Crash course to your Hormones

Hormonal balance is essential for overall health, impacting everything from mood and metabolism to reproductive health and function. When our hormones are in harmony, we experience energy, happiness, and well-being.


Hormone Harmony: The Importance of Balanced Hormones 

Hormonal balance is essential for overall health, impacting everything from mood and metabolism to reproductive health and function. When our hormones are in harmony, we experience energy, happiness, and well-being. Its important to understand the role of each hormone, so we can recognise the signs of imbalance and be empowered to take charge in our health to make changes. The best approach is a holistic approach, incorporating quality nutrition, stress management, and adequate sleep, to support our endocrine system and promote hormonal harmony. The journey to achieving optimal hormonal health begins with knowledge and awareness. 

What is our Endocrine system? 

The endocrine system is a complex network of glands and organs that work together to produce and regulate hormones. Imagine your body like a big team of tiny messengers working together to make sure everything runs smoothly. These messengers are called “hormones” and their job is to control essential body functions such as growing, sleeping, happiness, motivation, stress, and even your reproductive cycling.  The endocrine system is designed to work in harmony with your nervous system to maintain homeostasis and ensure the body’s internal environment remains stable and balanced. 

Key Hormones and Their Roles 

Now that we know that our body relies on these hormones to regulate our vital functions, let me introduce you to some of these important hormones, and some of their basic functions. Oestrogen and progesterone influence the menstrual cycle and reproductive health in women. Oestrogen is also used in other systems including your skeletal (bone), adipose (fat cells), and cardiovascular systems. Testosterone, present in both men and women, is known as the male sex hormone and drives libido, bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass, and sperm production (in males). Cortisol responds to stress affecting metabolism and immune response. Thyroid hormone (i.e T3 and T4) control metabolism, and energy levels. Insulin regulated blood glucose levels, and melatonin guides sleep-wake cycles. 


Common Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For 

There are many subtle ways that the body tries to tell us when something is out of whack, and here are a few of the common ways that you may be able to tell. 

  • Irregular Menstrual Cycles: If you have any changes in your cycles or they’re outside of the 21-35 day range (45 for teenagers) 
  • Mood Swings 
  • Fatigue: you have low energy levels, are constantly tired, even after adequate sleep.  
  • Struggling to wake or get out of bed in the morning 
  • Weight fluctuations: unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight 
  • Acne and skin issues: having increased breakouts or skin problems, particularly around the chin and jawline 
  • Hair loss: thinning hair or excessing shedding 
  • Trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep through the night 
  • Changes in libido: decreased sex drive 
  • Hot Flashed: Sudden and intense feelings of warmth, often accompanied by sweating 
  • Digestive issues: bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea, excess gas 
  • Anxiety and depression: Heightened feelings of anxiety, sadness, or mood disorders 
  • Brain Fog: difficultly concentrating or remembering things clearly. 
  • Breast tenderness: increased sensitivity or discomfort in the breasts 
  • Water retention: swelling in hands, feet, or ankles 
  • Skin tags 

Where Can I Start to Fix This? (The Gut-Hormone Connection) 

The first thing you need to understand is how your gut health impacts your hormone balance. You’ve probably heard of your “gut microbiota”, if not, get ready to discover the incredible world of tiny superheroes living inside of you! These friendly bacteria and other microorganisms help you digest your food, produces essential nutrients, and influence how your hormones behave.  

When your gut is happy and balanced, it supports the production and regulation of hormones including oestrogen, progesterone, and cortisol. That means that an unhealthy gut can lead to imbalances in these hormones, and can contribute to issues like irregular periods, mood disorders (anxiety and depression) and swings, and even skin problems (to name a few). 

Thankfully, the gut microbiota is very easily influenced and you can love it and nurture it, like your house plants (unless you’re like me and your gardening skills are, well, a work in progress!) 

Nourishing Your Hormones 

It’s important to maintain a balanced diet to provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to thrive. Incorporating these hormone-nourishing foods into your diet can support your hormonal balance as well as your gut health!  

  • Omega-3 Fatty acids: Think fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, freshly ground chia seeds, and hemp seeds! 
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts (if you’re not a massive fan, roasting them with a bit of olive oil or butter takes the bitter edge off!) 
  • Colourful fruits and vegetables: Think about eating the rainbow. Berries, oranges, capsicums, and spinach are rich in antioxidants and help protect from oxidative stress (also anti-ageing) 
  • Lean proteins: Chicken (especially thigh), turkey, tofu, and legumes provide essential amino acids for hormone synthesis. 
  • Healthy fats: avocado, nuts, and seeds (especially hemp and pepita) 
  • Probiotic-rich food: Kefir, fermented vegetables (i.e sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickle your own!) quality yoghurts (low sugar and full fat ones, such as Chobani, and Jalna are my personal favourite (not sponsored)) 
  • Complex carbohydrates: Whole grains like quinoa, and brown rice, sweet potato, beans and legumes, as well as cooled white rice & potatoes (they become a resistant starch and are amazing for your gut) 
  • Vitamin D: You mostly get this from sunlight, but you can get this from fortified foods, OR Pop your mushrooms in the sun upside down for an hr or earlier in the day before cooking them, they produce their own vitamin D just like our skin! 
  • Magnesium: Found in nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. It is crucial for hormone synthesis and we’re often deficient in this! (Please consult a health professional before supplementing this) 
  • Zinc: Pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, chicken thigh, and lentils. Zinc aids in hormone production and immune function (Please consult a health professional before supplementing this) 
  • Vitamin B6: Found in bananas, potatoes, and salmon, it helps to metabolise excess hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone (which can cause issues such as breast tenderness) 
  • Iron: Spinach, lentils, and red meat provide iron, which is vital for hormone function, energy, brain function, and oxygen transport (to name a few). 


When we eat a balanced diet, we incorporate many types of fruits, vegetables, beans/lentils, nuts and seeds, and meats into our meals, making it easier to meet all these targets effortlessly, so you don’t need to be thinking about whether you’re getting every one of these in your diets.  

Move Your Booty: Exercise for Happy Hormones 

Regular exercise, whether it’s dancing, jogging, yoga, or any activity you love, boosts endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. These endorphins not only help reduce stress and anxiety but also play a role in supporting hormonal balance (including insulin, melatonin, and cortisol, to name a few). So, lace up those sneakers, grab your yoga mat, or hit the dance floor, and let your body and hormones rejoice in the wonderful benefits of movement! 

Endocrine Disruptors: Identifying and Avoiding Hormone-Altering Chemicals 

These are sneaky chemicals that can wreak havoc on our hormones, and they’re found in everyday products including plastics, cosmetics, and cleaning agents. The reason why its important to identify and remove these is because they can mimic or block our hormone actions, which lead to imbalances and intensify conditions such and PCOS (Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome), diabetes, ADHD & ASD, Parkinson’s disease, and thyroid conditions. Our skin, being the largest organ in our body, is super sensitive to absorbing all that it encounters.  Whilst it can be hard to completely eliminate all these agents from our lives, we can make some steps towards removing and replacing them with alternatives.  

Here are some common endocrine disruptors and where you might typically find them: 

  • Bisphenol A (BPA) – It can imitate the body’s hormones, interfering with the production of, or our response to, natural hormones (i.e binding to oestrogen receptors so your oestrogen cannot use them!) Found in plastic products, such as food storage containers and plastic water bottles. 
  • Dioxins – belong to the “dirty dozen” chemicals. They have a highly toxic potential and affect many organs and systems including liver, nervous, and reproductive (and of course endocrine, which is what we’re talking about). More than 90% of human exposure is through food consumption (meat and dairy products), as it accumulates in fatty tissue (some countries do have programs in place to reduce the amount in our food). They can also be found in air emissions from waste burning, and wildfires. 
  • Perchlorates – which interferes with Iodide uptake into the thyroids, can lead to thyroid issues.  This can be found in drinking water, nitrate fertilizers and fireworks. 
  • Perfluroalkyl and Polyfluroalkyl Substances (PFAS) – Can cause health problems including liver damage, thyroid disease, and fertility issues. Used in non-stick pans, teflon, paper, and clothing/textiles.  
  • Phthalates – Used to make plastics more flexibles and make scents last longer. They’re commonly found in everyday products such as cosmetics, candles, other personal care products (i.e body wash, or hand soaps), childrens toys, food packaging, and some medical devices. 
  • Triclosan or Triclocarban – Absorbed through the skin, exposure can result in dermatitis, skin irritation, and increased allergic reactions (especially in children). These are often added to cleaning products and washing powder for is anti-microbial properties.  
  • Mould – Affecting all our systems, mould and mould spores are very toxic and can be absorbed through skin contact, breathing it in, or eating it. It can be found in rotten food, leaking ceilings/roofs, water exposure where it shouldn’t be (i.e from flooding), ventilation ducts etc. 

When we start to work on balancing and restoring our hormone health, endocrine disrupters are one part of the puzzle that we can consider. It is important to remember that we can never eliminate these agents completely from our lives, but if we can be aware of some of the ways we might be exposed, we can make conscious decisions to replace them with quality alternatives (for example, swapping cheap candles with soy candles, or even oil diffusers). 


Final Stop: Unlocking Hormone Harmony for a Thriving You! 

Hormonal balance is the key to overall health and well-being, influencing vital functions from mood and metabolism to reproductive health. Understanding the role of each hormone empowers us to recognize signs of imbalance and take charge of our health. A holistic approach, including quality nutrition, stress management, and sufficient sleep, supports the endocrine system and promotes hormonal harmony. 

The journey to optimal hormonal health begins with knowledge and awareness. By seeking professional guidance from qualified healthcare practitioners, hormone testing, and personalized approaches, we can pinpoint imbalances and provide targeted support.  

Remember, our endocrine system, like a team of tiny messengers, keeps our body running smoothly. We must nourish it with hormone-balancing foods, regular exercise, and mindfulness to maintain balance. Identifying and avoiding endocrine disruptors found in everyday products can further support our hormonal well-being. Through empowering yourself with knowledge, embracing a holistic approach, and embarking on the journey to balance our hormones, we can unlock the path to a healthier, happier life – filled with balance and vitality. 

If you are experiencing or have hormonal issues and want to delve deeper into understanding the condition how to manage it, we can support you with many different strategies, herbal and nutritional support measures that can be tailored to your specific biochemistry and symptoms for optimal results. 

Written by Kahla Garner  8/8/2023 


A note on safety: The information provided is not medical advice, nor is it intended to replace a consultation with a medical professional. Please inform your physician of any changes you make to your diet or lifestyle and discuss these changes with them. If you have questions or concerns about any medical conditions you may have, please contact your physician.