An Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Julie Graduated with distinctions from S.A. College of Botanic Medicine and Natural Therapies Pty Ltd. Professional Qualifications include: Naturopathic Doctor, Herbal & Homoeopathic Practitioner: Diet and Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic... more
Balancing hormones and strengthening digestion are two major areas of health that I address and support clients with.
There is an increasing number of myths and half truths told about how to bring about hormone balance. This can be frustrating and make you susceptible to numerous tests that may be inaccurate, sending you on a confusing track to regain your health.
Many of my clients have come to me due to hormone-related health symptoms or conditions, which seems to go hand-in-hand with digestive problems and other issues.
Many factors will throw your hormones out of balance, such as stress, synthetic hormones, toxic exposure, genetics, nutritional deficiencies (mainly from a diet of processed and fast foods) that then lead to gut/digestive problems. These having a direct effect on your hormonal health.
So let's have a look at what hormonal imbalance looks and feels like for most women and how can you determine without invasive testing where the main cause of your hormonal balance is coming from. Firstly I will sharing with you -
Hormonal Imbalance Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms experienced specifically by woman:
- Heavy, painful or irregular periods
- Monthly headaches
- Mood swings
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain (especially midsection)
Symptoms experienced specifically by men:
Symptoms experienced by both men and women:
- Adrenal disturbances leading to feelings of lethargy and chronic fatigued symptoms whereby no matter how much sleep you seem to get, you still don't feel refreshed or regenerated
- Thyroid and adrenal Health go hand in hand many times, leading to lack of energy, unexplained weight gain or weight loss, dry skin, depression, and lack of motivation
- Sleep disturbances leading to lack of energy, stress and anxiety being exacerbated
- Mature onset diabetes - where your blood sugar levels have either become regularly high or regularly low. If you are consuming a diet high in refined carbohydrates, processed foods, fast, packaged foods, soft drinks, and excessive alcohol consumption. This will all play a role to not only put your hormones out of balance, but will also contribute to these other health factors, fatty liver, high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, heart failure and kidney damage.
- Certain medications and drugs including negative lifestyle habits will also contribute to hormone imbalance.
As you can clearly see hormonal imbalance has many varying factors involved, so when it comes to testing how accurate it can be. In order to get some accuracy with the situation, here are the factors or disturbances you will notice that will clarify that you have a hormone disturbance.
Hormone Imbalance Factors & What you can do!
Your Gut/Digestion: A healthy gut and digestive process is crucial for healthy hormone balance. If you are experiencing on a regular basis and over a long period of time for example longer than a few weeks, excessive bloatedness, irritable bowel, excessive wind or stomach pain. The frequency and consistency of your bowel habits is a strong indication that you have gut health issues and your digestive process is being compromised. The importance of your diet here is of vital importance to assisting with establishing healthy hormone balance. Your stomach is responsible for the conversion of certain hormones such as thyroid, neurotransmitters in your brain, the chemical known as serotonin. Also it is important to have your digestion working effectively as it plays an important role in your detoxification process, not to mention the transport of nutrients from your food to your blood for transport to all of your organs and tissue. Enabling them to function effectively.
Food Intolerance: for the most part food intolerance issues come not so much from fresh, unprocessed foods but more from packaged, highly processed foods these have numerous chemicals an additives that cause a disruption in your system. The best way to avoid food intolerance issues is to eat plain foods without sauces that are fresh and locally sourced. If a food causes you an upset you will know this by a change in your bowel habits. For example if I eat red meat, I am definitely constipated for a couple of days, hence I stay clear of red meat. If I drink wine on a regular basis this affects my stomach as far a bloatedness and also affects my bowel habits. So I keep my alcohol intake to say just a couple of glasses once a week as a social treat. Any form of packaged or highly processed foods and fast foods will cause digestive and stomach problems. Certain cooking methods such as charcoal grilling, burnt barbeque meats etc are known to be both carcinogenic and will cause digestive problems.
Tests are not 100% accurate especially when it comes to hormones or food intolerances as there are so many variables.
You can have a Blood test by asking your GP indicating to have the following checked out:
- Fasting insulin
- Fasting glucose
- Hormone levels (these can also be checked with a saliva test) Not extremely accurate as your hormones fluctuate all the time.
- Vitamin D (also plays a major role in blood sugar regulation). Aim for a level of 100-150 for optimal health.
- TSH, T4, T3, RT3,thyroid antibodies. For an accurate thyroid health check, it is important to look at all of these levels in the blood.
Don’t be surprised if however your bloods come back ‘normal’ even when it comes to thyroid function. There are many cases where I have found imbalances with my clients just by talking to them and doing an iridology check where the imbalance hasn't come up in the blood test.
Hormone and digestive problems are on the increase due to today's fast-paced living, adding to stress and extreme anxiety.
Five things you can do right now!
- Eat regular meals, sitting at a table in a pleasant and happy atmosphere
- Avoid as much as possible foods in a packet, pre-cooked or overly processed. Fresh, raw food is what your stomach and bowels love for proper digestion and functioning
- Eliminate dairy, wheat and gluten, except include organic yogurt everyday
- Eat citrus fruits and include the skin
- Eat a red apple per day
Medications, synthetic hormones and pain killers will only exacerbate the problems causing further damage and ill health.