To properly balance your hormones, you need to focus on the 4 main hormones that dictate how we look, feel, think and behave.
Hormones are chemical messengers that are released from your body’s endocrine glands and travel to every cell in your body to tell it what to do. These messenger molecules are involved in almost every function of your body, and they are critical to your well-being.
Balanced hormones are not just about puberty, pregnancy, menopause and your monthly cycle. Hormones regulate your metabolism, energy, mood, sleep, appetite, digestion, weight, brain function and more! If the balance is out you can have symptoms in all these areas.
Once you understand how to balance your main 4 hormones, you should notice the difference!
Meet Your Feisty Four
- Cortisol – your stress hormone
Cortisol is your main stress hormone, and it rules the roost when it comes to your other hormones. When your body is under stress, cortisol is released from your adrenal glands. This is part of your survival mechanism – your fight/flight response – and it keeps you alive in times of real danger, like a lion attack. But in modern times, we’re not dealing with lion attacks, but with micro stresses all day long. And our evolutionary stress response can be a problem as we don’t get to switch it off!
Main symptoms of cortisol imbalance; Feeling wired, tired, overwhelmed, foggy, emotional, anxious, flat, low, irritable, belly fat, poor sleep.
2. Insulin – your fat storing hormone
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, it controls blood sugar levels in the body but often when there’s too much sugar in the blood (eg from carbs or sugary foods) then it turns that sugar into fat. Which is why I call it the fat storing hormone, and why generally a diet high in carbs and sugar will likely make you gain weight
Main symptoms of insulin imbalance; ; high waist/hip ratio, mid afternoon slump, 3am wake ups, feeling ‘hangry’, PMS, excess thirst, sugar/carb cravings
What to focus on; Blood sugar balance – 3 meals a day with good fast, protein and low GL carbs, limit snacking, avoid sugar/refined carbs, limit alcohol
3. Thyroid – your metabolism regulator
Thyroid hormones turn your metabolism UP (into fat burning and high energy mode) or DOWN (fat storing and energy conservation mode). They are like a switch for your cells, and for most women it tends to be low rather than high, slowing everything down.
What to focus on; Stress management, nutrients – supplement a good MultiVitamin. Gut health support is key if you have auto immune Hashimoto’s or Graves. Proper testing is advisable if you’re concerned.
4. Oestrogen – your main sex hormone
Oestrogen works very closely with progesterone and is your main female sex hormone. It not only gives you your female characteristics (and curves!), but it’s vital for your mood, energy, weight, brain, bones and heart!
Main symptoms of oestrogen/progesterone imbalance;
What to focus on; For high Oestrogen – liver support, cruciferous veg, fibre, avoid hormone disrupting chemicals.
For low Oestrogen – phytoestrogens (organic soy, flaxseeds, chick peas), supplements (Promensil, MacaPause) or Body Identical HRT if levels don’t increase through diet/supplements.
So now you know which 4 main hormones might be causing your symptoms, you can start to balance your hormones so they work for you, not against you.
You may find that you’ve got multiple symptoms and that’s often due to several different imbalances, as they all rely on each other, so when one’s out the others can be affected. If you don’t get relief from following the Happy Hormone Code (Eat, Rest, Cleanse, Move) then it’s advisable to get some help as you may need proper testing.