11 Daily Habits to Aid in Hormonal Balance

Got stress? The adrenal glands manage our stress response and also act as a hormone hub, where they produce hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. They are also our backup hormone system and help to produce DHEA, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. Too much stress disrupts our rhythms, including our circadian rhythm which can lead to a whole host of issues such as poor sleep. [1] When you combine stress with liver burdens, women can experience more symptoms.  Just think of how you feel after losing a night’s sleep!

Adrenal Fatigue/HPA Axis Dysregulation

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis controls the body’s stress response. Problems arise when the HPA axis gets overburdened, which can lead to excess levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body (overactive adrenals). [2] On the other hand, tired adrenals can lead to trouble managing the stress response (low cortisol) and they could become underactive.[3]   When cortisol level is low, fatigue, environmental sensitivity, and an inability to deal with stress are common.[4] When cortisol is high our inflammatory response also increases, which leads to other problems.[5]

Nourish your adrenals

Vitamin C is secreted in the stress response. Because this is a water-soluble nutrient,vitamin C must be consumed daily. Excellent food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits and peppers.[6] Adaptogens are herbs that have been traditionally used to help the body adapt to stress and promote homeostasis. Examples of adaptogens include ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, schisandra berry and suma. [8]

There is a lot we can do on a daily basis to support our liver and adrenals and reduce the symptoms of hormonal havoc. 

11 daily habits to aid in hormonal balance

  1. Say no to extra tasks and requests! Be sure to plan self care and time for yourself daily
  2. Breathe, incorporate meditation, yoga and other balancing activities to take you into the moment and be easy on yourself. Do more relaxing type of workouts.   Do not rush
  3. Sleep –8 hours a night can do wonders for your well being – if only you could sleep! For those sensitive, avoid caffeine in the late afternoon. [9]
  4. Eat colourful natural organic non-pesticide foods and avoid processed sugar laden foods. Include cruciferous vegetables daily in your diet as well.
  5. Keep your blood sugar balanced by eating protein and good quality fats at each meal. Skipping meals is not good for your hormones or your mood.  [10]
  6. Use natural cosmetics and cleaning products
  7. Take nutrients that support healthy estrogen metabolism and support liver detoxification daily such as ESTROsmart
  8. Take a multi-vitamin with minerals daily to suit your lifestyle.
  9. Take adrenal support nutrients daily to reduce the symptoms of stress such as a blend of adaptogens found in ADRENAsmart.     
  10. Take additional B vitamins. B vitamin deficiency can lead to fatigue, irritability and brain fog.[11] [12]
  11. HPA axis dysregulation also disrupts your digestion and your microbiome.[13] This can lead to leaky gut which makes the problem worse.[14] Be sure to include a prebiotic and probiotic in your regimen for a happy gut.

Now is the time to look after you, show up your best and enjoy your life the way you are supposed to.

Written by Angela Ysseldyk, BA, Certified Nutritional Practitioner of 20 years and National Director of Education and Training for Jamieson Wellness Specialty Brands.   Angela’s mission is to empower people to have an extraordinary life.

[1] Han KS, Kim L, and Shim I, (2012)  Stress and Sleep Disorder Exp Neurobiol. Dec; 21(4): 141–150.

[2] Tomas C, Newton J, Watson S. (2013) A Review of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  ISRN Neurosci.: 784520.

[3] Tomas C, Newton J, Watson S. (2013) A Review of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  ISRN Neurosci.: 784520.

[4] Tomas C, Newton J, Watson S. (2013) A Review of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  ISRN Neurosci.: 784520.

[5] Kiecolt-Glaser JK (2010) Stress, Food, and Inflammation: Psychoneuroimmunology and Nutrition at the Cutting Edge.  Psychosom Med. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 May 1.

[6]Head, K., Kelly, G. (2009). Nutrients and botanicals for treatment of stress: adrenal fatigue, neurotransmitter imbalance, anxiety, and restless sleep. Altern Med Rev.  Jun;14(2):114-40.

[7] Pingali U, et al (2014) Effect of standardized aqueous extract of Withania somnifera on tests of cognitive and psychomotor performance in healthy human participants Pharmacognosy Res. Jan-Mar; 6(1): 12–18.

[8] Web MD.  Suma.  Accessed Feb 19, 2020 https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-361/suma

[9] Drake, C et al (2013) Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed. J Clin Sleep Med. 2013 Nov 15; 9(11): 1195–1200.

[10] Aucoin M, Bhardwaj S.  (2016) Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Hypoglycemia Symptoms Improved with Diet Modification. Case Rep Psychiatry. 7165425.

[11] Kennedy DO (2016) B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review.  Nutrients. Feb; 8(2): 68.

[12] Con S et al (2014) Reducing occupational stress with a B-vitamin focussed intervention: a randomized clinical trial: study protocol. Nutr J. 13: 122.

[13] Hoogendoorn, (2017) Shared Dysregulation of Homeostatic Brain-Body Pathways in Depression and Type 2 Diabetes.  Curr Diab Rep. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2018 Aug 16

[14] Stephan C Bischoff, (2014) Intestinal permeability – a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterol. 2014; 14: 189