4 Reasons Your Hormones Are Misbehaving
Updated: Jul 10, 2019
When I graduated nursing school with my bachelors of science in nursing, I felt like I knew everything there was to know about the human body (insert laughter here because that thought is just RIDICULOUS). I had a very medicalized perspective of physiology. What I mean by that is if you have a problem, you fix it with medication. I had very little concept of the body's innate ability to heal itself (again... ridiculous), and thus really had no grid for what I could do to make myself feel better.
I understood that hormones were complex, were largely influenced by genetics, and that I could take birth control to balance them, but I had no clue that I had control over the interplay of some of those emotions. There was SO MUCH I did not understand about hormones until I had my first child, and quite literally crashed and burned with severe postpartum anxiety. I wont bore you with the details except to say that I developed severe insomnia, nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations and panic attacks. My physician wanted to put me on pharmaceuticals (which I have no problem with), but rolled her eyes at me when I suggested that there might be something physiologically wrong with me.
Out of sheer desperation, I went to a naturopath, who, in my mind was still along the lines of quackery. The ONLY reason I was open to this option is because I had lost 10 lbs in one week and no longer had any milk supply to feed my baby. It was a terrifying and isolating experience.
It was in that one appointment that I learned how chronic exposure to stress (hello nursing career, newborn, C-PTSD,) diet and multiple other factors greatly affect our hormones, and those hormones influence nearly everything we do. From sleep and mood, to mental processing and everything in between.
Here are a few things that were negatively impacting my hormones negatively
1. Gluten intolerance: Don't run for the hills yet! The molecular structure of gluten looks almost identical to the thyroid gland. If you have a gluten intolerance, your body begins to not only go after the protein (Gliadin), but through molecular mimicry, begins to also attack your thyroid gland, which can lead over time to hypo or hyper thyroid symptoms. If you are having symptoms of hypo (low functioning) or hyper (high functioning) thyroid, you are going to want to consider cutting out gluten. Now, the important thing to note about gluten and your thyroid is that the immune response to gluten can last for up to 6 months. So while most people feel significant improvements in a few days to a few weeks, you really have to allow the body to heal from the immune response that happens when you've been "glutened". Check out my post here if you need tips on how to transition to a gluten free diet with ease.
2. Stress. I can't stress this enough (pun intended). Stress is just as toxic to your hormones as chemicals or food. Stress is a cascade response in the body that releases cortisol, which negatively impacts your thyroid and other endocrine glands. Have you ever miss a period completely due to stress? Have you ever lost sleep due to stress? If you consider that MOST of us carry a significant amount of stress in our lives DAILY, it's really no surprise that our hormones are a hot mess. Learning how to self care and de-stress can have a significant impact on your hormones.
3. Funky Liver. Sounds weird, doesn't it? Well, your liver is the primary organ that helps to break down hormones so that you can eliminate them. This is not a once a week job. This is every second of every day your liver is detoxifying and eliminating. When our liver is "congested" or damaged by pharmaceuticals (note how many medications list liver damage as one of their side effects), chronic stress, lack of nutrition, etc, it cannot effectively break down hormones and thus leads to all sorts of issues from breakouts to infertility. I had been on an acne medication when I was in high school that was HIGHLY toxic to my liver, which was causing numerous hormone issues. I am including toxic overload under liver because your liver is your primary organ for detoxifying heavy metals- in addition to helping the liver detox, you are going to want to eliminate toxins from your environment- you can read more about that here.
4. Lack of sleep. Sleep is a huge factor in not only our stress response, but also our hormones. Insomnia can both be a symptom of hormone imbalance, as well as a cause of hormone imbalance. Having healthy sleep hygiene habits can do wonders for your hormones!
I eliminated gluten immediately, began to take some homeopathy to help my body release the chronic stress I had been under as well as the insomnia. I began to see a counselor who helped me to realize how much of my PAST was still influencing my present, enlisted my husbands help with our baby at night so that I could sleep, and implemented the strategies I outline in the Happy Hormones audio and notes and began to see significant and lasting improvements.
It was this experience that led me to start teaching classes on hormones and how we can improve them so that other people could experience the same benefits that I have!
Are you ready to feel better and get your hormones back under control?
Click here to get my Women's Hormone Diet 7 Day Meal Plan and my most requested class, Happy Hormones for FREE!
Are your hormones making you feel crazy? Don't wait any longer to get the help you need to feel better!
To your wellness,