The world of female hormones is huge. It is so easy to believe that our hormones just govern our menstrual cycle, but this is so far from the truth. Having an imbalance in hormones can affect nearly every part of our health – both mentally and physically. Have you ever thought ‘I just haven’t felt myself since having my baby’? Then read on…
It is true that two big players in the female hormone world are oestrogen and progesterone, but did you know that you also need to have a balance of testosterone as well? Well its true.
What can hormone imbalance look like? Well the answer to that is it can take form in many ways. The most obvious ones being problems with your monthly cycle, PCOS, infertility or PMS. Did you know hormone imbalance is also one of the biggest reason depression, foggy memory, sluggish metabolism, fatigue, thinning hair and dry skin, joint pain, anxiety attacks, weight gain or inability to lose weight (and so much more!) Rather than viewing these hormones as a way to help us produce babies, it should instead be looked at as a way to achieving optimal female health.
Technically speaking hormones are used in the body as a form of chemical messengers, attaching to cells and getting them to behave in a certain way. If our hormones are too low, then our cells aren’t going to be getting the messages to behave in the way that we need them to. Here is an example:
Female weight gain
Post babies, so many mums want to lose their ‘baby weight’ so go on one of the infamous ‘calorie restriction’ diets. Initially you drop a chunk of lbs – sometimes up to 10lb in a week. Then it stops. You keep trying really hard, but you maybe lose a 1lb every couple of weeks, sometimes weight going up. You are exhausted, hungry and life is pretty miserable trying to remember how many calories you’ve eaten, and if in fact that bottle of wine really counts because it has been one hell of a week. So why hasn’t this ‘diet’ worked? Hormones. Fact 1 – it is physically impossible to lose any more then 2lbs of fat in a week. The weight you would actually have lost is most likely to be water. Fact 2. Our ovaries are where we produce most of our oestrogen, but what happens post baby when maybe they are taking a while to recover? Well our body does one of two things. First it will produce some oestrogen in our ovaries, but it also uses fat cells to produce oestrogen – a bit like a backup manufacturing site. This means our bodies will fight tooth and nail to not only hold onto fat stores, but also convert more of the food we eat into fat in order to keep our oestrogen production as high as we can. You are literally fighting a losing battle. If you keep persevering without dealing with any underlying imbalance, you will be losing very little fat, and instead you will be losing fluid, tissue, muscle and bone density – and this is why you can ‘put all the weight back on’ – it’s because it was never weight and instead really important body structures that our body will fight to replace.
So what’s the good news? Balance your hormone levels, fill your body with the right nourishing foods, forget calorie counting and the number of fat cells you have will diminish, and you will also start to feel so much better then you did before.
Remember female weight gain is just one example of the effects of female hormone imbalance, and if you are feeling anything less than 100% its really worth looking at how yours are functioning and equipping yourself with the power and knowledge of how to help yourself.
On 4th April, I will be working with the amazing CheltenhamMaman to run a workshop on hormone imbalance and how to identify what is going on in your body, and how to help yourself through nutrition and potentially supplements. Please rest assured this does not mean that you will be sent off having to drink 6 green juices a day and live off plates of asparagus, wheatgrass and spirulina. No. I am a Nutritional Therapist, but I am also a mum of 2 young children. All advice given is based on science and fact, but then has a big dollop of real life added to it, so I know anything I recommend is something that can be done quickly, easily, stress free and in a way that will work in a family environment whilst also nourishing your body to leave you feeling better then you have done for a long time. You can find out more and book your tickets to our event here.
A Guest Blog from Jen McDiarmid
Jennifer is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and mum of two young children. Being a mum to two young children, she understands nutrition in the real world – the advice she provides is with a real head on, whilst also trying to compact the most nutrient dense foods into your body in the easiest way possible.
Having trained to BSC level in generic nutritional therapy, Jennifer decided to do some specialist training in the field of cancer and nutrition, but also in women’s health having completed a specific diploma in this area. Jen is on a mission to empower women and educate them on how important nutrition is for their health and well-being. As well as running a private practice, Jennifer is also one of the Nutritional Therapists working at Maggie’s Cancer Charity as well as working with Shine, a charity for women with post-natal depression and also delivering corporate workshops. Her business is growing, along with her thirst for knowledge… she plans to undertake her next degree in biochemistry next year.