Is a Hormone Imbalance Messing With You?
Feeling a little off? Maybe you’re digestion always feels kind of blah. You’re always bloated. You’ve recently put on weight. You often feel cold. Your menstrual cycle is all over the map - not to mention the awful cramps that come with it. Your mood is up and down. You don’t ever get a good night’s sleep.
Or maybe these symptoms are just your norm. You’ve never really thought about it before. You resigned yourself to the fact that this is what life is. Sometimes, it’s good. Sometimes, it’s bad.
But what if this isn’t normal?
As women, we expect that time of the month to be terrible. We’re told about PMS and how everyone has cramps. We’re told by the time you hit 30, you should expect to put on weight. And then eventually, menopause will hit. You’ll also feel pretty crappy around then. It’s just how it goes. Or is it?
What if it’s not normal? What if it’s a hormone imbalance?
Your hormones impact every process and function throughout your body. In fact, your hormones dictate healthy living and your overall well being.
Estrogen has long been hailed as the ‘female hormone.’ Although, it’s found in both men and women. So, why are we bringing it up in relation to all these female problems?
Because estrogen dominance is becoming a more prominent problem in today’s society - one that isn’t talked about enough.
What’s the Deal with Estrogen?
Estrogen drives the initial sexual development in women. Progesterone is also involved in helping to regulate a woman’s cycle. These two hormones take on varying levels throughout the menstrual cycle.
Generally, women have more estrogen and men have more testosterone.
But when there’s too little progesterone or too much estrogen, problems arise.
You may experience:
- Breast swelling or tenderness
- Decreased libido
- Irregular and painful periods
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
- Cold extremities
- Weight gain
Why Does Estrogen Dominance Happen?
Your body may produce more estrogen or less progesterone. This is frequently in response to medication, such as hormonal contraceptives, antibiotics, or estrogen replacement therapy.
It can also happen due to unhealthy lifestyle habits causing obesity and other health issues.
Interestingly, your fat cells produce estrogen. Thus, the more fat cells you have, the more likely you will become estrogen dominant. It puts your body in a stressed-out state. Widespread inflammation may occur, which throws a whole ton of body processes and systems out of whack.
It can also lead to thyroid changes, which impact your overall health via temperature, heart rate, and more.
It’s no wonder you don’t feel good. If you suspect that you may be estrogen dominant, talk to your doctor. They know you and your health situation best and can help determine a proper treatment plan or lifestyle changes to help you feel better. In the meantime, we offer a few helpful tips below so you can start making healthy changes in your life stat. After all, we all need a little health help and tips from time to time.
So, How Can You Fix Estrogen Dominance?
1. Watch What You Put in Your Body
Healthy living isn’t complicated. But the fitness industry does complicate things. You hear that you need to ‘eat clean’ and workout for hours on end to be healthy and happy. While a healthy diet is important, a lot of these programs preaching these so-called facts often miss the mark.
Ever wonder why you can’t sustain any diet? It’s frequently based on restriction, as well as eating foods that aren’t easily digestible by our bodies. You restrict and restrict.
But you cave. You get hangry. You eat everything in sight. We’ve all been there.
The truth about healthy eating involves eating enough to support your body, as well as ensuring you get the proper nutrition your body needs. And eating strictly leafy greens or nuts isn’t going to cut it. You need to eat a variety of foods. Everything in moderation is key.
At the same time, it’s always a good idea to limit pre-packaged food items. These often aren’t serving you or your body. They are frequently full of high calories and sugar, low in any real nutritious value.
Go for small and frequent meals. Eat every few hours. And eat mindfully. How do you feel after? Usually, your body is pretty good at letting you know what it needs.
2. Limit Alcohol & Other Substances
Your liver detoxifies estrogen. If it’s busy detoxifying alcohol or other substances, it might become overloaded. It leaves you with an excess of estrogen, which leads to an array of problems as described above.
This is always a recommendation for better health. And if there is any kind of miracle pill, exercise is it. Again, you want to stick with a regime that isn’t excessive. Moderation applies here as well. Try strength training a couple of times a week combined with walking or biking sessions.
You don’t need to be hitting the gym every day. But you should aim to get about 150 minutes of physical activity every week. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your body fat.
4. Consider Other Forms of Contraception
The pill, unfortunately, is a big problem when it comes to estrogen dominance. iIn truth, we might not know as much about it as we let on. Why? Simply because people haven’t been using it long enough.
For example, remember when smoking wasn’t considered that bad? The whole lung cancer thing definitely threw society through a loop. A similar concept applies to the pill. And there are other ways. If estrogen or hormonal imbalances are a problem for you, the pill may not be best for you or your body.
Understand How Your Body Works to Fix the Problem
Understanding how certain hormones work within your body goes a long way when it comes to determining how you can help yourself. Again, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor when you have health concerns.
However, a healthy diet and lifestyle can prevent health issues from becoming a thing in your life. Eat better. Exercise. Limit toxic substances. It really is that simple.
Related Article: Your Mind & Body on Hydration