Here’s your key to finally understanding your hormones
We’re constantly learning so that we can expand the tools and strategies shared on our channels and with clients. In this post, we discuss a book we’ve read, found amazing, and believe is worth sharing with the community! You can buy Hormone Intelligence here. When you buy books through links on our site, we may get a small commission, with no extra cost to you. This allows us to continue our mission to provide women worldwide with better support and access to important health topics that help women feel and show up their best.
Last week I was hanging out with my girlfriends and as we always do, we ended up talking about our periods. Most of the time there’s a lot of complaining, because so many of us experience very painful or heavy periods.
That’s already an issue, since our periods shouldn’t be painful, have us popping painkillers or staying in bed. On top of that, there are many women, who face hormonal issues like endometriosis, PCOS, acne, fertility issues, and more, who aren’t getting the care and support they need, because “It’s normal if you’re a woman,” or “There’s simply nothing you can do about it.”
In the book “Hormone Intelligence,” women’s health doctor Aviva Romm encourages more conversations about women’s cycles, hormones, and health. She also gives you a ton of information about your body and health and offers strategies on how you can support your hormones for better well-being. After all, being a woman is not a diagnosis!
So what’s a hormone?
Essentially hormones are little messengers in your body that are part of the endocrine system a.k.a the system that produces hormones in your body. Your hormones are incredibly important, because they tell your body what to do. They move through the body to specific receptors, when the two connect they get something done , e.g. you get your period or a hair grows.
Because they’re so important, you produce over 50 hormones daily!
We have receptors for hormones everywhere in our bodies, since they help regulate so many processes including your:
- Tissue function
- Sexual function
- Mood & more.
If your hormones aren’t just right then all those super important processes can get off track. That’s when we start experiencing symptoms and feeling less than great. It’s like a symphony, if some instruments aren’t playing the right notes, you’re gonna hear it!
Are my hormones balanced?
If you aren’t feeling and showing up your best, there’s probably something going on. There are loads of symptoms (they don’t all fit in this post).
Here are some symptoms that are considered normal, but aren’t, even though they can be common:
- Cyclical breast pain/ tenderness
- heavy/ painful periods
- Irregular cycles
- Low libido
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Brain fog
- Irritability / anxiety
- Low motivation
- Sleep problems
- Constantly feeling cold
Okay, but what can I do about it!?
Thankfully, we’re not stuck feeling crabby. There’re so many strategies we can use & apply to support our hormones through lifestyle & nutrition. I’ve got some great tips in this post, but it’s always best to work with a functional practitioner for personalized support for your unique body and situation.
The book “Hormone Intelligence” offers you great information and strategies divided into 6 parts:
- The Hormone Intelligence Diet
- Mind-body connection, self-care, lifestyle & reducing stress
- Sleep & circadian rhythm
- Gut health & vaginal microbiome
- Environmental exposures, toxins, detox & elimination
- Reducing inflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial function & repairing ovarian function
On top of that, you can find additional recipes, knowledge & advanced protocols for common hormone issues. Get your copy here now!
Which hormone type are you?
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Tips & strategies you can try out right now!
Here are some strategies that Aviva Romm mentions in her book, that we also support in our practice. Pick and chose the ones that fit into your life and situation right now. You don’t have to try them out all at once (unless that works for you). Try incorporating a strategy and see how you feel and how it impacts you.
Our diet has a huge impact on our bodies and can bring us closer or further away from good health. It’s best to aim for a nutrient-dense diet that nourishes your body and makes you feel amazing!
Here are some guidelines for you to try out:
- Eat actual food – that’s foods without mysterious numbers or confusing ingredients you can’t pronounce
- Eat the rainbow – stay colorful and switch it up. How many different veggies can you eat in a day? Does your plate look colorful?
- Good protein source – find something that gives you energy all day & keeps your blood sugar stable. If you’re very stressed and got loads going on, you might need more protein.
- Stay hydrated – drink that water! Find out what amount you need & try to drink that every day.
- Take it easy & be kind to yourself – it’s all about balance. Don’t stress yourself out about your diet. Some indulging is okay every now and then. It’s all about finding a balance
Take the time to take care of yourself and also destress. Constant stress hijacks your hormones and leaves you feeling stressed and unnourished.
Here are some stress-reducing tips:
- Pay attention to how you’re feeling & how you want to feel
- Try practices that encourage relaxation like yoga, meditation, dancing, getting massages, eating mindfully, relaxing in a bath, and anything else that makes you feel good
- Take out things that rob you of your energy. What stresses you out? What makes you feel depleted? That might be people, situations or activities. Try to reduce these energy stealers.
- Take the time to go with the flow and take things easy. You don’t have to control everything and relaxing can offer you new views and opportunities you didn’t see before.
Sleep is essential to our well-being and optimal hormone health.
To make sure you get enough high-quality sleep, give these a try:
- Stick to the same bed and wake-up time every day. Make sure to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night!
- Sleep in a cooler room
- Create a bedtime routine. What calms you down and relaxes you? Try journaling, yoga or reading.
- Avoid screens and blue light 1 to 2 hours before bedtime.
- Try calming essential oils like lavender and teas including passionflower, hops, and valerian
Our gut health is strongly connected to our overall health and hormones. The microbes in your gut support the absorption of nutrients and even produce them!
To make sure you’re taking care of your microbes & gut:
- Eat or drink probiotics. Before reaching for supplements experiment with fermented foods like kimchi, pickles, (coconut) yogurt, and sauerkraut. There’re also fermented drinks like kefir and kombucha.
- Eat prebiotics. These are the fibers that beneficial gut bugs love to eat! You find prebiotics in vegetables, nuts & seeds, fruit, and in whole grains. Basically, eat more plants!
- Use a wide array of spices & herbs to make your dishes more flavourful and also anti-inflammatory.
Our surroundings are more polluted with chemicals and toxins than ever before. Your body is constantly detoxing from toxins, but sometimes has trouble catching up with the rate at which we introduce toxins into our body. That can lead to all your systems getting a little “clogged up.” But it’s not all doom and gloom, there’s something you can do about it!
- Avoid introducing new toxins into your home & switch out old products for new eco-friendly ones, that are toxin free. Pay attention to your makeup, household cleaning products, and sanitary products.
- If possible avoid plastic and switch over to metal, silicone, and glass. That counts for bottles, cling film, containers, pots & pans, ect.
- If possible buy organic to avoid pesticides. If that isn’t available to you, try a vinegar rinse for your food. There are loads of techniques for this online.
- Support your liver & gut by eating greens, onions, garlic, leaks, avocados, berries, legumes, seeds, and dark chocolate. Make sure that your pooping at least once a day up to 3 times.
Keep in mind that it takes time to reduce your toxic load and clean up your environment. Tackle it bit by bit in the areas that feel good and are available to you. Small improvements can already make a big difference.
Experiment with these strategies and find what feels good and works for you. Remember to go easy on yourself and have fun with it!
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, manage, or treat disease or serious conditions. Always check with your doctor before making any changes. It’s important to consult a well-informed health practitioner for personal advice about your situation before relying on general information — we’re all wonderfully unique.
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Hi! I’m Linh, a biochemistry student. I love all things health-related and am a self proclaimed tea-addict and science nerd. I fell in love with health & nutrition, because it feels amazing to show up and feel your best with tons of energy and excitement. Whilst I’m on my own health journey, I hope to help others define health for themselves and fall in love with their bodies & hormones.
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