If you've come to the realization that your hormones are out of whack, don't freak out. There's a lot you need to do for hormone maintenance — I prefer "maintenance" to "balance" — before you consider hormone replacement.
The very first step to keep in mind through this process is that there isn't one single fix-it. It's a journey, and your body is evolving. It's called aging. It can happen prematurely, or it can happen when it's supposed to happen.
It's the difference between living with illness to 75 or living vibrantly and with vitality to 95.
Which do you want?
Your body will never be the same from one day to the next… for the rest of your life, and that's OK. Before considering HRT, there are many things that you can do to balance your hormone profile.
- Kick your sugar habit, including artificial sweeteners.
- Skip or minimize alcohol.
- Eliminate white foods (think wheat and flour).
- Don't eat processed food. They're filled with neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors.
- Aim for 80/20: 80% vegetables / 20% protein (plant and/or animal). It is very easy to get enough carbohydrates from vegetables, you don't need grains.
- Take digestive enzymes and probiotics (for nutrient absorption).
If one of your imbalances is thyroid related:
Minimize tea. Tea has the ability to absorb fluoride, which blocks iodine absorption.
- Clean up your living environment.
- Get rid of toxic cleaners and chemicals, including laundry products (these are all endocrine disruptors).
- Remove fluoride from your water and tooth products. Fluoride calcifies your pineal gland, which may lead to dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
- Replace plastic in your kitchen with other storage and dining materials.
- Use only natural body and hair products — what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream, including your sunscreen, which may block vitamin D absorption.
- Detox. Don't fast or go straight into a juice detox. If your body isn't acclimated to this type of process, it will do everything to hold on to fat stores for future energy use.
- Move your body. Your body isn't meant to sit all day. Leading a sedentary life is one of the worst things you can do if you're trying make changes in your hormone profile.
- Have sex. Sex releases many feel-good hormones.
- Clean up your mental environment. Negative self-talk and comparison to others brings on unnecessary stress, raises your cortisol level and starts the hormone roller coaster over and over.
- Get rid of the endless cycle of stories floating in your head. You never know what's going on in someone else's life, so why not just concentrate on being and doing the best you can.
- Practice the art of presence daily. I'm a terrible meditator, but I don't give up trying. Even when I'm not successful at it, I benefit because I'm consistent in my efforts.
- Decide what you want more: a happy life that is symptom free, or going on the way you have been.
- Figuring out YOU from the inside out and working to be the best you is grounding, affirming, confidence-building. It's a step toward less depression and more vitality.
- Surround yourself with people that support your transformation.
- Find your happiness in things you like to do.
Of course, you should check with a doctor to determine what the best course of action is for you, but trying these techniques before you consider pharmaceuticals or bio-identicals can be worth it. Cleaning up your physical and mental environment is the first and on-going step for hormone maintenance; without it, any hormones you use won't be as effective as they could be.
I should note that I have nothing against hormone replacement and bio-identicals. In fact, through hormone maintenance and bio-identicals, I'm living my vibrant life again.
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