• Dr. Julie Granger DPT, SCS, WHC

The top 5 health hacks to balance your hormones (that won't cost you anything)


Everywhere you turn these days, there is likely someone you know who will recommend that you take supplements or herbals--especially when it comes to balancing your hormones.

You can find promises to eliminate cramps and hot flashes, to fix acne that comes along with your cycle, or to eliminate acne, insomnia, and mood swings.

And yes, there is a ton of evidence to support the use of supplements to help with hormone health.

But this can cost you a lot of money. And you may have noticed that they’re not a silver bullet (as much as you might like them to be).

The thing that often gets overlooked when women start trying new things to balance their hormones is the answer to the question...why did your hormones go wonky in the first place?

This is another place where you can quickly get down a rabbit hole.

A quick internet search or chat with a health and wellness expert may tell you that the “simple” answer to this question is…

  • The nonfiltered water you’re drinking out of plastic containers.

  • Or the hormone-ridden dairy or meat you’re consuming.

  • Or endocrine disruptors in your beauty and cleaning products.

And here’s the thing--these may absolutely play a role for you.

But the answer is never simple. Humans are complex beings with complex lives, and usually there is long long line of things that can contribute to wonky period and hormone problems.

Does that mean you need to try and control every single one of those things?

No.

The tendency to try and take a million supplements and control all of our external environmental factors to an extreme always puts the answer outside of your control, often leaving you feeling powerless.

And it gets you onto a never-ending road of constantly "needing" to take a million supplements to control everything.

So many of my clients come to me having tried many things to control all of those things--they’ve cleaned up their diets. They’ve detoxed their lives. They alkalize and filter their water and bodies.

And maybe they see some results, but other things start to crop up. Or they have symptoms--like painful or heavy periods, mood swings, cysts, fibroids, skipped periods, cycles that are too long or too short, or mood swings--that persist no matter what they do.

The truth is--hormone health isn’t something that can be simply fixed with an overhaul of chemicals. It’s not something you find answers to in a box, a bottle, or a book.

It’s not found in a never ending series of scheduled appointments with healers and supplements and out of the box nutrition changes.

No--your hormones can be balanced by simple things you can change TODAY. And it likely starts with paying attention to stuff you don’t even know you are doing or aren’t doing.

And if you’re someone who sells or LOVES supplements, or clean beauty or cleaning products, or oils, or anything else--hear me out. I love your stuff. It’s all very important and a wonderful adjunct to what I’m about to say.

AND-- it’s also time we tell the ENTIRE truth to the women of the world.

For most people, you may need to use some or many of those products. AND there is a lot of stuff you can improve TODAY without spending one dime, without changing out your entire makeup bag, and without paying the “greenwashing tax” that unfortunately persists in our retail world today.

I write this blog not as a campaign to end the sale of supplements and non-toxic products.

I write it to encourage you to use those things, but to do so while establishing a firm foundation with the top 5 hormone health hacks that won’t cost you anything.

These 5 hacks can help form a firm foundation for your hormone health. While supplements may also be very helpful in some or many cases, the truth is that without these foundational pieces in place, it may be more difficult to see the results you want.

1) Recharge your batteries

Ok friends. Lemme make this real simple for you. Don’t you hate it when you’re like halfway through the day and your iPhone battery icon turns that terrible red color? Or when you forget to plug it in overnight and you wake up with barely any battery?

Skimping out on sleep (less than 7 hours of high quality sleep) per night is pretty much the same thing when it comes to more than just your hormones. You simply aren’t recharging your batteries enough.

Ever heard the phrase “rest and digest?”

When you’re resting--your body does its digest thing, but it also does so much more. It helps you absorb nutrients. It detoxes. It repairs damaged cells and tissues. It helps your brain learn new information. And it synthesizes hormones -- especially the very cycle-friendly hormone of progesterone -- based on how much you’re sleeping.

So--you can certainly take the supplements that may help balance hormones, detox, repair cell damage, and boost your brain function.

But how is your sleep? If you’re not sleeping well, it’s likely your gut isn’t super thrilled and isn’t willing to do its full job. It kinda slacks off. This means those supplements can just wash right through you and right on down the toilet.

And I’d be willing to bet you don’t like to flush money down the toilet, right?

And back to our phone charging analogy--I’d also be willing to bet you can tell me right now exactly how much charge your phone has, where the nearest charger is, and how long it will take to charge back up.

How about we start paying as much mindful attention to recharging ourselves as we do to our phones?

2) Say goodbye to stress

It’s no secret that lowering stress may help with your hormones. Unless you’re like many of my clients whose well-meaning yet poorly-informed physicians often tell them “stress is just a normal part of life” and that “stress has nothing to do with your hormones.”

Incorrect.

Stress is a fancy phrase for “unreleased emotions.” It’s a fancy word for the process we undergo when we bottle up fear, or anger, or grief, or overwhelm--something that is socially acceptable and something most of us don’t realize we’re doing.

Having emotions--even big ones or lots of them at once-- is normal, but not having the skills to release them in a healthy way -- while incredibly common-- is not normal. As a result, the body will churn out “stress hormones” to help combat the harmful effects of stress on the body.

In other words--it’s not the stress hormones that are the problem. It’s the cause of the stress which leads to the release of the stress hormones that is the issue.

And those stress hormones are built from the same building blocks as your “hormone hormones”--ie the hormones that power your reproductive system and your thyroid, among many others.

And because it is invested primarily in survival, the brain and body prioritize the manufacture of stress hormones over your reproductive hormones.

So, if you’re under a lot of stress, it’s ok.

Everyone faces stress from time to time. And there are lots of things you can do to help--some of which may be in the form of supplements or herbals. But do know that no matter how many supplements you take, unfortunately a supplement cannot teach you how to take a more active role in eliminating stress.

Now--hear me out--sometimes supplements and even medication is 100% ok and necessary to help you get to a chemical and emotional place where facing and handling stress is palatable and feels safer for you.

But for the average person with everyday stressors whose hormones are wonky--please consider taking a deeper look at why that stress is there in the first place.

And know that stress elimination is not just a bubble bath, a trip to the nail salon, or a vacation every now and then.

It’s a daily commitment to love yourself and take care of you and your beautiful heart. It means tapping in and getting real and honest with yourself and asking hard questions like...

  • Do you need to speak up for what you need, ask for help, or delegate tasks?

  • Do you need to do a better job of saying no, setting boundaries?

  • Do you need to leave a job that is slowly killing you?

  • Do you need to separate yourself from a relationship that is terrible?

  • Do you need to let go of perfectionism, over-achieving, or procrastination?

If you find yourself saying yes to any of those, or having trouble pinning down exactly what’s behind all that stress or how to do anything about it, please know you are not alone, and there is support!

There are no gold stars in handling this stuff alone.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to me. That’s what I love to help high-achieving women do every day--to find more hours in the day, slow down, tap into their intuition and eliminate (rather than manage) stress from the source.

3) Drink plenty of water

Simple one folks. Drink water. Preferably the filtered kind. But don’t worry. If you’re like me and half the time cannot remember to run the water filter or fill up the jug, then please know that unfiltered water is always better than not enough water or no water.

Water helps flush your body of all the “gunk” that your body produces, especially normal byproducts of your body’s processes.

And it helps keep your hormone balance nice and friendly.

So if you find yourself nursing 3 cups of coffee in the morning, forgetting to drink water during the day, and finishing the day with wine or cocktails at night...chances are it’s time to add some water to the rotation.

A good rule of thumb is to shoot for half your body weight in ounces of water per day (and roughly your full body weight if you sweat). But this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Another good rule is to listen and tap in to your body’s signals. Oftentimes we get so busy that we forget to drink, not because we are forgetful, but because we aren’t listening to when our bodies say “Hey sister, give me some water, yo!”

Drinking water costs you virtually nothing, and is a great way to kickstart your system to help support a healthy and happy period and hormones.

4) Become a Poop Machine

Never underestimate the power of a great poop.

Pooping is one way to eliminate extra hormones that are floating around that you don’t need. Too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing, and having extra hormones floating around can sometimes lead to all kinds of wonky hormone and period issues.

A good rule of thumb is to have at least one well-formed, non-painful poop per day. Extra points if you have two.

What helps with good poop health?

  • Sleeping enough (the gut doesn’t rest and digest without enough sleep)

  • De-stressing (the gut doesn’t rest and digest well under stress)

  • Drinking enough water (the gut doesn’t rest and digest without enough water...see a trend here….?)

  • Getting plenty of fiber in your diet (and supplementing only if you have to)

  • Good toilet behavior: Using a toilet stool, timing your poops for roughly the same time every day, allowing plenty of time to poop, and being mindful and relaxed (not distracted on your phone) while doing so,

5) Eat enough of the right nutrients FOR YOU

Ok friends. Here’s the real kicker.

There’s no such thing as the perfect, one-size-fits-all hormone balancing diet. Read up on it all you want, but I’m gonna go ahead and give you the spoiler: your diet needs are as unique from others’ as are your fingerprints.

Why? Because as you can probably deduce from this article and the myriad of reasons I have mentioned that hormones can go wonky--no two people with wonky hormones are the same.

This applies even if their symptoms are the same.

So if your friend tells you she has changed to a certain diet and her hormones are magically fixed--please make sure to get that checked with someone who can verify if that is right for you.

For some people, you need more proteins, or more healthy fats, or even more carbs than other people. Some people need more of one type of vegetable than another. And some people need to do an elimination diet while others do not.

I have a lot of people come to me who aren’t eating enough carbs and whose periods are going nutso. In our super “Low carb/low sugar/grain free” world, it’s way too easy to get swept in and actually mess with your hormones because of this.

And it’s important to be sure you’re not only eating the right nutrients for you, but also eating them at the right time in your cycle.

There are certain times during your monthly cycle when it’s advantageous to load up on certain nutrients compared to others.

That means you may need to be brave and ask for help.

So many of my clients come to me because they’ve tried everything--they’ve “done the diet.” They’ve eliminated any number of things from their pantries and plates. And yet--they don’t feel any better.

Asking for help will save you money, time and energy in the long run -- because you won’t be eliminating and buying a ton of fancy foods you ultimately don’t need.

Try before you buy

I want to repeat that I’m not anti-supplement. I take them--in very specific quantities--to help support my own health. But that doesn’t mean I don’t take a hard look to see where any leaks may be occurring. I don’t want to use supplements to patch my leaks. I want to fix them for good.

And you can do that too!

Even though a combination of factors may need improvement in your life, I challenge you to pick one (yes, only one!) of the above tactics and give it a try for 30 days.

Choose the tactic that feels the easiest and most achievable so you can set yourself up for success. Identify anything that may get in the way of you succeeding and address that first.

Then give it a go!

And if you find that you’re struggling to identify where or how to get started, that’s what I’m here for!

I love to guide women who are struggling with period or hormone issues to identify where the holes are and do way more with less when it comes to patching the holes and getting healthy.

This means you don’t walk away with an exhaustive to-do list. You shouldn’t have to feel overwhelmed when it comes to being healthy (that would defeat the purpose, right?)

Please feel free to reach out if you need support. I can’t wait to hear how this goes for you!

In love and health,

#womenhealthcoach #gettingpregnant #relativeenergydeficiencyinsport #Functionalmedicine #nutrition #womenshealth #girlathlete #hormonehealth #womenshealthcoach

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Healthy Mindset Coach for Women, Teens & Physical Therapy Professionals

©2019 by Dr. Julie Granger DPT, SCS, WHC