Hormone imbalance can have a devastating effect on many women – Nutritional Therapy can restore balance, as Corinne Flynn explains
I spent years watching my sister struggle with acne. She was prescribed every medication and antibiotic available and endured some horrible side effects. I wanted to help, and that’s when I began to realise the possibilities of nutrition. In my 20s, I also suffered terrible period pain that would keep me in bed for 1-2 days every month. Through nutrition I learned what I can eat and when, to balance my hormones, avoid PMS and nourish my body during pregnancy and beyond.
Symptoms of hormone imbalance are varied and often explained as Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) in early-adulthood. Imbalanced hormones can also lead to problems with fertility and menopause later in life. Women with more severe disruption to hormones can end up with diagnoses such as acne, endometriosis and Poly-Cystic-Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Symptoms of hormone imbalance
- Heavy or painful periods
- Bloating, cramping
- Irritable mood, anxiety, depression
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain & difficulty losing weight
- Changes to hair, skin & nails
- Lack of energy, inability to sleep
- Sugar cravings & afternoon crashes
How Nutritional Therapy can help
A healthy, balanced diet, exercise, sleep quality and stress reduction can all help to reduce your symptoms. Healthy hormones rely on a healthy gut and a healthy liver and these are all areas we can support through specific food and lifestyle choices. Balancing your hormones is a good place to start when looking to support fertility and conception too.
For menstruating women, I recommend tracking your cycle using one of the readily available apps in order to understand your body more intimately. The average menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days, although cycles can vary between three to six weeks. A cycle is counted from the first day of your period until the first day of your next period. Using this information in a nutrition consultation allows us to plot any specific symptoms in relation to your cycle, consider your ovulation window if you are preparing to have a baby, and identify specific nutrients to include in your diet and support particular hormone pathways (such as oestrogen and progesterone).
Menstrual symptoms are also common as women approach menopause. If you are experiencing new uncomfortable symptoms in your 40s and 50s it can often be the beginning of your transition into the menopausal years and a great time to consider making some tweaks to your diet.
- Hot flushes
- Sleep problems
- Feeling upset, anxious or irritable
- Physical & mental exhaustion
- Change in libido, sexual activity and satisfaction
- Vaginal dryness
- Joint and muscular discomfort
Below is one of my recipes for a delicious and easy hormone-balancing breakfast. It includes foods that you can add to your diet daily to support you to feel healthy and resilient.
What will Nutritional Therapy involve?
During a nutrition consultation I will take a thorough health history, explore your symptoms fully, and use functional testing when appropriate, to search for the root cause. We will use food, supplement and lifestyle recommendations to give your body the building blocks it needs to re-establish hormone balance, comfort and health.
To discuss your symptoms and health in detail and for a therapy plan created specifically for you, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
To book in for Nutritional Therapy, email: email@example.com