When I was about 33, a few years after I had my daughter, I noticed that I was slowly starting to gain weight and mostly around the middle. The PMS that only used to last a few days was beginning to be a week long affair and consisted of night sweats, sugar cravings, fatigue, migraines and serious bitchiness. YES! I was super fun to be around! Don’t even get me started on my sex drive… Um what sex drive?
As far as my overall health and weight goes – this was definitely one the toughest years. It seemed like no matter what I did nothing seemed to work.
I spent big bucks on a personal trainer, I joined one of the toughest boot camps in the city, I supposedly ate super healthy foods but only continued to gain weight. It was also during this time I started having severe food sensitivities and insomnia. My body felt broken.
Looking back I realize how interconnected these symptoms were and after a long journey I finally reclaimed my body through some major lifestyle changes, including diet and balancing my hormones.
If I hadn’t addressed my hormone health I would have continued gaining weight. It was one of the most important things I did in my recovery.
The symptoms I experienced are all too common for women today. Hormone imbalance is only usually mentioned during the onset of perimenopause through our mid 40’s and 50’s. Many women are having hormonal symptoms earlier because of diet, lifestyle and a rise in pollution, toxins and xenoestrogens (synthetic chemicals that act as estrogen in our bodies like plastics) that we’re exposed to every day.
This thought has not been totally adopted by the medical community yet so women are often left to feel like crazy women who need to take an antidepressant…
Hormone hell or hormone health?
I have listed some of the most common symptoms of what I like to call “living in hormone hell”. This feels “like your body is broken”. When you have hormonal balance you feel energized, emotionally stable, little to no PMS, sexual and weight loss comes easily when the efforts are made. You’re probably wondering of that state even exists? Well… I am here to tell you it does!
Every woman will have different degrees of hormonal happiness but it is possible. In the coming posts I am going to go over the most common hormonal imbalances and exactly what you can do about them but in the meantime I am going to help you begin the road back to finding all that womanly goodness that you used have.
Check off the following that apply to you.
- Do you frequently experience insomnia: sleep problems, difficulty going to sleep or waking between 1 and 4 a.m. unable to fall back asleep?
- Do you often experience hot flashes and or night sweats?
- Do you suffer from severe PMS (premenstrual syndrome) such as cramps, breast tenderness, bloating, moodiness, irritability, emotional instability, headaches, tiredness for more than 3 days before the start of your period?
- Do you have difficulty concentrating or remembering things?
- Are you experiencing mood changes (e.g. sadness, irritability, anxiety, depression)?
- Has your complexion gone through noticeable changes (i.e. drier than usual, unwanted facial hair, wrinkles, acne, etc.)?
- Is your hair thinning or do you have hair loss (including outer third of eyebrows and/or eyelashes)?
- Are your periods irregular or do you miss your period some months?
- Do you experience frequent vaginal dryness or painful intercourse?
- Has your sex drive gone missing, or have a change in sexual desire?
- Bloating and/or fluid retention (puffy ankles and hands, gain more than 2 pounds before your period)?
- Have you had an increase in hair on your face, chest, or arms?
- Do you have an increase in belly fat and what is known as “the muffin top”
Add up 1 point for each answer that you marked yes and write down your total keep it on hand and next week we will go over how to interpret your results to see where you fit on the scale of hormonal happiness or hormonal hell. Stay tuned!