Oestrogen Dominance – Do YOU Have These Common Signs?

Oestrogen Dominance

 

 

Oestrogen Dominance – Do YOU Have These Common Signs?

Oestrogen Dominance. Big.  Complex. Words.

Big. Complex. Issue.

It can lead to horrible hormone symptoms and influence health and fertility

How would you know if YOU have it? And what can you do about it, anyway?

 

What Is Oestrogen Dominance?

Oestrogen is actually a group of women’s hormones. Sex hormones to be precise.

It’s produced by the ovaries.

Oestrogen is responsible for the changes in girls at puberty- like breasts growing and periods starting.

It controls the lining of the womb in the first part of our monthly cycles.

When a woman falls pregnant, the placenta creates oestrogen to help the body carry the pregnancy.  Oestrogen suppresses periods in breastfeeding mothers.

It helps maintain healthy bones, sound sleep and balances cholesterol. Oestogen supports good skin and a healthy urinary tract.  It’s involved in different body processes like fluid balance.

Oestrogen expands blood vessels, relieves hot flushes and night sweats, prevents dry vagina and improves memory.  Premenopausal and menopausal women will spot menopause symptoms here.  Basically, many menopause symptoms are due to low oestrogen.

But what happens when you have TOO MUCH oestrogen?

Too much oestrogen is usually called Oestrogen Dominance. It can mean either just too much oestrogen OR just too little progesterone to balance it out, if that makes sense?

 

Symptoms Of Oestrogen Dominance.

Common signs of too much oestrogen/ not enough progesterone include:-

  • Bloating
  • Sore boobs
  • Hormonal migraines and other headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Chilly hands and feet
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain and slow metabolism
  • Sleeplessness
  • Low sex drive
  • Period problems
  • Thyroid issues
  • Endometriosis
  • Mood swings, irritability and depression
  • Infertility and miscarriage
  • Fibroids
  • PMS
  • Brain fog and memory issues
  • and MORE

 

Oestrogen Dominance – Why Might I Have It?

When women get into pre menopause – which can be late 30s to 40s typically – there can be cycles where no egg is released. So oestrogen goes unbalanced by progesterone.

But in this crazy, modern world, there are other factors that influence oestrogen dominance.

Excess body fat i.e. more than about 28% body fat.

Low fibre diets meaning that excess oestrogen is not being pooped out. Diets low in nutrients, high in refined carbs and low in good fats don’t help.

High stress meaning your stress hormones and fat-storing hormones go haywire. That can  lead to adrenal fatigue and hormone imbalance.

Artificial “oestrogens” from plastics and other chemicals which pretend to be oestrogens in our bodies.  That also risks hormone health and fertility.

Oestrogen Dominance – What To Do About It.

If you think you may have signs, of course speak with your doctor. Here are my suggestions for superb self-care at home.

 

Get plenty of fibre

Excess oestrogen needs to be pooped out.  If it’s not, it gets reabsorbed and goes round and round your body. Do yourself a favour and make sure you “go” regularly.

Be kind to your liver

Your liver is your filter system.  It screens out all the alcohol, drugs, caffeine, toxins, chemicals and other nasties. If it’s already working flat out on that, it’s not going to be that efficient at cleaning our blood of oestrogen.

Learn to love your liver – find out how here.

Reduce stress

Self-care isn’t selfish. Invest time and energy in yourself – removing sources of stress and reducing stress. AND taking the best care of yourself that you can.

I know we’re all busy, but you can’t keep giving from an empty vessel. Somethings gonna give and it just might be your health, hormone balance and wellbeing.

Manage your weight

If you’re carrying to much weight, lose it slowly and sensibly.  That’s not crazy slimming diets, removing whole food groups or snarfing the chemical sh1t storm that is diet /lite/slimming products.

Eat real food- also see next point below. Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed and packaged food and takeaways.  Eat good quality carbs in moderation only – it’s sugar and carbs that influence fat storage most.

Take regular, gentle exercise – mix it up a little between weight bearing, fat burning and strengthening. Choose things you’ll enjoy and stick with.

Eat real food

Eat lots of veggies and fruits, organic if you can. Take a look at my guidance on hormone harmers lurking in your fridge.

Take good quality protein with each meal and snack.  Think organic meat and poultry, wild fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans/peas/lentils, a little organic dairy, fermented organic soy, quinoa.

Choose healthy fats – olive oil, coconut oil, a little organic butter or ghee, nut and seed oils for drizzling.

Have wholegrains in moderation and avoid “white” and processed carbs like white flour, white pasta, white rice, cakes, biscuits etc.

Cut down or avoid caffeine and alcohol to give your liver a rest.

 

These are common issues I see in my clinic.  AND in my online groups.  That’s where we can get into more detail on how to reduce your symptoms and get better hormone balance…naturally.

For now, these tips and tricks should really help.

 

Love,

 

What To Do When You Have Heavy Periods

What To Do When You Have Heavy Periods

What To Do When You Have Heavy Periods.

You know the drill, sister?

You daren’t cough, sneeze or stand up suddenly, because you know there’ll be a flood of Biblical proportions?

You go to the loo and have to sit there for ages …not because you need a tinkle or even to poop. People have been known to knock on the door to make sure you’re still alive.

Or you’re up and down to the toilet all day long.

You plan your calendar very carefully because you can’t leave the comfort of your home on those days.

You take a spare pair of BIG knickers and a change of clothes “just in case” you get soaked right through and I’m not talking about rain.

At night, you sleep on a big towel to protect the bed linen… not that you sleep much; you get up a few times a night to change.

Yes, you have heavy periods. And it’s affecting your life.

I get it.  I hear from women like you all the time. I used to be a woman just like you.

So why might you be suffering and what can you do about it?

 

Heavy Periods – Why Might You Have Them?

Fibroids

They are tough old non- cancerous lumps that grow in the uterus. They can grow pretty big – up to the size of a grapefruit or small melon.

There are different kinds; “types” depend on where they are growing inside you.

They can cause constant bleeding and heavy periods.

They start up when there is too much oestrogen in your system.  Fibroids shrink at menopause when oestrogen reduces.

Fibroids are diagnosed after ultrasound tests by doctors.

Polyps are also non cancerous growths in the womb or neck of the cervix and they can make bleeding heavier.

Enlarged Uterus

When there’s to much oestrogen in your system, your uterus can grow too. Without enough progesterone to balance it, the uterus doesn’t have the right signals to stop growing.

In some cases, your enlarged uterus presses on other organs, like your bladder and digestive organs.  It’s uncomfortable and can result in heavy periods.

Diagnosed Conditions Endometriosis/ PCOS/ PID

Some conditions can make menstrual bleeding heavier.

Endometriosis – where small pieces of the womb lining are found outside the womb – can lead to heavier bleeding. But it’s much more likely to lead to painful periods than heavy periods.

PCOS is a syndrome where the ovaries become cystic i.e.with follicles that adhere to the ovaries. It can lead to heavier bleeding.

PID or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which is an infection, can lead to heavy periods.

Low Thyroid

Low thyroid function can cause heavier bleeding. If you suspect this, some other common signs to look out for are tiredness, constipation, feeling cold and hair and skin changes. Low thyroid is connected to oestrogen excess.

Weight Gain

This isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Fat cells produce oestrogen. That’s in addition to the oestrogen produced by the ovaries.

The more oestrogen, the more the uterus grows a blood-rich lining and the heavier the bleeding.

Yes, it’s all about oestrogen in excess again. Which leads me to …

Oestrogen Excess

Oestrogen excess means to much oestrogen – it could mean high levels of oestrogen or just low levels of progesterone to balance it out.

Too much oestrogen leads to all kinds of symptoms including:-

Bloating

Blood sugar imbalance

Mood swings

Sore boobs

Insomnia

Tiredness

Low sex drive

Infertility

Hair loss

Copper excess (it’s a vital trace element but too much can spell trouble) and magnesium deficiency

Endometriosis

Headaches

Thyroid issues

Weight gain

PMS

Fibroids

Thrush and yeast infections

Any of these sound familiar?   It’s quite common in 30s and 40s women, especially.

 

Heavy Periods – What To Do About Them

So if you have heavy periods what can you do?

 

Get A Diagnosis

Speak with your doctor first. They can do blood tests for hormone levels and ultrasound scans to look at your uterus.

Please be aware that blood test for hormones show what was circulating in your blood when the sample was taken. It doesn’t show what happens over a month.  If you want that, check out hormone test by saliva samples.

The thyroid blood tests here in the UK are also not a full work up, so some problems are not necessarily revealed by tests.

Your doctor might suggest hormonal contraceptives for heaving bleeding. They might suggest drugs to help stop or reduce bleeding. They might suggest progesterone implants.  They might suggest a hysterectomy i.e. taking your uterus out.  The typical UK options are outlined here.

Of course, it’s your choice. Please just think about the risk and side effects as well as any benefits, before making up your mind. Especially if you’re still planning on children and want to establish a healthy, regular, fertile cycle.

Personally, I suggest trying natural means first and seeing what difference that makes.

 

Love Up Your Liver

The liver is the body’s detoxer. That includes any old hormones that we don’t need. If you have too much oestrogen pumping round, you want to get it out of your system pronto.

Find out how to Love Your Liver in this blog.

 

Ditch The Hormone Harming Chemicals

They are E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E.

The tech term is xenoestrogens. They disrupt our hormones due to pretending to be oestrogens. And we don’t want to add to the oestrogen burden. They can be found in plastics, cosmetics, household products, industrial products and more.

Switch to natural products, as much as you possibly can.

 

Eat A Hormone Friendly Diet

Eat for health, hormones and happiness! Good diet is the cornerstone of hormone health, it really is. You can get the very basics in this blog.

Fibre is important for getting rid of the excess oestrogen through your bowel.

Some sources recommend that women with oestrogen in excess are careful about eating too many foods that mimic oestrogen. They are called phytoestrogens.

Personally, I’d suggest not eating too much soy – most of it is processed and refined. Watch out for the words “soy isolate” and “soya protein isolate” on labels. Most of it is also GMO. If you do choose soy, make sure it’s organic and fermented. Eat phytoestrogens like beans, chickpeas , lentils and flaxseed as part of a varied diet.

 

Manage Your Weight

Lose excess weight in a healthy, gradual way by eating a hormone friendly diet.  (see above).  You can also exercise to manage weight  – mix it up a little. Include some strength training as well as aerobic exercise and activities that improve flexibility, breathing and relaxation like yoga or qi gong.  Those are good for stress busting too…

 

Reduce Stress

Because stress has an influence on nutrition. Yes sirree. It can deplete us of nutrients. It also impacts general health and hormone health. And it can lead to adrenal stress.

Examine sources of stress and work out of you can avoid or reduce them.  If you can’t avoid them find coping strategies for relaxation, stress busting and rest. Perhaps think about yoga, mindfulness or meditation.

 

Check Out Your Copper

You did that read properly.

Copper is an essential trace element in the body, but too much spells trouble. Copper levels have a relationship with oestrogen levels.  If you have high oestrogen, you may have high copper

High copper can lead to low zinc in the body and low zinc can lead to hair loss, poor appetite, low immunity and trouble getting pregnant.

I have clients check out their mineral level with hair mineral tests.   If you have high copper you should identify and reduce any possible sources like copper pans, copper pipes, contraceptive pills, fertility drugs, some IUDs, algicides in some swimming pools.

You can help get rid of excess copper by supplementation to boost other nutrients and remove the excess copper safely, over time.

 

Check Out and Boost Iron

If you have heavy periods and you’re bleeding heavily and regularly, you may have developed deficiency in iron.  Your doctor can do blood tests for that.  Symptoms include feeling tired, sore tongue, headaches, shortness of breath and dizziness.

If you need supplements, buy the best you can afford.  Sadly, the ones prescribed by doctors here in the UK are usually poor quality ferrous/iron sulphate. It’s not easy to absorb and can cause constipation.

Take your iron alongside Vitamin C and away from other supplements.

 

Trying all of these natural strategies over time, should see some improvements.  AND protect your delicate hormone system and future fertility.  It’s well worth a try before resulting to drugs or surgery, right?

Love,

 

 

Help! I’m In My 40s And Have Skin Breakouts.

Help! I'm In My 40s And Have Skin Breakouts.

Help! I’m In My 40s And Have Skin Breakouts.

Hi gorgeous girl.

Are you in your 40s and think that teenage skin breakouts are SO over? Yet they’re back. With a vengeance. Pah.

You’re probably really hacked off.  Especially if you never even had spots in your teens.  But now you have … as a fab 40s female.  Pah!

It’s no consolation, but you’re not alone.

It’s quite common to suffer from zits when you’re in your prime i.e. in your  30s and 40s, pre menopause.  And the culprit could be hormone changes. I’d go as far to say, it’s often hormone changes.

Possible Causes

  • Male hormones like testosterone can drive production oil in your skin, that might lead to skin breakouts.
  • Progesterone in excess can mean skin breakouts in women.  Progesterone based  contraceptives can be a  factor e.g the mini pill, progesterone injections and implants.

That said, you can still get spots as an adult even if your hormone levels test at normal levels.

That’s because you diet and lifestyle may not be supporting glowing, healthy skin.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, spots are thought to be signs of issues with certain organs and body systems. Hormonal skin breakouts are ones on the chin, jawline and neck.

Skin experts also believe that poor diet shows up in your skin.

They say that sugar can lead to wrinkles, pus-filled pimples, and dry patches.

Wine can lead to redness and feathery lines.

Gluten (the protein found in wheat) can lead to red, puffy cheeks, patchy skin and spots on the chin.

Dairy foods can lead to swollen eyelids, bags and dark eye circles and small, white bumps on the chin.

Who knew?

And generally not looking after yourself is going to show on your lovely face – dark circles eye bags, breakouts. Think stress, lack of sleep, toxic lifestyle and all that jazz.

Possible Solutions to Skin Breakouts in Your 40s

In my practice, some women come to me with adult acne when they have been offered antibiotics or acne medications, but don’t want to take them. Not everyone chooses to take meds straight off or – in fact –  ever.

Many choose to review their skin care and look at diet and lifestyle to heal from inside and out. The quality of our skin if often a reflection of what’s going on, on the inside.

So what are my top tips to calm skin breakouts?

Eat a skin loving diet

Plenty of veggies and fruits. They contain antioxidants. Vitamins A, C and E are especially skin friendly.  How about sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squashes, lettuce, broccoli, dried apricots, melon, peppers, citrus fruits, cooked tomatoes, berries and tropical fruits ?

Choose healthy fats in the form of nuts, seeds, olive oil, organic butter and ghee, coconut oil and oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna.

Have quality protein with each meal or snack.  It balances energy and stops you reaching for sugary stuff, which is not skin loving.

Choose wholegrains and eat them in moderation – brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa are my favourites, but vary your wholegrains.

Take enough fibre to hep digestive transit and help any toxins on their merry way.   Constipation means the nasties are circulating in your system and you’re not pooping them out.

Avoid poor food choices

Avoid processed and convenience foods with additives and preservatives and trans fats/hydrogenated vegetable oil. Avoid or cut back A LOT on sugar.

If you read the Possible Causes section and are concerned that dairy, gluten or wine are damaging your skin, avoid these for 4 weeks and see what difference it makes for you and your skin breakouts.

If you’re eating meat, choose organic and grass fed – ordinary meat is likely to contain hormones and do you really want to be taking those on board? Your choice.

Drink!

I mean plenty of water, not wine! And herbal teas. It will help flush out any toxins.

Love Your Liver

It’s the detox organ and you want to get any toxins out through your digestion, not your skin. The other tips on diet and water here will help. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine and rich foods.

Avoid harsh skin-care products

When your skin is greasy and you have breakouts, it’s tempting to use hardcore exfoliators OFTEN and heavy-duty cleaners and toners. Don’t!

You risk stripping out the oil so your helpful body produces even more oil to replenish.  Be gentle.

I like Neals Yard products because they are organic, natural and made the UK. There are products to suit every skin type.

I also highly recommend seeing a skincare specialist if it’s bad and it persists.

Get some rest and relaxation

Try to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night, if you can.

Reduce sources of stress and learn ways to relax like yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, exercise.

Love,

P.S. Article contains affiliate link.  I only recommend a few companies and products that I use and love.  And I’m hard to please.  Ask my husband.

The Hormone Harmers Lurking in Your Fridge

The Hormone Harmers Lurking In Your Frdge

 

 

The Hormone Harmers Lurking in Your Fridge.

Guess what just popped into my inbox?

No.  Not info on my favourite shoe shop’s sale!

Delivery date for the parcel I’m waiting for? No.  Sadly.

Not even the promise of a lot of money from a total stranger in Ghana.

 

It’s this years guide Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce by EWG.  Yay.

Why am I so excited by a list of products with pesticides in them from the US?  Because I don’t want those hormone harmers and health harmers  lurking in MY fridge!  And the issue is pretty similar in Europe.

 

Hormone Harmers

Did you know there are hormone harmer chemicals? They pretend to be like our natural hormones. They interfere with normal hormone balance.  And that can cause hormonal issues. The tech term for hormone harmer chemicals is “xenoestrogens”.

They are found in pesticides and plastics and much more. They disrupt hormones in women and men.

There are plenty of sources who will tell you they are really safe. There are also many sources who say they are NOT safe.

And it’s not just human life that is harmed. There are scary studies, which tell us they make fish are becoming female in our polluted rivers and seas.  Due to the same hormone harmers.

 

Hormone Harmers In Fruit And Veg

One of the sources of hormone harmers are pesticides. Those sprays farmers put on their crops to kill bugs, creepy crawlies and slugs. And stop them eating stuff.

Those chemicals are still there when the produce go on sale to you and me.

You could argue about “safe limits” for pesticide residue, if you like. Personally, I don’t want to rely on a safe limit made up by politicians, lobbyists or commercial companies.  I’d rather make my own choice.  And I want to be eating as few chemicals that are designed to KILL things as I possibly can.

Pesticides are also linked to eye, lung and skin irritations, to brain and nervous system problems and to some cancers.

The results published by EWG (Environmental Working Group ) each year, are based on thousands of samples of fruits and veggies. Tests are by the US Department of Agriculture .

This results are published and a handy shoppers guide called Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen is produced. The Dirty Dozen are the most polluted fruits and veggies.  The Clean Fifteen are the least polluted.

So what can you do, armed with that info?

 

Reducing Risks From Hormone Harmers In Your Fridge

My top tips are:-

  • Buy organic or unsprayed fruits and veggies as far as you can. Or grow your own and don’t spray them with pesticides. At least buy or grow the “dirty dozen” as organic or unsprayed.
  • For produce that is not organic, wash and peel them to remove as much pesticide as possible.  Although this won’t remove all residue. The EWG study prepares produce as it would normally be eaten before testing e.g. a banana would be peeled then tested. And you can’t peel spinach.
  • Look at “washes” that claim to remove pesticides.  They might help, but if a product has “taken in” pesticides, washing won’t remove all traces either.

Buying organic also shows you support environmentally-friendly farming methods that is kinder to the environment and supports workers rights.  And that’s important to many people.

I Might As Well Eat Burgers If Veggies Are Hormone Harmers?

So you’re thinking, I might as well eat burgers?

Er no.  You’re pulling that one on me.

It’s still better to eat a range of fruits and vegetables than junk food.  Avoiding sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and additives are really important to good health and happier hormones.

 

I just want to help raise awareness of the risks linked with food,  so we can take steps to minimise those risks if we choose – for ourselves and our families.   It’s all personal choice.

I choose buying organic and growing my own, unsprayed as much as I can. I choose reducing my exposure to hormone harmers.

EWG is a good resource for more info, if you’re keen to learn more.

Love,

 

 

Act NOW For Hormone Harmony

Act NOW forHormone Harmony

 

 

 

Act NOW For Hormone Harmony.

If I had a Pound/Euro/Dollar for every time I heard a woman say…

“I’m far too young to worry about THAT” or

“I’ve got A-G-E-S yet” …

I’d be a very wealthy woman.   Actually, I’d be buried alive under a massive mountain of mixed currency and no use to anyone.  But I would be wealthy.

I can’t lie. It’s tough for me to eyeball a fresh and fabulous 20-something girl or a beautiful and busy 30-something woman and convince them that prevention is better than cure.   That they need to work at hormone harmony. It’s a hard sell.

And it’s a hard sell whether those women want children or not.  Bombarded with messages about unwanted pregnancy, I see how women are scared into thinking that pregnancy is easy.   That they had better get pilled-up or implanted because  just looking at a fella can get you up knocked up.   Try telling that to the approximately 1 in 6 couples who have difficulty conceiving.

And teaching the same vibrant 30s women that taking care of hormone health now will make the dreaded M word (menopause) easier, often falls on deaf ears.

 

The Truth About Hormone Harmony

The truth is, women’s hormones can start changing anywhere from thirties to late forties.   Sure, signs increase with age. The closer you get to late 40s and early 50s the more likely you are to have pre-menopause and menopause symptoms.

But when and how those hormones start changing depends on a whole host of factors – some of which you CAN control.

 

Some Factors That Influence Hormone Harmony

  • Your genes – and you can’t do too much about that
  • What age you started periods
  • Whether you have been pregnant and how many times you’ve given birth
  • Your parent’s lifestyle.  YES. You are what your parents ate and did when you were a mere twinkle in their eyes.
  • Your own lifestyle – diet.  Social choices like drugs, alcohol and smoking.  Stress.  Exercise. Weight management. Sleep.
  • Illnesses and conditions that affect hormones balance – an imbalance in one hormones can cause a chain reaction on other hormones.
  • Your environment – pollution, cleaning products, cosmetics and much more.

See?  You can control some of those things.

 

Some Signs Of Hormone Disharmony

Are you accepting as “normal” or just “one of this things” any of these, as the years roll by?

  • Adult onset acne
  • Changes to sex drive
  • Allergies
  • Sore boobs
  • Water retention
  • Sleeplessness
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular and heavy periods

It could be that your hormones are changing and you are PRE-menopausal. Pre-menopause can last for years and years. That’s not the only cause, of course. Always better to get it checked out by a Doctor.

 

Prevention For Hormone Harmony

So the earlier you start looking after your delicate and complex hormone system, the better.

It’s never too early to start, but it’s never too late either.

If you’re still planning on having babies, it may make falling pregnant easier, reduce risks in pregnancy and help you have a healthy baby.

If you’re not planning babies, reducing the likelihood of a miserable menopause, has gotta be worth it, right?

 

I’m a Perimenopausal Princess and although I do have symptoms, I’m sailing this ship quite smoothly –  thanks to good diet, good lifestyle choices and natural therapies.

I much prefer that to the alternatives …. riding the rollercoaster of energy slumps, mood swings and a faulty temperature gauge or taking prescribed drugs when I know that self-care has already helped me.

 

So, sorry ladies but you’re not too young and you don’t have ages either.   Act NOW for hormone harmony.

Love,

Self-Care For Period Pain

Self-Care For Period Pain

Self-Care For Period Pain.

Period pain.  No laughing matter.  And painful periods can happen in puberty, pre-menopause and ANY other time. Most women who get pain have it just before and as the flow starts. Others can be crippled with pain throughout the whole period.

Really, no laughing matter.   It can take over your life for those few days each month. And affect your ability to do normal things, like go to work.

 

Common Symptoms of Period Pain

It’s not just the gut wrenching, cramping pain, Oh no.

It’s the diarrhoea.

And the sickness and vomitting.

Hot and clammy feelings.

Don’t even start about the headaches.

Or the dizziness.

And the feelings of being physically drained.

 

Conventional Treatment for Period Pain

It’s usually painkillers to relax muscles.  I’ve often seen clients who have been prescribed the contraceptive pill.

But not every woman wants drug therapy or they want to help relieve the pain by themselves. So, what else can you do to help yourself?

 

Self-Help For Period Pain

TENS Machine

This is drug free way of dealing with pain.   You apply pads to the painful site and the machine works by low level electrical stimulation to block or reduce pain.  Pain messages are slowed or blocked to the brain.

Ditch Caffeine

Yes, the coffee, tea, cola AND chocolate.

Caffeine worsens muscle tension and pain sensitivity.  You have been warned 😉

Get Moving

Get your heart, circulation and breathing going through exercise. Aerobic exercise releases feel good chemicals which support pain relief and make us feel calmer and more positive.   Even a pretty brisk walk could help.

Warm Yourself

Soak yourself in warm water in the bath.  You can add a few drops of lavender and chamomile essential oils as they are relaxing. Or apply a warm water bottle or heat pad to your abdomen or back to help soothe pain.

Try Herbal Tea

A blend of chamomile and lemon balm or lemon verbena soothes stress and may help relax tense muscles.

Visit A Complementary Therapist

In my clinic, I use a combination of diet and lifestyle measures, homeopathy and herbal tinctures to support women with painful periods.

TOP TIP – I often suggest the Tissue Salt called “Mag Phos” which aims to relax muscles. You can check that out here.  Start with a 4g dispenser of 6x potency and take 3 pills 3-4 times daily during period pain.

 

Love,

 

Why Should You Give A Hoot About Hormones?

Why Should YOU Give A HOOT aboutHORMONES? BLOG

Why Should You Give A Hoot About Hormones?

Utter the word “hormones” and someone will giggle. Or roll their eyes.

Maybe make bad a joke about “women’s troubles”.  Or think we must be talking about sex.

Wah!

There’s so much more to it than that.

We ALL have them- women and men. They influence everything from growth to sleep.  And lots in between. They are key to good health and happiness.

But what actually are they?  What do they do?  And why should you CARE?

Find out right here why hormones are like kids’ toys. And your favourite band!

And learn ways that you can try to keep them in balance.

What Are Hormones?

Let’s have a biology lesson first … not Snoozeville, I promise.

The hormone system is known as the “endocrine system” of the body.  It’s made up of lots of glands.  Glands produce chemicals called hormones. 
Hormones act like messengers in the body.  After being made in one part of the body, they travel to other parts of the body where they help control how stuff works …
… or DOESN’T WORK when hormones go haywire. More of that later.

What Do Hormones Do?

They regulate how we grow and develop. How we burn energy. Sex and baby-making. How we sleep. Our immune system. They influence moods and more.   A LOT of important stuff. 

Right, that’s it.  Lesson over.

Told you it wasn’t totally snoozeville.

 

Why Hormones Are Like Kids’ Toys

You know those kids’ toys?

The ones with lots of different shaped “holes” with shapes to fit in them?   Shape Sorters. Them.

Hormones are like that.

Hormones are the shapes. Designed to fit specific holes.  If the shape is changed it won’t fit. If a hormone changes slightly, it won’t work properly.

At molecule level, some hormones are very, very similar.  But slight differences can have big impact.

The difference between male and female.

The difference between conception or infertility.

The difference between Tigger and Eeyore.

 

Why Hormones Are Like Your Favourite Band

It’s not a huge leap from my metaphor of the kids’ toy, the huge difference a tiny change can make and onto your fave band. Honest.

Basically, hormones should work in harmony like your favourite band.

Hormone production, the chemical “message” itself and the transport of hormones ALL need to be in harmony for cells and organs to work properly.

Same as the band.

Each voice and instrument must play the right part, at the right time, in the right way to get the right sound.

Out of whack can make your ears bleed… the band I mean.  Not hormones. Your ears don’t usually bleed with hormone havoc.

Hormone Imbalance

Imbalance in one hormone can spark off a whole heap of problems.

Problems in the balance between hormones.

For example when we’re stressed, we produce high levels of the stress hormone (cortisol).  In turn, that affects the making of the hormone progesterone. Low progesterone can lead to tiredness, depression, sleeplessness, foggy thinking. Plus a raft of physical problems including period problems, migraines, weak bones and trouble getting pregnant,

Some hormones are actually MADE FROM other hormones.  Hormones can be TURNED BACK into other hormones. It depends on the body’s need.

These are complicated relationships. If there’s an imbalance or a hormone is missing, the impact can be big.

 

Yikes, How Can I Keep Hormones in Balance?

Eat For Nutrition

Vitamins, minerals and enzymes help hormones change into different hormones.  They also help cells carry the hormone’s “message”.

If you’re lacking in certain nutrients, you are risking hormone health.

Eat More Plants

Especially beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils and flaxseeds, as they are hormone balancing.   Read much more about why us girls should love beans right here in this fab blog.

Reduce Stress

Under stress, we pump out cortisol (the stress hormone). Your body makes cortisol from progesterone so your body might make more, but it’s using it for cortisol instead of other important functions. Like your monthly cycle.

The constant pumping of cortisol also stresses your adrenal glands, which might to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue can have similar symptoms to chronic fatigue.

Reduce Your “Toxic Load”

We live in a toxic world and we are toxic beings.  No offence intended there, lovely.

The air we breathe.  The water we drink. We’re surrounded.  Not just outside, but at home…in work…at school.

Any those nasties are health-harming.  Some are hormone harming.

Common sources of hormone harming chemicals are:

  • Cosmetics and toiletries …it’s estimated we’re slathering over 500 chemicals on our gorgeous selves a day.  Yikes.
  • Many plastics – think plastic drinking bottles, food storage ….
  • Cleaning products.  Mmm whats lurking under YOUR sink?
  • Car exhaust fumes.   Bleurgh.
  • Pesticides. Fungicides. Herbicides. Yes, garden stuff.
  • Meat from animals fed hormones to fatten them up.  Buy organic, grass fed.
  • And much more…

Stop using them.  Find better alternatives. If you need help, ask me.

Also check out www.ewg.org. 

Know Your Own Body

Get in tune with your body. Listen to it’s signs and symptoms.

Keeping a diary or journal can help A LOT.  It helps you spot triggers and patterns,. No need to write War and Peace. If you ever work with me, you’ll discover the secrets of the “Symptom Spotter Jotter”.

If there is anything that is unusual or worries you, see your Doctor.

 

Thanks for” listening” to my harping on about hormones.  With no giggling, eye rolling or smutty jokes.

But you should really give a HOOT, if you’re a wise owl.

If you want to learn more and calm YOUR hormone havoc to get back, join my Facebook Group Hormone Health HQ for The Peri Posse and Meno Mavens.

Love,

 

10 Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue And What To Do About It

10 Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue And What To Do About It.

10 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue and What To Do About It

 

10 Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue and What TO Do About It.

Hey lady, I recognise YOU.

Yes, YOU.

You’re the partner/mother/friend/worker/helper/student/carer/cook/cleaner/taxi driver/party-animal/hostess-with-the-mostess/*pile on MORE here*.

You’re busy. Super efficient. Zipping here and popping there. Always giving. Hardly ever complaining.

You ARE Superwomen…pants over the tights and everything.

And YOU are EXHAUSTED. STRESSED.

Too busy to look after yourself, huh?

It’s only a bit of weight gain.  Sure, it’s normal to be a bit forgetful once you’re in your 30s or more, right?  You’re not really a sugar-addict. 

You’re FINE (Fecked Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional? )

Let’s just check that you’re not TOO stressed. Let’s take a look at your adrenal glands.

Let’s look for signs of adrenal fatigue.

 

A Lickedy-Spit UNBORING Biology Lesson

If you’ve been busy and stressed for a long time, your poor old bod has been flat out. Flat out producing hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone) and other “up” hormones.

Your poor adrenals have been flat out.  Two glands that look like squished apricots.  They sit on top of your kidneys.

Adrenals give out hormones that affect energy, blood chemistry and more.

Adrenals are also important to our reactions to stress.

Speeding up our heart rate. Raising blood pressure. Narrowing blood vessels. Boosting blood sugar.

ALL so that we can do the fight or flight thing.  If a Woolly Mammoth was going to eat us.  Mother Nature designed us so that we could be ready when danger was near.

 

Woolly Mammoths

BUT I’ve had similar feelings.  When I was responsible for millions of pounds, hundreds of people and important projects with looming deadlines.  A “danger” that never went away.

And when such dangers are constant, our bodies are in “fear” mode all the time.  Our hormones are haywire.  We risk adrenal fatigue.  Mine got zonked.

Constant stress causes high levels of the stress hormone cortisol too.  Cortisol helps balance blood sugar.  It regulates inflammation in the body. It’s important for how our cells and muscles work.

But you can have too much of a good thing.

High cortisol can lead to weight gain, forgetfulness, sugar cravings, dry skin and much more.  Sound familiar?

And over time, the delicate balance gets out of whack.

When adrenal hormones get out of whack, other hormones can get out of whack.  It can affect your cycle, fertility, thyroid function and much more.

So how do you know when you have adrenal fatigue?

 

10 Possible Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue

These are common signs and symptoms:-

 

  • Constant tiredness, especially after exercise (if you can be bothered).  Or even trying to get out of bed.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Low metabolism and/or low thyroid.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Low immune system and catching coughs, colds and ‘flu.
  • Irregular periods with sore/lumpy breasts.  Also lack of ovulation and difficulty falling pregnant. 
  • Allergies and/or asthma.
  • Depression. 
  • Trouble handling stress and coping with life. 
  • Dark patches, freckles and darkening of the skin. 

If you have any or all of the signs, see your Doctor. They will be able to help diagnose with tests.

But what can you do to help yourself?

Self Care For Adrenal Fatigue

AVOID LIKE A PLAGUE

  • More stress, obvs.
  • Stimulants – yes please quit the caffeine…coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeinated drinks. And cut back on the booze.
  • Sugar and refined carbs because they send your blood sugar, energy and moods on a rollercoaster.
  • Processed foods, non-organic meats and dairy – basically avoid chemicals, added hormones and GMO.

WHAT TO DO

  • Manage stress and busy-ness. Get support or help. Exercise. Meditate. Get creative. Grab “me time”. Do whatever it takes.
  • Get enough rest and sleep.  They are not the same thing.  BOTH are important.
  • Eat for nutrition. Plenty of veggies and fruits, good fats, good quality protein, complex carbs. And stay well hydrated.
  • Take the best quality multivitamin and mineral complex you can afford. You get what you pay for. See a nutritional therapist for specific advice to you.

 

Lovely lady, if ANY of this sounds like you, STOP. Right now. You’re not fine, you’re F.I.N.E

Speak with your Doctor for a diagnosis and start with some super self-care. Today.

Love, Kathy x

Help – I Need A Sex Drive Boost

HELP! I Need A Sex Drive Boost

Help – I Need A Sex Drive Boost.

 

Are you like Boy George, who once said he’d rather have a cup of tea, than sex?

Is it causing issues in your relationship? Or holding you back from looking for a partner?

Lady, you’re not alone.  It CAN happen to anyone.  And it’s not about always about being “a certain age”.

It can be tough admitting it when everyone seems to be having mind-blowing sex ….in adverts, on TV, in films, in Fifty-Shades-of-Grey erotic books.  It’s knackering watching it all go on, let alone DOING it.

There can be different reasons your sex-drive tanks.  Often it’s temporary.  And we all have naturally different sex drives anyway. What’s normal for you, may be different for the next person.

The good news is that you can give yourself a sex drive boost naturally with some of my top tips.  IF you want to relight your fire.

 

Reasons For Libido Loss

Let’s just start with a few reasons you might need a sex drive boost.

Relationship Issues

Yes, it could be anything from a problem that’s crept between you, anything from communication issues to a lousy lover. Sometimes relationship problems impact your sex life when they have nothing to do with sex , like money worries.  Which leads me to …

Stress and Depression

When you’re stressed, your body makes and pumps major stress hormones. More stress hormones can mean less sex hormones.  So your sex drives flags.

For some couples trying to conceive, sex becomes a source of stress.  Because it’s all about ovulation and baby-making. Ironically, the stress of trying to make a baby can reduce sex drive.

But it doesn’t matter what the source of stress is – it can still impact libido.

Stress often comes with busy-ness and tiredness – no-one wants to make sweet love when they’re literally struggling to stay awake… in the middle of their favourite soap opera.

Depression too can interfere with your daily life, including your sex life.

Life Events

I’m thinking pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding mainly.  Your hormones can be haywire, you can be totally knackered and so your sex-drive tanks.

Self Confidence

I have had many clients tell me they feel unattractive or unsexy at some time and THAT affects their sex life. Whether they’re young whippersnappers, frazzled Mums or Perimenopausal Princesses.

I’m sure many of us girls can relate to this at some point of our lives.

Hormone Imbalance

The hormones that improve sex drive are testosterone (yes we girls have it too) and progesterone.

Imbalances in these can cause low libido. Where oestrogen is high in relation to progesterone, it’s often called Oestrogen Dominance. High oestrogen can squish sex drive.

Low thyroid function can also affect your love life.

If your sex drive reduces, it’s always worth checking with your Doctor there is no underlying cause like this.

Medications

There are many prescribed medications that can cause your sex drive to nose dive.  You need a sex drive boost.

Many women know that anti-depressants can have that affect.

Did you also know that the contraceptive pill affects libido?  The very pill that overrides natural hormone cycles to enable you to have sex with little chance of pregnancy, can CAUSE low libido. Isn’t. It. Ironic?

But hold on!  Don’t just stop taking any prescribed meds – you must speak with your doctor to agree a plan to stop taking them.  If you read the smallprint in your med packets and they mention low libido as as side-effect, speak with your Doctor.

Alcohol

While one glass of something alcoholic may help you relax and get in the mood for love, don’t overdo it.  Too much alcohol risks snoring and drooling on the carpet.  With the promise of a hellish hangover. No sexy-time for you.

The same is true for some recreational drugs.

“Maturing”

I  hate the word “ageing” – we’re like fine wine, girls, are we not?

Sex drive can lower as we mature, but not always.

In peri-menopause or after menopause it can be associated with vaginal dryness AND all the other reasons mentioned here.  Including hormone imbalance. Testosterone production can reduce after menopause.  And that can affect sex drive.

If you thought everyone needs sex drive boost as we mature, check out my blog on menopause myths.   It’s not true…

 

 

5 Ways to Boost Your Sex Drive

Love Up Your Liver

That might seem whacky, but read on.

If hormone imbalance is behind your waning sex drive, and you have oestrogen in excess,  you need to get that old oestrogen out of your system. That means boosting digestion and loving your liver to help eliminate i.e. poop out old hormones.

So take in plenty of fibre, eat for nutrition and drink lots of filtered water.  Knock the booze on the head. Quit caffeine.  Sack off sugar.

Get more top tips on liver love right here.

Eat A Sexy Diet

For sexy diet, read Hormone Friendly diet.  Basically, eat for nutrition. Food is fuel and food is medicine. Cut down on alcohol, caffeine and sugar.  Yada yada. You can find some more info on eating right in this blog. 

Some foods are said to be aphrodisiac. Foods rich in zinc, including oysters, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate (NOT a family slab of milk choc) boost libido, as do maca, ginseng and ginkgo.

Ditch the Pill

Th pill has been touted as the ticket to a worry-free sex life, but it can lower libido.

It also comes with a raft of potential side effects and depletes our bodies of valuable nutrients.

Please make an informed choice about contraception.

And consider carefully when the pill is offered for other issues.  Many women tell me they have ben prescribed the pill for cycle issues, acne and much more.  There are other ways to start addressing those things.  Please start with natural ways.

Exercise

Exercise reduces stress and increase libido. Twice yay.

Choose activities that you will enjoy and can fit into your life, so that you are likely to keep them up.

Ideally do something a few times a week and incorporate more “activity” into your life generally…gardening, housework, walking, take the stairs, washing the car by hand, playing sports with the kids.  Pillow fight?

Relax and Unwind

Reducing your stress levels can help improve your sex drive. It’s better to tackle the causes of stress head on.

If you can’t do that immediately, find ways of coping.

Exercising is a great way to start de-stressing.  You could also try meditation and there are some great online resources and apps to get you started. Or buy some cds.

Getting enough sleep is also key.  You thought bedtime routines were just for kids – heck no!  Work out ways to get enough good quality sleep yourself.  There are some tips in this blog about insomnia.

Where sex becomes the source of tension e.g. when couples are trying for a baby or haven’t been having much sex, relax and enjoy.  Put to one side how often, timing and all that shizzle.  Have fun together, enjoy each other’s company, be romantic, hold hands, take a bath, have that pillow fight and see what happens.

 

Other Expert Help

Where you suspect there may be a medical issue, do speak with your Doctor.

They can check to see if there are any medical conditions behind your problems, like low thyroid or hormone imbalances. And discuss possible treatment options.

If you need specialist support to heal your relationship or for sexual issues, also check out experts.

Check out RELATE for relationship counselling in the UK.

If you think you’d prefer a sexual counsellor , look for one who is a member of the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) or the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine.

 

So that’s it ladies, my 5 tips for a natural sex drive boost. I’m off for a cup of tea.  Now, why does that makes me think of Boy George?

Love,

 

What is A Hormone Friendly Lifestyle?

What is a hormone friendly lifestyle?

What Is A Hormone Friendly Lifestyle v 2 ?

 

I’m like a stuck record I know.

Everywhere I write, speak or post, I’m banging on about a “Hormone Friendly Lifestyle” for women.

So what IS it?

Why should you give two hoots, anyway?

How can you get one? Pronto.

WHAT IS A HORMONE FRIENDLY LIFESTYLE?

You can’t do much about the genes that you got from your parents.  You CAN influence whether those genes get “switched on” or not. You can do that with diet and lifestyle.  The science is called “epigenetics”.

A hormone friendly lifestyle is making choices that support good general health and balanced hormones… whatever you inherited from your folks. So you can live a longer, happier, healthier life.  And reduce risk of illness.

The same follows that if you live a really healthy lifestyle, you’ll pass healthier genes to your children. That’s got to be worth it, right?

 

THE BASICS OF A HEALTH & HORMONE FRIENDLY LIFESTYLE

Eat well

Eat good quality protein, essential fats, wholegrains, fibre and lots of veggies and some fruit.

Avoid processed foods with additives, preservatives, GMOs and other nasties.

Choose organic, unsprayed and “wild” foods.

Reduce or avoid sugar in all it’s forms.  Ditto those yucky trans fats.

Supplements are an individual thing. It’s likely that many people will lack Vitamin D in the Northern Hemisphere in winter, because we make it from sunshine.  In the UK, soil now has a low selenium levels so many of us will have deficiencies.

It’s better for health to choose cookware and food storage that is made from natural substances – cast iron, steel, wood, glass, china.  Other materials like copper and aluminium pans or teflon or plastic wrap can leach into food.

Microwaving changes the structure of food.

Drink Wisely

Drink plenty of filtered water and herbal teas.  Don’t drink things from plastic bottles – they are quite likely made from BPA, which is a hormone harmer.

Reduce or avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Manage Your Weight/Fat Stores

It’s important to be the right weight for your height and build.  Body Mass Index can be a useful indicator although it’s possible for a healthy and fit person to have a high BMI.

Percentage body fat is a really good measure. Where fat is stored is also important.  Carrying fat around the middle is more risk to health than being “pear shaped”.

 

A pair of female feet standing on a bathroom scale

Just Say No

…to smoking and street drugs.  No brainer.

Get Your Zeds

Get plenty of good quality sleep. I mean sleep, not just rest and relaxation. Try to get 8 hours a night.

Move Your Butt

Take regular, gentle exercise – at least 30 minutes per day.

Varying exercise makes good sense.  So that you are raising your heart rate, burning fat, toning, strengthening and improving flexibility.

Do something that’s fun and easy to fit into your life, so you stick with it.

Look After Your Health

Take care of your health, generally.

Speak with your Doctor if you suspect any general illness, infections, allergies and intolerances, parasites, injuries etc.

Think Carefully About Over-The-Counter, Prescribed Meds & Artificial Hormones

Meds do come with risks and side-effects. Choose wisely.

They can deplete us nutritionally in time. So we develop symptoms of nutrient deficiency. And we might end up with MORE meds to treat those…when we actually need better nutrition.

Artificial hormones from contraceptive pills, implants, HRT have risks, side-effects and lower nutrients.

They also interfere with natural hormones and cycles. Some women using hormonal contraception say that it can take time for their cycle to settle down when they stop using it.

Live “Clean”

There are toxic, health-harming substances in our food, the air we breathe, tap water, the stuff we use to clean our homes, new carpets/furnishings are more, the cosmetics we put on our faces/bodies/hair, the preparations we put on our pets and in the things are use to make gardens grow and kill off weeds/pests.

They can be harmful to us and our environment.

Choose organic/natural/eco friendly or reduce use.

You know about my addiction to all things Neals Yard for cosmetics, toiletries and more, don’t you? Organic and gorgeous stuff.  Safe for us and the environment too.

Reduce Stress

Long term and chronic stress can really damage health – physical, mental and emotional health.

It’s best to manage the cause and not just the symptoms.

Make Sensible Use of “Technology”

It’s now widely believed that sunbeds are bad news for skin and x rays and other body scans should be used as really needed.

Some also choose to be careful about new technology, where there are no very long term studies available e.g. mobile phones.

 

So that’s it – a healthy, hormone-friendly lifestyle.  The basics to protect or boost your general health and fertility.

How healthy is your lifestyle?

Love,

 

 

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