At a time when the world is celebrating women in the areas of pay parity and equality for International Women’s Day, Happy Healthy You’s nutritionists and naturopaths are educating women to get back to basics and listen to their bodies.
“Hormones are responsible for far more than pregnancy cravings, menopausal hot flashes, and food binges caused by premenstrual syndrome,” says Lisa Curry, Olympian and Co-Founder of Happy Healthy You.
Having experienced hormonal swings that most women face from teenage years through their 20s, 30s, 40s and now 50s, Lisa wants to remind women that the hormone changes that occur daily, weekly and monthly can deeply influence how we sleep, eat, respond to stress and feel happiness.
In your 20s
Nutritionist Tahlia Thomas says many people associate hormone changes only with the onset of menopause and hot flashes. They think that just because they’re in their 20s, they’re too young to be worrying about whether their hormone balance is in check. However, Tahlia says your 20s are the most important time to build awareness of your hormones because you’re setting the foundations for your overall wellness.
“With hormonal imbalance becoming increasingly triggered by external factors (such as stress, diet or harmful chemicals), it’s imperative to listen to your body and take note of how your hormones are affecting your physical and mental health,” Tahlia said.
“When your hormones are balanced, it means your body is working to keep you your health in check. When your hormones are imbalanced, it can cause signs and symptoms relating to the frequency, duration, length and severity of your menstrual cycle.
“Some ways you can become more aware of your hormonal system is to monitor your bodies monthly cycle, watch for mood shifts, observe physical changes and to listen to what your body is trying to tell you, Tahlia added
In your 30s
Similar to your 20s, Global Naturopath, Lauren Scinetti says most women in their 30s will continue with regular periods, however, may find that their cycle can change due to the use of contraception, stress, pregnancies and sleep or adrenal issues.
“Many women will continue their regular cycle into their mid-30s and will notice signs of hormonal imbalance, which is likely to come from stressful jobs, and higher intakes of caffeine and foods that lack nutrients,” Lauren said.
“Some ways to address any imbalances can be to replenish nutrient status, clean up your diet, consider herbal support and get into a habit of regular exercise and sync your workouts with your menstrual cycle. Syncing your cycle can help ease periods, reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and improve bloating and skin.
“Unfortunately, most women will experience a hormonal shift in their mid-30s. This is your body telling you to improve your diet and lifestyle, which strongly underpin hormonal health. If your hormones are not happy, your body will let you know.
In your 40s
Naturopath Sally James N.D says your 40s are when you may begin to experience the start of perimenopause changes (or pre-menopause as it is sometimes known) because your body is preparing you for the natural change into the cessation of your menstrual cycle.
“Menopause is reached when the menstrual cycle has stopped for 12 months,” Sally said.
“Hormonal imbalances can cause many symptoms of perimenopause which include physical changes such as menstrual fluctuations, weight gain, night sweats, hot flashes and changes in libido. It can also cause emotional symptoms which include anxiety, mood swings, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.
“Women face a lot of pressure in their 40s, whether it’s with family or work stress and it only gets harder with the added concern of menopause. Some easy ways to start relieving symptoms are by taking small steps to change your diet to support your metabolism, participate in regular exercise (such as yoga or running) and take time to self-reflect and build self-confidence.”
In your 50s
Happy Healthy You Nutritionist, Rachel Enright says hormonal changes that occur in a woman’s 50s are usually due to the result of her completing her transition into menopause.
“Menopause is when a woman’s menstrual period stops permanently, the most common symptom being the experience of hot flashes. Hot flashes cause heat in the body and face, making it extremely uncomfortable for many women,” Rachel said.
“Unfortunately, menopause is more than hot flashes. It often affects your libido, causes vaginal dryness, insomnia, and can often create feelings of depression and anxiety. Understanding that your hormones are changeable during this time brings about awareness to go about making necessary changes to your eating and daily life. It is important to eat lots of nutrient-rich foods, stay active and alkaline, and take natural supplements where necessary.
“Women in their 50s need to realise that the majority of women are facing the same symptoms and experiences, so it’s helpful joining a group or talking to likeminded women who are in the same position, so you know you’re not alone.”
Lisa Curry and the Happy Healthy You team offer a supportive and safe environment for women of all ages to discuss their health and wellbeing with professionals. In addition, Happy Healthy You offers a free online assessment to help individuals develop a better understanding of their current hormonal levels and provides resources and access to healthcare specialists for support.
Happy Healthy You offers a community for women to learn about their hormonal balance and also provides a platform to directly liaise with key nutritionists, naturopaths and healthcare professionals to understand their menopause and help decrease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and hormonal issues during every stage of their life.
Visit https://assessment.happyhealthyyou.com.au/assessment to receive a personalised report and profile.
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