Feeling irritable? Suffering from insomnia? Experiencing bloating, headaches or hot flashes? If you answered yes to any of these symptoms, there’s a good chance your hormones are out of balance.
So many people come into my office thinking they have a Thyroid problem, when in fact it turns out to be one of their other hormone systems. The different endocrine organs: Thyroid, Adrenal, and Ovaries/Testes, are controlled by the Pituitary, a part of the brain that I call the "leader of the endocrine orchestra". The pituitary secretes stimulating hormones that directs the secretion and activity of all these organs, and literally tells them to make estrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormone, testosterone and the important adrenal hormone cortisol. It’s important to keep in mind that this orchestra of hormones works best when all of the "instruments" are in tune. Which is precisely why an imbalance in one hormone causes an imbalance in the others.
Here are four tips for keeping your hormones in balance:
1. Plenty of rest. Be sure to go to bed before 11pm.
2. Eat balanced and eat regularly. Strive for four small meals daily (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner) and make sure each meal contains some form of protein. Don't forget, protein comes from beans, nuts, and seeds, not just from animal sources.
3. Cut out. Eliminate white flour and processed foods from your diet. Instead, eat plenty of fiber rich whole grain, fruits and veggies, which are critical for the hormone metabolism process.
4. Find some “Me Time”. Set aside time every day for relaxation. I call this spending time in the “off position”. This can be anything from reading a book, listening to music, or meditating. You can start with five minutes, but aim for twenty minutes daily.