It’s not a secret that most women today suffer from some type of hormone imbalance. Whether it’s PMS, menopause, menstrual irregularity, PCOS and problems with fertility, not to mention adrenal and thyroid dysfunction. It seems that just about every woman alive today deals with hormone imbalance to some degree or another.
All of these conditions stem from a variety of causes, however, most often by simply addressing foundational aspects of one’s health they can be resolved. Improving one’s diet is a good first step toward improving hormone balance in relation to a woman’s cycle.
Let’s discuss the endocrine system a bit and see what the foundations to a healthy hormone balance are.
The endocrine system is a system of complex relationships, it’s a system of glands that each secrete certain hormones into the bloodstream, lymph or surrounding tissue in order to regulate the function of the entire body. The endocrine system helps the body maintain homeostasis, it is one of the three control mechanisms in the body that does this. It helps to manage and influence growth and repair, as well as modulate the body’s response to stress.
The endocrine organs include; the pituitary gland, pineal gland, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal, pancreas (Islets of Langerhans) and the gonads (ovaries and testes). Then there is the part the hypothalamus plays, it produces releasing hormones that cause an effect on the production of hormones releases from the pituitary. It’s far more in depth, this is just an overview for those who many not be clear on the main endocrine glands.
Each hormone is created by nutrients. It is critical therefore, to take in the appropriate nutrients to support hormone production. However, it’s important to make sure that one is actually able to process the nutrients taken in so they actually get to make the hormones. For optimal endocrine balance it’s important to consume a diet sufficient in good fats, proteins and other vitamins and minerals.
When considering conditions where the endocrine glands are not properly functioning, it’s important to address and balance certain foundations of health first. It is possible to correct some endocrine conditions simply by dealing with foundational issues first. Such as; digestion, elimination, fatty acid balance, adequate protein consumption and assimilation, balancing blood sugar (getting off of sugar/caffeine) and mineral balance.
Many of us have grown up consuming the Standard American Diet of processed lifeless foods devoid of nutrients. We’ve been taught that the very nutrients in which we need for healthy hormone function are bad for us, and therefore we’ve been stripped of any chance at having an optimally healthy endocrine system and hormones.
Not to mention we are bombarded with toxins at every turn that add to the distress we are already under, thereby exacerbating our symptoms and health. It’s no wonder we are in such a mess with our hormones. Often, in an attempt to find out what is wrong, women will end up in their doctors office desperate only to leave with a band-aid prescription or exogenous hormone of some sort of other to deal with the problem. This is not the answer, obviously, and it often only exacerbates the condition of the individual.
It is critical to look at the big picture of overall health rather than treat one part of the body over the whole. When there is a dietary imbalance, or an inability to digest and absorb proteins, fats or minerals the hormone system truly suffers. To add exogenous hormones/drugs, or even medicinal herbs, when nutritional deficiencies are present, indicates a poor protocol and certainly does not take the science of anatomy/physiology & nutrition into account.
Questions to Ask
- Is my digestion working optimally? Can I actually absorb the nutrients I am taking in?
- Is there any candida or other fungal problems stealing the nutrients I am taking in?
- Do I have parasites stealing the nutrients I am consuming?
- Do I consume too much sugar and caffeine? Is my blood sugar in balance?
- Am I eating the right foods? Avoiding processed/artificial/refined foods?
- Have I been under a lot of stress? Am I deficient in minerals and trace minerals?
- Are heavy metals playing a role?
These are key question to ask and further address if they are not working properly or if one is not consuming the right foods. This is where you may want to look for further support to help you balance all of these factors, as it can be a dauntingly overwhelming task. By all means, contact me and I can help you to sort through these foundations while simultaneously supporting deeper hormonal issues.
Further, let’s take a look at certain predisposing factors that can contribute to endocrine dysfunction and hormone imbalance;
- Chronic psychological stress
- Toxin accumulation in the body
- Deficiencies of critical nutrients
- Over-use of drugs, including hormones, stimulants, NSAIDS, anti-depressants, pain pills and recreational drugs
- Essential Fatty Acid deficiency
For those of you who want to take immediate steps to work on your hormonal issues, I recommend focusing on the following;
- avoid or eliminate artificial and insulino-genic foods, stimulants, and intoxicants.
- adopt a healthy hormone diet (real whole nutrient dense foods)
- get good essential fatty acids into your diet and eliminate all bad fats
- restore proper digestive function (this takes awhile)
- eliminate parasites and dysbiosis (this can be done gently in tandem with balancing minerals and improving digestion).
- balance minerals
- get sufficient rest
- get regular moderate exercise or movement appropriate for your current health status
- drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day, plus electrolytes. (a pinch of good quality sea salt in each glass works great)
If thought of all of this all feels overwhelming to you, you may want to get a simple non-invasive test to give you a game plan for guidance towards correcting your overall health. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis can show a lot about the health of the entire endocrine system, starting with assessment of the adrenal glands and an overall status of what stage of stress your body is in. It can guide correction in a very affordable way vs. the cost of hormone testing. Hormone replacement therapy is rarely needed if you balance your body chemistry.
Learn more about what a hair analysis and game plan can offer you here and get started on your own path to improved health and wellness today!
[Sources: Wikipedia, Michael Owen’s Protocol Manual, Signs & Symptoms Analysis From a Functional Perspective, 2nd Edition, Dicken Weatherby]
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