My 4-Step Guide to Hormone Balance – Step 1
Step 1. It’s All About Connection
Welcome to my blog! I’m so chuffed to have you here. I’ve got heaps of useful tips and nuggets to share, that I hope will benefit your body and boost your wellbeing.
Now I know not everyone finds hormones exciting (like me!) but looking after these bad boys can really make a difference to how we feel. Once we hit our 40s and perimenopause starts to approach, we can find ourselves battling with symptoms like fatigue, PMS, stress, mood swings, brain fog, anxiety, hot flushes and weight gain. And this is no fun, for anyone.
But which hormones are we talking about here? Well actually have over a hundred different hormones but luckily, we don’t need to focus on them all. The main ones we’re thinking about include:
- Sex hormones (our oestrogens, progesterone, testosterone)
- Cortisol (your stress hormone)
- Thyroid hormones (which regulate metabolism, a bit like the brake and accelerator in a car)
- Insulin (your fat storing hormone)
Together these work in harmony and impact many of the symptoms we experience during perimenopause and beyond. So, if one is out of balance, then there’s knock on effects for the others too.
How do we get our hormones under control and working in our favour?
My 4-Step Guide to Hormone Balance is an excellent way to tackle this.
Today we are talking about Step 1 – Connect!
Step 1 – Connect.
To get to the root cause of our hormonal symptoms and address any imbalances we first have to get to know our body really well. This can mean tracking changes in our physical symptoms and mood throughout the month and looking at how we respond to the food we eat and the lifestyle we lead.
Armed with this information we often start to see patterns emerge, that can be the first indicator of which imbalances might be at play. It’s also a great way to track progress as things start to improve.
Here are my top five tips for better connection:
1. Track Your Cycle – monitoring when your period falls, how long it lasts and how heavy it is, along with the physical and emotional symptoms you experience throughout your cycle can tell us a lot about how those pesky hormones are behaving.
Using an App like Clue or Moody is an excellent way to do this.
2. Keep a Food and Mood Diary – don’t under-estimate the power of this tool! It was a real eye opener the first time I did it. When I saw all the snacks I ate while preparing tea, the bits I finished from the kid’s plates and the numerous chunks of dark chocolate I’d sneak from the cupboard in the evening, I was shocked!
This information helps to identify where your diet is fab and where it might be struggling to provide your hormones with the nutrients they need. It can also shine a light on any unhelpful eating patterns that might be contributing to hormone imbalance and it’s particularly useful if you experience any digestive symptoms or suspect a food sensitivity or intolerance.
Try it for three days; make a note of everything you eat and drink (rough quantities too if you can), time of day you consume it, along with any physical or mood related symptoms. Remember to be honest (otherwise what’s the point!) and see what it reveals.
Apps like MyFitnessPal can be helpful here, if you prefer a digital approach, or use a good old fashioned notebook.
3. How Well Do You Look After Yourself? – as women we often multitask, juggling so many plates in the air that we forget to look after ourselves. The problem is stress and lack of rest are a killer when it comes to hormone balance so, take an honest look.
How much stress do you experience day-to-day? What triggers your stress levels to rocket? How much time do you take for yourself each day? How much exercise do you do each week? How could you look after yourself better?
4. Consider Testing – as a Nutritionist I have access to advanced testing, often not available on the NHS. The information it provides can be invaluable because you can pinpoint exactly what is happening with your body. It limits the guesswork involved, gives you greater clarity and motivation and often faster more effective results because the interventions used are targeted exactly to what your body needs. For more information check out my website page.
5. Be a Sleep Detective – if sleeping like a baby is something you can only dream of, I feel your pain! Poor sleep is a common symptom of hormone imbalance and it can leave us exhausted, foggy and emotional. Increasing your awareness of sleep quality can be a good first step towards improving the situation. I love the App Sleep Cycle which tracks your sleep quantity and quality, but you can also use a watch or an Oura ring.
Don’t forget to look at your bedtime routines too. Do you follow a regular pattern that is conducive to good sleep? Do you limit evening exposure to screens and devices? Making sure your bedroom is cool, quiet and dark and your bed is super comfy will all help.
Connecting with that beautiful body of yours is the first step to identifying exactly what it needs to feel rebalanced, re-energised and back on track.
If you’d like to find out more about how I could help you, get in touch today to book a free call.