The best place to start in the realm of balancing your cycle, before you head into the world of supplements is to make sure you’re getting all the yummy nutrients you can from your diet.
You can’t have a shit diet and then expect to fix all your problems by taking a few supplements. And this goes beyond cycle problems.
For me, this means cutting out as much processed junk and sugar as I can. I’ve noticed those are two big triggers for how I feel in general, but also how my cycle goes.
Another trigger for a lot of people is dairy. People love their cheese, and can’t imagine giving it up, but it might be causing your cycle issues. I’ve heard from a lot of people who have done an elimination diet to find what their triggers are. The big one right now is Whole 30, or you can just keep a food journal, track what you eat and how you feel after. That's what I did when I originally went vegetarian.
Going along with nutrition, drink mo’ water. I’m just as guilty of this one as the next person, but I see such a drastic change in my cycle depending on how hydrated I am that month.
Now, the thing I want to say before I get into this is, you’re going to want to look into different supplements in the context of what you’re trying to heal. There aren't 'fix-all' magical pills out there. You're going to want to dig in first and figure out what it is that's actually wrong. Is it too much estrogen, not enough progesterone?
I first want to start with Vitex because this is what I’ve taken to heal my progesterone deficiency. I was experiencing short luteal phases and a lot of premenstrual spotting. Vitex cleared that up for me. It’s also said to help with PMS and breast pain.
Next on the list is magnesium. Before I tried Vitex I had some magnesium that I would rub on the bottoms of my feet. And I still have it. Magnesium is said to be great for a number of different hormonal issues such as PCOS, amenorrhea, PMS, migrants, fatigue and general period pain.
Another one I hear come up quite a bit is zinc. I also tried this one but didn’t see a drastic difference before Vitex. Zinc is said to help with PCOS, acne, PMS, endometriosis and general period pain.
Tumeric is next up on my list. I’m sharing this one because I’ve been looking into it for Michael’s joint pain, and it turns out that it’s also good for heavy periods and period pain.
Both iodine and iron are supposed to help with PMS and period pain. And finally a good probiotic can help with an excess of estrogen, PMS, endometriosis, digestive issues and yeast infections.
Now, there are so many other great supplements and natural treatments out there when it comes to cycle and hormonal issues. I definitely recommend looking into it if it is something you’re interested in.
A great book that I love to reference is Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden. It’s one of those books I’m constantly reaching for to answer a question, and if you’re struggling with any imbalances I recommend adding it to your bookshelf.
And I think if you suspect you have a hormonal imbalance and aren't already doing it you should definitely start charting your cycle. [And if you're interested, I have a great course for those new to FAM and the sympto-thermal method. You can check that out here!]
Have you had success with a natural remedy for a hormonal imbalance? Share it below.