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Be Fertile: 5 Ways to Combat Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal balance is vital to your overall health—especially if you’re having issues with fertility. Many fertility issues—for both men and women—stem from hormones gone haywire. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by a number of different factors, from what’s on your dinner plate to your everyday stress levels.

We’ve put together a great list of things you can do right now to help balance your hormones and get your body on track for optimal fertility.

Decrease Stress

Decreasing stress is easier said than done, but it’s a vital part of creating balance in your body’s intricate endocrine system. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol which can disrupt your sex hormones and cause your fertility to plummet.

Some quick tips to help destress your mind and body include acupuncture, massage, meditation, epsom salt baths, reading before bed, developing a steady exercise routine, or taking an adrenal gland supplement that helps your body manage stress at a cellular level. The right combo of nutrients such as; ashwagandha, rhodiola, L-Theanine and even melatonin helps improve your body’s stress resilience and strengthens your stress response.

Improve Body Composition & Increase Exercise

Excess fat on your body can play a big role in disrupting your hormones. It’s a little cat and mouse in the sense that stress can cause excess fat, and having excess fat can further worsen your body’s physical stress. Increasing your muscle mass by regularly exercising is one great way to help rid your body of excess fat, clear your mind, and regulate your stress levels. Also, a clinically guided detox, can be just the thing to rid excess toxins out of stored fat!

Also, keep an eye on your diet. Diets rich in leafy greens, organic vegetables, and sustainable proteins will certainly help balance out your body composition and contribute positively to your overall health.

Decrease Toxins & Increase Nutrients

Toxins are an unavoidable part of life. Air pollution, non-organic foods doused with pesticides, smoking cigarettes, and unfiltered tap water can all contribute to more toxins being introduced into your body. Take stock of all the things you’re consuming in your daily life to see what sort of toxins may be affecting your body, and see what you can cut out right away.

Buy organic produce. They will help reduce your exposure to pesticides and chemicals farmers use on crops. If you can’t, check out the Environmental Working Group’s annual release of the Dirty Dozen, or the most pesticide-saturated foods. Try to avoid eating too many processed foods, even if they’re labeled “organic”. (Tip: Those organic processed foods can be expensive and are probably the things that are busting your healthy food budget!)

You can also filter your water, quit smoking if you still smoke, and load up on antioxidants to help combat toxins in your body. Nearly everyone in our office is drinking NutriDyn’s Fruits & Greens, which is a super antioxidant drink with the power of 20+ servings of fruits and vegetables—it’s a really great option for busy folks to get their daily dose of antioxidants.

Balance your Blood Sugar

Making sure your blood sugar is at a health level is vitally important to your hormonal health. We can check your blood sugar in office during our Functional Physical to determine where your levels are, and help you with a plan to get them back at healthy numbers. In the meantime, make sure you’re cutting back on excess sugar in your diet from drinks and sweets, and eating lots of healthy organic vegetables.

Get Good Sleep and Fresh Air

Don’t underestimate a good night’s sleep. Your body needs proper rest to be able to rebuild and restore after a busy day. Make sure you’ve developed good sleep hygiene, including a smartphone cutoff time to reduce your exposure to harmful, sleep-defying blue light right before sleep. Try using an eye mask if you have trouble with light, or talk to us about time-released melatonin that will help you get to sleep and stay asleep in a completely natural way. And don’t forget to get fresh air, it can help you relax and sleep better at night, too.

If you have any questions about hormone imbalance, fertility issues or what we can do to help get you on track, give us a call at (612) 922-8100.

Be Fertile: Stress and PCOS

relaxation-1082170_1280Many couples struggling with infertility hear the common but often frustrating advice to “just relax” during their fertility journey. While the physical and emotional challenges of infertility can make this advice seem trite or relaxation seem out of reach, it is necessary to acknowledge the hormonal implications of stress and how the chemical stress response can actually play an important role in hormonal imbalances. Women in particular, with delicately balanced hormones at play, can be even more susceptible to the impacts of stress and if you are a woman who is battling PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome), stress responses are even more of a concern.

Dr. Fiona McCulloch BSc ND, shares her thoughts on the interaction between stress hormones and female sex hormones (especially in relation to a PCOS diagnosis) in an article for PCOS Diva:

“As I’m sure you already know, stress is bad for humans, period. That said, for women with PCOS, stress can seriously imbalance the delicate interplay between hormones and can even interrupt the progress you are making as you put in the hard work to change your diet, exercise and balance your hormones with supplements or medications. Firstly, I just want to go through a little bit of anatomy and physiology with you. The adrenal glands are two small, triangular glands that sit right on top of your kidneys.  These glands have a very special job to do: they secrete crucial hormones in response to stress. The outer part of the adrenal gland is called the cortex, and it secretes cortisol and male hormones (androgens) like DHEA. It’s really important to know that the adrenal cortex is controlled by the pituitary gland, which is a small, pea-sized structure within the brain. The pituitary is actually considered the “master gland”, as it controls most of the hormone function in the body, and the connection from the brain to the adrenals is called the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA axis).” | Read More on PCOS Diva

Dr. McCulloch goes on to explain that these pieces of the hormonal puzzle are more intricately connected than we often realize and can create quite the domino effect if one gets out of balance. She explains what makes women with PCOS so susceptible to imbalances due to stress:

1.    Women with PCOS have low progesterone, a hormone which is “stolen” by the adrenals to be converted into cortisol in stressful situations, causing progesterone levels to sink even lower.

2.    Women with PCOS actually make more cortisol than women without PCOS.

3.    Women with PCOS have higher statistical rates of anxiety, depression, and other emotional disorders.

4.    A primary component in PCOS is insulin resistance, another disruption in hormone interplay.

5.    High cortisol levels interferes with how other hormones are utilized by the body rendering them less effective.

She then lists ten ways to help keep stress levels in check. Find the full article, elaborating on the five points above and including the ten stress reduction tips at http://pcosdiva.com/2013/10/stress-and-adrenal-health-in-pcos/.

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