10 Steps to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
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Regardless of gender are low levels of testosterone, stress, and contaminated food the three biggest fat enhancers, mood destroyers, libido killers and causes of premature aging today, and a way to address that is to take a thorough look at some of the imbalances a modern lifestyle creates in our hormonal system. Hormones — such as oestrogen, testosterone, adrenaline, cortisol, melatonin, insulin, T3, T4, Leptin, irisin, growth hormone, and last but not least the xenoestrogens that we are exposed to every day - they are all responsible for more than just the occasional binge. They are, even in extremely tiny amounts, unbelievable potent, and these chemical messengers work slowly over time and travel in our bloodstream to tissues and organs. Their ebb and flow in our bodies control nearly every aspect of our metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, mood, energy, personality, mental capacity, outlook on life and much more.
Those with symptoms like weight gain, weight around the middle, acne, eczema, stress, mood swings, fatigue, early ageing, trouble sleeping, always sleeping, PMS, endometriosis, infertility, PCOS or other issues may find that addressing hormones is vital for recovery.
Contents of This Blog
The hormones and me
The vital glands
the 10 steps to help you naturally balance your hormones:
What to avoid
What to eat and drink
How to train
Stress reduction techniques
Get some rays
Shiver that fat off
Radiant skin, teeth and hair
Detox your home
1. The hormones and me
A woman’s body is actually quite capable of adjusting to the hormonal changes that occur when the ovaries slow down. The sex hormones – oestrogen, progesterone and the androgens – are produced in body fat, skin, the brain, the adrenal glands and other sites besides the ovaries, as the need arises. If all the other glands are functioning well – especially the adrenal glands, they will, in most cases, continue to produce all the hormones a woman needs for the rest of her life - If not then you’re up for a serious wake up call when the menopause hits the fan, and guess what kind of wake up I had after a long life of burning my candle at both ends, indulging litres of coffee daily, tons of sweets, poor diet in general and juggling the responsibilities of being a single parent and working as a perfectionist production manager from hell?
I’m telling you all of a sudden I was sweating like heroin addict even in just a t-shirt outside on a cold winters day. I experienced extreme mood swings, weight gain, had severe problems falling a sleep and when I finally did snooze I would often wake up with heart palpitations and anxiety attacks. Besides that, I could tick off most of the other boxes with the uncomforting symptoms of being in the middle of the change – like dizziness, short-term memory problems, tinnitus, and I could go on. If I hadn’t paid attention to my body before, there was no way I could ignore it there. My body was in a no-tolerance mode - which was a blessing in disguise. Just a pinch of sugar, wheat or dairy would give me palpitations; hard workout made me dizzy and gave me headache, and coffee and a tiny bit of busyness made me sweat. I was desperate and scared, but also realized how hard I’d driven my self for many years. My very patient physician checked me many times during that first year of menopause and continuously convinced me that my heart was fine, and offered me HRT to calm the symptoms, which I refused – I’d made that decision many years before, no medicine for me if there’s anyway around it, and I also for once wanted to let go of control and listen to the messages my body was trying to send me, and change my lifestyle accordingly.
This post is about hormones – not menopause, but my story is a reminder of how hard the body and those hormones work for us everyday to keep us going without us normally noticing, and everything I’ve always known about taking care of myself—getting adequate rest and sleep, balancing my diet, clean living, drinking water, exercising regularly—came into sharp focus during that phase. I was reminded that when you don't take care of your body in your twenties, you could get away with it. But as you move through your forties, your body says, 'If you keep this up, I'm going to make you old—but if you stop now, you'll get a second chance’.
Thus I totally changed my diet, work and workout routines and the result is that I today feel better and happier than ever, and I don’t have any of the weak bones or sore joints issues that many in my age group struggle with,,, Neither do I join in on my husbands exclaims when he gets out of bed in the mornings with a: “I feel like a cardboard cut out.”
I keep learning though, as this paragraph from my notes on July 26, 2016 shows:
“I woke up this morning with my tummy a little flatter than yesterday, which was a welcoming surprise, because, although I cut out bread, potatoes and rice from my diet several months ago, to my frustration I’ve felt increasingly fat and bloated lately. I’ve blamed it on the humid summer weather, my big morning fruit smoothies and my one month off workout, but today it’s as humid as yesterday (I checked) and I’ve trained my body as little as the last four weeks, and my smoothie was fruitier as ever so what has changed? I simply switched my meals around, had my smoothie later, and added extra protein, probiotics and fat to my breakfast yesterday.”
What’s that got to do with hormones one might think – read on and learn how to balance these powerful chemicals, at all ages, and use them to your advantage.”
2. The vital glands of the endocrine system
This chapter might just be for the nerds among us,,, but it brings on a deeper understanding of the entire endocrine system, which works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout our bodies, and if one or more is even slightly imbalanced it can cause widespread, major health problems.
Comprised of small bits of tissue, the endocrine (meaning “in pouring”) glands are internal secretion or ductless glands. They differ from external secretion glands, such as sweat or tear glands, because they secrete biochemical messengers (hormones) directly into the bloodstream rather than pouring them out through a tube or duct.
Let’s start from the top. The brain.
But before we enter this area it’s useful to know that four areas of the brain are not protected by the blood-brain barrier, which means that toxins have free access to these zones.
The blood-brain barrier function in the body prevents toxic substances, large molecules, and neurotransmitters released in the blood from entering the brain. These areas include parts of the pituitary gland, pineal gland, hypothalamus and the area postrema.
The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that lies just above the pituitary gland and controls and integrates parts of the nervous system, endocrine processes, and many bodily functions such as temperature, sleep and appetite. It sends signals to the pituitary to release or inhibit pituitary hormone production.
The pituitary gland
The "master gland" - is about the size of a pea, imbedded deep in the skull at the base of the brain. It controls and regulates the function of most other endocrine glands and performs important functions of its own. In turn it’s controlled by the hypothalamus.
In yoga, meditation and Ayurveda it’s associated with the sixth chakra, “the third eye” that regulates our inner guidance or intuition, thoughts, and dreams.
The pituitary gland produces hormones that:
- Promote growth in childhood and help maintain healthy muscle and bone mass in adults and is important for cell division, DNA repair and metabolism (growth hormone).
- Stimulate milk production in women (prolactin)
- Promote the production of cortisol, which help to reduce stress, maintain healthy blood pressure and more (adrenocorticotropic).
- Help regulating the body's thyroid, which is crucial in maintaining a healthy metabolism (thyroid-stimulating hormone).
- Regulate oestrogen in women and testosterone in men (Luteinizing hormone).
- Stimulate the releasing of eggs in women and help ensure normal function of sperm production in men (follicle-stimulating hormone).
- Cause pregnant women to start having contractions at the appropriate time and also promote milk flow in nursing mothers (oxytocin).
- Help regulating water balance in the body (antidiuretic hormone).
The pineal gland
The hormone melatonin, is secreted by the pineal gland, and controls circadian and seasonal rhythms, or sleep/wake cycles and photoperiodic (seasonal) functions and influences the health of the immune system.
It’s a rice-sized gland shaped like a pinecone and sits alone in the middle of the brain at the same level as the eyes and near the pituitary. The functions of the pineal gland are not yet fully understood by modern science, but yogis and other mystics believe that there is a strong connection between the pineal gland and our spiritual life, and that the pineal gland responds to the influence of the cosmos, the stars, the plants, seasons, colours, vibrations, sounds and light, connecting the macrocosm of the universal destiny to the microcosm of our personal destiny
Two Modern Melatonin Disruptors
Blue light and calcification are the biggest threats facing the pineal gland and the production of melatonin.
- The pineal needs darkness to produce melatonin, and today we tend to be exposed to light around the clock and stare into blue light-emanating appliances in the evenings.
- The human body has no use for fluoride so the body isolates it in a calcium husk. The pineal gland is a calcifying tissue and thus a major target for fluoride accumulation..
Studies have found that as our pineal gland hardens due to the crystal production, less melatonin is produced and regulation of your wake-sleep cycle gets disturbed.
Besides fluorides, hormones, food additives, excess sugar and sweeteners in your diet has been linked to the phenomenon of calcifying the pineal gland. Read much more about how to get a good nights sleep here.
Calcified deposits in the pineal are associated with:
- Disrupting normal puberty function.
- Accelerated sexual maturation in females.
- Weight gain or obesity.
- Slow thyroid.
- Digestive disorders.
- Kidney trouble
- Poor circulation.
- Loss of sense of direction.
- Mood or mental disorders.
- Lack of vision.
- Lowered IQ
Note that calcification is significantly higher in patients with Alzheimer’s disease vs. other types of dementia.
The thyroid gland
The thyroid gland secretes hormones that govern many of the functions in your body, such as the way the body uses energy, consumes oxygen and produces heat. The hormones regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development and bone maintenance.
A sluggish thyroid gives a slow metabolism. If you exercise and the weight doesn’t come off like it should, and if you struggle with adrenal fatigue or lack of energy — all of those are warning signs that you might have a thyroid issue.
Healthy thyroid function depends very much on keeping the level of iodine and blood sugar in a balanced range.
The islets of Langerhans
The pancreas lies behind the stomach. Its endocrine tissues are scattered like small islands - called the islets of Langerhans; these islets secrete the hormone insulin. When we eat blood sugar level increases and insulin is secreted, which brings it back to normal.
Insulin controls how the body uses carbohydrate and fat found in food. Insulin allows cells in the muscles, liver and fat to take up sugar (glucose) that has been absorbed into the bloodstream from food. This provides energy to the cells.
The release of insulin is tightly regulated in healthy people in order to balance food intake and the metabolic needs of the body
Two Common Causes of Insulin Imbalance
We tend to consume a large amount of refined carbs with very little fat and protein, so our blood sugar spikes very high and the pancreas frantically overcompensates with insulin release. This overcompensation of insulin eventually causes insulin resistance, which leads to Type 2 Diabetes if poor dietary practices are continued. The good news, however, is that it can be reversed through a healthy diet that balances your blood sugar.
Glucose that doesn’t enter body cells is taken to the liver where it is converted to glycogen. This is a form of stored sugar that is broken down to stabilize low blood sugar levels between meals and during the night. It’s helpful for the body to store glycogen, but stress and hormone dysfunction deplete our ability to store glycogen and this can contribute to blood sugar imbalance.
Hormones released in times of acute stress, such as adrenaline, stop the release of insulin leading to higher blood glucose levels.
The adrenal glands
These two thumb-sized glands secrete secretes cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline and make the heart pound, raise the blood pressure, help make the muscles tense and put the brain on high alert.
Cortisol secreted by the adrenal cortex is a natural steroid that suppresses inflammation and raises our blood-sugar level so that our muscles have plenty of fuel - cortisol also supresses the immune system.
The adrenal hormones are catabolic, which means that they foster biological processes that burn energy and break down cellular structures. If you activate the adrenal glands repeatedly without sufficient recovery in between, your body becomes depleted and exhausted. You become susceptible to mood swings, depression and other illnesses connected to chronic fatigue. Constantly stimulating the adrenals, whether through coffee, sugar, salt or excessive exercise and various “charged” activities, is like beating a tired horse. Far wiser is it to let the horse out to pasture and give it time to rest and rejuvenate
Furthermore. The adrenal glands are responsible for balancing hormones, such as:
- Glucocorticoids – hormones that balance your body’s blood sugar help with energy and food metabolism, help your body bust stress, and manage your immune response (e.g., cortisol).
- Mineralocorticoids – hormones that maintain healthy blood pressure, manage your blood hydration level, and keep your blood healthy by keeping salt and water in balance (e.g., aldosterone).
- The sex hormones – oestrogen and testosterone.
10 common signs that you’re experiencing either adrenal overdrive or adrenal fatigue:
- You’re having trouble falling asleep even when you’re tired (“tired and wired”) and even when you do sleep, you’re not rested when you wake.
- You get irritable or angry really quickly or more often than you want to.
- You’re craving sugar/carbs, fat, salt.
- You get tired around 3-4 pm most afternoons, and that’s when you really want something sweet or some extra caffeine.
- You’ve been gaining weight, perhaps noticing a spare tire growing around your middle.
- You feel anxious or blue.
- You’re getting sick more often than you used to.
- Your hormones are all over the place, you’re having fertility problems, and perhaps your libido is nowhere to be found.
- Your memory and focus are not what you think they should be.
- Your digestive system is a mess.
Biggest causes of chronic stress:
Low self esteem, worries, responsibility overload, traumas, toxic relations, toxic diet, bereavement, past events, mineral or vitamin deficiency.
Our primary reproductive organs - Two almond-shaped ovaries are located in the bowl of the female pelvis. The testes are a pair of ellipsoid organs found in the scrotum of males.
Mature and release eggs (oocytes) into the female reproductive tract at the mid-point of each menstrual cycle. They also produce the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone that are vital to normal reproductive development and fertility.
Oestrogens are responsible for growth and maturation of the uterus and vagina; breast development; widening of the pelvis; greater fat distribution in the hips, thighs, and breast; uterus changes during the menstrual cycle; and increased growth of body hair.
Progesterone functions to prepare the uterus for conception; regulates uterus changes during the menstrual cycle; increases sexual desire; aids in ovulation; and stimulates gland development for milk production during pregnancy
The interplay between these two hormones controls the entire infrastructure of reproduction. Oestrogen creates the lining of the womb each month; progesterone maintains it.
If oestrogen levels get too high, progesterone can no longer keep the dynamic balance, which is what happens in Western women, who live their whole adult lives with pathologically high levels of oestrogen.
The testes are responsible for the production of sperm cells and the male sex hormone testosterone.
Testosterone is responsible for increased muscle and bone mass; increased growth of body hair; development of broad shoulders; deepening of the voice; and growth of the penis. The testes lie outside of the body and are maintained at a temperature about two degrees Centigrade lower than the body's core temperature. Sperm production and quality is optimal at this lower temperature.
Yin and Yang
We all have a bit of both though. Men and women produce oestrogen and testosterone - the difference is the amount. Women have a higher amount of oestrogen; men have a higher amount of testosterone. Women have a higher amount of oestrogen receptors. And men have a higher amount of testosterone receptors. The amounts of receptors are the key - you can give a woman testosterone injections, but she will never get as big as a man, because she doesn’t have the receptors that a man has; and putting oestrogen into a man will not turn him into a woman because he lacks those receptors.
3. Oestrogen overload
Low sperm count, low libido, oestrogen overload and testosterone drop are big threats to our health and reproductive system today, and mostly caused by our modern lifestyles, plastic and the food industry.
The body’s endocrine system is concerned with keeping blood levels of testosterone and oestrogen at normal homeostatic levels – and is very good at this. However what our endocrine does not do is check to see if there are elevated levels of Xenoestrogens.
Thus the case for males and females might be:
- Normal Real Oestrogen levels
- Normal Real Testosterone levels
- Abnormally HIGH Xenoestrogens levels (undetected by standard blood work)
Xeno means “foreign” and xenoestrogens are potent chemical oestrogens that can mimic the activities of the Endogenous oestrogens - the natural kinds produced within the body in both males and females. Xenoestrogens are not biodegradable so, they are stored in our fat cells.
Xenoestrogens attach to oestrogen receptors in the body and stimulate them.
Xenoestrogens pass into our cells from plastic water bottles, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, plastics, fuels, car exhausts, dry cleaning chemicals, industrial waste, meat from animals (which have been fattened with estrogenic drugs), and countless other household cleaning and personal products like hair care, creams, lotions, makeup, detergent etc.
The most ever-present xenoestrogens include BPA (bisphenol A), phthalates, and parabens. Phthalates are found in chemical fragrances such as perfume, air sprays, and candles, whereas parabens are in personal care products like lotion.
BPA is a chemical that is used to make certain plastics and is found in everything from plastic bottles, the coating in aluminium cans to new furniture.
How we transform testosterone into oestrogen
Regardless of gender, oestrogen is stored in fat cells, and fat tissue increases levels of an enzyme called aromatase that turns testosterone to oestrogen. Thus men with a higher body fat percentage will produce more aromatase and therefore have higher oestrogen levels and lower testosterone, and since testosterone helps a man burn fat and build lean muscles, xenoestrogens also contribute to obesity in men.
A series of studies have shown that the more BPA people had in their bodies, the fatter they were. People with the most BPA in their urine had a 34 percent chance of being obese compared to only a 23 percent chance in people who had the least urinary BPA. Eating canned soup for dinner for five days has shown to increase BPA levels by 1,223 percent!
Bottom line: The more fat you have, the more oestrogen you’ll have.
Oestrogen overload in men
In men, xenoestrogens disrupt the natural balance between male and female hormones, causing men to lose some of their manly traits. Xenoestrogens are believed by some researchers to be the primary cause of a worldwide decrease in male fertility. They are both reducing male sperm count and reducing the quality of male sperm.
Xenoestrogens are also believed to be a major factor in the rise of prostate diseases. The prostate has oestrogen receptors, so these chemicals over stimulate prostate tissue resulting in the overgrowth of the prostate and contribute to inflammation and prostate cancer. They may cause men to develop more breast tissue (a very common problem with modern men) and to experience erectile dysfunction (we've become the Viagra generation). Clearly, any man who values his manhood ought to do all he can to avoid xenoestrogens.
Other male side effects from Xenoestrogens overload:
- Loss of ability to concentrate
- Great timidity
- Feeling weak
- Inner unrest
- Oestrogen overload in women
- Memory failure
- Reduced intellectual agility
- Passive attitudes
- General tiredness
- Reduced interest in surroundings
- and more…
Oestrogen overload in women
Xenoestrogens maintain oestrogen levels at double the normal values for the entire adult life of the human female. As the complementary hormone that’s supposed to balance the delicate system of sex hormones, progesterone is simply overwhelmed by the dominant oestrogens.
The oestrogen overload results in over stimulation of breast and uterine tissue. It causes early puberty, rapid bone maturation, which causes the growth zones at the ends of the long bones, the epiphyseal growth plates, to close too soon that stops bone length growth and reduces adult height.
More women than ever are experiencing reproductive disorders, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. Painful menstrual cramps, persistent acne and cyclic breast tenderness are so common that they are taken for granted as a normal aspect of female physiology.
A note on menopause: In Japan as well as in many other cultures with basic, unrefined diets, there is no word for “hot flashes.” The unpleasant symptoms of menopause are directly related to the stress, the diet and the amount of oestrogen a woman has maintained during her adult life, prior to menopause. And menopause symptoms are not caused by too little oestrogen, but by too much.
Other female symptoms from Xenoestrogens overload:
- Thyroid Dysfunction
- Weight Gain
- Low Sex Drive
- Fluid Retention
- Breast Cancer
- Mood Swings
- Memory Loss
- Hot Flashes
- Thinning Hair
- Dry Skin
- and more…
Other reasons for oestrogen overload:
You may also have too much internally produced oestrogen for a number of other reasons including the following:
- Deficient in certain nutrients (magnesium, vitamin D, selenium, zinc). Nutrient deficiencies elevate aromatase significantly. For example, men with vitamin D deficiency have low testosterone and elevated oestrogen due to increased aromatization.
- Too much alcohol. Especially beer increases aromatase and it’s been repeatedly linked to low testosterone and high oestrogen in men.
- Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. Both can elevate oestrogen or cause an imbalance between oestrogen and other hormones.
- Low inability to metabolize oestrogen effectively due to poor gastrointestinal health, lack of certain nutrients or probiotic, or low fibre intake.
4. Ten Steps to Natural Weight, Delicious skin, Happiness and Love
If you want to maximize your potential of achieving what’s in that headline you’ll have to balance your hormones by managing stress, flushing out toxins, reduce the excess oestrogen pounding around in the body eating your testosterone and by spicing up the body’s natural beautifiers, mood boosters and energizers.
- Ditch artificial hormones, fluoride and chronic stress.
- Balance your sleep, diet and training patterns
- Adjust your skin care rituals
The ten steps
What to avoid
What to eat and drink
How to train
Stress reduction techniques
Get some rays
Shiver that fat off
Radiant skin, teeth and hair
Detox your home
The next paragraphs contain links to products that I use myself or can recommend. If you buy products through these links, the price will be the same for you, and I will receive a small commission, which helps to support this blog. You can read about my affiliate policy here.
1. what to Avoid
The human body has no use for fluoride so the body isolates it in a calcium husk. It’s an endocrine disruptor that can affect your bones, brain, thyroid gland, pineal gland and even your blood sugar levels. It’s linked to depression, sleep disorders, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles.
- In toothpaste (- so how about making your own?)
- In municipal water. In many places around the world municipal water is intoxicated with fluoride - even in Denmark.
- On food crops sprayed with pesticides and fumigants.
- On crops watered by fluoride-laden water.
- In home insecticides
Fluoride compounds are also often found in products with water-repellent effect such as jackets, shoes, tents, pizza trays, baking paper, non-stick pans, packaging for microwave popcorn and several cosmetics personal care products.
Toothpaste: Fluoride-Free toothpaste is just as efficient and tasteful.
Water: Purchase a reverse osmosis or other fluoride water filters or get well or spring water if you can. I use Eurovand's filters (Model Euro G0) for my kitchen tap, it can clean 6000 litres of water (approx. two years consumption) and their the shower head can clean 8000 litres. Eurovand is a Danish company that uses Russian Space technology in their filters to clean out chlorine, fluoride and the likes, while keeping the good minerals.
The list is long but here are few of the most important ones to watch out for:
- BPA—found in plastic bottles and food containers along with tin cans and register receipts
- Pesticides used in bug spray and to treat produce
- Phthalates—most commonly found in air fresheners, scented candles, and perfumes
- Parabens—found in personal beauty care products such as shampoo, lotion, and soap
- Flame retardants—found in furniture, fabrics, electronics, household materials
- Household cleaning products.
- Paint and vinyl
- Cosmetics and nail polish
Note! As mentioned previously. The more fat you have, the more oestrogen you’ll have because fat tissue increases levels of the aromatase enzyme that turns testosterone to oestrogen. Decreasing body fat and building lean mass are key to prevention many forms of cancer and the elimination oestrogen.
- Are found in conventional meat and dairy products
Unlike previous, all cows that produce milk today are pregnant 70% of the time and their milk contains over 20 different hormones without anything being added to it. If you drink non-organic cow’s milk you also ingest antibiotics, steroids, pesticides and the likes.
Replace with organic meat and organic goats-, rice-, almond-, coconut or/and soy products.
Are found in most types of processed foods, beverages, sweets and condiments.
Are found in most types of processed foods, beverages and sweets and condiments.
Replace with dates, raw honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, coconut palm sugar (low glycaemic index), pureed bananas (great in baking!)
Are found in snacks, sweets, white bread and cakes, sugary beverages, Anything made with white or all-purpose flour is a refined carb and bound to spike your blood sugar; and many baked goods have added sugars to make matters worse. White rice, instant oatmeal, most pancake and waffle mixes and most desserts can be considered refined carbs because they are or are made with refined grains and may contain added sugar.
Replace with protein rich food, fresh fruit, veggies, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.
Most products that contain artificial sweeteners are usually labelled as "diet" or "reduced sugar".
Watch What You Drink
Alcohol increases oestrogen levels in men and women, and it has been shown to decrease testosterone as well. For optimal oestrogen metabolism, it's recommended that you eliminate all alcohol besides certain red wine.
Sardinian and Spanish wines are rich in antioxidants that help remove oestrogens. Other good choices are Pinot and Merlot.
Go slow on Joe
Caffeine allows us to push past our natural energy limits and triggers some of the same adrenal chemicals (adrenaline, for example) that get fired up when we’re under stress, leading to increased cortisol production and adrenal overdrive. I know it’s hard to cut back on caffeine when you’re exhausted and hitting that 4 pm slump, but cutting back (or completely cutting it out) is the only way to break that vicious cycle. I can promise you that after you get through caffeine withdrawal (takes a few days, drink a lot of water to avoid headaches!) you will actually have more natural energy, not less!
2. What to eat and drink
Eat organic. Switching to organic fruits, veggies and animal products will help to stop the flooding of chemicals into the bloodstream and throughout the body.
Level the blood sugar. Protein, healthy fats, and high-quality carbs are essential to balance blood sugar levels.
To avoid excess oestrogen in the body and to keep healthy thyroid, adrenal, and pancreas functions the blood sugar needs to be in a normal range. Persistently high insulin increases inflammation and produces a poor endocrine profile that can inhibit oestrogen metabolism. On the other hand when your blood sugar drops, it tells your body you are starving – and this is perceived as danger by your adrenal system. Keeping your blood sugar steady lets your adrenals know you are not in survival mode
The most important step to blood sugar balance is starting your day – every day – with a high protein breakfast, and then eating a diet high in protein, good quality fats, and vegetables regularly throughout the day.
Protein has a stabilising effect on blood sugar level, as it helps pull sugar into the cells so your body can use it for energy. Fat slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream and prevents sugar highs and sugars crashes, but skip anything that requires a factory to produce it. Corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and margarine are all highly processed and highly inflammatory. As a rule of thumb, enjoy fats that allowed your ancestors of 10,000 (and even 100,000 years ago!) to thrive. These include fats from grazing animals, like butter, ghee, egg yolks, lard and tallow. Unrefined (virgin) coconut oil and cold pressed virgin olive oil are another excellent options. Those fats don’t clog arteries - blood sugar problems do.
Anti-inflammatory, healthy fats include:
Good protein sources:
A high-protein diet will produce a better body composition for most people. Plus, low protein diets have been shown to decrease activity of something called cytochrome P450 that metabolizes oestrogen.
The amino acids lysine and threonine have been shown to support liver function and since oestrogen is metabolized by the liver, it is thought that these proteins can help get rid of excess oestrogen from the body.
Lysine and threonine are found in fish, chicken, turkey, pork, beans, eggs, and some seeds (sesame, fenugreek). Sesame seeds also provide fibre and fenugreek helps lower the insulin response to carbs, making both good additions to your diet.
Five quick to make protein and fat rich breakfast smoothies
Carbs at night:
Finish your day with 20-50 grams of high-quality carbs. Great options include paleo-friendly sources like sweet potatoes, turnips, squash, beets, and rutabagas. Having them later in the day helps not only cortisol, but also a whole host of weight regulating hormones like leptin, ghrelin, and adiponectin. Your body uses cortisol to rescue you from low blood sugar. This makes carbs a tool you can use to help regulate your cortisol.
Improve Gastrointestinal Health. Probiotic is essential because it will increase the “good bacteria” in the gut and support neurotransmitter function and healthy bacteria that can actually improve production and regulation of key hormones like insulin, ghrelin and leptin.
Furthermore. As oestrogen is heading out of the intestine, it needs to be bound to glucuronic acid, but there is a “bad” intestinal bacteria called glucuronidase, that uncouples the bond between oestrogen and glucuronic acid, oestrogen then re-enters circulation and damage tissue. To avoid this, you need a healthy gut, which you can get by supporting the probiotic bacteria in your gut with plenty of probiotic foods (kombucha is the easy choice – contains plenty of glucuronic acid), fermented vegetables, kefir, bone broth or taking a probiotic supplement.
Get plenty of Omega 3. Omega-3 foods are believed to help lower the risk for heart disease due to their inflammation-reducing abilities. They also are needed for proper neurological function, cell membrane maintenance, mood regulation, metabolizing excess oestrogen and hormone production.
Good Omega 3 sources:
- Cod Liver Oil - liquid or capsules
- Chia Seeds
- Salmon (wild-caught)
- Natto (fermented soy super food)
- Egg Yolks
DIM your veggies. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in glucosinolates – a large group of sulphur-containing compounds. These powerhouse chemicals support detoxification and prevent cancer cells growth.
DIM - also a compound found in cruciferous vegetables - helps the body to get rid of excess oestrogen. DIM is often taken in supplement form because you would need to eat large quantities of these vegetables daily in order to provide sufficient effect on oestrogen elimination.
List of cruciferous vegetables:
- Bok Choy
- Brussel Sprouts
Eat your soy man. Include foods with phytoestrogens in your diet because they will take natural and chemical oestrogens out of play in the body. Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that bind to oestrogen receptors, but they have about 1/1000th of the effect on the body as real or chemical oestrogen. When phytoestrogens bind to oestrogen receptors they basically take up the parking sport of the true oestrogen, and keep it from exerting its effect.
Lignans and isoflavoner are the main phytoestrogens, and in addition to binding with oestrogen receptors, they can increase SHBG levels (protects the body by binding to oestrogen), decrease aromatase (prevents testosterone turning into oestrogen), and help the body with eliminating.
Very important about soy products like tofu:
Eat only organic soy! Just as healthy soy may be in organic form, as toxic is the conventional soy, which is very often genetically modified and loaded with pesticides and xenoestrogens - and then we are back to square one…
Other hormone balancing foods:
- Citric Acid: Drink the raw juice of lemons each morning. The acid helps to break down calcium deposits and gently detoxes.
- Malic acid: Raw apple cider vinegar contains malic acid. This chemical acts as a metal detoxifier. Malic acid is well known for its ability to remove aluminium from the human body. Additional health benefits include dissolving kidney stones, relieving gout, lowering blood pressure, and balancing glucose levels.
- Iodine: Iodine has been shown to assist the body in releasing fluoride through the urine, and is also essential for the healthy function of the thyroid gland. Enjoy dried seaweed, such as kelp, navy beans, and eggs. Kelp supplements are also available. The pink Himalayan salt is millions of years old and contains 84 minerals and trace minerals including iodine.
Note though that consuming too much iodine can actually inhibit your thyroid. Be careful if you’re eating foods high in iodine in addition to supplementing with iodine—which is often included in a multivitamin. Iodine can be helpful for those with regular hypothyroidism, but it can be fuel on a fire for those with autoimmune thyroid problems
Boron is a mineral found in food. It helps balance calcium intake and remove metals and other compounds, like fluoride. Boron is found naturally in beets, raisins, dates, chickpeas, red kidney beans, hazel nuts, walnuts, lentils and peanut butter. Borax is the common supplement form for Boron, but note that concentrated supplementation is controversial.
The proteolytic enzymes bromelain in pineapples can benefit by reducing inflammation of the thyroid. Don’t eat too much of it though because it’s also a high glycaemic food that increases blood sugar level.
Other foods that cleanse the body and nourish the pineal gland include coconut oil, super foods chlorella, Spirulina, and wheatgrass, along with herbs and spices cilantro, parsley, turmeric and cayenne.
Detox Quick Fixes:
- Raw garlic: chop a clove, leave it for 10 minutes, then swallow it with water or a mix of fresh lemon juice and water.
- Ginger: A cup of ginger tea of freshly chopped ginger, a bit of lemon juice, boiling water and a teaspoon of honey.
- Turmeric. A good way for the body to obtain the healing curcumin of turmeric is when you mix it with a bit of oil and pepper. Golden milk is very tasty and very healing. For turmeric quick fix. Mix 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of pepper and 1 tsp. of turmeric powder.
3. Supplement wisely
Magnesium – the master mineral. I’ve written a whole blog about the importance of this mineral, because magnesium deficiency might be the single largest health problem in our world today. Many of us get too much calcium through our diet and too little magnesium. Magnesium stimulates the hormone calcitonin, which draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissues and back into the bones. Calcium cannot be absorbed and put to good use in our body if magnesium is not present.
Magnesium also plays a key role for good sleep, de-stressing and in the body’s detoxification processes.
A solution of magnesium can be sprayed on the skin and the body can absorb what is needed quickly. Magnesium oil recipe.
Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea have shown to support the healing thyroid and adrenal issues. Adaptogenic herbs work with your body to bring you back into balance whether your levels are high or low. Rhodiola Rosea is an herb that supports the adrenal glands, has energy enhancing and brain boosting power, helps burn fat, and can have a stimulating effect on the libido.
By combining these two together you can help balance stress hormones, boost energy, and even burn fat. Be sure to ask your doctor about adding herbs in particular if you are on medications or if you are pregnant or nursing. Not all herbs are right for every person, and always start slow and watch your body
Maca Root is another adaptogenic herb with tremendous benefits. It can increase fertility in both men and women, balance hormones, boost the immune system, increase energy and stamina and improve sexual function, memory, and focus.
Another unique fact about maca root is that historically it has been considered a very potent aphrodisiac and a traditional fertility secret of populations living in the Andes.
Consuming maca often makes people feel more “alive”, energetic, and leaves them with a sense of well-being, all of which are thought to be due to its ability to restore proper hormone balance and elevate “feel good” endorphins. Another benefit of maca is its relatively high amount of absorbable plant-based nutrients, including protein, fibre, calcium and magnesium, among others.
Increase Specific Nutrients
A number of vitamins and minerals are important for healthy hormone production and utilization, detoxification and stress relief.
Include these nutrients in your diet or with the following foods:
- Spirulina: This blue-green algae is a freshwater plant that is now one of the most researched, and alongside its cousin chlorella, most talked about super foods today it detoxes heavy metals and is high in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and contains varying levels of iodine also.
- Selenium: Seafood, organ meat, cooked halibut, grass-fed beef, boneless turkey, chicken, eggs, spinach.
- Zinc: Organic tofu, oysters, ginger root, almonds, walnuts, sardines.
- Vitamin A: Leafy greens, cantaloupe, nectarines, peaches, cod liver oil (Note: Orange and yellow vegetables like carrots contain an important precursor to vitamin A)
- Vitamin E: Olive oil, almonds, peanuts.
- Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, strawberries, leafy greens, red chilli pepper,
- Vitamin B1: Green peas, asparagus, brussels sprout, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, herring, ground organic flaxseed, spinach.
- Vitamin B2: Eggs, organic meat, green vegetables.
- Vitamin B3: Salmon, tuna, chicken, mushrooms, green peas, avocados
- Vitamin B6: Salmon, pistachios, chicken, turkey, avocados, spinach
- Vitamin B12: Grass-fed beef, raw cheese, cottage cheese, lamb, eggs, organic salmon
Don’t Forget Vitamin D
Vitamin D is unlike any other vitamin because it is a “pre-hormone” produced in the skin with sunlight exposure. The sun is the main source of Vitamin D3, a type of vitamin D that increases levels of “feel-good” chemicals in the brain called dopamine and serotonin. Deficient levels of either of these neurochemicals can be an underlying cause of fatigue and depression. A deficiency in vitamin D has now been linked to numerous health problems including hypothyroidism, depression, and even cancer. In fact, a recent study conducted by Boston University researchers revealed vitamin D affects genes that have a wide variety of biologic functions of more than 160 pathways linked to autoimmune disorders and cardiovascular disease. I recommend you have your vitamin D tested, add a whole food vitamin D3 supplement (I use Pharma Nord's D3 supplement sometimes), get 15 minutes of sunshine on your skin, and add foods such as cod oil, salmon, mackerel, eggs yolks, and beef liver. Whole foods are the optimal choice, but supplements can also help boost vitamin and mineral intake if your levels are extremely depleted. Check with your doctor before starting any new supplement.
4. How to exercise your way to beauty, happiness and that lean body.
A strong and good-looking, lean body can best be achieves through proper exercise where you naturally increase levels of testosterone and Human Growth Hormone - HGH.
HGH, which has been referred to as a so-called “fountain of youth”, stimulates protein synthesis, fat metabolism and promotes lean tissue. HGH levels naturally decline with age, and it gets harder to maintain muscle tissue and keep excess pounds at bay.
Testosterone is vital for both men and women for physical fitness and wellness.
The best way to boost your T and HGH levels are through intense exercise, whether it’s in the form of sprints, intervals or resistance training. Regular, intense exercise promotes higher levels of T and HGH after each session, as well as over a 24-hour period. Brief recovery intervals in the midst of an intense workout can also boost HGH levels - resting for 60 seconds or less during intense interval training helps boost testosterone and stimulates HGH secretion.
Any of the following will help:
- Lift heavy weights.
- Do intervals.
- Practice sprints and work your lower body.
- Do squats and deadlifts.
- Take shorter rest periods in the gym.
- Don’t over-train.
Happy! A number of neurotransmitters are triggered when you exercise, such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, and GABA. Some of these are well known for their role in mood control. Exercise, in fact, is one of the most effective prevention and treatment strategies for depression.
If you have adrenal fatigue, it’s most important to get joy back in your life and not letting the exercise become highly competitive, high intensive, gruelling or debilitating. What you need is something that increases lung capacity, muscle tone and flexibility while having fun.
Team sports, dancing, ta’i chi, kick boxing, swimming, walking, pilates and yoga with breathing exercises are all good ways to get your body moving. Pick something that is enjoyable to you. Remember you are working out to bring your body back to life and take pleasure in it again. There will be days, especially when you first begin exercising, that you do not feel like doing anything physical. When this happens, instead of forcing yourself to exercise, just start slow or go for a walk or bike ride instead.
In other words, do not let the exercise become another stressor in your life. When part of you resists, simply treat that part with kind understanding, acknowledge its resistance, but do not let it undermine your commitment to your health. People with adrenal fatigue often feel too tired to exercise, and for at good reason as high intensity training put the body in a fight-flight mode. However, if you set a routine time to move your body, no matter how you feel, you will soon experience the rewards of your practice.
5. Stress reduction techniques
Relaxation techniques can help your adrenals to heal and restore themselves, so the very best treatment for adrenal is simply learning to practice relaxation. Meditation, mindfulness, and active stress reduction help your adrenals to know that you are safe – and this allows your system to recalibrate to a lower stress state, including pumping out fewer stress hormones.
Yoga poses that recharges, de-stresses and grounds:
This is an easy and effective way to calm the body morning, evening or whenever necessary. Doing this exercise daily diminishes stress substantially.
- Lie every morning and every evening with legs up against a wall for 10 to 15 minutes – preferable with the open window - access to fresh air.
- Start by taking 10 deep breaths in this way:
- Count to 4 on the in-breath, count to 7 holding the breath and exhale on the count of 8
- Finish with a 10-minute meditation
Finally chanting or toning sounds can also help bring you back to balance just like music brings people together. Sounds create vibrations in the body, and these vibrations is said to help the cells work together in synchronistic harmony.
6. Better sleep
Sleep has a profound effect on our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Sleep is important for all aspects of health and it may be the most vital thing you do each day. No matter how healthy a diet, exercise or meditation routine you’ve incorporated into your daily life, the lack of good sleep will weaken the immune system, make you irritable, increase the risk of accidents, disrupt hormonal balance, reduce fat burning ability and wear and tear on your look. Get seven tips to improve your sleep on my post on sleep here.
7. Get some rays
An appropriate amount of sun exposure everyday is one of the healthiest things you can do for your skin and overall health.
Besides providing you with natural vitamin D sunlight also activates the pineal gland and stimulates decalcifying. Get 20 minutes of sunshine every day for a healthy dose. Go hatless so that the sunrays will also be received through your skin and go straight to the brain. Do this consistently and you should notice a goodly measure of melatonin for sound sleep. Simply getting out in the sun and having your eyes exposed to light indirectly also help stimulate the pineal gland.
8. Shiver that fat off
White fat—the blobby kind that bulges hips, thighs, and bellies—stores energy. Brown fat—prevalent in infants but less abundant in adults—generates heat and burns calories when stimulated. When we are cold we produce the hormones irisin and FGF21 - these fire up the energy-burning rate of brown fat cells
Around 10-15 minutes in the cold can be the metabolic equivalent of an hour of exercise. Both have an impact on our two main types of adipose tissue, aka fat.
50 grams of brown fat can burn up to 300 calories per day, the same amount of energy stored by 50 grams of white fat.
9. Radiant skin, teeth and hair
Ways to eliminate toxins in your body is to avoid conventional body care products that are made with potentially harmful chemicals. A better alternative is to use natural products made with ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil.
Go for Fluoride-Free toothpaste. This one is my favourite.
Two homemade toothpaste recipes:
1. This home made toothpaste recipe, is healthy, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It combats common gum diseases and provides you with a sparkling white smile. Just don’t spill it on your clothes – turmeric stains are for good.
- Mix all ingredients together to form a paste.
- Brush teeth as normal and rinse.
2. This turmeric free one also combats oral bacteria.
- 3-4 tbsp. coconut oil with top
- 1 tsp. baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- 15-25 drops of peppermint essential oil
- Mix and stir
- Pour into a glass jar and cool for 15 minutes.
- Dry skin brushing only takes five minutes a day, costs nothing, and it
- Unclog pores and excrete toxins that become trapped in the skin.
- Kick starts the lymphatic system, which helps to remove toxins from the body. The stiffer the bristles on the brush, the better the lymphatic stimulation you’ll create.
- Is a tool you can use to help heal your adrenals. Your adrenal glands are affected by your nervous system. At any given moment, you’re receiving millions of points of communication from every nerve ending under your skin to your brain. When you have relaxing, soothing, tactile input that’s stimulating the nerves in the right way, it calms your brain. It lowers the “fight or flight” response, diminishing the output of cortisol – the stress hormones.
Benefits of regulating cortisol:
- Better sleep
- Easier Weight loss
- Levelled energy levels
- Assimilating vitamin D more effectively.
Selecting A Dry Brush:
Use a firm, natural bristle brush with a handle, which allows you to reach your entire back and easily brush the bottoms of feet and the backs of legs. There are many options in dry brushes, just make sure to find one with natural bristles.
- I use this ionic dry brush which add some good negative ions to the body in the process too
- Another natural bristle brush I’ve used in the past
- Delicate brush specifically for face
How to Dry Brush
Dry brushing can be done daily, preferably in the morning before showering. I typically brush each section of skin 10 times. For lymph flow, I always brush toward the heart/chest area where the lymph system drains.
Here’s what I do:
- Starting at the feet, I brush the bottoms of my feet and up my legs in long, smooth strokes.
- Repeat the same process with the arms, starting with the palms of the hands and brushing up the arm toward the heart. Again, I brush each section of skin 10 times.
- I then repeat the process on my abdomen and back and my face with a more delicate brush.
Note: Don’t brush too hard! A soft and smooth stroke often works best. I find my skin is slightly pink after brushing, but it should never be red or sting.
Minimize the use of soap, only use it where it’s essential. Our skin makes oils, which allow us to not only have a good defence against infection, but also form vitamin D. When you use soap where you don’t need it, the skins natural oils can be removed.
You can use coconut oil as soap – or make your own body wash. Or again 100%pures products are freaking amazing.
- Combine all ingredients in a shampoo bottle.
- Shake well to mix.
- Keep in shower for up to a month.
- Shake before each use.
Massage your skin with good oil. Massage reduces the stress load, heals the body and helps circulation. Doing it yourself is a good way to become aware of any changes in your body, the health of your skin and all your connective tissues.
When choosing products to care for your skin, you want to be at least as fussy as you are about the foods you put inside your mouth. Your skin is a very absorptive layer of lipids, so what you put on it goes directly into your bloodstream. I use this body butter, this oil mix and this body lotion. At to get a glowing complexion on the nights out on arms, legs or chest, I adorn myself with this oil.
By regularly dry brushing your skin and massaging it with good lotion, you’ll be amazed how much your stress levels go down, sleep improves and weight loss becomes easier.
We’ve been told the only way to reach our health goals is by struggling, starving or pushing ourselves beyond what we’re used to, but this is not right. It is more a matter of calming, soothing and healing the body. I can think of no better way than being good to the outer surface. Get rid of the old skin layers, heal it and seal it. Keep it strong and supple – it’s our shield and protector.
10. Creating a clean environment in your home
Conventional laundry detergent can be loaded with chemicals like sulphates, fragrances, phenols and more. Many brands contain things like petroleum distillates, which are linked to cancer and lung disease. Fragrances in these detergents are made of a mix of harmful chemicals. Luckily, making your own laundry soap is an easy and fast process! You only need three basic ingredients to make either powdered or liquid laundry soap:
What’s homemade laundry soap made of?
- Borax* (sodium tetraborate and NOT boric acid) is an all-natural mineral found in all corners of the globe. It can be used to improve cleaning powder, remove tough stains, deodorize, freshen, and as a natural alternative to bleach and it also softens hard water.
- Washing Soda, sometimes called sodium carbonate or soda ash, is made from common salt and limestone or found as natural deposits.
- Dr. Bronner’s soaps are fair trade and made with vegetable castile soap and pure organic oils.
- Grate the bar soap or mix in food processor until finely ground.
- In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.
- Store in closed container. I keep mine in tin boxes. If you are using a big enough container, you can skip step 2 and just put all ingredients in storage container or jar and shake.
- Use 2-3 scoops per load of laundry.
Tip: Use 1 tbsp. of vinegar as softener.
How to make liquid laundry soap:
- 20 litres bucket
- Big spoon
- Empty detergent bottles
- Grate the soap with cheese grater or food processor.
- Put grated soap in pan with 2 quarts water and gradually heat, stirring constantly until soap is completely dissolved.
- Put 17 litres of really hot tap water in an 18 litres bucket and stir in 1 cup of borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda until completely dissolved.
- Pour soap mixture from pan into 5-gallon bucket. Stir well.
- Cover and leave overnight.
- Shake or stir until smooth and pour into gallon jugs or other containers.
- Use ½ to 1 cup per load.
- Stir og shake before each use.
Soap Nuts for Laundry
Soap nuts are nature’s own detergent - and they really work.
The soap nutshell absorbs water and releases its saponin, which circulate as a natural surfactant in the wash water, freeing dirt, grime, and oils from clothing.
Soap nuts are environmentally friendly alternative to chemical detergent; they are a gentle option for those with allergies to chemicals in regular detergents. They have traditionally been used as an expectorant, and in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for eczema and psoriasis.
- Put 4-6 Soap Nuts in the pouch (comes with the nuts).
- Add a few drops of essential oil on the pouch.
- Place in washer. Wash as usual with cold, warm or hot water.
- After washing, remove pouch and let dry.
- Dry clothes as usual.
Soap Nuts may be re-used several times until the shells start to become soft and grey, and then they should be composted.
NB! Soap nuts are not suitable for short washing programs.
Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
- 1 tsp. borax
- ½ tsp. washing soda
- 1 tsp. liquid castile soap
- Essential oils as preferred- I use 4 drops lemon, 4 drops grapefruit and 10 drops sweet orange
- Place borax, washing soda and soap in a spray bottle (preferably glass).
- Add 2 cups of warm water. Distilled is best, but any water that has been boiled will work.
Cover bottle and shake well. Use as needed. I use as bathroom cleaner, floor pre-treater, kitchen cleaner and on toys to disinfect.
*) Borax,,, has become controversial. If you’ve read an article claiming borax is dangerous that goes on about the dangers of boric acid or says they are the same thing, I would not consider that article credible.
I’ve researched a lot, and I could not find any data that was compelling enough for me to avoid natural borax powder completely. Obviously, I would not ingest it or feel comfortable using it in cosmetic or food preparations.
Borax is an effective natural cleaner that has been used since the middle age and a safer alternative to many conventional cleaners. Yes, it is also a pesticide, but a natural one (and great at getting rid of ants), but I’m yet to find conclusive evidence that it is either safe or harmful to humans (other than if it is ingested, rubbed in the eyes, etc.).
I still consider borax safe for use in natural cleaning, but absolutely do your own research and make sure you are using in any capacity. I use a natural borax powder free of any added surfactants or detergents.
Actual warnings for Borax use relate to avoiding eye contact, undiluted skin contact and ingestion.
Borax is banned for food use by the FDA, and the ECA (European Chemicals Agency) considered a substance of high concern, but didn’t provide any documentation other than soil level dangers
I was unable to find any studies that proved a danger to borax in natural cleaning products in diluted amounts as long as it didn’t get into the eyes or wasn’t ingested.
The Skin Base Database classified Borax as moderate hazard, but most of the studies and listings related to borax use in food.
All information in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The statements made in this blog have not been evaluated by The Danish Health Authority. The products linked to in this blog and any information published in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this blog is not a substitute for a faceto-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as medical advice. The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinions of Hanne Robinson. By reading and using this blog, you agree to only use this publication for personal informational use and not as a substitute for medical or other professional advice.
#hormones #balancehormones #balance #natural
Yoga and the wisdom of menopause, Suza Francina