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Improving your Hormonal Health

Improving your Hormonal Health

It not even Thanksgiving yet but I’ve got a homemade pumpkin pie currently baking in the oven. I’m disappointed in myself for giving into my monthly cravings and not just waiting the 2 weeks we have left before Thanksgiving... but I’m super proud of myself for taking it to the next level and baking it all from scratch. I started with the pumpkin! 

So lets talk about Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which has a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings (cue my pumpkin pie), fatigue, irritability and depression. It's estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome. We start to accept that once a month, for a week or maybe only a few days, we feel crabby, frustrated, anxious, bloated. 

I’m not sure which syndromes plague you but for me I’ve always been stuck in mood swings, irritability and food cravings. But PMS isn’t really something you have to live with, you can prevent PMS completely naturally. PMS is a symptom of… drum roll please! HORMONES. Well, more specifically, a hormonal imbalance and that imbalance is fixable! 

OMG, I know what you’re thinking. Hormones, again! Can’t we just take a pill to fix it all ;) Well let’s face it, “treatments” like birth control either don’t work or are actually the cause of your troubles. Plus they leave you with a ton of unwanted side effects. 

No, unfortunately we have to do it the step by step, way. The “from scratch” way. In the end, it will be just like making a pumpkin pie, starting with the pumpkin because it all comes down to hormonal imbalance: too much estrogen and too little progesterone. The cause of this: life riddled with stress, diets, chemicals, and elevated cortisol levels. 

How do we fix it? Start with making smart choices about what you eat when you’re on your cycle. 

Here is your check list:

1. Exercise, I can’t stress enough how much this will change your life. I’ve gotten out of two depressions from exercise. My choice of exercise = swing dancing. It can be anything that gets you’re blood moving, breaks a sweat and leaves you exhausted enough to just pass out the second your head hits the pillow.  
Studies show that physical activity can strongly influence hormonal health. It has the ability to reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that allows cells to take up sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream which are then used for energy and maintaining muscle. Another bonus is physical activity helps boost levels of muscle-maintaining hormones that decline with age. So exercise… keeps you young! If you can’t perform vigorous exercise, try walking regularly as this will still help. Plus we have to work off that Pumpkin pie ;)
2. Stress management, in this day in age is a must! Two major hormones affected by stress are cortisol and adrenaline, which is also called epinephrine. Your stress hormone is known as Cortisol. It helps your body cope with stress over a long period of time. And have you heard of “fight-or-flight” that’s your adrenaline hormone that provides your body with energy to respond to immediate danger. However today, those hormones are triggered by your life (that report that you should have finished or the road rag driver that cut you off this morning). 
The bad news is, if you don’t manage these then it will cause cortisol levels to remain elevated, which may lead to obesity and belly fat. While your elevated adrenaline levels create high blood pressure, rapid heart rate and anxiety. What will help? Exercise or on the more mellow end: meditation, yoga, massage or listening to calming music. Try to devote at least 10–15 minutes per day to stress-reducing activities, even if you don't feel you have the time.
3. Consistent, quality Sleep! We all know how much sleep changes our day but did you know how it changes your hormones? Poor sleep has been linked to imbalances of many hormones, including insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin and growth hormone. However it may be even harder to fall asleep during your menstrual cycle because at that time your having fluctuating levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can affect a woman's ability to fall and stay asleep.
So if you can’t sleep as well, try keeping your bedroom cool, de-stress before bed (I love meditation tapes. They seem corny at first but if you just listen to what they are saying, it actually works). Also try sleeping in the fetal position. All in all, maintaining good sleep hygiene on a daily bases will make this week easier all around. 
4. Try natural supplements that promote hormone balance. S'moo is specially formulated to help women balance their hormones and has helped hundreds feel relief from PMS. 

 

At the end of a long day, as you’re eating that fresh pumpkin pie, it’s important to remember that your hormones are part of every aspect of your health. Hormonal imbalances can causes a lot of health problems and even though aging among other factors can set them off balance, the steps above can put you on the right track again. 

Consuming nutritious foods, exercising on a regular basis and engaging in other healthy behaviors can go a long way toward improving your hormonal health.

P.S. Here is the pumpkin pie recipe I used. Happy almost Thanksgiving 

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Medical Disclaimer

This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.