Taking control of your hormones means taking control of your lifestyle. If you have implemented low AND high cortisol physical activity, eliminated processed food from your diet and greatly reduced you exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals but you are still feeling off, then you may need a bit of something extra.
There is a lot of medicine out there for which you don’t need a prescription. Many of these you can find in local health food store and even in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator.
Let me start me saying, I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose or prescribe any medications, natural or synthetic.
This is information comes from extensive research from my part and experience working with clients that have a relationship with Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors, Naturopathic and Integrative/Functional medicine practitioners.
Sometimes our symptoms are very obvious and can be quite easily *gasp* self treated. BUT if you have a myriad of things going wrong (aka:more than 2), you have a complex health history or have tried home remedies and your situation hasn’t improved after three to six months, you NEED to see a doctor. Not just any doctor, but a doc that is well versed in treating the root cause of your problems. They will give you the right tests and see what is really going on in your body. Most MDs will give you prescriptions for the symptoms but the right ND or TCM will help you find the root cause.
By far, the best medicine is self reflection. With it, you have more awareness and control over how you act, react and ultimately enjoy your life.
Here is a link to a quiz that will reveal any hormone issues. You can use this as a stepping stone to figuring out what is going on. But sometimes, we already know. Also, I don’t recommend taking more than four supplements without the care of a doctor. If your treatment program is really that complex and requires that much medication, it is best to contact a professional.
High Stress and High Cortisol
Magnesium This relaxing mineral is vital to our bodies. I remember reading a while back that young women who suffer from eating disorders often have ridiculously low magnesium levels. This deficiency can also be linked to odd cravings during your period. There are a number of ways to get more magnesium (raw cacao is an awesome one) but by far my favorite way to increase magnesium for wellness, is to add epsom salts to baths. If you aren’t bathing at least once a week, you are missing out on a seriously effective beauty and stress relieving activity. You can also get a magnesium lotion or take a supplement before you go to bed to help you sleep.
Ashwagandha This is a very old and well used herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is classified as an adaptogen which helps your body handle stress. It reduces cortisol levels by up to 30% in the cases of highest dose and it lowers blood sugar. And listen, if it helps lower stress, it helps reduce anxiety and depression.
Rhodiola rosea This helps reduce the symptoms of stress including fatigue, exhaustion and anxiety. This supplement seems the most attractive due to the help it provides during times or burnout. If constant exhaustion is your problem, this might be the herb for you. In addition this aides in brain function
Licorice root This will help soothe digestion. Folks with chronic and high stress often have digestive issues such as constipation, IBS, diarrhea and bloating. This is another herb that positively affects the adrenal glands. Also, if you suffer from eczema, gingivitis or shingles, this is a good one to add in you arsenal.
Low estrogen Perimenopause is marked by a drop of estrogen or spitting and sputtering of estrogen. There are a number of supplements you can take. The best and most frequently used are red clover, black cohosh and soy. Those with PCOS and periods marked by headaches, migraines and cramps would greatly benefit from black cohosh. If this sounds familiar but you also frequently get up to pee in the middle of the night, then red clover is your gal. In addition, red clover can benefit those with osteoporosis and osteopenia. Soy is a straight estrogen enhancer. If you are having a lot of vaginal dryness, check out more ways to get soy in you diet. Hops is another supplement that comes in to help out menstrual issues as well as lower stress and increase sleep.
Low vitamins and minerals I can tell you that most women can greatly reduce symptoms of painful periods by supplementing zinc and magnesium. This is the most common mineral deficiency in women, outside of iron. Other important supplements are Vitamin D and omega 3 oils. You can get both of these by taking some cod liver oil. I LOVE cod liver oil as a supplement because it is easily bio available, extremely helpful for for those with seasonal depression and has SO MANY vitamins and minerals in it. Taking a fish oil is bound to change your life and aging if you are extremely athletic. It works wonders for joint lubrication and recovery.
Low progesterone Painful breasts during the period and sufferers of PCOS can benefit from chastetree berry/vitex supplements. Chastetree works directly between the adrenals and ovaries so it helps with all kinds of menstrual and nursing issues. Another that helps out low progesterone issues is passionflower. This is a more calming herb so don’t take it if you have some depression or fatigue issues.
Low energy, libido & testosterone Many menopausal and post menopausal women suffer from low energy. This makes sense as we have suffered a significant drop in all of our sex hormones. Horny Goatweed can help pre and post menopausal women with thier energy and sex drive back. Tribulus is said to increase libido and energy but not necessarily testosterone.
Skin care As estrogen decreases, our skin loses luster, natural oils and pliability. Taking collagen supplements, eating cartilage off of bones, eating food with bone broth as the base can all help support good skin.
Drinking plenty of water and moisturizing your skin will have massive impacts on the body you age in. Choose high quality face oils. Caster oil blends with rosehip. Olive or jojoba oil work wonders. Make sure to apply to face AND neck all the way down to the collar bones. Mix vitamin C powder into your oils and watch your skin glow.
You need a morning routine and a night routine making sure to slather on oil at both times. Make up will only make you look older and age your skin by drying it out. Stick with mascara, lipstick and the occasional blush.
Remember that you are in control. Your experience relates directly to how you react to the stresses of life. If you are suffering and uncomfortable, your lifestyle needs to change. Do not fall victim to the lie that is magic pills and synthetic hormones. We want our body functioning optimally for the long haul. By changing how you live for the sake of your health, you will not get better overnight or in three days, but in 6 weeks your life can be completely transformed.