• Julie McClure

What It Means To Be Hormonally Balanced

Updated: Jan 25

Hormonal balance... *sigh*. I know, it sounds like a dream. But, while there’s no such thing as absolute perfection, there is such a thing as being hormonally balanced. Here are key signs that you're on track.

Regular Periods


When I was in high school, I was an athlete and I recall having a friend whose period stopped for several months. She surely wasn’t pregnant (unless by immaculate conception), so I wondered what was going on with her body. This is a common, albeit sad, story not only for younger women, but for women of all ages, depending on their hormone levels. A healthy period depends on different hormones coming and going on time – or as they please, which often seems to be the case.


Managed PMS


Start of the month? PMS. End of the month? PMS. Sometimes it feels like you’re suffering from PMS symptoms more often than not. And while PMS is very common, it’s actually not so normal. Hear this: it is actually possible to not dread ‘that time of the month’, or sob after watching an animal welfare commercial, or viciously crave chocolate. Reducing inflammation and fixing nutritional deficiencies can help prevent it – all of it. To take such preventative measures, try taking vitamins and minerals, like B Complex vitamins and Magnesium, on the daily. Need a good rec? Top Up Tonic will work magic after just two months of consistent use.


Stable Mood


If your hormones are acting up, chances are, you are, too. Was it necessary to snap at your partner in that way? Probably not. But, your hormones made you do it! Hormone imbalances impact the thyroid, which has a major impact on mood and can cause depression and anxiety. Keep yourself active, rested, and full of nutrients to maintain your mood throughout the month… and while you’re at it, have a read on how to manage stress, which plays a significant part.


Improved Energy


Here it is again: the thyroid. A humming thyroid is necessary for adequate and stable energy. Think of it as the body’s thermostat, where tiny changes can have a major impact. An under-active thyroid slows everything down; making you cold, tired and foggy. The stress hormone, Cortisol, tells your thyroid how to behave. Cortisol is made in the cortex of the adrenal glands and then released into the body (more on that here). Almost every cell in the body contains receptors for cortisol, making it oh-so-popular, and the HPA axis controls the secretion of it. While some amount of cortisol is crucial, too much can slow down the thyroid and wreak havoc on your system: low/no sex drive, irregular periods, food cravings, and more. So, keep yourself on a low-stress diet and treat that thyroid like a queen in her castle!


Improved Digestion


Here, there’s no such thing as TMI. I suffer from occasional constipation and let me tell you — huge buzzkill (I could go into detail, but let’s just leave it there for now). Constipation makes every day feel slow, bloated, and downright uncomfortable. An under-active thyroid (her again) slows down your digestion, while an overactive one can cause loose stool. So, where’s the balance? Taking essential nutrients, like Zinc, Selenium and Iodine in their most bioavailable form is key. The ‘good bacteria’ found in top-notch probiotics are also key to leveling out that thyroid. Top Up Tonic to the rescue!



Better Bone Health


Estrogen is an MVP of bone health. Women who are undernourished or athletes who are overtrained might suffer from low estrogen levels. When the body continuously fails to meet nutritional needs, it shuts down the reproductive system by lowering the production of reproductive hormones. This causes a woman to lose her period (amenorrhea) – like my high school friend – and have an increased risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis. Sadly, this pattern is common in female athletes, especially gymnasts. The combination of amenorrhea, under-eating (disordered eating) and osteoporosis is termed the “Female Athlete Triad.” And it’s surely one designation that no one is striving for in this arena.



Better Skin


If you were anything like me at sixteen, you thought buying whatever miracle creams the glossy magazines advertised would finally give you flawless skin. Shockingly, that strawberry-scented

mystery wash did not have such effects. So much of your skin’s health comes from within. Androgens — such as testosterone and androstenedione — can cause acne. These sex hormones are released by the adrenal glands, ovaries and testes, and are converted to estrogen within the female body. Androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands, which produce oil or sebum that, in excess, clogs pores and leads to more acne. Excess androgens can have other ‘virilizing’ effects, like excess facial hair growth and thinning head hair (obviously no fun, especially along with, say, the aforementioned constipation…). They can also cause insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Yikes.


In essence, balanced hormones lead to fewer breakouts, especially around your period. You’ll want to include in your daily regimen: Zinc, Vitamin C, potent antioxidants, and collagen in order to nourish your skin from the inside-out. Oh, and don’t forget those probiotics! Remember: your skin is a reflection of your internal health, so forget the face-wash-of-the-month and focus on keeping your insides clean + balanced. Your face will thank you.


Stable Weight and Less Bloating


It’s incredibly annoying to feel heavier at certain parts of the month – and to have no excuse, like your meal from the night before. I’d wager to guess that, like many (maybe even you?), I've always just accepted my bloat. But, there are actually ways to combat it. Listen to this…


We now know that hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) slows everything down. And when your digestion and metabolism is slow, it’s easier to gain weight. Sadly, this makes sense. So, again, to stabilize your thyroid is to stabilize your weight. Ensure you’re getting ample amounts of Selenium, Zinc, and Iodine to do so.


High cortisol levels can also lead to muscle breakdown and increased fat deposits in the

abdominal region. When your stress increases, so does your cortisol level, which causes the

body to retain water and – you guessed it – bloat. Without fixing this internal process, it’s nearly impossible to shed those few extra pounds. So, kick that stress to the curb and focus on nutrients!


Let me end by reiterating that we don’t need to spend our months tired, moody, bloated, and PMS-ing. Instead, focus on balancing your hormones to feel better, look better, and do more with your days. Keep following along for more on how to hack your hormones.

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