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Yoga for Breast Cancer Patients: New Study Explores Appropriate Home Practices

By: Christine Malossi, RYT 200

Cancer treatment is an arduous process. Patients may experience a range of debilitating side effects both during and after treatment. Yoga may help with these side effects, but is it possible for people undergoing cancer treatment, who may be suffering from fatigue, nausea, psychological distress, and cognitive issues, to stick to a yoga routine?

A recent study set out to determine just this. Researchers at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, investigated whether a self-directed yoga program was feasible for breast cancer patients who experience cognitive issues during chemotherapy.

Of the 17 women, aged 33-58 years, who participated in the study, 86% practiced yoga at home throughout the entire four-week duration of the study. Ninety-four percent of the participants practiced the home yoga program more than twice a week. When surveyed about the yoga program, all participants answered “Agree” or “Strongly Agree” for all survey questions; hence the acceptability rate of the program was 96.5%.

The yoga program offered three 15-minute courses varying in intensity: warm-up, low intensity, and high intensity. Participants preferred the warm-up and low-intensity offerings (stable sedentary poses, breathing and stretching exercises) to the higher intensity standing poses. They also preferred to gradually increase the intensity of the exercises within each session.

In their analysis of the data, the study’s authors indicated that the high retention, adherence, and acceptability rates were a result of allowing the participants to tailor their own yoga practice based on their preferences and whatever physical and psychological issues were coming up that day. Also, the fact that the participants practiced yoga at home gave them the flexibility to incorporate the routine into their day at a time that was convenient for them.

Below is a sequence inspired by the researchers’ recommendations for low-intensity, stable, sedentary poses and breathing exercises. The postures and exercises were chosen based upon those offered to participants in the study. Mix and match, or do the sequence from start to finish. But most importantly, let your body, breath, mind, and heart guide you to determine what feels right for you from moment to moment.

Sama Vritti (Equal Breathing)      

  1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position.
  2. Become aware of your breath. Notice that you’re breathing in, and notice that you’re breathing out.
  3. Little by little, begin to breathe more deeply.
  4. Let your breath gradually settle into a smooth, even rhythm. Breathe in for the same amount of time that you breathe out, matching the length of your inhalation with the length of your exhalation. It might help to count as you breathe: inhaling for a count of five then exhaling for five. Find a length of breath that feels deep but comfortable.
  5. Spend anywhere from one to several minutes breathing in this way.
  6. When you’re finished, let go of the equal breath and let your breath resume its natural pace and rhythm.

Half-Knees-to-Chest Pose (Ardha Apanasana)          

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and soles of feet on the floor.
  2. Gently draw your right knee towards your chest. Maintain a neutral pelvis and natural lumbar curve. If your low back presses into the ground as you bring your right knee in, move the knee slightly forward.
  3. Slowly walk your left foot forward, away from the buttock. As the leg gradually straightens, bring your awareness to the front of your left hip. If you feel tension there, pause and focus on releasing that tension.
  4. Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.
  5. Bend the left knee and return the sole of the left foot to the ground, then lower the right foot.
  6. Do the same on the second side. (a variation is featured in photo above)

Hand-to-Foot Pose A (Supta Padangusthasana A)         

Required prop: yoga strap

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and soles of feet on the floor.
  2. Draw your right knee towards your chest, flex the foot, and loop a strap around the ball of the foot.
  3. Holding onto one end of the strap in each hand, press your right heel towards the sky as you gradually straighten your right leg. Either keep the left leg as is or straighten it along the ground. If the left leg is straight, flex the foot and ground down through the back of the leg.
  4. Release the backs of your shoulders toward the mat, so your chest feels spacious and your neck muscles relax.
  5. Notice if one side of your sacrum is pressing down more than the other. If so, spread your weight evenly through the right and left halves of the back of your pelvis.
  6. Stay for 5 to10 breaths.
  7. Bend both knees and release your right foot from the strap.
  8. Do the same on the second side.

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)         

Optional prop: blanket

  1. Come onto your hands and knees, facing down towards the ground. If your knees are sensitive, place a blanket underneath them.
  2. Step your right foot forward, aligning the ankle directly below the knee.
  3. Stack your hands on top of your right thigh and press firmly down into the thigh to create a lift through the core of your body.
  4. Hands may stay here, or sweep your arms out and up overhead.
  5. Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.
  6. Bring your hands back down to the ground and step the right knee to the floor beside the left knee.
  7. Do the same on the other side.

Supported Child’s Pose (Salamba Balasana)      

Required props: blanket, bolster

  1. Kneel on a blanket and place a bolster lengthwise in front of you.
  2. Separate your knees wide apart, placing your knees on either side of the bolster while keeping your feet close together and your hips resting on your heels.
  3. Inhale as you lengthen your spine, then exhale and lay your torso over the bolster, turning your head to one side and resting your hands on either side of the bolster. If you’re not comfortable turning your head, place one hand on top of the other on the bolster and rest your forehead on your hands. If you feel the support under your torso needs to be higher, stack one or more folded blankets on the bolster until you find a height that allows your body to relax.
  4. Stay for 1-2 minutes with your head turned one way, then the same amount of time with it turned in the opposite direction.
  5. Slide your hands under your shoulders and press them into the floor. Keeping your head heavy, roll up to a sitting position, one vertebra at a time, and allow your head to arrive last.

Jathara Parivartanasana (Supine Spinal Twist Pose)     

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor.
  2. Pressing down into your feet, lift your hips, shift them slightly to the right and place them back down.
  3. Draw your knees toward your chest and lower them to the left.
  4. Spread your arms into a T-shape on the floor.
  5. If it feels good, turn your head to look past your right fingers. If that strains your neck, look up at the ceiling instead.
  6. Take several breaths here before returning your knees and hips to center.
  7. Do the same on the other side.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)—With or Without Support         

Optional props: bolster, blanket

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor.
  2. Place a folded blanket behind you, approximating where your head will rest when you lie down.
  3. Place a bolster or rolled blanket horizontally under your knees.
  4. Tuck your chin toward your chest and support yourself with your hands on the floor behind you as you lie back.
  5. Rest your head and neck on the folded blanket, or make a small roll to support the curve of your neck. If would you feel more comfortable with nothing underneath your head, remove the blanket and rest your head on the floor.
  6. Separate your feet and legs a comfortable distance apart. If you would be more comfortable without the bolster or blanket under the knees, remove the prop and allow your legs to settle onto the ground.
  7. Stay as long as you’d like.

Would you like to study the many benefits of yoga for cancer?  Study with Tari Prinster and YogaUOnline-Introduction to Yoga for Cancer: Tapping into the Body’s Inherit Healing Wisdom.

Or read another article on this topic by YogaUOnline and writer, Jennifer Williams-Fields: Navigating Cancer Treatment-How Yoga Can Help.

Christine Malossi, RYT 200 is based in New York City, where she offers a mindful, alignment-focused Vinyasa practice that cultivates balance, awareness and equanimity. In addition to teaching private clients and group classes at studios throughout Manhattan, she also teaches at the Spencer Cox Center for Health at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Institute for Advanced Medicine where she designs a practice specifically tailored to patients diagnosed with HIV and other chronic illnesses. Christine is honored to be teaching yoga and to have the opportunity to pass on to others the joy and freedom that she has found in her own practice. Find her at www.christinemalossi.com

Resources

Komatsu H., Yagasaki K., Yamauchi H., Yamauchi T., and Takebayashi T. (2016) “A self‐directed home yoga programme for women with breast cancer during chemotherapy: A feasibility study. “ International Journal of Nursing Practice, 22: 258–266. doi: 10.1111/ijn.12419.

 

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An exclusive yoga session will be held at our facility this Saturday, June 16 at 1:30pm with guest facilitator Katherine. Visit our website, email, or call us to RSVP as space is limited for a FREE yoga session with goodies for everyone, let us know if you need a yoga mat. 404-483-8503, Contact@IWillSurviveInc.org www.IWIllSurviveInc.org
Close to I-85N and 285-E in Atlanta/Doraville.

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I Will Survive, Inc. Receives 2017 Best of Doraville Award

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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

I Will Survive, Inc. Receives 2017 Best of Doraville Award

Doraville Award Program Honors the Achievement

DORAVILLE July 5, 2017 — I Will Survive, Inc. has been selected for the 2017 Best of Doraville Award in the Non-Profit Organization category by the Doraville Award Program.

Each year, the Doraville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Doraville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2017 Doraville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Doraville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Doraville Award Program

The Doraville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Doraville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Doraville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Doraville Award Program

CONTACT:
Doraville Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@thebestawards.org
URL: http://www.thebestawards.org

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@IWillSurviveInc
@CityofDoraville

http://doraville.doraville.thebestawards.org/PressReleaseub.aspx?cc=DKHP-TBNA-4E33

Community Partnership to “Support the Fighters” …

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 Connect with our incredible Community Project Partner: My Style Matters, LLC. or email them directly! mystylematters1912@gmail.com

Our goal for 2017 is to give incredible toxic FREE Cancer Care Kits to 40 individuals in the Atlanta area who are currently battling cancer (men and women).
BUT we can’t do it alone. We need your help.

Sponsors

    

  

 

FDHA

Tax Deductible Donations can be made as follows:

Check or Via our Website for Cards

I Will Survive, Inc.

5879 New Peachtree Rd. Suite D,

Doraville GA 30340

http://www.IWillSurviveInc.org

(You can also walk into our office during business hours and drop off checks, cash donations, swipe on-site, in-kind donations from corporations)

Contact Us for more questions:

​Contact@IWillSurviveInc.org

404-483-8503

http://www.IWillSurviveInc.org

Office Hours: Tuesday to Thursday from 10am-2pm

Additional Sponsors – We Thank YOU!

     
        

 

Make a donation or sponsor a patient!

Sponsorship per patient is $60, however, any donated amount will help us to achieve our goal.

With your sponsorship, each patient will receive over non-toxic 10 items, as well as supplements, vouchers for hair cuts, non-GMO and organic meal vouchers, cleaning services, photo shoot, a personalized card from the donor and much more.
———-
Company with monetary or in-kind donations worth $150 or more will have their company logo’s placed on our website and Social Media Pages.

We will start providing care packages in July and will continue throughout the year.

Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices Book Review — Breast Cancer Authority

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This simple and colorful book is just what the doctor ordered for you during your treatment with breast cancer. Your oncologists and radiologists have given you hand-outs and booklets on what to expect during treatment. I would guess that some of you did not know what an oncologist was until you heard those words, “I […]

via Breast Cancer: A-Z Mindful Practices Book Review — Breast Cancer Authority

VA’s Commitment to Women Veterans

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MAY 18, 2017 AT 3:17 PM ET BY SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS DAVID SHULKIN

As we celebrate Women’s Health Week, I am pleased to announce that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has adopted American Cancer Society (ACS) breast cancer screening guidelines that give women a choice to begin screening at age 40.

The guidelines also recommend starting yearly mammograms by age 45 and then every other year from age 55. The guidelines apply to women at average risk for breast cancer and complement VA’s already-extensive program for breast care for Veterans.

I believe it’s important for our women Veterans to know that they are in control of their care and the care they receive from VA is consistent with or exceeds care in the private sector. Adopting American Cancer Society standards gives Veterans further assurances that their care aligns with other health-care systems.

It’s worth drawing attention to a few other related facts:

  • All eligible women Veterans have access to mammograms either onsite or through care in the community;
  • Currently, 76 percent of women Veterans age 40-49 receive mammograms through VA.
  • VA quality scores from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS), show that women Veterans are much more likely to receive age-appropriate breast cancer screening than women in private sector health care;
  • In 2015, VA provided mammogram screenings to 86 percent of its women Veteran patients age 50-74, compared with the private sector at 73 percent; and
  • VA has established a state-of-the-art information technology Breast Cancer Registry (BCR). The BCR integrates data from several VA sources to provide comprehensive patient specific information about breast cancer screening, test results, past and current breast cancer treatment, and population surveillance of breast care (both in the community and within VA).

Our Acting VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Poonam Alaigh said it perhaps best last week: “Engaging and better servicing the unique healthcare needs of our women Veterans is one of VA’s most important priorities. When it comes to their care, we want women Veterans to be in control of it every day and in every way.”

For more information about VA’s commitment to women Veterans, please visit https://www.va.gov/womenvet/ or call 855-VA-WOMEN (855-829-6636) for information about VA services and resources.

 

Read the original article here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2017/05/18/vas-commitment-women-veterans

 

10 Ways to Balance Hormones Naturally

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By Dr. Axe

naturally balance hormones title

Hormones — such as estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline and insulin — are extremely important chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your overall health. Hormones are secreted by various glands and organs including your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas. The entire endocrine system works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout your body, and if one or more is even even slightly imbalanced it can cause widespread, major health problems.

Conventional treatments for hormonal imbalances usually include synthetic hormone replacement therapies, birth control pills, insulin injections, thyroid medications and more. Unfortunately, for the majority of people suffering from hormonal disorders, relying on these types of synthetic treatments often does three things:

  1. It makes people dependent on taking prescription drugs for the rest of their lives in order to keep symptoms under control
  2. It simply masks the patient’s symptoms, but doesn’t solve them, which means that the patient can continue to develop abnormalities in other areas of the body while the disorder progresses
  3. It causes a higher risk for serious side effects such as stroke, osteoporosis, anxiety, reproductive problems, cancer and more

The good news is there are ways to balance your hormones naturally. Below you’ll learn what type of hormonal imbalance your specific symptoms might be pointing to, what the root causes of your hormonal problem are, and how you can help treat the problem without experiencing the negative side effects associated with synthetic treatments.


Signs & Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of hormone imbalances include:

  • Infertility and irregular periods
  • Weight gain or weight loss (that’s unexplained and not due to intentional changes in your diet)
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Low libido
  • Changes in appetite
  • Digestive issues
  • Hair loss and hair thinning

Symptoms of hormonal imbalances can range drastically depending on what type of disorder or illness they cause. For example, high estrogen can contribute to problems including endometriosis and reproductive issues, while symptoms of diabetes often include weight gain, changes in appetite, nerve damage, and problems with eyesight.

Some specific problems associated with some of the most common hormonal imbalances include:

  • Estrogen dominance: changes in sleep patterns, changes in weight and appetite, higher perceived stress, slowed metabolism
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): infertility, weight gain, higher risk for diabetes, acne, abnormal hair growth
  • Low estrogen: low sex drive, reproductive problems, menstrual irregularity, changes in mood
  • Hypothyroidism: slowed metabolism, weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, digestive issues, irregular periods
  • Low testosterone: erectile dysfunction, muscle loss, weight gain, fatigue, mood-related problems
  • Hyperthyroidism & Grave’s Disease: anxiety, thinning hair, weight loss, IBS, trouble sleeping, irregular heartbeats
  • Diabetes: weight gain, nerve damage (neuropathy), higher risk for vision loss, fatigue, trouble breathing, dry mouth, skin problems
  • Adrenal fatigue: fatigue, muscle aches and pains, anxiety and depression, trouble sleeping, brain fog, reproductive problems

Risk Factors & Causes of Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances are multi-factorial disorders, meaning they are caused by a combination of factors such as your diet, medical history, genetics, stress levels and exposure to toxins from your environment. Some of the major contributors to hormonal imbalances include:

  • Food allergies and gut issues: An expanding field of new research shows that your gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation. If you have leaky gut syndrome or a lack of beneficial probiotic bacteria lining your intestinal wall, your more susceptible to hormonal problems including diabetes and obesity. That’s because inflammation usually stems from your gut and then impacts nearly every aspect of your health (1)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • High levels of inflammation caused by a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Toxicity (exposure to pesticides, toxins, viruses, cigarettes, excessive alcohol and harmful chemicals) (2)
  • High amount of stress, and a lack of enough sleep and rest

10 Ways to Balance Hormones Naturally

1. Eat Healthy Fats (Including Coconut Oil and Avocados)

Eating a variety of foods high in short, medium and long-chain fatty acids is key to keeping your hormones in check. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol. Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.

My four favorite sources of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats include: coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon. Coconut oil uses are plentiful− for example coconut oil (or cream/milk) has natural anti-bacterial and fat-burning effects. Avocado benefits include improving heart health, lowering inflammation, controlling your appetite and contributing to your daily intake of fiber and nutrients such as potassum.  Salmon nutrition is also impressive: it’s one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower inflammation and help with cognitive functions.

2. Supplement with Adaptogen Herbs 

Adaptogen herbs are a unique class of healing plants that promote hormone balance and protection the body from a wide variety of diseases, including those caused by excess stress. In addition to boosting immune function and combating stress, research shows that various adapotogens — such as ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, rhodiola and holy basil — can:

  • Improve thyroid function (3)
  • Lower cholesterol naturally
  • Reduce anxiety and depression (4)
  • Reduce brain cell degeneration
  • Stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels (5)
  • Support adrenal gland functions (6)

3. Balance Your Intake of Omega-3 to Omega-6 Fats

Since the early 20th century, the use of refined vegetable oils and intake of omega-6 fatty acids in our diets have skyrocketed. Because people didn’t also boost their intake of omega-3 foods during this time period, the result has been drastically elevated omega-6 levels.  I’ve seen an onslaught of chronic diseases caused by inflammatoryprocesses literally take over our society, and a major reason why is because of very disproportionate fatty acids in the Western modern diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a large component of brain-cell membranes and are important for cell-to-cell communication in the brain. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help protect against hippocampal neuronal loss and reduce pro-inflammatory responses. (7) Research from Pennsylvania State University suggests that jumping from a ratio of 1:1 omega-3/omega-6s (the ratio our hunter-gather ancestors mostly enjoyed) to the astronomical ratio between 10:1 and 20:1 (omega-3/omega-6s) is one of the primary dietary factors causing many diseases in America. (8)

Here’s a rule of thumb: Be sure to steer clear from oils high in omega-6 fats (safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut), and load up on rich sources of natural omega-3s instead (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass-fed animal products). I want to also mention, there is a type of omega-6 fat you want to try and get in your diet called GLA. GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) can be taken in supplement form by using evening primrose oil or borage oil, and it’s also found in hemp seeds. Studies show supplementing with GLA can support healthy progesterone levels.

4. Improve Gut Health & Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut is a condition that not only affects your digestive tract, but also causes hormone issues. Gut problems have been found to trigger autoimmune reactions, including arthritis and thyroid disorders. (9) So what exactly is leaky gut syndrome?

When undigested food particles, like gluten for example, leak through your gut into your bloodstream, it causes disease-causing inflammation that impacts the entire body — especially glands like the thyroid which is very susceptible to heightened inflammation. Most people with leaky gut have an a deficiency of probiotics in their guts. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can actually improve your production and regulation of key hormones like insulin, ghrelin and leptin.

Steer clear of the foods that can cause damage in your digestive system most, including: processed foods, gluten, hydrogenated oils and added sugar. The top foods and supplements that support healing leaky gut include: bone broth, kefir, fermented vegetables, and high-fiber foods like vegetables and sprouted seeds. In addition, supplements like digestive enzymes and probiotics can aid in repairing your gut lining,which in turn can balance your hormones.

5. Eliminate Toxic Kitchen, Beauty and Body Care Products

Another way to eliminate toxins in your body is to avoid conventional body care products that are made with potentially-harmful chemicals including DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. A better alternative is to use natural products made with ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil. The Environmental Working Group evaluated over 72,000 products and ranked them in an easy-to-understand guide to make sure you have a resource to keep your family safe. Check out EWG’s “Skin Deep Cosmetic Database” today for recommendations for which products to use and avoid.

Another thing to consider is your use of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and containers. It’s best to replace plastic and aluminum with glass and stainless steel because of the toxic effects of BPAAnother wise precaution is to switch from teflon pans to stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron, which can make a big difference in the amount of chemicals making their way into the food you prepare.

6. Exercise (Especially Interval Training)

One of the best all-around activities you can do for your health is high intensity interval training (HIIT) − including one of my favorite types called burst training. If there is a silver bullet out there to help with a sluggish metabolism, weight gain and other issues, this just might be it! Exercise in general is great for balancing hormones because it reduces inflammation, can help you maintain a healthy weight, lowers stress, helps regulate your appetite, and aids in getting better sleep.

Whether we’re talking about endorphins from a “runner’s high”, testosterone, growth hormone or insulin, HIIT and burst training can help your body regulate production and use of these hormones. Exercise can also enhance your immune system, allow your cells to take up more glucose (which lowers insulin), protect you from depression, and keep you more alert without the need for caffeine.

According to the University of Notre Dame Medical School in Sydney, “HIT is associated with increased patient compliance and improved cardiovascular and metabolic outcomes and is suitable for implementation in both healthy and ‘at risk’ populations”. (10)  For people with hormonal imbalances, the key with exercise is to be careful not to overdo it. Training for a shorter period of time (about 20 minutes three times a week) but with higher intensity works well for most people who can’t afford to add any extra stress to their system. Keep in mind that optimal exercise can differ a lot from person to person however, so it’s a good idea to seek advise from a processional if you’re ever unsure.

7. Reduce Stress & Get More Sleep

Unless you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you’re doing your body no favors. A lack of sleep or disturbing your natural circadian rhythm can be one of the worst habits contributing to a hormone imbalance. How so? Because your hormones work on a schedule! Case in point: Cortisol, the primary “stress hormone”, is regulated at midnight. Therefore, people who go to bed late never truly get a break from their sympathetic flight/fight stress response.

A lack of sleep, long-term use of corticosteroids and chronic stress are three of the biggest contributors to high cortisol levels. A report published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism stated that “Stress can lead to changes in the serum level of many hormones including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin”. (11)

Sleep helps keep stress hormones balanced, builds energy and allows the body to recover properly. Excessive stress and poor sleep are linked with higher levels of morning cortisol, decreased immunity, trouble with work performance, and a higher susceptibility to anxiety, weight gain and depression. To maximize hormone function, ideally try to get to bed by 10 p.m and stick with a regular sleep-wake-cycle as much as possible.

8. Watch Your Caffeine & Alcohol Intake

Caffeine in moderate amounts might be okay for some people, but drinking too much caffeine is almost as bad as not getting enough sleep. Caffeine, which can stay in your system for up to six hours, is a chemical that affects the central nervous system (CNS) and raises your heart rate, increases alertness, and changes the way your brain produces hormones. Although caffeine overdoses are rare, caffeine is capable of elevating cortisol levels if it interferes with your normal sleep cycle. It might also have an impact on other stress hormones, such as adrenaline production. You’re probably aware that caffeine is addictive by nature, increases nervousness and anxiety in many people, and is linked with insomnia.

If you need a little boost during the day, try not to drink more than one–two cups. Ideally you’ll turn to matcha green tea or tulsi tea which are much lower in caffeine. The good news is that once you’re health is back on track, small amounts of caffeine can usuallyu be toleraable, and even beneficial. Dartmouth Medical School reports that “caffeine has been shown to increase insulin levels, reduce insulin sensitivity, and increase cortisol levels. However, epidemiological studies have indicated that long-term consumption of beverages containing caffeine such as coffee and green tea is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus”. (12)

Another important step is to watch your alcohol intake, since high levels of alcohol (above about 2-3 drinks daily) can negatively impact liver functioning. Chronic alcohol consumption can contribute to estrogen dominance and has been found to interfere with pancreatic functioning, increase liver disease risk, lower testosterone and contribute to anxiety and malnutrition. The liver is very important for hormonal balance and has over 500 different functions in the body! Of course it’s extremely important to quit smoking too. Studies have found that smoking interferes with normal immunological and reproductive processes. Compared with nonsmokers, moderate to heavy smokers (≥ 10 cigarettes/day) have abnormal levels of steroid metabolites and reproductive hormones that can be up to 35 percent higher than usual.  (13)

9. Supplement with Vitamin D3

According to an article from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D3’s role in promoting health is more profound than previously suspected. Researchers found that vitamin D has an impact in the following ways: (14)

It affects “the adaptive immune system, the innate immune system, insulin secretion by the pancreatic β cell, multifactorial heart functioning and blood pressure regulation, and brain and fetal development.” 

Vitamin D almost acts like a hormone inside the body and has important implications for keeping inflammation levels low. This is why people who live in dark areas often suffer from seasonal depression and other health problems unless they supplement with vitamin D. Sunshine is really the best way to optimize vitamin D levels because your bare skin actually makes vitamin D on its own when exposed to even small amounts of direct sunlight. Most people should supplement with around 2,000 IU to 5,000 IU daily of vitamin D3 if they live in dark areas, during the winter, and on days when they’re not in the sun.

10. Back Off Birth Control Pills

In simplest terms, “the pill” is a type of hormone therapy that raises estrogen levels to such dangerous levels that it can cause many complications. I cannot urge you strongly enough to stop using the pill immediately, especially considering that there are many other (safer) ways to prevent pregnancy. My thoughts on taking the pill can be summed up this way: Just say no to birth control pills! Studies show that the risks of taking them, especially long-term, can include: (15)

  • Breakthrough bleeding between cycles
  • Increased risk of breast cancer
  • Increased risk of uterine bleeding, blood clotting, heart attack and stroke
  • Migraines
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Weight gain
  • Back pains
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Benign liver tumors
  • Breast tenderness

Precautions When Treating Hormonal Imbalances

In some cases, synthetic hormonal treatments (such as insulin or thyroid medication) will be necessary to treat a hormonal imbalance. However the majority of people can feel a lot better by making the lifestyle changes described above.

For people with diagnosed hormonal disorders− including type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Adrenal Insufficiency, Addison’s Disease, Graves’s Disease and Cushing’s Syndrome for example− it’s always important to speak with your doctor before discontinuing medication use. The natural treatments above can still help you overcome your illness and greatly reduce symptoms, but these recommendations shouldn’t take the place of medical supervision. Because hormone imbalances vary so widely in terms of severity of symptoms, always keep track of how you’re feeling, do your research and evaluate how you respond to different treatments.


Final Thoughts on Hormonal Imbalances:

  • Hormonal imbalances affect many millions of people worldwide, in the forms of common disorders like diabetes, thyroid disorders, menstrual irregularities, infertility, low testosterone and estrogen dominance
  • Symptoms include feeling anxious, tired, irritable, gaining or losing weight, not sleeping well and noticing changes in your sex drive, focus and appetite
  • Causes for hormonal imbalances include poor gut health, inflammation, high amounts of stress, genetic susceptibility, and toxicity
  • Natural treatments include eating an anti-inflammatory diet, consuming enough omega-3s, getting good sleep, exercising and controlling stress

Read Original Article: https://draxe.com/10-ways-balance-hormones-naturally/