Essential Lifestyle Tips for Natural Hormone Balance, and the best supplements for managing PMS symptoms, period pain, headaches, anxiety, mood, and bloating.
This post is sponsored by AOR Health. You can purchase AOR Health supplements directly at aor.ca.
PMS symptoms are very common, but not normal. Maybe you’ve heard this before, but still find it hard to believe. Trust me, I was a little shocked when I first learned this after reading Alisa Vitti’s book In The Flo. You mean to tell me that I’ve been living through 14+ years of unnecessary pain, every month?! Female hormone balance and natural relief from PMS symptoms is something I’ve become very passionate about. I want to help spread the word, because I know that many of my friends suffer from similar symptoms. It can be difficult to manage these symptoms because there are so many underlying causes. And unfortunately, there is also a fair amount of shame and stigma still surrounding this topic.
You Are Not Alone
The truth is, at least 75% of women experience PMS symptoms and 30% report severe symptoms. So if you experience debilitating painful periods that leave you feeling exhausted in bed - you are not alone! Let’s get to the bottom of those symptoms, and make a plan to help you minimize painful and uncomfortable periods. If you are a person who has a period, then you’re going to want to read on! I'm sharing my best tips to support natural hormone balance and pain free periods.
In my teens and early 20’s, I accepted the fact that I would go through 5-6 days every month of headaches, intense pain, and low energy. I thought that there was no way around this misery. The only way through was to dull the pain with ibuprofen or naproxen. When you're in university and studying for exams, or trying to have a productive day at work what else are you supposed to do? When cramps set in and a terrible headache takes over, sometimes it can feel like there is no other choice. Even in 2020, it’s not exactly socially acceptable to declare that your period has arrived and you need a mini holiday to recuperate (let’s change that?)!
In this blog post, I wanted to share my Tips for Natural Hormone Balance that can potentially help to balance your hormones and get to the root cause of your period problems. That being said, I want to make it clear that these supplements are not a magic bullet or alternative to everything else. Just as with any supplement routine, it must accompany a healthy diet and lifestyle!
6 Common Causes Of Hormone Imbalance
- Not getting adequate sleep.
- Not drinking enough water! To ensure you are drinking enough water daily - take your body weight in pounds and divide by 2. That number is how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day. Add another cup for each caffeinated drink you have.
- Not eating a healthy, balanced and nutrient dense diet
- The birth control pill - hormonal contraceptives can result in nutrient deficiencies and deplete the body of magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C
- Lack of exercise
- Stress and high cortisol levels
Of course, food is always a number one priority and the first place that we should turn to when looking to heal the body and balance hormones. That being said, modern farming practices have depleted our soil - and therefore the food that we eat - from many essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Even if you eat really well, you could still be lacking in some key vitamins and minerals that are difficult to get without supplementation. Adding high-quality supplements to a micronutrient rich diet is a great way to potentially boost the healing process and help you to balance your hormones naturally. Other factors that can contribute to nutrient deficiency are: caffeine, the pill, restrictive diets, and stress (both mental and physical).
Essentially we can think of supplements as the “icing on the cake” of a healthy and balanced diet, filling in any gaps where needed. Supplementation will only work in conjunction with a healthy and balanced diet, proper sleep, hydration, exercise, and stress management.
Remember to always speak with your doctor or naturopath. These are only my recommendations, and I am not a licensed doctor or medical professional.
Vitex (or chaste tree) helps to support your pituitary gland to regulate the production of progesterone and luteinizing hormone in the ovaries. Both progesterone and luteinizing hormone are needed for ovulation, and for a healthy menstrual cycle. Estrogen dominance (or low levels of progesterone) can cause PMS, heavy periods, and irregular periods. Vitex is well researched and has been used as a natural supplement for female hormone balance and fertility for thousands of years. It is important to supplement with vitex for 6+ months to see results.
This adaptogenic herb is well known for its ability to boost energy levels and manage stress. When you are stressed, the adrenal glands produce adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol plays a role in blocking the production of progesterone, and lowering progesterone levels. It can also delay ovulation, disrupt the timing of your period, and interfere with your blood sugar levels. Reducing stress and supplementing with adaptogenic herbs is a great idea to help mitigate these negative effects!
Another adaptogen known for encouraging calm, peaceful emotions is ashwagandha. Supplementing with ashwagandha can is improve sleep, while reducing anxiety and inflammation.
Vitamin B6 is sometimes referred to as the miracle vitamin, because it can help with so many different health concerns. From nausea during pregnancy, to heart health, and cognitive support! Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of serotonin and GABA, meaning it is important for balancing mood. In terms of PMS and period pain, vitamin B6 has many benefits as well. Vitamin B6 encourages healthy hormones as it helps to detox estrogen from the body. It also helps to reduce inflammation, and therefore reduce pain. Make sure you look for a high quality Vitamin B6 supplement that contains B6 in it’s active form – pyrodoxial-5-phosphate (P5P).
An estimated 76% of adults in the US consume a diet that is deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is one of 6 essential minerals that the body needs in relatively large quantities. It is involved in over 300 biochemical pathways in the body! Supplementing with magnesium can provide many health benefits - particularly migraine prevention, promoting muscle relaxation, and improving sleep. Magnesium helps to relax the smooth muscle around the uterus by reducing type 2 prostaglandins (PgE2). PgE2 prostaglandins are responsible for painful cramping. Fun fact: your body also produces PgE1 and PgE3 prostaglandins, which actually contract uterine contractions and act as an antispasmodic!
Turmeric is a go-to in the realm of natural health for inflammation. Curcumin, the bioactive constituent in turmeric that provides the anti-inflammatory properties, is also beneficial for the liver and promotes detoxification. Turmeric has amazing pain-relieving abilities and is helpful for reducing period cramping and lower back pain.
Ginger root is one of my all time favourite supplements - though I also love ginger tea and using raw ginger in my food! This is the ONE supplement that I aways keep on hand no matter where I go. Why? The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger make it perfect for soothing digestive upset and treating migraines. In addition, ginger can help to relieve dysmenorrhea (painful period cramps). I’d say that ginger checks off a lot of boxes with it comes to menstrual pain and PMS! Not only that, it is also going to help boost your immune system, so you can’t go wrong here.
Two high-quality supplements that contain all of the ingredients I've mentioned above are Fem Calm and Advanced Pain Relief by AOR Health. Fem Calm is used in herbal medicine as a hormone normalizer to help stabilize menstrual cycle irregularities and to help relieve premenstrual symptoms. It is also used as an adaptogen to help temporarily relieve symptoms of stress (such as mental fatigue and sensation of weakness).
Advanced Pain Relief helps relieve pain associated with menstruation and is traditionally used in herbal medicine as an analgesic and sedative, and in Ayurveda to relieve pain and inflammation.
A big thank-you AOR Health for sponsoring this post! I have used AOR supplements for years and always loved them. AOR delivers industry leading supplements that are backed by science, made with the highest-quality, purest and most effective raw ingredients from around the world, and tested for authenticity and safety. You can purchase these supplements and more directly from AOR Health at aor.ca.
I hope that these Essential Lifestyle Tips for Natural Hormone Balance will help you to have a happier and healthier period!
To ready more about female hormone balance, managing PMS and period pain, check out these posts: