Something I tell my clients in my practice, and something I feel we don't hear often enough is that there are LOTS you can do to support your hormones and actually heal or manage the symptoms you're experiencing. Medication is not the only means(not to mention, birth control and other medicines merely mask the symptoms rather than healing the root cause). Another thing I always reiterate to clients is that your body is always communicating to you. And I get it, some communications can be so frustrating(constant bloating, migraines, mood swings, skin flare ups, etc), but there is always a reason the body is presenting these, and the reason is that it's trying to tell you that something is out of balance and needs paying attention to.
The Little Things Always Become The Big Things...
Years ago, I had all the symptoms (that I now know) to be classic signs of hormonal imbalance: migraines all the time, especially right before my menstrual phase, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, low energy and tiredness all the time, and intense cravings for carbohydrate foods(breads, pizza, desserts, chips, etc). My body just wasn't getting enough nutrients to support my hormones(I'll give you some tips about this later on in this post), and on top of that, I was working out 2 times a day and 6 days a week(our hormones actually thrive on a balanced combination of rest and movement).
I never ended up getting any of these symptoms checked out, partly because I was trying really hard to ignore them and just move on with my life Another part is that I couldn't imagine booking a doctor's appointment to talk about such "little things" like migraines and low energy levels. But what I now know is that the little things will eventually become the big things. A short while after these symptoms started, I was knocked down by flu-like symptoms. I took a day off of work, thinking I would just sleep it off and be back to the office, but 2 weeks went by with no signs of improvement in my symptoms and my energy levels at absolute rock bottom. I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't shower, and I had no appetite or energy to even eat food. One day, it got so bad that I asked to be taken to the hospital, because I couldn't even stand up for more than 30 seconds without feeling like I would pass out.
I spent the next 10 days in the hospital and I was diagnosed with a type of unidentified viral infection with symptoms similar to pneomonia. I remember the doctors doing blood work after blood work and multiple kinds of testing, but still being stumped as to how a 26 year old could be so sick from what seems to be a strain of the flu. Years later, after fully recovering, and after studying holistic health, I knew why a simple flu landed me in the hospital for 10 days. It was all those "little things" that had made my body the perfect breeding ground for illness and infections, and it was the "little symptoms" that eventually led to the BIG ones!
What Should We Look Out For?
We don't learn this in school, but the collection of symptoms our bodies are giving us every day actually mean something! They are huge indicators of what's going on inside of our bodies too!
Read through these scenarios and try making a mental note of how many are true for you right now:
How Many of These Did You Answer "Yes" To?
Remember: the little things eventually turn into the big things. Saying "yes" to 5 or more of these symptoms is not a reason to worry. It's simply an opportunity to start paying attention to the little things so they don't become the big things later (ie. Diabetes, PCOS, other hormonal imbalances, etc). I truly believe that it's never too late to start focusing on your health or learning to support these symptoms, so you don't need to worry about that either.
So What Can I Do Now?
Slow Down Your Life: the first step to noticing these symptoms and really starting to pay attention is to have the space in your day to be able to do so. Being on high speed all the the time not only puts our bodies into high stress mode(which doesn't support our hormonal balance), but when you're on the go, you're less likely to notice these little symptoms that are coming up for you right now.
Eat in a Way That Balances Your Blood Sugar Levels: blood sugar balance is actually the basis of hormonal balance, and it's a big factor when it comes to low energy levels too. If you're not sure what it means to eat in a way that supports long term blood sugar balance, head over to my shop and grab your copy of my guide(pdf and physical copies available).
Drink More Water, And Less Coffee: don't get me wrong, I'm a coffee lover too, and I'm not asking you to cut it out of your life completely! But you want to be mindful of how much coffee you're drinking(and even how much coffee or caffeinated drinks you're craving), because the more coffee that in our system, the less hydration we have in the body, which significantly slows down some processes in the body that depend on water. Not to mention, when we are consistently dehydrated, it creates stress in the body, which again, is not good for our hormonal balance.