Good Morning Lovlies,
In honor of PCOS awareness, today’s topic will be hormonal wellness. One of the underlying issues with PCOS is the inability to balance hormones to work for the body and not against it. When you go to the doctor, of course they try to throw all sorts of medication in your system in hopes that some cocktail of doses work. However, it usually takes a little more than the prescribed Metformin, Birth Control, and other medications to assist in keeping the body in balance with PCOS.
Through my journey, I really began focusing on my nutrition and ways that I can keep myself in check naturally while also on limited medication. Here are some of the ways that I have researched and use to help maintain hormonal harmony:
Increase you intake of Omega-3
Omega-3 fats are essential in maintaining optimal hormonal function. In fact, one of the major causes for weight fluctuations and gain is the over consumption of polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils, peanut oils, soybean oils, etc.) These fats add layers of underlying fat to the body, preventing cells from functioning properly. However, the consumption of Omega-3 fats, do the exact opposite for cellular and hormonal function. Fats such as Coconut Oil is amazing for hormone health. It is known to assist in hormone production, assist in weight loss, and reduce inflammation. Other quality sources of fats include avocados, animal fats, olive oil, grass fed meats, pastured eggs, real butter (not margarine) and raw dairy. Quality seafood is also very important, as it is nature’s best source of naturally occurring Omega-3s.
Limit the Caffeine
I know that we as an American people love our Starbuck’s but too much caffeine can actually send the body into hormonal distress. Another area too much Caffeine impacts is blood sugar regulation. For me, that is essential, because I am insulin resistant, so anything I can do to minimize blood sugar spikes is key. Replacing with Herbal Teas is so much more beneficial, and keeps your body at peace.
Get Optimal Rest
In a nation that almost never sleeps or takes adequate breaks, it is essential that if you are suffering with hormonal disorders that you find ways to sleep. It is almost like an Oxymoron with PCOS because many sufferers experience insomnia spells. What has assisted me is natural supplements such as spearmint tea, Inositol combined with Choline, and Melatonin. I try now to get at least 6 hours in order to keep my body at perfect peace and to maintain consistent hormonal function.
Exercise, Exercise, and again EXERCISE
It is more than just losing weight for PCOS sufferers, exercise regulates the body and assists in cellular function. I always notice when I stop exercising for a while….my skin gets dry, my hair gets brittle and my sleep patterns get thrown off. Exercise for me is a must, even if its just 20 minutes a day, I have to get some form of activity in.
Buy Organic Meat and Produce
In the past, I have been criticized for the level of money I spend on grocery and where I shop. However, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a real side effect for many with PCOS. In a previous post I spoke on bloating (I still have to do Part II to that post), and what also has helped me is getting my meat and produce primarily from Farmer’s Market’s. Digestive Health is so essential because so much gets trapped in your gut that harms you. Toxins, Chemicals, and other unnatural disturbances really impact your quality of life more than you know. I always say the purer the better in terms of nutrition.
Supplement, Supplement, and Supplement
So sadly, when you suffer from Endocrine Disorders, many times you have deficiencies in needed vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. For me I suffer with Vitamin D, Iron, and Vitamin B deficiencies. Each of these Vitamins are essential, especially the B Vitamins as they are known to regulate metabolism, cell function, and energy levels. Two of the most significant factors with PCOS is that you are constantly tired, lethargic, and have very sluggish weight-loss. In-taking a series of Vitamin B Complex truly does assist with that. I currently take 3,000mg of Biotin, 1,000mg of Choline/Inositol and a Daily Energy B Complex. My body feels wonderful once I pop these in. In addition, if you are on Metformin, it is a known side effect that it depletes Vitamin B from your system. D3 and Folic Acid are also two of my other favorites as well. I try to take 1,000mg of each a day as well. Many may ask why don’t I just take a multivitamin, well for the most part, I get the rest of my nutrition through the foods I eat. I mainly focus on what I know for a fact my blood-work shows I lack.
I also season many of my foods with cinnamon, tumeric, ginger, and cumin, cayenne, garlic, as all are known to help with hormonal function over time. Diet is so important with PCOS and in life in general. It really makes the largest impact on your symptoms when done right.
Lastly, I drink Spearmint tea due to its ability to help reduce hirsutism. It helps to reduce the androgen production and causes hair growth to lessen in those who suffer with abnormal hair growth like myself. Carbohydrate maintenance also plays a major role as well.
I hope you enjoyed this informational session and even if you don’t have PCOS maybe something here will help you feel more balanced and whole :).