12 - 10 - 2023
Natural Approach for Female Hormonal Health
Hormonal fluctuations form part of women’s lives’ natural ebb and flow. When our hormones are in harmony, we feel we can achieve anything. But the reality of our physiology is that we are in a state of constant flux. Even the subtlest changes in hormone levels can throw us off-kilter, occurring for all sorts of reasons at various points throughout our lives…and for many of us at multiple points in any given month! Thankfully, help is at hand, and nature could hold the key to bringing things back into balance and supporting female hormonal health.
Supporting Female Hormonal Health
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition, but it affects some women more profoundly than others. It can worsen at certain life stages, for example, during perimenopause (the symptoms of which can be easily mistaken for PMS) or when taking hormonal contraceptives. It is also becoming more widely understood that a small number of women experience a severe form of premenstrual syndrome known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). In PMDD, the typical symptoms of PMS, such as breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, bloating and changes in appetite, may be amplified and are accompanied by severe mood swings, intense irritability and deep sadness. Symptoms can become debilitating and, if not addressed, severely impact work, relationships and sense of self. However, it is possible to manage these symptoms, and several holistic options are available for PMS and PMDD. Nutrients to improve and balance mood, such as l-theanine or lithium orotate, as well as magnesium to support the nervous system, can help lift you up when you are feeling low and provide emotional rescue during difficult times of the month.
In many cultures, menopause is regarded as a beautiful natural progression and a stage of life to be embraced, bringing freedom, empowerment and a fresh perspective. It is a perfect opportunity to practice self-care, make time for yourself and identify what you need and want from the next chapter of your life – and how to achieve it! As it is a natural transition, it follows that natural methods of managing menopause can go a long way towards easing and enhancing this transformative experience – which is ultimately an exciting journey involving mind, body and spirit.
Eat (and Exercise!) Your Way to Wellness
Dietary and lifestyle changes can be especially beneficial to support female hormonal health. Eating a balanced, nutritious diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats is essential. Additionally, regular exercise may help to balance hormones in the body – anything you enjoy, walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, or even dancing! In addition to releasing endorphins to elevate mood, gentle exercise can help to relieve menstrual cramps, as well as ‘mittelschmerz’, the pain some women can experience around the time of ovulation, which, again, for some, can be severe. If this is something you suffer from, then reducing inflammation in the body through the use of a natural supplement such as vitamin E and curcumin may also help.
Nutrients and herbs can alleviate many hormone-related symptoms and assist on both a physical and emotional level. However, always seek medical advice if you are on any medication or birth control before starting a new supplement regimen, as some natural remedies, such as St John’s Wort, can contraindicate with prescribed drugs and reduce their effectiveness.
Purple maca, a lesser-known variety of the Peruvian maca root, has gained significant attention for its remarkable ability to support female hormonal balance. This unique superfood, distinguished by its rich, vibrant colour, contains a wealth of essential nutrients that can help regulate hormonal fluctuations in women. It is particularly effective in addressing irregular menstrual cycles, menopausal symptoms, and premenstrual discomfort. Purple maca nourishes the endocrine system, pivotal in hormone production and regulation. Its adaptogenic properties can help the body adapt to stress, which is often a critical factor in hormonal imbalances. By incorporating purple maca into their diet, women may experience improved hormonal equilibrium, increased energy, and enhanced overall well-being, making it a natural and empowering choice for those seeking to regain control of their hormonal health.
B vitamins are crucial for female hormonal health. They play a vital role in the metabolism and regulation of hormones, helping to maintain balanced menstrual cycles and reduce PMS symptoms. Vitamin B6, in particular, aids in producing neurotransmitters that influence mood and hormonal balance. Additionally, B vitamins support the liver in metabolizing excess estrogen, which can be a key factor in hormonal imbalances. Ensuring an adequate intake of B vitamins through a balanced diet or supplements can be an effective strategy for promoting overall hormonal well-being in women.
Magnesium is a vital mineral that plays a significant role in supporting female hormonal health. It helps regulate various hormonal processes, particularly in the context of the menstrual cycle. Magnesium can alleviate common symptoms of PMS, such as bloating and mood swings, by balancing critical hormones like estrogen and progesterone. It also promotes relaxation and reduces stress, which is essential for hormonal equilibrium. Using a topical magnesium product can effectively top up daily levels, promote hormonal balance and aid relaxation.
Nascent iodine is a valuable mineral supplement that can play a pivotal role in maintaining female hormonal balance. Iodine is essential for properly functioning the thyroid gland, which regulates hormones critical to the menstrual cycle. Adequate iodine levels can help prevent irregular periods and reduce the risk of conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). By ensuring a proper intake of iodine, women can support their thyroid health and contribute to overall hormonal equilibrium, which is essential for their well-being and reproductive health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a powerful ally in maintaining balanced female hormone health. These essential fats, found in fatty fish like salmon and in supplements like krill oil, possess anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate menstrual discomfort and reduce the severity of PMS symptoms. Omega-3s also support optimal brain function, helping to manage mood swings and emotional fluctuations often associated with hormonal changes. Furthermore, they promote healthy circulation, which is essential for a well-regulated menstrual cycle. Including omega-3-rich foods or supplements in one’s diet can effectively enhance female hormonal equilibrium and overall well-being.
Vitamin E is a crucial nutrient for maintaining female hormonal health. Its antioxidant properties help combat oxidative stress, which can lead to hormonal imbalances. Vitamin E is particularly beneficial for managing menopausal symptoms, as it supports healthy estrogen levels and can alleviate hot flashes and mood swings. It is also associated with improved PMS symptoms and less period pains. Additionally, it aids in maintaining reproductive health and fertility by protecting the ovaries from damage. Including vitamin E-rich foods like nuts, seeds, and leafy greens in one’s diet or taking supplements can contribute to balanced female hormones.
An Alternative Approach
Complementary therapies offer valuable tools for women seeking to balance their hormones naturally. Modalities like acupuncture, herbal medicine, and mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation can help regulate menstrual cycles, reduce the intensity of PMS symptoms, and ease the transition through menopause. These holistic approaches address the root causes of hormonal imbalances, such as stress and inflammation, promoting overall well-being.
Aromatherapy is another effective complementary therapy that can aid in balancing female hormones. Essential oils, carefully selected for their specific properties, can alleviate menstrual discomfort, reduce stress, and promote emotional well-being. For instance, oils like lavender and clary sage have calming effects and can help manage mood swings and anxiety often associated with hormonal fluctuations. Incorporating aromatherapy into daily routines through practices like diffusing essential oils or using them in massages can provide women with a natural and soothing way to support their hormonal health and overall wellness.
In conclusion, the pursuit of balanced female hormonal health can benefit immensely from integrating various natural and complementary therapies. From essential nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin E to minerals such as magnesium and nascent iodine, these elements can help regulate hormones and alleviate menstrual discomfort. Complementary practices like acupuncture, herbal medicine, and aromatherapy offer holistic approaches that address the underlying factors contributing to hormonal imbalances, enhancing overall well-being. These natural and supportive methods empower women to take charge of their hormonal equilibrium, providing a well-rounded and personalized approach to hormonal health. By combining these various elements, women can embark on a journey towards greater balance and a higher quality of life, enjoying the benefits of holistic well-being.