Hormones are powerful chemicals that are created in the endocrine glands and enter the bloodstream to regulate the functioning of tissues and organs within the body and control metabolism and reproduction. Any change in the level of a certain hormone can have a serious impact on the whole body and its functioning.
Hormonal changes are a natural part of life and can take place at different stages of life, such as puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. Any fluctuations in hormone levels can impact one both physically and emotionally. It is not uncommon to see women taking probiotics during menopause to manage the hormonal changes and minimize their impact.
Read on to explore some practical tips for managing hormonal changes and how certain strategies and lifestyle changes can prove to be effective in lowering their impact.
Following a balanced diet- One of the most effective ways to minimize any negative impact of hormonal changes is to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. Thus, include lots of fresh fruits, leafy vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats in your meals, and pay attention to specific nutrients in your foods that can support hormone regulation. In addition, it is essential to limit the consumption of processed foods, soft drinks, caffeine, and refined sugars.
- Tip- Consume omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts and foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.
Exercising regularly – Regular physical activity has always been advocated for a healthier lifestyle. Those who exercise regularly and follow a daily exercise routine are known to manage hormonal changes effectively. Exercise promotes the release of endorphins which help alleviate symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, and fatigue, which are associated with hormonal changes.
- Tip – Do at least 200 minutes of exercise per week and engage in aerobic exercises, strength training, or yoga.
Managing stress– Stress and tension can further exacerbate the associated symptoms due to hormonal imbalances, and this is why it becomes essential to integrate stress management techniques into your daily routine. Engage in activities that help to unwind and reduce stress, such as listening to calming music or spending time in nature. Adequate sleep and engaging in hobbies can also contribute to stress reduction.
- Tip- Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or mindfulness.
Get adequate sleep- We all tend to think that we are having normal good, quality sleep, but the truth is that most of us are deprived of quality sleep. Hormonal changes can sometimes disrupt sleep patterns, and that can lead to insomnia. Quality sleep is vital for hormone regulation and overall well-being.
- Tip- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night and follow good sleep hygiene practices such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.
Seek hormonal therapy –In some cases, and for some individuals, hormonal therapy may be recommended to manage severe symptoms linked to hormonal changes. For example, women are given hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms, or their physicians recommend oral contraceptives for regulating menstrual cycle.
- Tip- Always consult your healthcare professional before following any hormonal therapy and discuss the potential pros and cons in detail, based on your specific needs.