By Contributing Writer, Candace
When I was a youngin’, pregnant with our first child, I remember teasing my husband one day, quipping that “wasn’t he glad that I didn’t cry at the drop of a hat like those other pregnant women?” My intention wasn’t to be rude or arrogant, I just simply didn’t understand why that happened to some women.
I didn’t experience hormonal issues back then. In fact, I didn’t until about my sixth pregnancy. Near the end of that pregnancy, I began feeling angry for no apparent reason. I realized then that I was experiencing the dreaded hormonal shifts that I had only heard other women talk about. Even still, it wasn’t too bad, and it was usually short lived.
Each pregnancy following, I would experience those irritable and angry feelings a little sooner in the pregnancy than the one before. It was getting worse. Those shifts were so unpredictable in my third trimesters that I knew I needed to do something about them or else my poor family would suffer. Or tie me up and throw me in the closet.
After my last pregnancy, I began experiencing the shifts at random times throughout my cycle. This was no longer a pregnancy issue; it was now invading normal life. Sometimes I could pinpoint it to a particular time in my cycle, and other times, it was completely random. I knew that my body could simply be adjusting since I am still nursing, and I also knew that I was now the big 40. But symptoms progressed. Sometimes I would feel angry, and other times I would feel depressed. I knew in my mind that I was dealing with unbalanced hormones, so in some ways, that made it easier. But a couple of times, it progressed to the point that I could no longer see truth and reality. I had to do something.
I want to share all the ways in which I have dealt with hormonal issues from the early mildest days to the more recent severe days. And ultimately, share how I’ve balanced my hormones, finally!
I know this one is common sense. If we feed our bodies what they need, we feel better. But I still want to stress the importance of eating a balanced diet. Of course, lots of colorful fruits and vegetables are most important. Leafy greens and beans provide Phyto-estrogens, which are similar in structure to estrogen. Proteins such as chicken, salmon, eggs, nuts and seeds help to keep hormones balanced. B-6 rich foods like walnuts and whole grains help maintain the estrogen-progesterone balance. Remember to keep in mind that high-sugar foods and caffeine can exacerbate hormonal imbalance. This is important because those are the things we crave when imbalanced.
Calcium and Magnesium
During my sixth pregnancy, when I began experiencing irritability and anger in those last couple of weeks of pregnancy, my doctor and midwife both recommended calcium and magnesium. They said it has a calming effect on the brain. And these are nutrients that can easily become depleted during pregnancy. They were right. It was just what I needed to get through that time. You can find these supplements at any store.
If you’ve ever been treated by a midwife during pregnancy, you know that she will tell you to drink your Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. Red Raspberry is a natural hormone stabilizer. It is rich in B-complex vitamins and contains carotenoids, citric acid, fragrine, pectin, tannins and vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E. Also, an easily assimilated form of calcium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon and sulfur. If I was faithful in drinking my tea or taking my capsules, I would notice a huge difference in how I felt hormonally. I haven’t been able to find this in grocery stores anymore, so I usually have to order it from Beeyoutiful or my local vitamin shop.
Evening Primrose Oil
Both of my older girls have used EPO to treat PMS with great success. If they noticed symptoms creeping up, they would take 1-2 capsules a day. You can find these at any store.
St. John’s Wort
About the time I began having hormonal shifts while not pregnant, a friend reminded me about St. John’s Wort. I had heard about its effects on helping mild depression, but had forgotten about it. Once reminded, I began taking just one capsule a day whenever I felt blue. It worked. In fact, I was at a doctor’s appointment, and had told my beloved doctor that I had been experiencing some mild depression. I told him I started taking St. John’s Wort, and he replied, “That’s exactly what I would have recommended.” You can purchase this at any grocery store.
YW (Young Woman)
Over the last several months, I have been dealing with what I would consider to be severe hormonal shifts. I think several factors have contributed to this: Nursing, stress, lack of sleep, age, and not running since my daughter left for college (she was my babysitter). Basically, my hormones have been WHACK! The worst it’s ever been. The irritability, anxiety, and anger would strike at any given moment and I became every one’s least favorite person. A few months prior, I had received a FB message from my best friend telling me about a tincture she had been taking to treat the same hormonal problems I was having. She said it was a miracle for her, and that she didn’t have any of the symptoms she was having before. Thankfully, I happened across this message and knew that I needed to order this stuff. I have now been drinking it for a month and it has made such a difference. I don’t feel angry for no reason, and life just feels….well….NORMAL!
I drink one dropper full mixed in a small amount of water each day. As I neared my new cycle, I noticed that I was having some increased symptoms, but not nearly as severe. I increased my dosage to two droppers full, one in the evening and one at night, and that did the trick.
You can learn more about this tincture, ordering, dosage, it’s natural ingredients, and how long to take it here.
I have not used this, but the reason I’m including it here is because I have heard many testimonies about how well this is working for women. One friend calls it the “marriage saver”. When I recently began experiencing severe imbalances, this was what I had planned to order. The reason I didn’t was because the YW tincture was less expensive, so I thought I’d try it first. If you’re interested in learning more about Progessence Plus, click here.
Moms, getting our hormones back in check is vital to what we’re called to do every day. Despite my best efforts to practice self-control, I felt completely out of control. And I couldn’t think clearly. I am thankful to feel normal again, and I pray that if you’re suffering from hormonal imbalances, you’ll find these suggestions helpful.