high fibre intake.
- Eat both raw and cooked foods.
- Eat grass-fed, pasture raised organic meats.
- Eat antioxidant rich foods such as brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, such as: berries, kiwi, carrots, sweet potato, beetroot, broccoli, watermelon; and a variety of nuts and seeds, such as sunflower, hemp, sesame and pumpkin seeds; and almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts to also ensure a diet rich in essential fats, zinc, and other minerals.
- Eat lots of ‘healthy fats’ such as olive oil, cultured butter, ghee, coconut oil, avocadoes. Eg. Add extra-virgin cold-pressed organic olive oil to your smoothie or salad to help prevent dry skin, inflammation, acne, dandruff and a long list of other benefits.
- Eat phyto-oestrogen rich foods such as celery, parsley, beans, fennel and alfalfa, that help the body in times of hormonal change such as puberty and menopause.
- Ensure that you are drinking an adequate amount of clean filtered water every day, and experiment with herbal teas that provide an abundance of therapeutic properties.
- Consume fermented foods such as sauerkraut and miso to help improve your digestion and immune system.
- Consume green foods to help the body remove harmful environmental toxins.
- AVOID excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, processed foods and take-out food that contain harmful preservatives, additives and colourings.
- AVOID fat free, diet, low or no cholesterol packaged foods. Choose whole foods instead.
- AVOID cage eggs and factory farmed meat. Choose free-range eggs NOT fed on soy, and pasture raised, grass-fed meats.
- AVOID refined table salt, white sugar and margarine. Choose sea salt, raw honey and cultured butter or grass-fed ghee.
- AVOID soft drinks, cordial, bottled juices and vitamin waters that are full of sugar and artificial additives. Choose water, fresh pressed juices and herbal tea instead.
One of the biggest disruptors to hormone balance is stress and the flow on effect of cortisol levels being disturbed. Irrespective of whether that stress is a physical stressor, emotional stressor, or lack of sleep. When we are under chronic stress the demand for cortisol increases and the production of progesterone – one of our ‘happy hormones’ – decreases. This can cause a whole host of hormone imbalance symptoms such as irregular periods, PMT and associated pain in the body.
Take time out by setting aside some ‘me-time’ each day/week to nurture your mental health: meditate, read a book, have a bath, book in for a massage, or go for a walk in the park or on the beach, or whatever else you love to do, and really take the time to work out what it is that nourishes your happiness and confidence, and that which calms you in times of stress.
Close your eyes and take a moment to focus on your breathing. Take 3 deep breaths. With every inhale, breathe in peace and serenity. With every exhale, breathe out your worries and any stress.
Be realistic with your to-do list. Your entire world is not going to come crashing down upon you if you don’t get everything ‘ticked off’ today.
If frustration levels are really that bad, find a pillow. Scream every profanity that you would like to get ‘off your chest’ in to the pillow. It’s a winner for letting go the burden of stress both ‘physically’ and ‘emotionally’.
Let go of the day. Before bedtime take a moment (even if just 2 minutes) to let go of the day. Use the nightly skin care ritual as a way to wash the day (and any frustration or worries) away down the bathroom sink as you remove all traces of makeup and environmental pollution.
3. BODY WEIGHT
Take a brisk 10 minute walk after each meal to help shift any excess weight.
“Ten minute walks after meals improve digestion and reduces bloating, and help control blood sugars. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that 10 minute walks can be twice as effective as Metformin for preventing type 2 diabetes, by decreasing the peak and the duration of glucose in the bloodstream after meals.” - Stan Efferding
Walking is not the lazy person’s version of running. It is an excellent low-impact workout with head-to-toe health benefits on both a physical and emotional level. Walking helps to keep you fit. Walking is also extremely beneficial for:
- the health of your heart
- improves circulation
- improves breathing
- improves depression
- improves the immune system
- helps prevent and control diabetes
- helps control weight
- and so much more
There is so much research out there stating that regular exercise is one of the best physical stress-reduction techniques, that it relaxes tense muscles, helps you to sleep, improves blood flow to the brain, reduces your risk to certain dis-eases and releases chemicals called endorphins in to your blood stream giving you a feeling of happiness. And then there’s the healthy glow that exercise brings out in your complexion.
Most aerobic exercise has a cleansing effect on the skin by increasing circulation and the delivery of nutrients to skin cells, and as a result assisting the detoxification of potentially damaging toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis. The better your circulation, the better your body has the ability to eliminate toxins which will mean the healthier your skin will not only be, but also look.
Regular exercise also increases sweating, which in turn can unclog pores and help to reduce the number of breakouts that you experience. Great for those who suffer from acne. Also, when you exercise your level of stress decreases, therefore your adrenal glands are producing less of the hormones that are part of acne flare-ups. For those of you concerned about ageing, exercise provides your skin with the optimum conditions for making collagen (the support fibers that are responsible for skin strength and elasticity, and wrinkles with its degradation).
When you sleep you’re getting more than just rest; it’s the time when your body is healing and repairing itself. The adrenal glands do a majority of their recharging and recovering while you’re sleeping, as does the regeneration of skin, muscle, blood, and brain cells.
If a better night’s sleep is something that you would like a little help achieving, then how about creating a bedtime ritual? This could include creating the space just for you to be still, quiet and relax; or utilising the benefits of essential oils; or enjoying a mini massage with your partner. The key is to find something that works for you to help you release any stress that you might have taken on during the day.
Checking emails, or scrolling through social media in bed on the mobile device, eating a large meal at nighttime, going to the gym late at night, worrying about how much work there is to get through, depending on alcohol or pharmaceuticals to help fall asleep, are all recipes for an inability to fall asleep or disrupted night’s sleep.
- Turn your bedroom in to a sanctuary for sleeping.
- Each night this week, create a tranquil environment by minimising noise, light and temperature extremes in your bedroom; use the bed and bedroom for sleep (and sex) only.
- Please don’t work or scroll through social media in bed on your mobile device.
- Keep a notebook beside your bed and if ever you lay in bed with thoughts racing around your head, write those thoughts down in the notebook so that you can revisit them the next day.
After a week, check in with yourself and see if any of these have made a difference to your quality of sleep. If it’s a ‘yes’ it might be a good idea to continue with those choices.
5. ENVIRONMENT AND LIFESTYLE
Eliminate any xenoestrogens (i.e. chemicals that alter the normal function of hormones). Xenoestrogens can be found in pesticides, plastics and personal care products.
Choose organic (pesticide-free) foods. The simple fact is that pesticides and herbicides are designed to kill living organisms so their toxicity also has the potential to harm human health. Common sense most certainly says so, as does the studies that link these chemicals to hormone imbalance, infertility, birth defects, allergies and cancer.
Don’t drink water from the tap or a plastic bottle. Both are full of hormone disruptors, pharmaceutical and recreational drugs. Invest in a good quality water filter for the tap (and shower head) and a stainless steel water bottle. Irrespective of whether the water supply is rainwater, spring water or tap water, or another source, an effective water filter is imperative to remove pathogens, pesticide residue, chlorine, fluoride and heavy metals.
Throw the microwave out. Prepare your own meals as opposed to ready-made meals wrapped in plastic.
Our daily personal care products including skin care, body care, hair care deodorant, perfume and cosmetics are full of endocrine disruptors. Whatever we apply to our skin (the largest organ of the body) passes through the semi-permeable membrane in to our lymph, blood and major organs. Known toxins, hormone disruptors and irritants which are commonly found in personal care products negatively affect health dramatically by mimicking our natural hormones, attaching themselves to our cell receptor sites and taking control of growth and development. This is particularly true if the body doesn’t eliminate them. The Solution: Switch to 100% natural and organic personal care products. There are fantastic brands that make everything from toothpaste to deodorant to skin care to hair care, with your hormone health in mind.
Avoid products that contain:
- glycols (eg. Propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol); sulphates (eg. Sodium laurel/laureth sulphate even if it states that it’s derived from coconut for example.);
- DEA and TEA (Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine);
- petroleum by-products (eg. Mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, dipropylene, glycol, butylene glycol, disodium EDTA, tetrasodium EDTA, trisodium EDTA, polybutene, triclosan, polyethylene)
- parabens (eg. Butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben)
- phthalates (eg. Di-butyl-phthalate, di-ethylhexyl-phthalate)
6. THE ORAL CONTRACEPTIVE PILL
Do the research to learn just how detrimental the OCP is to your health and wellbeing. The ingredients in the Pill are not the same as naturally occurring hormones. They are toxic steroid drugs that are foreign to the body. The most alarming research, in 2005 by the Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), on the Pill is that the ingredients (ie. Pseudo-hormones) are listed as Class 1 Carcinogens. The same can be said about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) prescribed to women going thorugh menopause. The hormones in HRT are very similar to the hormones in the Pill.
Since then, the Mayo clinic published a meta analysis linking the Pill to cancer after looking at 39 published studies, since 1980, that gave rise to the conclusion that the Pill increases the chance of breast cancer in young women by 150%, as well as the Pill increasing the risk of liver and cervical cancer, life-threatening blood clots, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and PCOS. If that’s not enough, the Pill has also been found to suppress thyroid function, cause weight gain, migraines, thrush, hair loss and nutrient deficiency, increase cellulite, decreases testosterone, decreases libido, and increase the likelihood of depression.
Be mindful of the effect of other pharmaceutical medications on hormone balance and address this with a functional medicine doctor who considers a holistic approach to health.