LADIES, let’s talk HORMONES.
Ever since I shared that I got off birth control, I got so many questions about how I keep my hormones in check.
First off, I do want to share that I feel better than ever since getting off the pill & although I was afraid to stop at first because I didn’t know what to expect & how my body would react, I now know it was something I had to do after being on it for YEARS.
Sorry for the TMI, but I got my period back the 2nd month being off it but it can take anywhere from 1-6 months, so please don’t worry too much if it’s taking you less or more time! I would personally go see my gynaecologist after a three month waiting period just to try to get a better idea of what’s going on & to see if there’s anything else getting in the way of you getting it back.
BTW, it doesn’t actually take a few months for the pill itself, or rather, the hormones, to leave your system. Those will be gone within a week or two. The waiting period has a lot more to do with your hormonal cycle picking up & starting up again after being suppressed due to the hormones in birth control for the time during which you were on the pill.
Anyway, BACK TO THEM HORMONES. Below I’ll list some of the healthy habits I’ve adopted to keep my hormones in check. Please keep in mind that this is what works for me. I am not a doctor & I don’t know if these habits will work for you because all our bodies are different! I’m simply sharing my life with you guys & I highly suggest consulting your doctor or gynaecologist before incorporating changes into your life.
1. CUT BACK ON SUGAR:
Chronic sugar intake affects hormones in many ways. In fact, studies have shown that sugar affects metabolism hormones (i.e. insulin) are affected & this impacts how we burn fat, energy levels & our menstrual cycle. In fact, insulin & leptin resistance drive us to store fat, cause inflammation & affect estrogen levels. I highly recommend cutting back on refined sugar, incorporating natural sweeteners & being mindful of sugar consumption in general, whether natural or not!
2. KNOW THAT FOOD IS MEDICINE:
So many people take the pill to cure acne or use other artificial hormonal therapies, but truth is, FOOD does more than any of those treatments for OUR skin, hormones, physical & mental health. Eat to nourish your body from the inside out & add healthy grains, almonds, avocados, salmon, eggs & cruciferous veggies to your diet whenever possible.
3. EAT CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES:
Cruciferous veggies contain bio active compounds that bind to excess hormones in our gut & flush it out, thereby acting as a natural detox. They also improve the gut microbiome, which is intrinsically related to every vital organ in the body, including the adrenal glands & the speed at which they produce hormones. I eat cruciferous veggies DAILY (If you get bloated from raw cruciferous veggies, make sure to steam or cook them! Their sulfur content is generally what will cause certain people with sensitive digestive tracts to bloat if they are eaten raw).
4. MANAGE YOUR STRESS:
Chronic stress disrupts hormone balance, which is why it’s crucial to find ways to reduce physical & emotional stress (whether it’s stressful exercise, extreme diets or mental/emotional stress). Stress also largely affects gut & adrenal health, which has a direct impact on hormone regulation.
My favourite adaptogens are: ashwagandha, rhodiola, reishi, chaga or ginseng. Adaptogens help balance hormones & regulate excess hormone production, improve thyroid health, fight symptoms of adrenal fatigue, stress & anxiety, which is intrinsically related to hormonal health.
6. TAKE CARE OF YOUR GUT:
Gut bacteria modulates & excretes estrogen, progesterone & testosterone & suppresses thyroid autoimmune antibodies. Avoid antibiotics if possible, take probiotics/fermented foods, collagen, manage stress levels + get enough sleep! Hormones work on a schedule, so lack of sleep can lead to high cortisol production, which can directly impact your female hormones & the regularity & intensity of your menstrual cycle
7. LIMIT CONSUMPTION OF SOY:
High phytoestrogens mimic estrogen in the body & increase estrogenic activity, which can mess with your hormones. Try to limit soy consumption whenever possible & if you do eat it, make sure it’s NON-GMO!