Anxiety, Depression, & Holistic Health: 5 Ways To Balance Hormones
I had struggled and fought with anxiety and depression as long as I can remember, but in the weeks after giving birth to my daughter, it got much, much worse.
Looking back at it now, I can’t believe the only option that seemed reasonable and available was, medication.
“You need anti-depressants.”
I knew I wasn’t “myself”…I knew my thoughts didn’t belong to me and I wanted to feel better, and so I agreed to take them for awhile.
I had tried anti-depressants a few other times in my life with little success and this time was no different.
The obsessive thoughts and worry were still there, but now there was a numbness. I knew that this wasn't the answer for me…I had a creative spirit in there somewhere; I wanted to find her and revive her, not medicate and deny her.
It was after I saw a Naturopath that I became awakened to a new perspective on health & nutrition.
It astonishes me now how I had never considered that I could use food as medicine and nutrients as elixir’s to “cure” toxic mind. I wanted to learn more and transform my life with nutritional excellence and help others do the same, so I studied the ins and outs of nutritional medicine & neuroscience and became a Holistic Health Practitioner.
My outlook on fitness completely transformed…
As a certified Personal Trainer, I viewed health & wellness from a “physical fitness” standpoint; food was eaten ( or …not eaten) to create a certain physical appearance … eat almonds to have nice hair, lemons for the skin, and grapefruit every morning for a six pack type of deal.
This carried through into my pregnancy and post-pregnancy wellness approach - I had exercise and nutrition goals to “keep my waist trim”, “not get any stretch marks”, and “keep my vagina tight.”
I mean sure, it all worked I guess…from the outside it looked okay, but it was just a matter of time before what really existed within would show up in real form.
There were three major things I had forgotten about…
My suffering cognitive and emotional health
The fact that my body could be depleted of progesterone (more on exactly what happens to hormones post birth below!)
My body was depleted of many nutrients…so, following a calorie deficit weight loss program post birth (while trying to breast feed) resulted in nutrient deficiencies that caused extreme mood disorder & hormone insufficiencies DUH!!! ( & now I know…)
When I was dealing with “postpartum Depression” (actually should be called, post partum nutrient deficiency & hormone imbalance), I was given one option by my Medical Doctor, “anti-depressants.” There were no other options…how?! I couldn't accept this as an answer.
The answer was to harmonize my hormones.
SOO many Women are prescribed anti-depressants without anyone ever looking at or discussing nutrient or hormone levels.
This is kind of shocking…It seems so obvious to me now that hormones and the endocrine system are the answer to most, if not all, mood and mind related problems.
Hormones are the answer - especially for pregnant and postpartum women!!!
When pregnant, the Placenta draws nutrients from our blood & makes insane amounts of hormones. At the same time, our Ovaries shut off and stop producing their own hormones.
That means, post-birth our ovaries have to “turn back on”.
What can result is low progesterone levels. Progesterone is SO important for our mood, normalizes zinc levels, and helps our cells utilize thyroid hormone. Some symptoms of low progesterone include: dry skin, hair loss, irritability, coldness, hypothyroid symptoms, weight gain, and PERIOD PROBLEMS (think, horrendous PMS).
Below are FIVE ways to balance hormones with holistic health
1. MACA ROOT
This herb is rich in amino acids, protein, and is good for progesterone production, fatigue, menstrual and immune system problems.
2. DONG QUAI
Strengthens the reproductive system and assists the body in hormone production - this “female sex herb” been used to treat many female reproductive problems.
3. Detoxification and cleanse
Enhancing the bodies detox system by following a therapeutic detox program will enhance the livers ability to metabolize estrogen thus increase progesterone balance.
4. Essential Oils
Therapeutic grade oils like Clary sage and Thyme oil have been used to balance hormones and increase progesterone. Create a roller bottle with grape-seed oil and roll over reproductive organs.
5. Self-Care to reduce STRESS
Stress is always a major factor when it comes to our hormone system - finding a routine that allows you to pamper yourself is key to reducing stress.
When we are under stress, we produce more cortisol, which uses the same precursor as progesterone - therefore, when we are stressed, our progesterone balance can be off.