19 October 2018
Instructor Chloe Eastwood and Nutrition and Health Blogger Madeleine Shaw explain how to handle hormonal imbalances.
I think it is safe to say we have all battled with hormonal imbalances at some stage in our lives, whether it's during your pregnancy, time of the month, menopause or another point in your life. Regardless, hormones can have a huge impact on our lives and I want to share with you my experience with hormonal imbalance.
After a year of not quite feeling myself along with other symptoms such as losing my period, hot flushes, mood changes, nausea and headaches, I realised it was time to really look into the cause, after all, I live a very active and healthy lifestyle. After various test results I found out that I had a hormonal imbalance called Hypogondatropic. Having Hypogondatropic means my body doesn’t naturally produce oestrogen, affecting your pituitary gland and resulting in an absence of your period amongst other issues.
For anyone that might be going or has gone through this, you will know what a rollercoaster ride it is. The purpose of this article is to help people who maybe going through something similar explore the benefits of fitness and nutrition.
This blog post is split into two sections, exercise and how it can improve your bone health, which can deteriorate if your oestrogen levels drop. And then, to cover nutrition I would like to introduce Madeleine Shaw, a health and nutrition blogger and all round wonderful being. I’ve been doing one-to-one barre sessions with Madeline since the birth of her son, and it's so great that we can both share our knowledge here together.
Resistance based exercise can improve your bone health
When your oestrogen levels drop it can affect the density and the health of your bones. By engaging in regular exercise, especially resistance based workouts such as barre, it can help to improve your bone growth and structure.
Ever been in a forearm fold over and felt that burning sensation in you standing leg? This ache is your body creating osteoblast, the cells which form and strengthen bone. Exercises such as this will help prevent osteoporosis in the future, for example, when going through the menopause.
Exercise is incredibly important if you do have a hormonal imbalance or any other bone related issues, so next time you feel that delicious burn through the standing leg, push through and think of those incredible benefits you’re creating within your body.
Always listen to your body when it comes to exercise, know when to push yourself and when to take a step back. You want to enter and leave your class feeling happy and healthy releasing those endorphins (our happy hormone) throughout your class, so that you can work in harmony with your hormones. Working out should never feel like something you have to do, you should do it because it makes you feel good from within.
Nutrition: How your diet can effect your hormones
What you eat can greatly impact your hormones. One of the best places to start if you have a hormonal imbalance is to increase your essential fatty acids. Essential fats are fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they also keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss. Essential fatty acids come from fish, flax seeds, eggs, chia seeds and walnuts. Try adding a tbsp of flaxseeds into your smoothie each morning, have a handful of walnuts as a snack and aim to have fish 3 x per week.
Evening primrose oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, such as LA and GLA, that support overall hormonal function. Supplementing with evening primrose oil can help to relieve premenstrual and PCOS symptoms.
Vitamin D is another great one to supplement with especially in the winter months. It acts like a hormone inside the body and has important implications for keeping inflammation levels low. It also helps reduce SAD syndrome.
Good bacteria in your gut can help regulate your hormones such as insulin, ghrelin and leptin. Boosting this through probiotics, fermented foods and yogurt can help.
The final thing is to look at your stress levels. Stress is one of the biggest causes of imbalance in the body so try and incorporate daily exercise, meditation and lots of wind-down time in your life.
This article was written by guest authors Chloe Eastwood and Madeleine Shaw.