What are the Top 5 Pillars of Hormone Health?
With the increasing number of hormone imbalances such as PCOS, hypothalamic Amenorrhea, Premature Ovarian insufficiency, and PMS and PMDD, It’s important to understand what influences your hormone health. Today, I’m going to tell you about 5 pillars of hormone health, which will ultimately give you to tools to be able to change your hormone health in a positive way.
The first pillar of hormone health is nutrition. It’s important to eat a balanced diet and make sure you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats and protein. Aim for whole foods rather than processed foods, which are often high in added sugar or artificial ingredients that can adversely affect your hormones.
I frequently see women with hormone imbalances who don’t get enough fibre in their diets, and fibre is important for oestrogen detoxification! If you aren’t eating enough fibre (25 grams per day), this could cause an imbalance with oestrogen because it is not being detoxified correctly. Rather, it is being reabsorbed from the intestines and goes back into the body’s oestrogen pool. This can lead to symptoms like bloating, carbohydrate cravings, breast tenderness and more serious things like endometriosis if left untreated over time.
Sleep is a critical pillar of hormone health. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can have a negative impact on your hormones. Women with low quality sleep have lower rates of fertility than those getting adequate rest. This is because not getting enough sleep disrupts ovulation from occurring.
When you don’t get enough sleep long-term this can start to impact different hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, lutenizing hormone (FSH), follicle stimulating hormone (LH) and prolactin. When all of these hormones are out of balance symptoms such as an irregular cycle, heavy or light bleeding, spotting, mood changes, PMS, and infertility can occur.
I suggest you aim for 7-9 hours of sleep as many nights as possible and to have a sleep hygiene routine. If you’re looking to read more about how a Fertility Naturopath can help you get pregnant then click here.
Stress is the third pillar from the 5 pillars of hormone health. We know stress is a normal part of life, but chronic stress can lead to hormonal imbalances. Stressors include things like work related difficulties, financial stress, and it can also include the way we think and feel about ourself too.
When you’re feeling stressed out, your body releases cortisol. While cortisol is an important hormone for helping us adapt to stressful situations, too much can create problems with your hormones. This is because stress can disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis that controls the regulations of oestrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are out of balance it can impact our fertility.
It can also impact our sleep, food choices, energy, and how we show up for ourselves. You can start to see how these 5 pillars of hormone relate to and affect to each other.
Positive self talk
You might not necessarily identify Positive self talk as an important pillar of hormone health. Yet the way we talk to ourselves can impact our hormone health, and our hormones can impact the way we feel about ourselves.
If you’re constantly telling yourself that “you’ll never be able to do that” or “you’re not good enough” or “I can’t believe you failed again” then your mind will follow those thoughts and actions by default. This can then impact the way you feel about yourself which can alter our stress hormones, food choices, energy, and confidence. These are all critical elements you need to create positive change in your life when creating new habits that support our hormones.
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! You can change it by practicing positive self talk on a daily basis until it becomes habituated in the same way negative thinking has become over time (it may take longer than a week).
Environmental health is another important pillar of the 5 pillars of hormone health. The environment around us plays a huge role in how well our bodies function. The air we breathe, the water and food we consume, and even our homes all affect how well our hormonal systems work. If you come into contact with lots of plastic and man-made chemicals (like pesticides and fragrances), this will have an impact on your hormones as well as your fertility. It’s important to be aware of what types of things are going into our environment so that we can make informed decisions about what products we use at home (for example: cleaning products).
I was recently interviewed on a podcast about endocrine disrupting chemicals. You can listen to it here.
Being aware of the 5 pillars of hormone health will help you maintain your hormones and fertility
Nutrition, sleep, stress management, positive self talk and environmental health all influence your hormones. I hope you’ve found this article helpful in understanding the importance of hormone health and some tips on how you can help improve your hormones and fertility. If you are looking for more information on optimal hormones, you can check out my optimal hormone guide here.