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Writer-s-Bloc

Finding hormonal balance

By Dr. Chelsea Gronick

Dr. Chelsea Gronick is a naturopathic doctor with expertise in helping patients with thyroid and hormone imbalances and weight loss resistance. She has a medical practice in downtown Kelowna.

Hormone imbalances are an epidemic today.

Some of the most common health concerns I see in my practice are related to hormonal imbalance, such as weight loss resistance, insomnia, depression and anxiety, thyroid imbalance issues, headaches, PMS, acne, fatigue, low libido, infertility and menopause.

When we talk about hormonal balance, we are referring to the delicate relationship between several hormones including thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, insulin and cortisol.

Because they all interact with one another, too much or too little of any one can disrupt the entire balance.

While many factors can contribute to hormonal imbalance, there are ways to better support hormonal health naturally.

1. BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGARS

  • Excess sugars and starches in the diet raise blood sugar levels, which leads to elevated insulin levels.  In women, this leads to high testosterone levels and in men, it can lead to elevated estrogen.
  • Opting for high fibre foods such as fruits, veggies and legumes, and a reduced sugar and refined carbs approach will help keep your blood sugar balanced and hormones happy.
  • DR. CHELSEA’S TIP: Plan your meals around protein and be sure to include a serving at breakfast, such as eggs or a protein shake. This sets the tone for better blood sugar balance throughout your day.

2. DETOXIFY YOUR CELLS

  • Xenoestrogens are synthetic estrogens found in our environment that mimic estrogens in our body. When we accumulate too many xenoestrogens, the receptors on our cells for other hormones are blocked, leading to symptoms of estrogen dominance such as heavy, painful periods, infertility, excess weight accumulation around the abdomen and weight loss resistance.
  • Our largest sources of toxin exposures come from our water, our food, our air, and especially for women, our beauty products.  Opt for organic fruits vegetables and animal products; use less plastic and more glass, filtered water, and for women especially, choose organic beauty products to minimize your exposure to hormone disrupting toxins.
  • TIP: In addition to lowering your daily exposure to toxins through making better choices, it’s a good idea to go through a metabolic detox program at least twice a year to help the body eliminate accumulated toxins and clean off cell receptors.

3. FOLLOW AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, HORMONE BALANCING DIET

  • Dairy is one of the biggest triggers of hormone imbalance because of the hormones found naturally in milk – even if it’s organic, and from the added hormones and antibiotics. Gluten, which is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and spelt is another common offender of hormone imbalance because it can cause inflammation in the body.
  • Both alcohol, including red wine, caffeine and soy can increase estrogens in men and women.
  • TIP: Top foods for hormone balance include quinoa, eggs, broccoli as well as leafy green veggies, avocados, almonds, walnuts, green tea, extra virgin olive oil and lean proteins like organic eggs, chicken, fish or beef.

In my next column, I’ll share the last three pillars for optimal hormone balance. In the mean time, I’ve created a Hormone Quiz to see if hormonal imbalance might be the cause of your health concerns.

You can access the quiz here

If you’ve been struggling with a thyroid, adrenal, or hormone issue, a great first step would be to have your hormones tested by a naturopathic doctor.

 

 

 

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