Hormones are powerful substances that can make us feel great, but on the other hand can make us feel pretty low or experience a number of unwanted symptoms. As women move beyond their 40’s and into menopausal phase it is likely that you will experience a number of symptoms, some of which are assessed in the Recover Your Health Online Questionnaire.
The female hormone system is vastly complex and a full review is way beyond the scope of this article, but needless to say I will outline some of the major dysfunctions that may be occurring and causing hormone imbalance issues that may prevent weight loss in the over 40’s. For a more in depth look you can check out the Recover Your Health eBook.
When it comes to hormones and helping balance hormones to establish improvements in health, and to increase the possibility of weight loss in the over 40’s, I feel acting directly on the hormones without first establishing optimal blood sugar balance, digestive health, adrenal health, liver health etc is a very backward approach. The reasons being that our liver, gut and blood sugar can directly affect how to make, convert and remove hormones from the body. Again if you score high in the Recover Your Health Questionnaire in the other sections you may want to consider working on those areas first.
Here are 7 Tips to optimise your hormone levels naturally
- Optimise Gut Health – If you suffer from any kind of gut bacterial imbalance digestive infection such as a parasite or bacterial infection (more common than what people think) or perhaps you are eating foods that you are having an inflammatory response to it is important to address these issues. Following a healthy individualised eating plan as laid out in the Recover Your Health eBook is one way of ensuring you are supporting the body and giving it the best possible opportunity to develop a healthy digestive system. In some instances further testing such as stool assessments and food sensitivity testing can help pin point a programme that is right for you.
- Optimise liver function and reduce toxin exposure – One sure way to help liver function naturally is to lower the toxins coming in from the outside and support the body with plenty of good nutrition to aid both main phases of detoxification. Purify the air we breathe when possible, eat organic foods, drink clean water, and reduce alcohol consumption to name a few. Again we have more information on how to do this in the Recover Your Health eBook.
- Run a hormone test – There are a variety of hormone tests available, some good, some bad. Finding a hormone test that looks at a variety of markers is important to build a good picture of where the dysfunction may lay. Some hormone tests can look at full monthly cycles by taking saliva samples every 2-3 days giving you an accurate view of your cycle and are able to show levels of FSH, LH, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
- Reduce stress – Stress is such a general term as it can come in many forms; stress from work, stress from family and friend relationships, pollutant stress, digestive stress, financial stress, the list is pretty endless. Essentially keeping our stress load down enables our body to function normally, work one by one on your main stressors.
- Improve Sleep – Sleep the most underestimated tool for improving all areas of our health. Hormone Irregularities are more common in those with the worst sleep patterns/health.
- Reduce Inflammation – Inflammation can have a suppressive effect on the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland helps us produce FSH and LH that then go on to stimulate the production of hormones in the body.
- Eat a blood sugar controlled diet –Irregular blood sugar and thus increased levels of insulin have been shown to increase testosterone in women and lower other hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
It is my view and others that I have been taught by over the years that improper clearance of hormones both through liver function and digestive health will commonly lead to increased fat storage especially in the lower body of females.
Males as they age will often experience significant changes in their hormone profile. Reductions in testosterone and increased estrogen levels are commonly seen, especially as we move beyond the age of 40. I have worked with a number of males suffering with low testosterone symptoms and have seen a vast number of low testosterone levels in laboratory testing.
Many of the points above are equally as important for males that should be explored, and as with females, before directly trying to manipulate hormones in some way we should look to improve other areas of health first to see if proper hormone function can be established that way.
For more info on working with Steve on a one-2-one level please feel free to email Steve@projectyourhealth.com