3 Easy Ways to Balance Your Hormones During Perimenopause
Some of the easiest, most effective things we can do to balance hormones involve changing how the body copes with stress. After all, stress affects hormone activity in a big way.
The adrenal glands (the glands that produce stress-handling hormones that allow us to respond to a perceived threat) produce estrogen, progesterone and testosterone when they’re not making stress hormones. In fact, the body depends on them to pick up the slack to keep the sex hormones balanced. But, if the body is in constant demand of stress hormones (in other words, you’re always stressed out!) the adrenals won’t have the time or energy to help make the sex hormones and, as a result, balance will be thrown off and nasty symptoms begin.
Now I’m not suggesting that the three simple suggestions below are the end-all that we need for hormone balance, as every body is unique. I can assure you though that these things will provide an excellent foundation to reach that goal.
3 Easy Ways to Balance Your Hormones During Perimenopause
I know. You expected a bit more, especially from my #1 recommendation. Breathing is, after all, something we require to stay alive. And, since you’re reading this, you must be alive, which means you must already be breathing . . . right?
Well yes, but . . .
Believe it or not, most of us don’t actually breathe deeply on a regular basis. The first thing that happens when we are the least bit stressed out is that our breathing becomes shallow. Often this becomes habitual so we end up chronically starving our cells of oxygen. Shallow breathing is a prevalent problem today that, once addressed, often results in an immediate improvement in energy and overall health.
The type of breathing I suggest below will reset your autonomic nervous system, meaning it will change the way your body responds to stress. How cool is that to be able to change the automatic response of your body … heart rate, temperature, blood flow? I’d say that’s a great skill to have!
In addition to taking some of the burden off of your adrenal glands (and therefore sparing some stress hormone production!), this type of breathing will help your liver detoxify more effectively than almost any liver support supplement you can take. That means hormones won’t have the opportunity to recirculate. Instead, they will break down in the liver and exit out of the body as waste.
Practice the following breathing exercise as part of the foundation for health and hormone balance:
2. DRINK WARM LEMON WATER UPON WAKING
Half of a lemon squeezed into 8 oz of lukewarm water downed immediately upon waking in the morning is a great way to flush out the excess toxins accumulated from your body’s night-time detoxification. This will also jump-start your liver for the day ahead.
How does this affect hormone balance? Well, much of the reason behind an excess of estrogen or any hormone, for that matter, has to do with recirculation of hormones within the bloodstream due to sluggish liver function. If we provide the liver with support and plenty of fluid to move excess hormones and other toxins through “detoxification pathways” and out of the body, they won’t be sticking around causing an imbalance.
Also, hydration in general serves another purpose when it comes to detoxing: it allows toxins including extra hormones to be excreted out of the body once metabolized by the liver.
3. STEER CLEAR OF SUGAR AND CAFFEINE
Okay maybe I cheated here by considering this one thing instead of two! But trust me either way. If you can avoid these two ingredients you will succeed in limiting your hormone imbalance discomfort.
Two things about sugar. First, it’s an “anti-nutrient”. This means that the nutrients required for the act of digestion are not replaced by what is being eaten. In this case, sugar. On the flip side, if you eat an apple, the nutrients used to digest the apple are replaced by those contained in the apple itself.
How does the “antinutrient” status of sugar contribute to hormone imbalance?
Vitamins and minerals are the “sparkplugs” necessary for hormone production. If those foundational elements become depleted, the body cannot do what it’s supposed to do. All of the systems of the body are negatively affected, including the endocrine system – the system that manufactures hormones.
The second unfortunate thing about sugar is that it will spike blood glucose levels. So here’s how it goes: you eat a sugary snack, your blood sugar goes up. The pancreas releases the hormone insulin to bring that back down. The problem is, when blood sugar spikes and then drops, the adrenal glands view it as an emergency so they release stress hormones.
Something similar happens when we consume caffeine.
Because it’s a stimulant, there is a spike in energy, then a plunge. With the plunge comes that same reaction from the adrenals – oh no, fight or flight. Something’s wrong! And stress hormones are once again released.
So at the very least these substances trigger unnecessary adrenal gland activity. And, like I mentioned earlier, when the adrenals are dealing with stress – whether it’s real or perceived – it throws off overall hormone balance.
A good start
I hope these 3 suggestions help you with any hormone imbalance you’ve been experiencing. Believe me, we’re not destined to feel bad during this time of our lives. We just have to be smart about how we’re living, taking the time for deep breathing and providing the body with the nutrition it needs to work optimally.
To your health and hormone balance!
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