Stress: it’s something everyone seems to suffer from, but no one knows how to overcome. Is it just a part of “normal” life? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you struggle with sleep at night worrying about anything and everything?
- Do you get overwhelmingly anxious when faced with a work deadline or big social event?
- Do you have panic attacks?
If so, you’re not alone: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America, affecting 40 million adults in the United States or 18.1% of the population every year. And women are hit particularly hard by issues related to stress: Women are more likely than men to report having a great deal of stress, and almost half of all women say their stress has increased over the past five years (compared 39 percent of men).
Unfortunately, to address these issues, conventional doctors often turn to pharmaceuticals, prescribing stressed-out women powerful medications that come with a host of serious side effects. Thankfully, drugs are not the only option and there are in fact natural ways to alleviate stress.
Many of us do deal with extremely stressful times at some point in our lives (from what I call “external” stressors). But we should not be feeling stressed every day or even every week. When you start to feel like you’re constantly living on the edge regardless of your circumstances, it’s time to address your physical health (or “internal” stressors) in order to support your mental health.
The fact is that stress is a hormonal reaction in your body that has some serious side effects that are endocrine disruptive. Maybe you’re trying to improve your period, fertility or sex drive. Unchecked stress is a real obstacle in achieving those health goals. Stress and anxiety are unfortunately common — particularly in women — but you shouldn’t just sit and take it – there are ways to help your body and hormones respond to stress more effectively!
The Damage Stress Does To Your Hormones
Stress, in all its various forms, does a number on your hormones: it forces your adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline, and then churn out cortisol in order to protect itself from the damaging effects of too much adrenaline. It’s a natural process, and in rare instances of extreme danger, it’s a useful one. But when this happens over and over again all the time, triggered by everyday stressors like deadlines instead of life-or-death threats, it can actually deplete your cortisol reserve, prompting your adrenals to begin responding poorly to stress and becoming fatigued.
This has a lot of negative effects on your health. Here are the dangerous ways stress damages your hormones and negatively affects your well-being:
- It disrupts your blood sugar. When your blood sugar levels soar and crash (courtesy of too much sugar/alcohol/coffee/carbs, and/or inadequate sleep) your adrenal glands perceive the rollercoaster as a stressor and churn out cortisol in response. Disruption to cortisol has a domino effect on your hormones: it forces your body to eat up progesterone, lengthening your luteal phase, and making your cycles longer and the start of your period sluggish (you may see brown spotting and brown blood before the full flow). You’re also more likely to experience anovulatory cycles and killer PMS. That’s I have some advice on getting a good night’s sleep and how to avoid the pitfalls of alcohol, coffee and sugar.
- It causes vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Excess cortisol from stress depletes your body’s nutrient stores, which are essential for keeping your cool. B vitamins, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids are especially crucial for this purpose, and if you’re stressed, you’re undoubtedly robbing your body of these important players, which actually help prevent the hyper-production of cortisol by your adrenals (and perform a host of other functions like thyroid support and blood sugar regulation).
- It messes up your gut. Ever used birth control pills? Then it’s almost a guarantee your gut is in need of some serious TLC. Every week there’s more research on the gut-mental health connection. A set of gut bacteria, more specifically bacterial genes, called the estrobolome, produce an essential enzyme that helps metabolize estrogen. Your gut is part of the elimination system that is vital in ushering hormones out of the body. A gut flora imbalance can cause everything from bloating and gas to acne and frequent illness.
- It can disrupt ovulation and compromise your fertility. Stress can have a powerful effect on our hormonal health and fertility. In fact, during periods of high anxiety your body is likely to stop you from ovulating. That’s because your body winds up using progesterone to churn out cortisol when you’re stressing out instead of putting that progesterone toward the hormonal harmony you need to be fertile. Evolutionarily, your body “knows” when you’re anxious and can decide that it’s a bad time to make a baby. Even low level constant feelings of anxiety can potentially throw off your hormonal balance.
The 3 Supplements To (Finally) Kick Stress to the Curb
- Magnesium: This powerful mineral calms your nervous system and prevents the creation of excess cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone. When your stress hormonal system is in balance your levels of progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, FSH and LH will follow suit. Magnesium also helps to control insulin production, which reduces sugar cravings and blood sugar spikes, and it helps you get a great night’s sleep.
- B5: Also known as pantothenic acid, this vitamin is crucial to the health of your adrenals, the glands responsible for pumping out cortisol. Studies have shown that supplementing with B5 helps stimulate adrenal cells, which in turn, helps regulate your body’s stress response.
- Omega-3s: Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids go a long way in reducing perceived stress levels and they can have a significant mood-boosting effect.
How to Help Yourself De-Stress With Supplements
If you’re ready to stop living with daily, debilitating stress, then it’s time to seek out natural solutions that will support your adrenals, balance your mood, and empower you to take on everything life throws your way. You can’t always control the external stressors around you, but you absolutely can better manage your internal responses. Why not arm yourself with the most effective, safe, and natural tools available?
Stop spot-treating your symptoms and white-knuckling through your anxiety: Order the Balance Supplement Kit and get the daily dose of essential vitamins and minerals you need to kick stress to the curb, once and for all.
Love and ovaries,
Introducing the BALANCE by FLO Living Hormone Supplement Kit
You’ve been asking me for hormone-friendly supplement recommendations, and I finally have created a solution that I am so thrilled to be able to offer to you on your hormonal balancing journey:
Balance by FLO Living Supplements are a complete package that work together to keep your hormone levels healthy. They include a 2 month (2 cycle) supply of the following formulations so you’re never caught short in any phase of your cycle.
When you take these 5 supplements daily, you’ll be giving your body excellent micronutrients to support healthier hormone levels. Which means that you’ll start to see your worst period symptoms get better… and even disappear after a while.