Hormonal imbalance in women

Every woman dreams of being able to live happily and healthily.

Biologically, women experience fluctuating hormones throughout their lifetime, month, and even day. Chronic stress, exposure to environmental hormone-mimicking chemicals, and nutrient-poor diets exacerbate these hormone fluctuations and make us feel unsexy, exhausted, and cranky. And many women believe that these feelings are a normal part of being a woman. But they are wrong. Feeling anything but alive, fabulous, and sexy is not normal.

Society's inflated expectations of a woman forced us to abandon our everyday needs to be healthy and happy. Is it possible to regain this sense of balance? Yes. You just need a guide who can show you the way!

I know you are motivated and ready for a change if you are reading this. My mission is to guide you on the journey to a better version of yourself.

I see you. I am here to be your guide. I know how to help you rediscover your vitality without adding stress to your already busy life.

Hello, I'm Katia, a Nutritional Therapist and female health specialist practising in Hong Kong

I have spent ten years of my life working in a high-pressure industry, which took a massive toll on my body, bringing it to a complete collapse. Frustrated, overweight, with insomnia and debilitating anxiety, I looked everywhere for answers to how I could turn things around. At that time, I discovered nutrition therapy. It changed my life.

Many women panic once they turn thirty, and their bodies no longer bounce back with the same energy and ease as they used to. Initially, women ignore this loss of control over their bodies and minds. However, when problems continue to add up, women often panic and turn to the internet to find solutions to their problems.

Have you been asking Dr Google how to stay energised, lean and healthy as you age? Just be honest!

If the answer is "yes," you are in the right place. My mission is to help busy women struggling with their health, hormonal imbalances, and age-related changes to their minds and bodies. I have the answers for you. I've been there, and now I feel better in my forties than I ever did in my twenties. And I want to share the secret to feeling fantastic with other women.

I'm here to help you transition from an anxious, exhausted, overweight, and sleep-deprived person to a new, confident, fabulous, and happy you.

Book the free review below to start your transformation and learn to love your body and your life again

What's all the fuss about hormone balance?

Are you wondering what 'hormonal balance' looks like and why it is essential for women? Hint: it doesn't just refer to the health of your period or your ability to get pregnant.

The human body secretes over 50 hormones - chemical substances produced by different endocrine glands in the body (such as our pancreas, thyroid, and ovaries). When things are going right, the right hormones are made in the right amounts, you feel energised, you sleep well, your periods feel effortless, and your weight is stable.

Like in a well-directed orchestra, different instruments playing in sync result in a beautiful concert. However, if the conductor misdirects the orchestra or one of the instruments is out of tune, the result will be pretty disappointing! A similar thing happens with our hormones - if one of them is out of balance, it can affect how our other hormones behave.

Hormones affect many processes in the body: how you feel, your energy levels, your emotions, your mood, as well as your sex drive or whether you're hungry, crave sweets, or even when the stubborn belly fat is growing. Hormones are so much more than just about pregnancy. They impact every one of us on so many levels.

You won't notice when your hormones are balanced, working in sync, and everything is great. But when at least one hormone in your body is out of sync, many unwelcome consequences may occur. Just one hormone being out of balance can create a domino effect that can negatively affect the whole hormonal system.

What are the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women?

Do you feel your life is like a hormonal rollercoaster? It's time to step off that ride. You should know that there is a natural way to help manage your symptoms and address their root cause by learning how to balance your hormones.

Yes, the hormonal balance in women changes as we age. The good news? Hormones are very responsive to diet and lifestyle, and our lifestyle and nutritional choices have an enormous power to affect our hormonal health and harmony.

10 warning signs you may be experiencing hormonal imbalances in your body:

  • you are tired all the time
  • you are gaining weight
  • you have a big fat tire around the middle
  • you struggle with adult acne
  • you experience hot flashes or night sweats
  • your sleep is disrupted
  • your periods are painful, heavy, or irregular
  • your mind is foggy, and you are forgetful
  • you feel anxious and see red all the time
  • your hair is thinning, or you are losing it altogether

The health of our hormones impacts more than just fertility

Brain health, cognitive function and mood; gut health and digestion; cardiovascular health; bone health; metabolism, and energy production are all influenced by hormonal balance. Below are just some conditions with a hormonal imbalance at their core.

Infertility Menstrual migraines
Miscarriage Breasts tenderness or engorgement
Low libido Heavy or painful periods
Anxiety Adult acne
Depression PMS
Unexplained weight gain/loss PCOS
Fatigue Endometriosis
Insomnia Inability to build muscle mass

Does any of the above sound familiar?

Don't worry. It simply means an underlying hormonal imbalance needs addressing. Book your free hormone review with me and take your hormonal health to the next level!

Key areas of women's health negatively impacted by hormonal imbalances

Let’s take a closer look at these four areas of women's health that can suffer as a consequence of the hormonal imbalance

Stubborn weight

While hormonal imbalance in women can manifest itself in different ways, the inability to lose weight despite their best effort comes up frequently among my clients. Many questions arise in this space:

  • Why does it become harder to lose weight as we get older?
  • Why do I keep gaining weight?
  • What is the best way to lose stubborn belly fat?
  • How to reduce fat in my hips and thighs?
  • And many other weight struggles, especially after women turn forty

Let me explain. The quantity and ratio of your hormones may determine how much weight you gain and where you gain it. For example, imbalanced sex hormones may lead to the weight that sits around your thighs and hips. At the same time, the stress hormone cortisol facilitates body fat storage around the middle. The role of hormones in weight management is one of the reasons why losing weight is not just about optimising the calories-in-calories-out equation. It is about resetting the system so you stop putting calories away as fat stores and can use the fat for your energy needs. Once you restore hormonal rhythm and balance throughout your body, your weight will also return to the optimal level with minimal effort.

Best ways to lose weight for women?

Below are six steps you can take today to lose weight and take care of yourself:

Consume adequate protein
Adequate quality protein consumption is key to managing weight. Protein not only keeps hunger at bay but is also one of the critical building blocks for many messengers in the body. Meat, chicken, seafood, and eggs are excellent sources of protein to include with every meal. Tempeh, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, and tofu are great protein sources if you are vegetarian.
Cut back on sugar and simple carbs
Limiting sweets and refined carbohydrates helps stabilise blood sugar and lower the need for the hormone insulin, curbing our appetite and helping us use stored fat for energy needs.
Eat healthy fats
Fats from olive oil, avocado, nut and seeds, and oily fish are the building materials for many hormones. Healthy fats are also crucial for our cells' health, allowing them to communicate effectively (i.e., respond to hormonal messages). On the other hand, vegetable oils (like sunflower oil) and trans fats found in packaged foods can wreak havoc on our cells' health, so eliminate these from your diet to support your hormonal health.
Prioritise sleep

Quality sleep is essential if you want to lose weight. One night of disrupted sleep can cause havoc with our blood sugar, making us crave unhealthy food and hold on to excess energy more efficiently. Get seven to eight hours of sleep to help you manage weight. What is the first step you can take today to improve your sleep? Go to bed an hour earlier, and don't take your phone or other electronic devices to your bedroom.

Manage stress

While we can't permanently eliminate stressors in our life, it is essential to remember that it is not the stressful situation itself but our perception of it that matters. Practising yoga and meditation, taking a few minutes to do a breathing exercise, or simply going for a walk in the park can make a big difference in how the body responds to stress and help eliminate the cravings for sweets and snacks.

Engage in appropriate levels of exercise

One does not have to run a marathon, or run at all, to introduce exercise into one's life. To benefit from physical activity, we can simply walk regularly, as even a near-daily brisk walk can do wonders for our hormonal balance. Try going for a short walk after meals; it will make a big difference to how your body uses and puts away the energy from the food you eat.

One more common question for women concerned with weight loss is, 'why do I retain so much water?'.

Water retention may have several underlying causes:

  • Fluctuations in sex hormone levels could lead to the body holding on to more water and salt, which causes body cells to swell up, leading to the feeling of bloating or puffiness.
  • Excess oestrogen levels can lead to the body retaining more water.
  • The hormone progesterone, which is high in the latter half of your cycle, can slow down digestion, leading to feelings of bloating or fullness.
Give your liver some love

If our bodies cannot clear used hormones effectively, this can contribute to hormonal imbalances, which, among other things, may contribute to water retention. The liver plays a significant role in removing used-up hormones from the body. Support it by adding quality protein, cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic, ginger, herbs & spices to every meal. Reducing alcohol intake and managing stress will further help by reducing the load on the liver, freeing up the capacity to detoxify other substances.

Fibre and water
Drink 2 litres of clean water every day and eat adequate fibre. Once the liver has packaged the used-up hormones, our gut is responsible for removing these from the body. Making sure we poop daily is key to this. Fibre and water are crucial to supporting daily bowel movements.
Regular exercises
Can help disperse the liquid in the body and support our detoxification functions, helping us remove used-up hormones and other toxic substances from the body.
Diuretic food

Asparagus, grapes, and cucumbers are just some foods known for their diuretic effect.

Dandelion leaf

If you retain water or feel puffy before your period, dandelion leaf can help you naturally expel the excess water. Add it to salads and soups, or make tea from its flowers.

Problem with mood

Do these feelings sound familiar to you?

  • Are you prone to mood swings?
  • Are you an emotional mess?
  • Are you groggy and irritable?
  • Are you seeing red all the time?
  • Do you have an anxious knot in your stomach?

For years, I believed feeling overwhelmed with emotions as my period approached was normal. I never really understood what those emotional swings meant. I thought it was part of being a woman. I thought I just had to "ride out the storm". I now know that just because your hormones fluctuate during the month doesn't mean you have to be an emotional mess.

Many women of reproductive age experience such emotional premenstrual symptoms as depression, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, hopelessness, and apathy. You don't have to live like this.

Try the simple changes below to support your mental health.

Cut back on sugar and simple carbs

These foods promote inflammation in the body and the brain, contributing to many physical and emotional symptoms. Instead, add herbs and spices to your diet, such as rosemary and turmeric, known for their anti-inflammatory effect.

Move your body
Exercise can do wonders not just for your body but also for your mental health. Moderate exercise, which can be as simple as a brisk daily walk, can lower inflammation and improve brain function.
Eliminate inflammatory foods
Try to eliminate gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and inflammatory fats (fats found in processed or refined foods, fast foods, margarine, and vegetable oils) to reduce the load the body has to deal with, freeing up the capacity for renewal and repair.
Getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep at night gives our body and brain time to recover.
Brain-supporting fats
Eat oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines at least three times a week. These fats contain vital structural components for our brain cells and can also help lower inflammation.
Banish stress
Excess stress hormones are damaging to our brain cells. Introducing stress management practices like meditation, breathing, or simply taking a relaxing bath in the evening can help protect your mental and emotional health.
Eat a rainbow
Ensure you eat a variety of vegetables with every meal. Veggies are a nutrient powerhouse and can help protect the cells from daily insults.

Gut health

Constipation, diarrhoea, bloating. These gut discomforts are too familiar for many of us.

While there can be many reasons behind the gut symptoms, a hormone shift can also play a role by changing your bowel habits. More than 30% of menstruating women suffer from abdominal bloating in the run-up to their period. The hormone progesterone, which rises in the second half of your cycle, can play a role in this. Progesterone can slow digestion, contributing to bloating, fullness, or even constipation. And when the levels of this hormone drop just as your menstruation starts, this can decrease the transit time; in other words, it makes you poop more.

Take these steps today to support your gut health:

Anti-inflammatory diet
Remove processed foods, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and gluten from your diet. Instead, show your gut some love by eating various vegetables, berries, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Mindful eating

Take a minute to anticipate your meals and enjoy the smell and look of your food. Eat slowly and mindfully. Try to eat at the table without devices (phone, TV, etc.). These simple steps will prepare your body to digest the food and absorb the nutrients from your meal.

Stress management
Work on practices to help you manage stress, especially before meals. When we are stressed, our body prioritises addressing stress over digestion. Sitting down for a few minutes of belly breathing before you eat your food can make a big difference in preparing your gut for the meal.

Problem with sleep and enegy

Are you tired all the time? Do you have an afternoon energy crash when you want to reach for coffee and chocolate? Do you struggle to fall asleep or wake up frequently at night? Do you wake up feeling fatigued even after sleeping for ten hours?

Some common factors that may be associated with fatigue and disrupted sleep may include the following:

  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Low iron levels
  • Reduced levels of chemical messengers like serotonin
  • Inflammation
  • Nutrient deficiencies

Here are my top tips to combat fatigue and improve sleep:

Banish sugary foods
Abrupt hormonal changes, such as when their levels surge and collapse, greatly impact our energy level and sleep quality. Sugary foods are at the heart of the hormonal rollercoaster. To prevent energy crashes, eat less sugary foods, replacing them with quality protein and healthy fats which sustain energy for longer.
Add more plant foods
Vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are excellent sources of fibre, which can help sustain the energy release from your meals, keeping you energised for longer.
Quality sleep
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, which helps fine-tune your circadian rhythm. Start a bedtime routine (such as taking a bath or reading a book) to prepare your body for sleep. Drop the temperature of your bedroom, which may help you fall asleep faster and have a more restful night.
Iron-rich foods
Menstruating women can lose a lot of iron due to monthly blood losses. Healthy iron levels are essential for sustained energy. Red meat (especially organ meats) and leafy greens (if you are vegetarian) are excellent sources of iron. Combine iron-rich foods with fruit and vegetables containing vitamin C (e.g. citrus fruit and greens) to aid absorption. Do not drink caffeinated drinks too close to meal times, as these can hinder iron absorption.
Manage your stress
As we have seen, stress hormones disrupt many processes in the body and are often at the heart of hormonal imbalances. Try different stress management techniques to understand which works best for you. Some examples to experiment with are meditation, journaling and breathing exercises.

My step-by-step integrative approach to hormone balance.

If you want to take your hormonal health to a new level, I will guide you through this process.

My mission is to lead, encourage, and teach you to bring the most powerful and effective methods I have honed in my practice into your life in a way that works for your unique circumstances. I know you can feel revitalised and sexy again and do so without synthetic drugs or expensive therapies.

How do I do this?

Working closely together, we uncover the root causes of your symptoms and imbalances. We determine whether you are getting enough of the essential building blocks to make the brain chemicals and hormones, if your body can eliminate the chemical messengers effectively and efficiently, if your cells are sensitive to hormonal signals, and so on. How you eat, move, think and supplement governs how you look and feel. We work with all these modalities to help you achieve balance and feel and look fantastic. I will show you the best daily choices for you based on your hormonal vulnerabilities. And I will help you make these changes safely, effectively, and efficiently and make them fun.

If you feel it is time to sort out your hormones, I'm here, ready to guide and support you in rediscovering a happy, healthy you!
Hormonal imbalance

Revealed: The Secret to Happy Hormones

What if you could support the health of your hormones without adding stress to your already busy life? I’ve got you covered. In this free e-book you will learn the one dietary trick that will have a big impact on your hormonal health. Get access now!

Required field
Please enter a valid email address
The institute for functional medicine
Sandra Greenbank
Sports Nutrition
Nordic Laboratories
Nutritional Therapy
Natural Dispensary
Vital Ly
Tatler Asia
Little Steps Asia
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council