Are you running on stress hormones?
Signs of Hormonal Stress
- Have brain fog …what did I come in here for?
- Burst into tears because the barista at Starbucks messed up your latte?
- Struggle to make a decision and when you do, they’re usually not the greatest ones (yikes)?
- Have crazy sugar cravings …make sure nobody gets in your way when you need sweets?
- Do you feel tired but are unable to fall asleep at night (even though you are exhausted during the day)?
- Feel unsexy and not in the mood for getting physical with your partner (low libido)
- Feeling more irritable and frustrated than usual? (RAGIN hormones!)
Stress and the Hormone Cycle
As a woman, your monthly hormone cycle plays a significant role in how you manage stress.
Women’s bodies are unique because our hormones continually fluctuate throughout the month.
How we feel emotionally and physically depends on how balanced or hormones are. Mainly an imbalance in Estrogen-Progesterone leads to PMS, acne, bloating, and a host of other problems, along with mood swings, and of course, increased susceptibility to stress.
The best way to fix these issues is to live your life in a way that honours your body’s natural hormonal shifts. This means eating, exercising, and taking care of yourself in a way that aligns with the phase you are in. This is why I suggest women track their cycles.
Hormones Affected by Stress
Mood swings, weight gain, and heavy bleeding are often a result of estrogen dominance, which is a common situation where you have an excess of estrogen compared to progesterone in your body. One of the consequences of estrogen dominance is low resilience to stress.
Too Little Progesterone
Progesterone is responsible for improving cognitive function and helping in the synthesis of GABA, a chemical produced in the brain that helps to relax and calm you. Therefore, too little progesterone means too little GABA will be produced. And when you can’t naturally relax or keep yourself calm, that’s when stress creeps in. Therefore, fixing progesterone production problems will result in more progesterone production, more GABA production, and less stress.
Insulin and Blood Sugar Balance
You can throw your insulin out of balance by eating too many sugary foods, including processed carbs. When this happens, your mood will also go out of whack. This explains why when some people eat too much sugary foods, or go too long without eating, they become sad, irritable, and stressed.
How to Fix Hormonal Stress
Stress really is at the root of the majority of hormone imbalances. Fix the stress, and you can fix the hormones.
You can do this in a number of ways:
Eat to Balance Blood Sugar
The idea here is to stabilise your blood sugar levels. This means eating the right carbs at the right time. Top of your list should be a protein-rich breakfast every morning (at least 25g of Protein). This will normalise your blood sugar levels and help get you ready to face the day. If you can eliminate carbs altogether at breakfast.
Incorporate healthy fats and complex carbs in your lunch and dinner. Make your dinner the lightest meal of the day so you don’t go to sleep on an excessively full tummy. This will promote better sleep.
Exercise According to Your Cycle
Modify your workout routine to fit the unique phases of your cycle. Instead of working out faster and harder, pay attention to your body and match your routines to your hormonal needs. This will go a long way in alleviating symptoms like stress and anxiety. For example, restorative yoga is ideal when you’re in the bleeding phase, more active exercise is best after your period and leading up to ovulation the second half of your cycle is best for strength training.
This is a simple one! Taking just 5 minutes every morning and evening to deep breathe has been shown to reduce cortisol levels. I recommend Pranayama (alternative nostril breathing)
Limit Your Coffee Intake
Caffeine puts your body in overdrive, and your heart pumps faster, leading to crazy highs before the inevitable crash. If you are dealing with stress and anxiety issues, this just makes things worse. Therefore, cutting caffeine out of your life can do wonders for your stress issues.
Boost Your Body’s Progesterone Production
Progesterone is the body’s feel good hormone. It plays an important role in the normal functioning of the brain and has mood-enhancing and antidepressant effects. This is why women with anxiety and irritability issues often notice that when the level of progesterone in their bodies is correctly balanced, these feelings either get greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.
Boosting progesterone is tricky because it depends on your age, if you have PCOS or anovulation, or if you have high estrogen that is overwhelming your progesterone.
👉 You cannot really eat your way to more progesterone. The key is to ovulate as the body makes progesterone in response to ovulation.
If you are peri or post menopausal and no longer ovulating, your adrenals can still product progesterone, but its super important you keep you work on all the types of stressors, these can be:
- Daily stressors: kids, work, life etc
- Emotional stressors: past emotional events/traumas left unresolved
- Environmental stressors: toxins in beauty/cleaning products, air pollutants, artificial fragrances etc
Get my low tox home kit HERE.
- Food stressors: inflammation causes stress on the body, as do food intolerances.
- Exercise stressors: intense cardio workouts but stress on the body
ARE YOU READY TO BALANCE YOUR HORMONES AND TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR STRESS?
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