29 Oct Anxious? Irritable? Is it hormones?
Anxious? Irritable? Is it hormones?
Hormone imbalance can greatly influence your mood and anxiety level. If you notice that you become more anxious and irritable prior to your period you can be sure that a functional hormonal imbalance is at least partly to blame. Other symptoms you may experience are headaches, food cravings, fatigue, fluid retention and oily skin.
If the anxiety and low mood spreads throughout your cycle we look closer at neurotransmitter production, thyroid function as well as nutrient levels in the diet.
In a consultation I work closely with my clients to identify the contributing factors and develop an evidence-based strategy for reducing symptoms.
Factors that I assess are the relationship between oestrogen and progesterone production, presence of ovulation, thyroid function, liver function, BMI, the level of inflammation in your body as well as macro and micronutrient deficiencies.
A close look at diet and life-style often discloses a few easy changes that you can make to bring about quick change. My clients improve more rapidly and their results last longer if a diet and lifestyle program is followed that increases digestive health and liver function as well as hormonal balance. The liver is integral in regulating the metabolism and removal of sex hormones from the body once they have done their job. A healthy microbiome is the next step in ensuring that conjugated oestrogens are not recycled back into the blood stream.
To encourage a healthy microbiome include all those fabulous prebiotic foods in your diet such as beetroot, blueberries, chickpeas, leek and onion. If you have difficulty digesting sulphur vegetables and legumes like onion and lentils then we support the function of your liver as well as digestive enzyme production so as to optimise liver detoxification and allow you to gradually include all those healthy foods which are not only pre-biotic but have anti-cancer properties as well.
In a large number of patients we discover that a sub-clinical hypothyroidism is a major contributing factor to anxiety, irritability, depression, low energy and poor libido. Selenium, zinc and iodine are necessary for thyroid hormone production as are vitamin B6, A and C. A growing number of studies on medicinal herbs show their ability to enhance the level of thyroid hormones. In practice I see this constantly replicated in the blood test results from my patients.
A herb I regularly recommend for pre-menstrual mood changes continues to show positive results in scientific trials. Chaste tree has been used for PMS for hundreds of years.
Studies have shown that high quality Chaste Tree balances hormones in the body by interacting with a dopamine receptor. Good evidence and safety exists for the use of Chaste tree for PMS, cyclical mastalgia (breast pain and lumpiness), mild hyperprolactinemia and luteal phase defect (can lead to reduced fertility).
Don’t put up with your symptoms any longer, make the choice for a healthier more fertile you.
Eloise Charleson B.H.Sc(Naturopath) has many years of experience working in women’s and children’s health. She has been in private practice for over 17 years both locally and in Europe. She began her career working with some of Australia’s key figures in Natural Medicine for Women and has gone on to consult, lecture and write in the field.
Contact NatMed if you would like to make an appointment.