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Every person has hormones. These hormones control everything from hair loss/growth to inflammation to weight loss, not to mention the potential health risks such as insulin resistance, PCOS (Polysystic Ovary Syndrome), estrogen dominance, and cancers of the breast, ovaries and prostate.
What happens is that the gut and the brain talk to each other and tell each other what hormones are needed to keep us running smoothly. If something is out of whack with our hormones, the messages either get garbled or missed altogether.
THE GUT IS KNOWN AS THE SECOND BRAIN
Everyone has male and female hormones (estrogen and testosterone), it is the amounts of these hormones present before we are born that determine our gender. After that, these hormones dictate things like body hair, ovulation in women, acne and so much more.
This does not mean that as long as you have the right hormones you are good. Having too much of anything is bad. Too much estrogen in women and androgens in men can be just as bad but in different ways.
When these hormones are not balanced properly the result can be too much estrogen in men and too much testosterone in women.
Too much testosterone in men can result in mood swings, lowered sperm counts, and shrinking testicles.
Too much testosterone in women can cause excess hair (dark, thick, coarse hair on the chin, upper lip and body known as hirsutism), acne, irregular periods, fertility problems, premature balding and something called virilisation (developing masculine qualities such as muscle mass and a deepening of the voice).
Too much estrogen in men and women can cause Estrogen Dominance
While most people think that estrogen disappears when women hit perimenopause, (myself included), it could actually be too much estrogen in relation to progesterone.
Signs of Estrogen Dominance
- weight gain around the midsection
- mood swings
- decreased sex drive/erectile dysfunction
- irregular periods
- trouble sleeping/insomnia
- man boobs/breast tenderness
Ways to get Your Hormones Back in Balance
Hormone Balancing Diet
Getting the right balance of protein, healthy fats and carbs is vital to balancing your hormones, and no two peoples needs are the same. This is a process of trial and error that is unique to every person.
There are tons of resources online that are helpful, but they are only a starting point. They can help you determine the right foods, but in order to give you the best information, a visit to the doctor or dietician is needed.
After they have zeroed in on what is needed, a nutritionist can collaborate with you to make a meal plan that will work for you.
Fiber, Water and Your Liver
I have included these together because, well they go together.
The liver is your bodies filter and removes waste and toxins and excess estrogen is removed through your bowels.
For the excess estrogen to be removed, we need the bulk (fiber) and water to keep everything moving southward.
WHEN ESTROGEN IS NOT REMOVED, IT IS REABSORBED!!!!
Reducing Stress and Regular Exercise
Not only does exercise help to reduce body fat, it also releases endorphins which are feel good hormones. Exercise will keep everything on the inside moving.
When all else fails
A 2% topical progesterone cream can help to keep the levels of estrogen and progesterone balanced.
A multivitamin may also help to bridge the gap when your food choices are lacking.
The Essential Edible Pharmacy by Sophie Manolas