Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
Hormones control every aspect of your body from energy and weight loss to sleeping patterns. So it's no surprise that going off hormonal birth control might create some imbalances. If you've recently stopped using a hormonal birth control method and are experiencing mood swings, intense emotions, irregular periods, breakouts, and fatigue, it could be something called post–birth control syndrome.
Luckily, there are natural ways to restore balance to your hormones and rid yourself of these nasty side effects, according to MindBodyGreen. Isabel Smith RD, CDN, experienced these symptoms firsthand after discontinuing use of her birth control of choice. As a registered dietitian, she knew the solution to her hormone imbalance could be found through diet and lifestyle changes. Here's how she kicked her post–birth control syndrome.
Progesterone levels can drop when you stop birth control, according to Smith. She suggests eating foods rich in vitamin C, magnesium, B6, L-arginine, and fiber. Think lemons, green leafy vegetables, nuts, salmon, turkey, and beans to get a balance of all these vitamins and minerals.
Diet plays a huge role in hormone balance. Smith advises cutting back on added sugar to help with your mood and cutting back caffeine to avoid an increase in cortisol. You'll also want to get plenty of fiber, and try to eat carbs earlier in the day instead of night. This will regulate your digestion and help prevent unhealthy weight gain.
Try Herbs and Supplements
Smith suggests working with an alternative medicine doctor or dietitian before taking herbs or supplements because everyone requires different doses. If you're interested in turning to these alternative options, Smith recommends vitamin C, calcium, chasteberry, ashwagandha, probiotics, and dong quai.
Sleep is a major factor in hormonal balance. While it's not always easy to get a full night's rest each night, Smith suggests working on a sleep routine to promote better sleep. Try taking a bath, reading, or doing yoga before bed to relax your body and mind for a deeper sleep.
Head to MindBodyGreen for the full story, and read about the best foods for hormone balance next.