As women, we're told by medical providers that our symptoms are related to stress, age, mothering, lack of mothering, and that we should accept our misery as a normal part of womanhood.
Well, if these symptoms are so normal, why doesn’t every woman feel these symptoms? If they are normal, why do few women in Japan or Indonesia complain of hot flashes, anxiety, weight gain, interrupted sleep and increased pain in their 40s?
I can tell you why. It’s because in westernized cultures, these symptoms are common, but they aren’t normal … and WE CAN DO BETTER!
We don’t have to settle for:
- Weight gain
- Hot flashes
- Bloating and swelling
- Headaches and pain
We can fix this!
I'm not saying that stress and age don't play a role in these symptoms, but that is not the end of the explanation. As we age, shifts in the balance of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone can increase hormone-related symptoms. Stress increases cortisol and can play a role in glucose regulation, which exacerbates sex hormone shifts. Common stress responses such as drinking alcohol, eating sugar or consuming excess caffeine push these hormones even further out of whack.
The truth is that women today are over-burdened, overwhelmed, overly inundated with information, and chronically under-supported by their doctors.
Your provider likely doesn’t know what to do to move your body back into balance, so they tell you that your misery is normal.
You deserve better and just because you’re moving through a decade-long hormone transition, you don’t have to suffer, and you don’t have to settle. And ladies, this also applies to your teen daughters! This is what you need to know:
1. Your liver needs support
Your liver is responsible for clearing excess estrogen which is an essential aspect of hormone balance. During hormone transitions, (adolescence and peri-menopause) erratic swings in estrogen put more pressure on the liver to do this efficiently. Lifestyle AND genetic factors affect how well the liver can accomplish this task and there are specific nutrients and molecules that can improve the function of the liver. We are super fans of Axis Endo, a product by Metagenics that supports all phases of liver detox and improves overall hormone balance.
2. Soluble fiber is critical for hormone balance
Once your liver binds estrogen for excretion, it is shuttled into the small intestine where it has two fates; it is either reabsorbed into your bloodstream, further increasing estrogen imbalance or it’s trapped by soluble fiber and moved into the colon and ultimately into your toilet. Regular consumption of dietary soluble fiber throughout the day drops estrogen into a healthy range. For best results, try to consume 15-20g soluble fiber/day. We are super fans of Florasophy, developed by Megan in response to our patients' varied needs.
3. There is no shame in a little progesterone
Sometimes, even with the best lifestyle decisions, progesterone levels become erratic and lead to horrible symptoms such as anxiety and insomnia. We regularly support our female patients with progesterone for the second half of their cycle which successfully mitigates these symptoms and improves quality of life.
4. A glucose-balancing and anti-inflammatory diet will change your life
Adjusting your diet for optimal performance gives women an edge on a demanding life. Further, this individualized dietary approach drops inflammation and histamine in such a meaningful way that virtually every irritating symptom improves or is fully alleviated including pain, swelling, fatigue, headaches, bloating, skin blemishes, and mood swings.
5. You can and you SHOULD feel amazing—and you deserve a provider that knows that
Every day we work with women that have been told that they must suffer through years of horrendous symptoms because it’s "normal." The reality is, it’s not normal and you don’t have to settle for this uninformed advice. You can feel amazing, you should feel amazing, and you deserve to feel amazing. It is within your reach, so reach out. We can help.