Women: If you feel your hormones are off, they probably are.

As a millennial female on a quest for optimal health, I can’t help but wonder…DO I HAVE A HORMONE IMBALANCE?!

It’s pretty easy to jump to such conclusions amidst the trending “thyroid” epidemic and hormone-health craze currently overtaking the wellness world…

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That’s why I was eager to chat with Naturopathic Doctor and expert in Women’s Hormone Health, Dr. Laura Belus. In her early adult years her recurrent migraines and acne led her to natural medicine for relief. She now helps women in her clinical practice balance hormones for weight loss, improve stress management & digestion. Her ultimate passion helping patients look & feel their best.

So, the question of the month is…

What should we be on the look-out for that could indicate that we have an hormone imbalance?

“I always tell women, if you feel your hormones are off, they probably are. But from a medical standpoint, the most common hormonally related symptoms are: irregular or painful periods, PMS (yes even though this is common, it occurs because of an imbalance and is not 'normal'), weight gain, hair thinning and acne.”

The Easy Way Out? The Seemingly Perfect Band-Aid?

Birth Control.

Seemingly being the key word.

Hormonal birth control is not a solution to a hormonal imbalance. Sure it can help mask symptoms in the short term, and is sometimes necessary. But women need to know that the pill can have impacts on their gut health, mood, and even fertility after they decide to come off.

Even something as simple as nutrient depletions while on oral contraception--many women don't know that the pill rids their body of most of the B vitamins, so they need to be on a B complex to keep themselves healthy!”

2 Easy Ways to Restore (or Maintain) HEALTHY Hormone Levels:

Diet and stress.

First, diet - if you are having any hormonal imbalance concerns going super low carb may actually hurt you more than help in the long term. Everyone's needs are different but focusing on healthy fats, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates (even if only 2-3 x per week) can help keep your reproductive & thyroid hormones in check.

Stress is a huge area for young women & their hormonal health. Basically, the more stressed you are, the less progesterone you have in the body (this can cause more frequent cycles, spotting, anxiety and infertility). Take 5-10 minutes every day to practice mindfulness, gratitude or some self-care can make a world of difference.

Best Foods For Stressed Out Women?

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“There are so many! To keep it simple I recommend a balance of detoxing & nourishing foods to help overall estrogen & progesterone balance.

Some of my favourite detoxing foods are ground flax, broccoli and lemon.

Nourishing foods that contain more magnesium, zinc and B vitamins such as pumpkin seeds, almonds, oats and sweet potatoes should be the focus during the 2nd half of your monthly cycle (when progesterone is highest).”

Want more hormone-balancing goodness? Dr. Laura loves helping women balance their hormones naturally, but it’s never a simple one-step process (even if we all wish it was). That’s why I suggest you check out her 3-part Healthy Hormone Reset plan. It’s a detailed step-by-step program to detox, reduce stress and heal the gut for long lasting hormonal health. Her goal is to get as many women as possible living their best, healthiest lives-- and it starts with healthy hormones!