Tracey Loughran, Naturopath & Nutritionist
We’re going to give you some insights into why your hormones may be out of balance.
And of course, what you can do to help yourself feel better. For many women, hormone imbalance can have a debilitating effect on quality of life. Whether it is premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, menstrual pain, spotting, headaches, bloating, irregular cycles, periods with no bleeding, heavy period flow with clotting, infertility, Endometriosis, PCOS, infections or other issues, women are reaching out in ever greater numbers to acknowledge how they are feeling, seeking a natural approach to bring lasting change
The majority of women we see in our clinic come to us with conditions driven by hormones.
We’re going to go into good detail about all of this across several articles, but today, our focus is the Luteal phase of the cycle (or third phase). This is the stage where many women really struggle with symptoms of PMS.
There is a long list of symptoms associated with PMS, but here are some of the main ones. If you experience some of these in the 1-2 weeks before your menstrual bleed, then chances are you have a hormone imbalance:
Our training in hormones and their effects on the body is comprehensive, and at the Flourish clinic, we’ve been helping women to balance their hormones for many years.
Tip #1: Love your Liver
Our livers have a big role to play in ensuring the smooth interplay of hormones during our cycles, so addressing liver health is a key part of our strategy. If the liver is also dealing with painkillers and other medications, along with caffeine and alcohol, it’s really got its work cut out. We focus on getting the liver in better shape as one of the puzzle pieces in restoring hormone balance.
Tip #2: Keep Regular
One of the other pieces is bowel function. Constipation, bloating, nausea and looseness can all be features in the luteal phase of the cycle. Some hormones are able to be reabsorbed via the bowel, so having less than ideal bowel function at any stage of your cycle can affect the imbalance between your two key hormones: Estrogen (in particular Estradiol) and Progesterone.
You may well have heard of Estrogen dominance? It often plays a key role in many of the symptoms associated with PMS (and endometriosis, and PCOS, and much more). There are many reasons why you may have too much Estrogen circulating in your blood – we can help you work this out. Our modern environment does play a role here, but there are very simple things you can do to make sure you are detoxifying environmental estrogens well.
Tip #3: Nourish your body
Food plays a big role here, and as qualified nutritionists, we are able to guide you towards foods that are supportive of a healthier cycle (don’t worry – we make this very easy to achieve and have recipes and meal plans that our clients love).
Solutions for Hormone Imbalance
The strategies for addressing homrone imbalance are often very simple, and very effective.
What often perplexes me is why women wait so long to get help. My favourite response to my question “Do you get pain with your cycle” is “Just the normal amount”. Well, pain is always a message from the body that something isn’t quite right, so there is no such thing as “normal pain”.
At our clinic, we don’t take hormone imbalance lightly, and we don’t like to engage in guesswork either. We work with you as an individual, taking into account all the influences upon your health and wellbeing to formulate an individualised hormone rebalance plan. As a part of this, we also have access to the best hormone testing available if needed, so we can accurately pinpoint where things may be going wrong.
How long does it take to restore balance to this delicate system? We usually work on a three-month time frame (three cycles). This is because you ovulate from one side one month, and another side the next, so we want to compare cycles and see what effect your ovulation is having.
So, if you’re “feeling Luteal”, get in touch – we’d love to help you.