We’re all starting to understand the value in regulating our hormones, especially for those who are dealing with digestive issues. Some women already experience looser bowel movements, or constipation during menstruation, which is generally considered normal, as the estrogen level decreases and progesterone levels start to increase, stimulating hormonal changes. But what if your hormonal imbalance goes beyond just periods? What if it feels like you’re dealing with ‘strange symptoms’ throughout the month that you can’t quite figure out?
This could be a hormonal imbalance and it can be quite common amongst women, as it’s yet to still be widely spoken about or fully understood. However, in saying that, there are certain symptoms that you could be mindful of so that you can fully understand whether your body is struggling to regulate itself.
Here are a few pointers for you:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Changes in sensitivity to cold and heat
- Very dry skin
- Brittle or weak bones
- Unexplained long-term fatigue
- Increased thirst
- The decrease in sex drive
And the list continues. So what if you are experiencing some or most of above but not sure what you’re doing wrong to aggravate that imbalance? Maybe it’s time to consider your diet. Hormonal changes can be related to diet, stress, activity levels and the medications that you’re taking making it hard to quite figure out where to start.
Let us help you consider 8 food groups that could be responsible for your hormonal disruption.
- Non-organic food
We have heard the excuse before that people are unable to afford non-organic, but when they prioritize another new piece of clothing, or their next vacation overeating the best quality food, they’re actually putting their bodies in the firing line of further inflammation, hormonal issues and long-term chronic disease.
How though? Well, farmed meats and fish raised on unnatural diets that are focused on producing quantity and not quality have a good chance of carrying higher levels of hormones, antibiotics PCBs and mercury. The reason why mercury is mostly bad is that it can actually aggravate symptoms for women, especially who are carrying an auto-immune gene.
These foreign substances are endocrine-disrupting chemicals and they send your progesterone and oestrogen on a wild ride. This especially counts for salmon, which most of it is farmed and in fact doing a lot of damage to a woman’s fertility cycle.
Okay, firstly what are nightshades? Nightshades are a part of the botanical family. They contain a chemical called solanine, which can cause inflammation on humans, especially those with pre-existing autoimmune issues. Nightshades are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. And these guys can also play havoc on your hormonal health. Instead, try sweet potatoes, kabocha squash, and purple sweet potatoes.
Yes, good old sugar. This guy has a great time cruising around in your gut just causing trouble with your hormones. Sugar leads to the spikes of the hormonal insulin, which works to move the sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells.
Generally, the body needs to have a balanced intake of sugars, proteins and fats so it can choose where to get the energy from, and a body with healthy hormones would be able to do this. But when you eat too much sugar, your insulin levels skyrocket until your cells develop resistance. When this happens, your body’s attention shifts to processing the insulin, and sugar rather than regulating hormones which causes an immediate imbalance in oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone
- Factory Farmed Animals
Okay so, this is why you don’t buy caged eggs. There are seven hormones that are used in industrial food production of meat, eggs and dairy that literally SCREW with your hormones VERY badly. These hormones are testosterone propionate, trenbolone acetate, estradiol, zeranol, progesterone, melengestrol acetate and bovine. Yep! Google it.
The worst part about this is that they can also be toxic to the immune system. In fact, the EU has banned imports of U.S beef because of how toxifying these farm industry foods are for our bodies (wtf, right?).
- White Bread
Now, we’re a brand that endorses a gluten-free diet, especially in America because of the way the wheat is processed with pesticides (roundup) that are unfortunately doing our bodies an injustice. But there are claims that white bread wreaks havoc on all the hormones in the body, gluten plus sugar increases inflammation in the body that causes stress on our adrenal glands and autoimmunity. How does it upset the hormones? It leads to a decrease in the production of hormones from the adrenals and thyroid.
Dairy disrupts many levels of your hormonal balance. It can not only irritate the gut add inflammation to the body, but it can also be packed with antibiotic residue and bovine growth hormones, especially IGF-1. Too much of this causes inflammation. A good indication of whether you have issues with dairy or not is by looking at how your skin responds to it, if you get acne it’s a sure sign that you need to quit.
Alcohol interferes with your brain and that leads to interference with your hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which is also known as the parts of your brain that send your body messages to create the hormones that it needs. Hormones are so tightly regulated that even a small disruption can cause issues. Alcohol also reduces testosterone production leading to lower energy levels in both men and women.