Hormones! A fascinating complexity of constant flux and changes, none of them particularly fun!

Most women at some point experience a level of discomfort associated with hormone changes. For some, minor irritability, for others, symptoms so intense it affects every aspect of their lives. Good news! It doesn’t have to be this way. You can live your life full of energy and vitality and sail up to a period symptom free.

You’re not going crazy…but your hormones might be!

Your body contains a huge swirling mixture of different hormones regulated by your endocrine system. You probably already know what a lot of them do – like cortisol (the stress hormone), oestrogen (the female sex hormone), progesterone (menstrual regulator) and melatonin (the sleep hormone) – but what you might be less familiar with is how all these hormones interact with each other to affect your body. For example, cortisol is manufactured out of progesterone, so it stands to reason that if we’re busy being stressed, our body is going to drain our progesterone reserves to manufacture more stress hormones. This can then set off an unpleasant game of hormone dominoes – our body prioritises fight and flight, which can lead to irregular and unpleasant menstrual cycles, poor gut function, tight and sore muscles, flat or irritable moods and to cap it all off, poor sleep. 

The way to balance hormones is through your…liver?

Whilst sex hormones are produced throughout your body, it’s actually your liver that breaks them down, so it’s a great place to start looking when there are hormonal imbalances. Sometimes we may find the liver is too busy on other tasks (filtering a tad too much vino perhaps?!) to focus where it needs. Our liver is the filter for our body and like any filter is can fill with junk. Supporting liver metabolism allows a back log of hormones to clear through and be broken down, reducing many of our classic premenstrual symptoms such as irritability, moodiness, bloating, weight gain, fatigue, brain fog and poor sleep, to name a few.

So…cut back on the wine and all’s good?

Well, modern day life has unfortunately not made it that simple. In addition to the hormones our bodies manufacture, we’re constantly exposed to xeno-oestrogens, which are artificial hormones found in self-care products, cleaning products, and the environment that behave like oestrogen when they’re in our bodies. This can contribute to further imbalance within our hormonal system. It means we not only need to pay attention to what we eat and drink, but what we clean our homes with, store our food and water in and the body care products we use.

How to get in control of your hormones the natural way.

Every woman’s body is unique, and everyone has a different mix of hormones, diet, body types and other factors, so there isn’t a simple one-size-fits-all solution to regulating your hormonal balance. The first step is figuring out what you need more, or less of – which can be done in a variety of different ways, from blood testing, to food diaries, or even just a decent chat. Once we know what causes your body’s responses we can tailor an individual solution, using herbal and nutritional supplements to give your body exactly what it needs to do its best work. Most women see significant improvement in hormone-related issues within 1-3 months, and are then able to switch to maintenance of their newfound, energetic lifestyle, supported by great food, nutrition, exercise – and, yes, the odd glass of wine!

I’m Sarah Durack, a local naturopath who has been practicing for 20 years. If you’d like to chat about how I can help you get on top of your hormones, or anything to do with feeling great naturally, send me an email to naturopath@sarahdurack.com.au, or visit my website – sarahdurack.com.au. I look forward to your visit!

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