There seems to be a growing silent epidemic of hormonal problems among women – this includes thyroid problems, breast and ovarian cancers, precocious puberty, PCOS, and severe menopausal and menstrual symptoms, among many.
Why is this happening?
What are Hormones?
Hormones are the chemical messengers that control all the functions in our body, from our circadian rhythm, metabolism, growth, stress responses, blood sugar balance and energy, as well our sexual function and reproduction.
Hormones include cortisol, adrenaline, melatonin, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and insulin, among many, many others.
All these hormones are interconnected and work together, and if one or more go out of balance, the whole system could become imbalanced.
What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women?
In terms of hormonal imbalance specifically related to women, the symptoms and conditions can include:
- Poor sleep and insomnia
- Weight gain or loss
- Mood swings, anxiety and depression
- Irregular and painful periods
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Digestive issues
- Low libido
- Breast tenderness or pain
- Acne and other skin issues
- Brain fog and memory lapses
- Headaches and migraines
- Joint pain
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Why is this happening?
There are times in our life when we as women will naturally get imbalance with our reproductive hormones, such as puberty, pregnancy, whilst breastfeeding, as well as perimenopause and menopause. This is normal.
However, sometimes this imbalance can be more extreme and/or prolonged than it should be and it starts to negatively affect our everyday lives. It seems that more and more women are suffering with severe PMS, menopausal symptoms, infertility, and it’s even affecting girls; it is now common that menarche (a girl’s first period) occurs as young as 8 or 9 years old, whereas it wasn’t like this even 30 years ago, where the norm was more like 12-13 years old or even older.
Since the functions of all hormones are interrelated, it is not surprising that with our increasingly stressful and hectic lives, as well as our chronic exposure to toxicity from our environment and food, that our hormones don’t work the way they are supposed to!
Let’s just take chronic stress, probably the biggest factor. When we are constantly stressed out we secrete too much cortisol, the stress hormone that is produced in our adrenal glands.
Too much cortisol can in turn lead to increases in oestrogen; excess oestrogen is the main culprit for all sorts of hormonal symptoms, many of them listed above; it is even one of the factors in developing breast cancer (though it doesn’t necessarily mean you will!).
Another big factor is the toxic substances in our environment. Some of these chemicals are what are called xenoestrogens or endocrine disruptors. These chemicals mimic oestrogen and can cause imbalance in our hormonal system.
Xenoestrogens are present in non-organic foods, skincare products, plastics, paint, cleaning products, car fumes, water supply, birth control, and disposable menstrual products. They are basically everywhere! It’s no wonder our hormonal systems are all out of whack!
What can you do about it?
Aiming to eat more organic foods, avoiding conventional household and skincare products and replacing them with more natural options, managing our stress better – all these things will help.
Take baby steps and be kind to yourself; it can be overwhelming to change everything at once, and even then it is still difficult to avoid everything and be perfectly calm and mindful all the time.
Each of us is unique; we have different lifestyles and challenges, so our hormonal imbalances will affect us in different ways. Some of us will get the mood swings and weight gain and low libido, whilst other may get the breast tenderness and headaches.
This is why I love homeopathy for hormonal imbalance – every single prescription is tailored to your unique symptoms and situation.
If your hormonal symptoms are affecting your everyday life more than you’d like, then feel free to get in touch to see if homeopathy can help. I offer a free 30-minute call where we can chat about how homeopathy can help you and see if we can work together.
I love Christmas, it’s one of my favourite times of the year, especially when I spend it with my extended Mexican family. However much I love it, it is nevertheless not always totally stress free.
There’s presents to buy, travel to plan, relatives to deal with that you normally don’t deal with, meals to plan and prepare, events to attend… The list could be endless….
Christmas time seems to be one of those periods of the year where stress is the highest amongst people.
And each of us is unique in what we perceive as stressful and how we express it physically, mentally and emotionally.
For example, being around family all the time is not stressful for me, but it is for my husband. He may get headaches and body tension, and be more irritable and bossy than normal.
On the other hand, traveling is what stresses me out the most, especially if it involves an airport, whereas it doesn’t really bother him. Our holiday this year requires air travel, and I’m already anxious when I think about it, with butterflies in my stomach, interrupted sleep, and body tension.
Other expressions of stress include, anger and frustration, anxiety, depression, nausea, neck and shoulder tension and pain, migraines, insomnia, fatigue.
Thankfully I have all my homeopathic remedies, essences and homeobotanicals to help me and my family cope during the holidays! And these can help you as well!
Here are some of the key remedies to have on hand if you are stressing about Christmas:
I love essences, they are so gentle and powerful at the same time. And very easy to take. You can have them in drops or sprays and can take them as often as you need. They can even be put in with essential oils in a diffuser to permeate a whole space.
Here are my favourite Alaskan Essences combinations for Christmas, which I am happy to make up for you; just drop me a line, no consultation necessary! They make great Christmas gifts as well!! Essences are £8 (30ml dropper)/£10 (50ml spray) for a single essence, and £10/£12 for a bespoke combination.
Travel Ease: this one is great for travel stress, jet lag and for easing the toxic effects of air travel (radiation and pollutants).
Beyond Words: This combo is to help in all aspects of communication, from expressing yourself verbally and non-verbally, listening, accurately conveying your thoughts and ideas, and strengthening your self-confidence.
Guardian: If you are extra sensitive to other people’s energies or just feel you need to have stronger boundaries and feel more protected, this essence is for you!
Lighten Up: A great essence for the darkest time of the year! Very useful if you are affected by SAD, or if just need a lift of energy and mood.
Soul Support: Similar to the Bach Rescue Remedy, this essence is for any stressful situation; it helps you deal with accidents, fear of flying, motion sickness, arguments. Great one to have close at hand in your bag!
Most of these are in your homeopathic remedy first aid kit. If you don’t have a homeopathy kit, I highly recommend you get one. It is an inexpensive way to have a collection of the most commonly needed remedies on hand. If you are in the UK, you can get one at Ainsworths or Helios (for a 36 remedy kit you will need to contact them by phone or email). If you are in the USA, Homeopathy Kits is a great place to get Helios remedy kits. If you have any questions about which one is best for you, please do drop me a quick message.
Argentum Nitricum (Arg Nit): This remedy is great if you get very anxious things are going to go wrong, keep asking what if’s, are very restless, can’t sleep and may get diarrhea from all that urgent anxiety!
Arsenicum Album: This also great for those of us anxious about our families, our health, and are very particular about how things should be. Similar to Arg Nit, you are very restless and can’t sleep, but have a bit of a temper. Also great if you get food poisoning from your Christmas dinner!
Cocculus: When you can’t sleep, have headaches from the top of your head to the back of your neck, nausea and dizziness, then this remedy may be for you. Also great for jet lag and motion sickness so keep it in your travel bag!
Coffea: Another great remedy for sleeplessness, especially if you are wired up and overexcited (think kids on Christmas eve!), overly sensitive and overly reactive.
Gelsemium: If you get shaky and trembly with anxiety, and feel sick from it and incapable of doing anything, then you may need this remedy. Also great if you are tired and completely exhausted but can’t fall asleep.
Ignatia: If you are disappointed because things didn’t go your way and have a hard time accepting it, Ignatia could be the remedy for you, especially if you brood, sigh, laugh and cry (changing moods), are overly sensitive, feel like there’s a lump in your throat and can’t sleep, and maybe even feel a bit depressed. If you have a headache it feels like a nail driven into your head.
Lycopodium: People who need Lycopodium get anticipatory anxiety but they may be very over-confident and bossy to hide it. They don’t want to be noticed much and are very self-conscious. They may get gassy and bloated from anxiety and be very rude and irritable.
Natrum Muriaticum: Another great remedy for disappointment, especially if you don’t want to talk about it, wants to be left alone to brood. You don’t want sympathy and don’t cry in front of others. And love salty food! Great for headaches where it seems little hammers are beating on your head.
Nux Vomica: Probably the best remedy for Christmas overindulgence – when you ate too much, drank too much! Especially if you get grumpy, irritable and impatient and are oversensitive to noise and light. Great for hangover headaches, and if you seem to always wake up around 3-4am. (I recommend taking it before you go to bed after a night of overindulgence! Really helps the next morning – I speak from experience!)
Sepia: If you feel totally exhausted, drained and over-burdened, feel indifferent about your family (including your children!) and irritated by them, and want to be left alone, then this may be for you. You usually feel better when dancing and exercising, and love chocolate and sour things.
Staphisagria: This remedy is for someone who can’t say NO, is always nice and tries to please everyone but feel resentful about it. They never seem angry, but are hiding it and suffering in silence. However, you may not want to be in the room with them if they do express their anger as they may shout and throw things! Good remedy if you get headaches or urinary tract infections and have pent up anger.
Do get in touch if you need extra support at this time of year; I offer a free 30-minute consultation for prospective new patients to see if i am the best person to work with you!
It’s only November and I’ve already had my first cold (thanks to my lovely daughters!). I remember telling people I had a bit of a cold, and almost everyone would try to stay away from me, worried that they may catch it.
With our busy lives, it is not surprising that most of us want to avoid being run down with a cold, especially if we have children to look after.
You may be surprised to know, however, that getting a cold once or twice a year is not a bad thing, and is actually a sign that your immune system is functioning well.
Yes, it can be annoying, but it is actually giving you body a chance to rid itself of toxins, rest (if you let it!), and for your immune system an opportunity to strengthen itself – which then means you may be less likely to become ill with worse kinds of infections!
Many of the symptoms of cold and flu are quite similar; some people think they may have the flu, but actually that may not be the case. Flu symptoms are much more severe.
With a cold you will probably not get a fever (or very mildly if you do), whereas with flu there will almost always be a fever, usually high, which last a few days. Flu is also usually accompanied by body aches and exhaustion, sometimes quite severe, which means you will likely want to stay in bed for a few days.
If you are getting several colds a year, or if they take a long time to resolve, then your immune system may not be functioning optimally. This may be due to many factors, including stress, diet, and other chronic conditions. Do see your homeopath or health professional to get to the bottom of it and help you strengthen your immune system.
In the meantime, what can you do at home to prevent or minimise the symptoms of colds and flu in a more natural way?
There are many, many homeopathic remedies that can help lessen symptoms and get you through it quicker. Here are some of the main ones, most of them available in homeopathic first aid kits:
Aconite: this is the remedy to take when you are just starting to feel those first symptoms of cold or flu, especially if you have gotten chilled.
Arsenicum Album: if you are feeling very chilly, your eyes and nose are streaming with burning discharges and lots of sneezing, are very tired and anxious, and only want little sips of water.
Bellandona: Great remedy for high fevers, with a very red face and dilated pupils, throbbing headaches and the skin is hot to the touch.
Eupatorium Perfolatum: This is the one of the main remedies for flu, especially when there is a lot of bone pains, with lots of thirst, shivering, chills, aching and red eyes.
Gelsemium: Another main remedy for flu, where you feel extremely tired, heavy and sleepy, very chilly, shivery and achy, but not thirsty at all.
Kali Bich: Great remedy for very thick, sticky, stringy or dry yellow and green mucous that is difficult to get out.
Natrum Muriaticum: If you have lots of sneezing, with watery bland discharge that looks like raw egg white, this remedy may be for you.
Nux Vomica: This remedy is if you are feeling very chilly and can’t warm up, you are quite irritable, lots of sneezing, but your nose is stuffed up and it’s difficult to get the mucous all out.
Pulsatilla: Great remedy for children (or adults!) who are very clingy and teary, mucous is yellow or green, and symptoms are usually much improved with fresh air.
These wonderful remedies made in New Zealand have some great options to support you through a cold or flu. I can make you a bespoke blend of these, depending on your particular symptoms and they can be used along homeopathy or any other treatment. Here are a few options that may help:
Hb C Cold and Catarrh: really helpful when there is lots of mucous and catarrh.
Hb I Immune: boosts the immune system and acts as an anti-microbial and anti-septic.
Hb R Respiratory: supports the whole respiratory system, including lungs, sinuses, and eustachian tubes.
Hb X Expectorant Coughing: soothes coughs and helps expel mucous.
First Aid: For the early, feverish stages of acute illnesses.
Promyr: Amazing anit-viral and anti-bacterial blend.
Nutrition and other general recommendations:
If you are trying to prevent colds and flu, make sure you eat well, lots of green vegetables and foods full of anti-oxidants. Anti-microbial foods, like ginger, honey and garlic, are also great for prevention and treatment. Also make sure you get plenty of exercise and fresh air.
If you have a cold or flu already, the most important thing to do is rest, rest, rest!!!
Also eat light, and ensure you get plenty of fluids into your body. Honey and lemon drinks are great for easing some symptoms like sore throats and coughs.
Supplementing with Vitamins C and D may help boost your immune system before and during a cold or flu.