Balancing Hormones - Part 2
Balancing hormones is an extensive process and will look different for everyone. My hormone levels are different than yours so take that into consideration when trying to balance your own!
I will share what I know, what I did, and why as well as a general look at how to balance hormones!
For starters.. I highly recommend you have a certain lineup of reading materials in your hands for your own reference.
These are the books that I recommend in learning about your cycle and are listed in order of how informative I found them to be//how much I go back to them!
These are ALL wonderful resources. If you are wanting to take it slow, I suggest Woman Code! Alissa scratches the surface in balancing hormones and creates that itch inside of you to learn more. She has great tips on what foods to eat at what time of your cycle and how to exercise throughout the month! It was a super easy read and was extremely helpful! She also has an app that I used when I first started regulating my cycle! Click HERE to download the app!
If you are looking to learn more extensively, I suggest the other three! I learned more about the hormones I produce (or should produce) what they did, how they affect me, and how to regulate their production/ how to flush out excess hormones. I also needed to know all about the natural method of birth control since I have done away with that pill. You heard that right - Will and I use NFP and I am not ashamed - I have loved it.
We will talk more on that later!
The Over-Prescribed Pill of Horror (for me)
First and foremost, I am not pushing you to get off the pill. That is a personal decision and should be done in consideration of your family, friends, practitioner, and own experiences.
Second, if you want to balance your hormones and allow your body to regulate, you will need to consider coming off the pill.
Creating hormone balance + regulation comes from working with your own hormones. period. lol - get it?
Adding synthetic hormones can only cause imbalances and confusion in your body. Synthetic hormones can cause your body to not create hormones needed or have a build up of too much. The hormone-disrupting affects of hormonal birth control may be the reason some of you are reading this post. The pill and all other forms of hormonal birth control create a cascade of hormonal imbalance in your body by creating nutritional deficiencies and disrupting gut bacteria as well - so it is definitely something to consider before jumping to a "quick fix".
I think hormonal birth control is overly prescribed in young girls and women looking to fix their acne, painful cramps, irregular periods, weight gain, etc. There are natural ways to fight all of those and I think it is important for young girls to be educated in how to take care of themselves as their bodies change and develop - not tossing all trust in a pill that will later wreak havoc on their bodies - take me for example. By knowing about your body and hormones, you will be able to find balance later on as your body continues to change through age, pregnancy, etc. If you are considering birth control, I just ask that you research and talk through all your options before hand.
As for getting off the pill, regulating my hormones, finding balance with PCOS, and creating a period I didn't really have, here is where I started!
Right after coming off the pill, I did a liver cleanse. After 7 years of synthetic hormones, my liver was on overload and desperately needed help. I used milk thistle supplement and drank 1-2 cups of hot tea daily - either roasted dandelion root tea or mint tea! I loved them both and they were both wonderful in clearing out my liver and balancing my gut. I added in probiotics and learned about gut health! I added in so much good food that I didn't have time to miss the processed sugar laden foods that disrupted my body and hormones. If you would like a copy of a lose "meal plan" that I created for hormone detoxification, click here!
I read book after book about my hormones and experimented with many different tips and tricks until I found what worked best for me!
Here is the list I keep pinned at my desk to help me on a daily basis :
Drink water all day - except not too much with my meal
3 good sized and balanced meals a day (try not to snack)
When cravings hit : take Arlo (our pup) for a little walk, get outside, drink a cup of peppermint tea! Trying to redirect my cravings to find whatmy body really needed. We eat out of boredom and repetition but your body may just be craving some sunlight!
1-2 servings of low glycemic fruit per day. This really varies per person! I am insulin resistant so I need to lower my intake of fruit sugar and sugar in general. Find what works best for you!
Take a 15 minute walk after dinner each night! Balances blood sugar - especially after a heavier dinner.
Take a probiotic - this is what I use
Vitamin and nutritional deficiencies look different on everyone so seek professional help in finding what your body needs!
I take a B Vitamin - Birth control is known to deplete your vitamin B production and storage
1-2 brazil nuts a day for selenium
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides for gut health, skin, hair, nails, sleep - overall wellness
Maca - takes care of your hypothalamus and pituitary glands in producing hormones.
Pink Himalayan Salt -helps your body with hormone production and use of vitamins and minerals from your food
Vitamin D - mainly from the sun. Everyone needs a certain amount of sun!
Sleep at least 8 hours a night - and try to go to bed at the same time each night! Make a consistent schedule that your hormones can prepare for!
Stress Management - stress carries a heavy weight in affecting our hormones. I developed adrenal fatigue after college so caring for my adrenals was another story. When cortisol levels are high for an extended amount of time, we keep our adrenals in a heightened stage of "fight or flight" and literally fatigue the adrenal cortex. You don't want to get to that point, but if you do, I will be writing a post on how I have healed that as well!
While we are on the subject of adrenal health, I cut out coffee and caffeine. If you are an avid caffeine consumer, start slow by lowering your intake and increasing water!
Pray daily - pray for perseverance in healing my body - pray for strength in resisting temptations and unhealthy mindsets - pray for healing. Journaling was a huge part of my healing - I was able to see my prayers and look back later on how God had healed me!
Eat and exercise for my cycle phases * Much more on this to come your way! But you can get started by purchasing The Woman Code book or The Hormone Cure! Both are great resources in getting started!
Get Outside - I don't find it necessary to tell you the scientific benefits of being outside - we all know the feeling of getting out in nature and getting some fresh air. Just get out there!
This is just a little guide to help those of you who have questions concerning the pill. Whether you are on it and considering getting off, are considering getting on it, or are just curious, I hope this pushes you to research your options.
Coming off the pill is scary.
Will you have a period? Will you break out? Will you gain weight? Will you be fertile? How will you plan to NOT have a baby? All of these are natural fears and reasonably so! I am here to tell you that you do not have to be afraid.
We should never feel like we are fighting against our body. If you feel out of touch with what is going on with your body, look to the root causes and go from there! Have acne? Don't look to a pill.. this only covers up symptoms, doesn't treat the cause, leaves the cause to roam wild and free in your body, and you will have to deal with the side-effects of taking that pill - - oh! And then there will come a point where you need to get off - then what? you are left with an even bigger problem than you had before - - causing a panic and possibly more medications to treat those problems in addition to more side affects and that is how the story goes - the never ending cycle of NOT listening to your body. Yes, that was a run-on sentence but I felt it was necessary for the dramatic effect - did you feel it??
Our bodies are smart - we just need to learn to listen to them when they are not being taken care of. Acne is a way of your body telling you something is imbalanced - there are so many simple ways to bring that balance back!
Coming off birth control was the best experience for me. I did a liver cleanse and learned about my body. I am no longer depressed - no more split personality - just some imbalances to work on! I have loved being off the pill for so many reasons but having control of my hormones and knowledge on how to balance PCOS is incredible. The Lord has shown me His goodness in providing us with all the tools - we just have to use them!!
If you would like help in balancing your hormones - I would love to chat! They are my favorite part of being a woman and am so excited to be healing mine! I hope this helps jumpstart you in a journey of finding balance in your hormones!