• Iris Grattan

5 Things Missing From Your DIY Hormone-Balancing Approach.

I break down 5 of the 9 missing components to heal and reverse period issues.

Anti-inflammatory diet

Chronic inflammation contributes to almost every disease process known to man. So, it's impossible to get better with chronic inflammation lighting up your body.

Food is at the top of the list for triggering inflammation. But also for cooling it down. Therefore, your period health will not improve without knowing your inflammatory triggers. And making dietary changes!

Use a popular health diet to focus your energy and develop a plan as a great starting point. Popular ones are the Mediterranean diet, vegetarianism, or paleo.

But the right anti-inflammatory diet for you is the one that eliminates your individual inflammatory food triggers. Eliminating common triggers like gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, and eggs for an abbreviated time will jumpstart a personalized and effective anti-inflammatory nutritional approach. (It’s a sound starting point if you don’t want to pay for a test, don’t have access to one, or want to begin immediately.)

Although, I recommend going deeper with food sensitivity testing to discover your body’s triggers.

No matter how you start, in no way can you avoid the step of discovering and eliminating your individual food triggers - and choosing healthier, different foods than what you currently eat. Otherwise, you prevent permanent healing.

Even if you experience symptom relief, you’ll return to inflammatory food triggers for complete resolution. Especially if you plan to pare down a long list of supplements in exchange for dietary sources of your nutrients. Inflammation hinders the absorption of your micro and macronutrients so you have to deal with this one way or the other.

Unidentified nutritional deficiencies

Deficient minerals or vitamin levels create imbalance and prevent adequate production and function of hormones - a big reason why you have period issues in the first place.

  • Zinc runs up to 300 reactions in your body including anti-inflammatory action in your uterus and ovaries

  • High protein levels decreased testosterone in women with PCOS https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(15)00507-5/pdf

  • The mineral selenium supports optimal thyroid function. This organ, when it underperforms, plays a key role in uterine fibroids and excess estrogen states.

  • Low vitamin D3 levels may contribute to most reproductive dysfunction, disease, and imbalance.

There can be a number of reasons for this:

  • Inflammatory diet - inflames your gut preventing the absorption of your nutrients because it creates a dysfunction of the cells and gut tissue.

  • Genetic variations that prevent proper use of nutrients.

  • Surgeries like bariatric surgery and small/large bowel resections

  • Poor socioeconomic status currently or during childhood and adolescent years

  • Unresolved childhood trauma

  • Avoidant-type diet plans: low fat, low carb, FODMAP, SCD, vegetarianism, veganism

Those are things you need to learn about and deal with. Nutrient depletion leads to symptoms and possibly frank disease no matter what.

A healed gut & a long-range goal

Your gut, or GI tract - from your mouth to your anus - houses the majority of your inflammation system. When it experiences inflammation, gaps in your cells allow food, bacteria, microbes, viruses, and toxins to slip through into your bloodstream. This incites local inflammation that could eventually create an auto-immune reaction. Or systemic inflammation that doesn’t attack your body as in an auto-immune situation but still initiates symptoms or disease.

Stopping inflammation in your gut is one thing. Healing the damage from chronic inflammation is another: a healed gut transforms your life.

What’s better than symptom relief?

  • Reversing the disease process for permanent resolution

  • Preventing future disease

  • Passing along good health to your babies if you decide to get pregnant since adult health outcomes, both mentally and physiologically, start prenatally

  • Sharing your experiences with those you care about

  • Improving your overall quality of health, not just getting a better period

  • Enjoying the foods you once avoided - even in small quantities, infrequently.

A healed gut goes beyond basic recovery to a renewed vitality rarely talked about.

Healthy, you-supportive thoughts that prioritize your self/healthcare

You can't climb over self-neglect to get a better period.

I define self-neglect as thinking that relegates your actions and behaviors which balance and heal behind the actions of caring for others and other things.

So often you may struggle between what you want for yourself and what you need to do for others. It's a common thing for women. And it's called self-sacrificing.

But what are you sacrificing?

You're sacrificing the period health you want. The time it takes to develop it. And the strength and ability to make it happen. Consistently.

(Even God’s not asking you to give up your health care and well-being for him - 3 John 2.)

And it may be hard to see yourself as neglectful. But audit your daily actions and compare your external expenditure of energy to your internal investment.

Are you…

  • Exercising daily?

  • Supplementing for nutritional deficiencies?

  • Meeting with your therapist or life coach to deal with unhealed or troublesome issues?

  • Sleeping 7 - 8 hours a day?

  • Developing or practicing stress-reduction techniques daily?

  • Learning about your body?

  • Working with a medical practitioner for your period problems?

  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet?

  • Dealing with self-sabotaging, condemning, destructive thinking? (Stinkin’ thinking!)

  • Daily or weekly engaging in the creative pursuits that make you happy and joyful?

  • Pursuing your purpose and desires for this season in your life?

  • Growing healthy relationships with your loved ones, friends, and community?

  • Maintaining an active connection with God?

Don't get me wrong if you think I'm telling you to choose between your job and your health.  You can live a healthy life and be a responsible woman.  You can't, however, do everything at once. Meaning from day to day, from moment to moment you'll have to make decisions that include your well-being in addition to your “responsibilities”.  

Being afraid to set limits on your time, ask for help, or simply give a flat out no leads to physical and mental symptoms - many that you currently experience.

And when you finally get the time - make it count! Do any of the things I listed. And do it consistently. Even if it’s only one thing from the list.

A better period really depends on mindset. It’s the secret sauce. And if you don’t have the concept in your head yet - that your health far exceeds your responsibilities (Because how successful can you be while you’re sick?) - then you’ll struggle to recover until you figure that one truth out.

Taking the initiative to learn about your body

You're stuck and not getting better because you treat your body like bits and pieces of a puzzle but assume each piece stands alone. Your brain fog is related to your bloating each month and that’s related to your heavy periods and your lack of motivation. But if you separate each one looking for solutions you miss the picture and never fix the problem.

Instead, learn how your body works.

I recommend classes on female hormones or reproduction. For example, why not learn about your fertility through the Fertility Awareness Method. Online lectures, books, or month-long courses will equip you with the skills to understand your body and track its actions and responses. This provides clarity about how your body operates in real-time with live positive and negative triggers.

Sure you may not be sexually active, trying to get pregnant, or you may use another form of contraceptive. But, if you don't understand how your body functions, then how do you plan to sustain health and well-being for the rest of your life? You’ll be in the doctor’s office at every twinge, sniff, or creak.

Go on amazon and get books on your period. Not just solutions to your problems.

Continue reading the weekly articles I send. They expand your knowledge base because I always include some tidbit about the anatomy and physiology that affect your period health.

Understanding your body becomes easier and more effective with time and education. It enables you to maintain your health and wellness for the long haul - through all the ups and downs of life. You can’t ask a doctor to do that. That’s your job.

Alright, I'm going to stop here.

I have 4 more and those will be in next week's letter.

So, what do you do this week? Here are 4 options

  1. Search for a Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) class online or buy/rent/borrow a book

  2. Read through a few of the posts that explain how to construct a better diet. Start with a blood-sugar balancing post since an imbalance leads to PCOS, tumor growth, painful periods, and...inflammation!

  3. Start using your infographic regularly. If you started on one supplement, add another one depending upon your symptoms. There are food recommendations to start and stop eating as well.

  4. Get help! DIY only works for so long and so far. You can’t replace the knowledge of an expert with google. Sign up for a 30-minute discovery call to determine if the 6-month Period Optimizing Program is right for you.

You have more than enough information to make a huge shift in your health over this next week.

Which one will you do first?

To a better period. Stat!

Dr. Iris

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