I recently spoke with someone who is having issues with their hormones, and her doctor wants to put her on birth control, but she does not want or need birth control. She asked what she could do naturally to help correct the problem she is having with her monthly cycle. I’ve had this question asked numerous times over the years from women who are frustrated and looking for an answer to their problem that doesn’t have the potential harmful side effects that birth control can have.
I think most people think of birth control pills, as the name implies, for birth control, but they are also prescribed for hormone imbalances, especially for younger women who are having irregular menstrual cycles and or premenstrual syndrome. Sometimes birth control pills can help, but there are many women who don’t want to take these pills because of the side effects and there are some women who don’t want to take them for religious or other reasons. However, I think that most women are unaware of the potential harmful side effects that birth control pills can cause. Like hormone replacement drugs, these birth control pills contain synthetic hormones. These synthetic hormones can increase a person’s risk of cancer and heart disease, including high blood pressure and strokes. They can also increase the potential for headaches, depression, weakness, insomnia, and weight gain, just to name a few. It makes complete sense to me why some women, who are not trying to prevent pregnancy, do not want to take these synthetic hormones. One of the reasons for some of these side effects is nutrient depletion. So if you do choose to take birth control, you need to be replacing these nutrients that you are losing and I highly recommend you consult with your health care provider for advice on what nutrients you should be taking. Here are the three things that I tell women whose hormones may be out of whack
Get a Saliva Test
The first thing I tell women who ask me what they can do about not wanting to take birth control pills is that they need to have their hormone levels tested. The reason for the problem you are experiencing is mostly likely because there is something out of balance with your hormones and the only way you will know how to correctly restore that balance is to test your hormone levels. There are a couple ways you can have that done. One is by blood test, which can be done by your doctor. The second way is to have saliva tested and the company I use for this is DiagnosTech. They provide the saliva test kit for free and I get them for women all the time. I highly recommend the saliva test over the blood test because the saliva gives you a better indicator about what’s going on in the cells in your body.
Check Your Adrenals
The second thing I tell women to be aware of are their adrenal glands. These two little glands sit on top of your kidneys and are also known as your stressor glands. These glands produce numerous hormones that are responsible for all kinds of functions in our bodies. One of these functions is the production and release of some of our sex hormones. When I say sex hormones, I am talking about estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Those are your three primary sex hormones and your adrenals can have a direct effect on the production and function of these three hormones. So, it may be essential that you have your adrenals tested because there could be a hormonal imbalance caused by dysfunctional adrenal glands.
Get a Thyroid Panel
The third thing I would recommend is thyroid testing. Most people are not aware that their thyroid gland can have an effect on the menstrual cycle. Thyroid testing is a simple blood test that can be done by your health care provider. Most of the time they are just going to test your TSH, or your thyroid stimulating hormone. But I recommend you get a complete thyroid panel done. If you go in to your doctor, request that they do a complete thyroid panel instead of just checking your TSH.
If you are having a problem, I highly recommend getting all three tests done, not just one. If you are one of these young women who are having these types of problems with your cycle on a regular basis, then I encourage you not to just accept it as a part of life. These problems that you may be experiencing, especially prolonged bleeding, can lead to other health problems. So do not put it off, see a health care provider right away to find out why you are having the types of problems that you are.
If you know someone that may need this information then please share this blog or Episode 27 of the Feeling Good Podcast with them! If you have further questions on this subject or any other then email [email protected].