I recently read an article about Alanis Morissette dealing with all sorts of health issues and I’m sure many women can relate to her struggles with post-partum depression. With all the struggles she is dealing with it’s no surprise that it’s taking a toll on her body. One of the major things Alanis identifies is possibly having a hormonal imbalance. Small changes to hormones can actually have tremendous impact on the body and lead to chronic issues. For some people making slight changes might restore hormone levels back to an adequate level. Here are some simple things you can do right now:
Put the phone away for at least 1 hour before bed
I know this might sound elementary and many have probably heard a lot already but according to the Cleveland Clinic, too much blue light before bed suppresses melatonin which will disrupt sleep cycles and consequently all our hormones. Believe me having adequate sleep or catching up on all those lost hours of zzzzz’s , has a huge impact on our over all health and you will yourself feel it once you get a few weeks of good shut eye.
Too much stress and what to do about it.
Yes we have a laundry list of things to do the next day and we have no idea how it’s going to get done. We may have a big presentation, a child’s big recital, ask for a raise, take parents to doctors’ appointments (all before 11 AM). I know I might sound ridiculous, but I also know many of you have had similar days. Here is my suggestion: Meditate. According to a study published in Frontiers in Immunology, meditation reduces stress and this tends to bring all the hormones and immune system back into balance. Yes, I know many of you will tell me, I tried and my mind wanders or I’m too wired to even try. A lot of this is just accepting that things are what they are right now, and sometimes it’s ok to simply be “easy about it.” Try to meditate 15 minutes before bed and when you wake up, before heading out to work. There are some phone apps or just use meditation music from itunes or youtube. Do this for a month and let me know how you feel.
Moderate intensity exercise ( Both resistance and cardio ) helps lower the fat and increase muscle mass, which improves metabolism, lowers insulin resistance and this tends to decrease excessive estrogen and tends to balance estrogen/progesterone and testosterone. You really don’t have to ask me about this, just ask your friendly neighborhood physician about this and I’m sure they will tell you this and much more on the benefits of exercise.
Basically, vegetable based, low meat and very low intake and if possible to completely avoid processed food and refined sugar. I’m a big believer of Dr. Andrew Weil ‘s Anti Inflammatory diet.
Consider Specific Supplements, Botanicals and Natural Herbs
I would talk to a functional medicine health expert before diving into something like this, but using specific supplements, botanicals and herbs may help balance hormone levels.
All of these things are things we already know, but most of us don’t do. I myself have a tough time justifying to myself that I need to make time to meditate regularly. All that being said, some may need more help in addition to above.
Some women have severe menopausal symptoms like significant hot flashes, insomnia, mood changes, weight gain, mind fog, lack of libido and very painful intercourse. If these are not being helped by above mentioned measures then Bioidentical hormones are an option. Bioidentical hormones might not be for everyone, but they have been helpful to many. With specific hormonal testing and individualized dosing, Bio identical hormones can be used relatively safely and with much less chances of side effects compared to traditional cookie cutter hormones. If you need a more intensive protocol involving Bio Identical Hormones you can always call my office for an appointment or join our Facebook group on Bioidentical Hormones.
Founded in 2014 by Sayed Shah, M.D., Mandala Integrative Medicine is a forerunner in the field of integrative medicine. Dr. Shah is board certified in internal medicine, has a fellowship in integrative medicine, and has been a TEDx speaker. Mandala Integrative Medicine specializes in Integrative Medicine, Alternative Medicine, Holistic Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Preventative Medicine.