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10 Things Every Woman Needs To Know About Her Hormones

10 Things Every Woman Needs To Know About Her Hormones

It seems like whenever anything emotional happens for a woman, we say, “it’s the hormones!” Whether she’s pregnant, PMSing, having her period, in menopause, pre-menopausal – whatever – it seems like there’s always a reason to blame hormones for a woman feeling a little out of whack – or acting that way. Sometimes, though, it is absolutely true. If this seems to be the case for you, consider these 10 things every woman should know about her hormones.

1. It must be your hormones!

Hormones are bio chemicals secreted by glands that travel through the circulatory system to target physiological functions in different organs of human body. They are delicate and can go out of whack if not handled carefully creating a host of health problems. Stress, unhealthy eating habits, medication, PCOS, pregnancy are some factors that can trigger off an imbalance in women.

Endocrine glands, which are special groups of cells, make hormones. The major endocrine glands are the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands, and pancreas. In addition, men produce hormones in their testes and women produce them in their ovaries. Estrogen, Progesterone, Cortisol, insulin resistance, Testosterone are hormones that normally affect women.

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2. How do they affect women?

Common symptoms are persistent weight gain, anxiety, depression, loss of libido, fatigue, infertility, growth and development, food cravings, digestion problems, belly fat and slow metabolism.

3. Keep them in harmony by detoxing correctly.

Toxins found in pesticides, plastics, household chemicals can contain hormone disrupting chemicals that mimic hormones in the body and keep the body from producing real hormones. Birth control pills can do the same thing. Detoxing helps. However, do not crash diet. Detoxing correctly requires specific daily nutrient intake.

4. Release tension and relieve stress.

Stress releases cortisol in the body throwing hormones out of whack. It is best to try some combination of low impact aerobic and strength exercise with stretching. Swimming and Yoga are best options.

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5. Eat right foods at the right time.

If you follow a balanced diet which includes organic fruits and vegetables, grains, brown rice, lentils, nuts, cereals, chia seeds, quinoa and sprouts, much of the problems arising out of hormone imbalance can be avoided. You can even extend and improve your fertility by including Omega 3 fatty fish, blueberries, cinnamon, honey, oysters, dairy, poultry in your diet. They are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that are great for reproductive health.Natasha Turner, author of  best seller ‘The Hormone Diet’ suggests eating at the same time routinely.

6. Sleep 

According to Dr Turner, ‘Skipping out on sleep or even tossing and turning against your will can cause your body to make too little leptin, a hormone that is crucial for appetite and weight control. A lack of leptin can make you feel extra hungry the next day and lead to weight gain. To optimize your rest and increase fat-burning hormones, try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night and maintain a cool sleep environment’.

7. Don’t go overboard on caffeine.

Drink plenty of water and avoid too much usage of salt and sugar in the diet. Try avoiding caffeine and aerated drinks as well. Too much caffeine can wreak havoc on the endocrine system.

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8. Supplements can balance hormones.

Magnesium found in bananas, dried figs, pumpkin seeds is great for sleep, PMS and cramping; Vitamin D is better for improving hormone functions; and Cod Liver oil is great for getting Vitamins A, D and K.

9. Choose coconut oil over polyunsaturated Omega 6 fats.

Polyunsaturated fats oxidize easily and cause inflammation in cells. When such cells become part of reproductive organs, they can cause problems like PCOS. So choose fats like coconut oil or olive oil over margarine or other chemically altered oils.

10. Hormones need fat to survive.

Extra belly fat can indicate one or more of the following hormonal imbalances: high estrogen, low testosterone, low DHEA (a hormone of the adrenal glands), high insulin and high cortisol. A major sign of a hormone imbalance is an inability to lose weight no matter how hard you diet or exercise.

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Awareness is key step to prevention. Adopt right lifestyle and diet and stay healthy and happy.

Featured photo credit: Women Hormones via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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