Chronic stress, staying up too late, refined vegetable oils, fabric softeners, and pushing yourself can create big problems for your hormones.
Here’s why, plus solutions for each of these factors.
Recently, at one of my free live trainings, I was asked ‘but how did my hormones get so out of balance in the first place?!’
It’s such a great question that I love to answer, and in this post I will break down 5 ways that you may be messing with your hormones without even realizing it.
Hormone imbalances can come with many symptoms. Some of the most common ones I see in my practice are:
- Low energy
- Weight gain
- Mood swings (anger & irritability are most common I hear)
- Trouble sleeping
- Heavy and/or irregular periods
- Hair loss
- Salt and/or sugar cravings
- Low sex drive
- Brain fog
Just to name a few…
In this post I’m sharing 5 things you may be doing to mess with your hormones, as well as simple solutions for each one.
1. Chronic Stress
Stress is by far the #1 reason I see for Women’s hormonal imbalances. If you think about our society, and all of the stressors we have to deal with every single day – it starts to paint the picture.
Stress hormones come in and steal one hormone to change it to another, they directly impact the pituitary glad (your master hormone gland), they wreak havoc on your thyroid hormones, and put digestion on hold (causing bloating, mood changes, and other gut issues).
This can lead to exhaustion, burnout, hormonal imbalances, and many symptoms (including accelerated aging).
- Try carving out some you time each day. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, it can start to train those stress hormones it’s ok to ‘relax’.
- Take some deep breaths during your day. This will help reduce cortisol levels in the moment.
- Laugh! Laughing is a great way to reduce stress.
- Aim for a high protein breakfast. Protein smoothies are an easy solution for this one.
2. Staying up too late
Study after study shows that lack of sleep is a huge stress on the body. If you struggle with hormone imbalances, are chronically stressed, or a Woman 35+, you will want to really start to prioritize sleep.
Let’s be honest – I totally understand the draw of staying up later. It tends to be one of the only times during the day that you get some peace and quiet (and maybe enjoy your favourite Netflix show, and snack!). If you want to have more energy, lose weight easier, fewer mood swings, less PMS, and even reduce the bloating, sleep is important.
- Aim for 7-9 hours as an adult.
- Take a warm bath or shower.
- Create an evening routine that you look forward to.
- Try a 10 minute guided meditation before sleep.
- Gradually go to bed earlier by small increments until you are getting enough sleep.
- Try some herbal tea in the evenings – chamomile is a great one!
3. Refined Vegetable Oils
The use of refined vegetable oils has increased dramatically in the last decade. They are best avoided because they are treated with multiple chemicals that can increase inflammation in your body, and mess with your hormones.
- Use healthier oil options like cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, flax oil, hemp oil, or real grass-fed butter.
4. Fabric Softeners
We have many chemicals in our environment that are called endocrine distrupters. Endocrine disrupters alter the natural rhythm of your hormones, and can really mess with your hormones. One of the most common ones I see Women using daily is fabric softeners.
- Try wool dryer balls with essential oils instead.
5. Pushing Yourself
I’m in bed and I can’t remember if I’ve brushed my teeth.
I feel like I’m 5 months pregnant by the end of the day.
My skin is a mess, and my hair looks dead.
I wake up 10 times a night; pee, toss, turn, pee, repeat.
I’m snapping at the people I love the most.
I gain weight, and can’t lose it unless I literally starve myself.
What happens when we see our bodies, moods and lives changing in a direction we don’t want?
You beat yourself up, and push harder – until you crash.
You burn yourself out, and feel awful.
Burnout can be life changing. It can impact every single way you live your life.
Stress hormones get out of control, symptoms pile up, and you push harder again.
And it absolutely impacts your hormones. I see it with my clients (and myself!) all of the time.
- Accept your limits. Pushing yourself harder = more hormonal imbalances, symptoms and feelings of anxiety.
- Get 20 minutes of sun each day. This gives your body the Vitamin D it needs to function properly.
- Prioritize rest & sleep.
- Strive to improve, but never push yourself if you feel it’s hurting you.
- Ask for help. Seriously, it’s ok to ask.
There you have it! My five ways you may be messing with your hormones without even realizing it! If you came here because you have noticed symptoms creeping in that keep you from living your full life, I truly hope this information helps you.