The key to balancing your hormones lies within the concept of the hormonal hierarchy. I know, who knew that hormones had a hierarchy? What I mean by this is that certain hormones have more power over others. So, if you want to influence sex hormones (at the bottom of the hierarchy), you need to work on your oxytocin, cortisol and insulin levels.
So, if you’re struggling with fasting or balancing your hormones (PCOS, mood swings, menopause, etc), there are a few things that you should understand…
Let’s start by understanding the hormonal hierarchy.
Oxytocin is at the top of the hormone hierarchy, thus the most influential hormone. It’s known as the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone,” because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially. When you boost oxytocin, that has a positive effect down the hormonal line, leading to improved sex hormones. Amazing, right? Boosting oxytocin also has many other benefits on metabolism, like improving glucose uptake, insulin sensitivity, suppressing hunger while fasting and inducing the breakdown of fat!
Cortisol is often called “the stress hormone”. High cortisol levels are a characteristic of the typical “rushing woman”. You can check your cortisol and hormone level with a DUTCH Complete Hormone Test in my office. I highly recommend this to all women.
Third in the hormonal hierarchy is insulin. To regulate insulin you want to avoid foods that spike insulin, like refined sugar, bad fats, flours, vegetable oils, diet drinks, etc. The second part of regulating insulin is burning old insulin stored in fat, and this is done through fasting.
Now we finally get to your sex hormones like progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. They are at the bottom of the hierarchy, because they can be dramatically influenced by the hormones above.
Key to balancing your hormones:
Let’s recap. When you don’t have enough oxytocin in your life and stress goes up, cortisol goes up. As cortisol rises, so does your blood sugar. When your blood sugar goes up, insulin will rise. This is the point where your body starts storing fat faster than normal. The high levels of cortisol and insulin start to accelerate the decline of your sex hormones, leaving you with insomnia, hair loss, anxiety, hot flashes, brain fog, weight loss resistance, low sex drive, and muscle loss. Got it?
Now, here is what you can do: START FASTING. Fasting helps on three levels of the hormonal hierarchy, which is WHY every woman should be fasting.
Fasting balances cortisol levels, stabilizes insulin AND helps cells become more sensitive to sex hormones. Also, make sure you’re fasting around your cycle to support healthy hormones.
Download my FREE book, The Menopause Reset, for more on hormones, fasting and ketobiotic eating during perimenopause, menopause and postmenopausal years.