In the few months that have passed since posting my entire hormonal acne story, I’ve received an unbelievable amount of support and feedback from women so thankful to hear a story similar to theirs. I’ve been so thrilled to hear how many of you have noticed positive changes in your hormonal issues, acne or otherwise, after hearing about how I worked to cure my acne naturally.
Today I wanted to talk about the question I receive more than anything else when it comes to hormonal issues. That question is some form of “What do I do first?” Other versions of it are… “What’s the most important out of all of these strategies?” or “I can’t afford some of these supplements or products, what should I buy first?” It’s extremely hard to answer this question for several reasons. First of all, everyone is different when it comes to their health issues and habits, what might be most important for someone that still eats a standard american diet is going to be a lot different than what’s most important for someone that’s spent years on a paleo diet. The second reason it’s hard to answer is because of the nature of hormones. Our hormones are not only very tricky to understand, but they’re dependent and responsible for the functionality of a lot of other systems in our body. To nitpick strategies from the protocol as a whole would be the undermine the most important aspect of the process – the fact that we need to address each of the intricacies and approach this from many different angles.
Having said that, I wanted to write this post to address that question in a bit more depth and provide some strategies for what you can start doing now to address your hormones.
Step 1: If you can afford it, get tested.
I went to see a naturopath a little over a year ago after five years of struggling with hormonal acne. Despite telling her about all my symptoms, history, etc. I left that office several thousand dollars poorer, but with a prognosis that told me my hormones were fine. I had such a bad taste in my mouth after this experience that instead of going back to the same doctor or a different one and getting new tests done that I knew would show I had hormonal issues, I got frustrated and developed a protocol on my own based on days and days of research. The good news is, it really, really helped. My acne went from the worst it’s ever been to the best it’s ever been in many, many years. However, I knew I wasn’t fully “healed” and I knew that at some point, I would need to get tested again. Just a couple days ago I received my tests back from the Healthy Hormones Group Program I’m doing right now, which show that my hormones are very much still in the toilet. I am thrilled to start a new protocol, incorporating literally everything I’ve already been doing plus adding in some very specific supplements to target my hormones and work to correct them. Had I not been retested, I would not have known exactly where my hormones needed improvement and what I could do to really speed up this process. For those of you struggling with whether or not to get tested, I encourage you to go for it. I highly recommend a program like Healthy Hormones because not only are Megan and Alex extremely supportive and understanding, but they will walk you through how to read all of your tests meaning that in the future, whenever you feel off or want to retest, you will know how to read your charts and take action. This to me, is the most empowering thing a practitioner could ever provide. Instead of just telling you what’s wrong and handing over supplements, they fully explain why you need to make certain choices and support you the entire way.
Step 2: Start with the basics.
It’s important to recognize that true healing only comes with full commitment. If your intention is to do the least amount of work and expect the most result, I hate to inform you that it doesn’t work like that. Not with anything in life, but especially not with your hormones. Do a little audit of your habits when it comes to self-care, diet, sleep, skincare routine, etc. and make a commitment that your goal is to address all of these habits if they need improvement. This doesn’t mean you need to buy yourself an expensive sauna to relax or throw out $500 worth of toxic household cleaners and makeup all at once, but it does mean you need to do the things you can do. Things like prioritizing self-care by scheduling it into your day or making a commitment to toss just one or two toxic products a month and replace them with safer options. I spent three months taking supplements without addressing my lifestyle and I wasted what could have been months of healing. Although I’m not asking you to do everything all at once (more on that below), I am asking you to fully commit.
Step 3: Do anything that looks easy to you.
For some, easy might be swapping out their toxic, endocrine-disruptive and carcinogenic makeup in exchange for non-toxic, safe products. For some, this might be drinking more water throughout the day or making sure to consume lots of healthy hormone-boosting foods like cruciferous veggies, collagen and pink salt. Although all of these things are important and the goal is to have you do all of them, start slow where you know you can make some easy changes. Don’t think that when you wake up on day 1 of fixing your hormones you have to do every single thing right away. In fact, that might not even be the healthiest and most sustainable choice. Start with one thing and then move to the other. As long as you are doing your best to focus on all aspects of the healing process, you are on the right path.
Step 4: Ask questions.
I hate to be a broken record, but hormonal issues are extremely complicated and difficult to understand. You can’t expect to know everything and that’s totally okay. Because I know how important it is to share our stories and ask questions, I’ve created a private Facebook Group all about healthy skincare & healthy hormones. We already have a few hundred members and I am so excited to add more people to the community. Please feel free to join here and invite anyone who you think might benefit! Hopefully this will be an opportunity for me to answer all of the questions you have, plus share our stories and learn from one another.