Is inflammation causing your hormonal imbalances & period problems?
In this blog you’ll discover:
Connection between inflammation & hormonal health
What causes inflammation
Symptoms of inflammation
How to reduce inflammation
Our product recommendations for reducing inflammation
You hear the word “inflammation” a lot these days as it’s now being linked to just about every health condition.
You may be thinking what does inflammation have to do with my hormones & menstrual cycles?
The answer is: A lot!
If you’re someone who suffers from period pain, PMS/PMDD, PCOS, endometriosis, fibroids, infertility, and other conditions - inflammation is at play.
However, modern medicine continues to focus on treating symptoms with medication, rather than addressing the root cause of a health issue where in many cases is inflammation.
For example with period pain, you can take NSAIDs such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and relieve period pain temporarily; however instead of having to depend on taking a medication, true healing & long-term prevention of period pain begins with understanding what’s driving inflammation in your body in the first place, and working to reduce that.
The good news is there are many ways you can actively avoid or reduce chronic inflammation in the body, starting today!
But firstly, what is Inflammation?
Inflammation is your immune system’s response to stress or injury to the body in which the body protects itself from foreign substances such as bacteria, yeast, and viruses and some chemicals. Doesn’t sound bad right?
Well - in normal amounts for acute injury that isn’t dangerous - it’s a good thing as it’s the first step in the healing & regenerative process. The swelling, pain, heat and redness you may see at a site of injury or infection? That’s inflammation. Without inflammation, wounds can get worse and never heal. So in this way, inflammation is good, however when it becomes chronic and out of control that’s when there is a problem which can affect any part of the body and interfere with optimal health for example your joints, muscles, heart, digestive system, the brain, and the entire endocrine (hormonal) system.
This is referred to as systemic or chronic inflammation, and it drives disease in the body, including autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Diabetes Type 1, autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), inflammation also drives conditions such as endometriosis, and PCOS.
And! Because hormones often work hand-in-hand with the immune system, dysregulation of certain hormones is shown to be associated with the development and perpetuation of chronic inflammation.
So in short - hormonal imbalances can drive inflammation, and inflammation can drive hormonal imbalances.
What Are Signs of Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation may show up in the body as one or more of the following:
Period pain & cramps
PMS / PMDD
Conditions such as Endometriosis, fibroid, PCOS
Cyclical breast tenderness
Fatigue & low energy
Digestive issues - IBS, Inflammatory Bowel Disease,
Anxiety & depression
Conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS
Acne & skin redness
Autoimmunity, including Hashimoto’
Is this you?
If you have signs of inflammation, it’s important to understand what the root cause of the inflammation is, so that you can take action to decrease it, and support your body in healing.
Causes of inflammation are:
Nutrient deficiencies (such as magnesium)
Certain lifestyle factors such as stress & poor sleep
Pollution exposure - greater exposure to air pollution is linked to higher levels of inflammation in the body
Excess weight or obesity - Extra fatty tissue produces inflammatory cytokines in the body.
How To Decrease Inflammation In The Body
When it comes to decreasing inflammation in the body the first place to start is through your diet.
Foods are either inflammatory, or anti-inflammatory. Whilst there are foods to be mindful of, and limit consumption, the most important thing you can do is to ADD in anti-inflammatory foods.
Inflammatory foods include:
Seeds & nuts such as almonds, chia seeds & hemp seeds - sprinkle Earth Seeds over your meals for an anti-inflammatory boost of nutrients.
Fatty fish - aim to eat omega-3 rich fish 2-3 times a week, such as salmon, mackerel trout & cod, Earth Seeds.
Leafy Green vegetables - Aim for a minimum of 3 cups of vegetables daily! Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, brussels sprouts and asparagus contain beta-carotene & Vitamin E which are natural antioxidants which have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Vegetables also give your body the fibre to help eliminate excess estrogen in the body, which helps clear out your system, prevent inflammation & create hormone balance.
Matcha - a potent source of the anti-inflammatory polyphenol EGCG, which may reduce inflammation and help protect the body against disease. Matcha contains up to 137 times the amount of EGCG found in traditional Chinese green tea. Try our ceremonial grade, certified organic Luna’s Matcha with adaptogenic herbs.
Olive oil, cod liver oil or avocado - great for cooking with, or drizzling over salads
Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberry - Snack on berries or add them to smoothies
Dark chocolate - Cacao is an amazing anti-inflammatory & features in our Luna’s Lover Latte
Garlic, Turmeric & ginger - add these spices to your meals or simply drink a Luna’s Gold Latte a day to help reduce inflammation, or add this powerful anti-inflammatory blend to your smoothies.
The main foods that cause inflammation are:
Sugar - soft drinks, lollies, sugar, ingredients labeled sucrose and fructose
Saturated fat such as trans fats - foods that are friend, processed, packaged, margarines, and oils such as canola, cporn oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and cottonseed oil.
MSG - a controversial one that is often found in fast foods, soy sauces, soups, salad dressings and deli meats. MSG can trigger two important pathways of chronic inflammation and negatively impact your liver health
Gluten - If you are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease it is inflammatory to the body and should be avoided.
Dairy - Dairy may cause inflammation & drive period pain for some. This is likely due to the A1 casein protein in cows dairy which stimulates histamine & inflammation.
Excessive Caffeine intake - This study found that caffeine is a significant contributor to oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. You don’t have to quit coffee, but be aware of your intake, avoid it after noon & switch it up with our anti-inflammatory Luna’s Lattes. If you are trying to fix your hormones & periods, then trial no caffeine for a few months.
Over consumption of Alcohol - alcohol burdens the liver and creates inflammation in the body
Aspartame: An artificial sweetener that can trigger an inflammatory response
Refined carbs/white flour products - common foods such as white breads, crackers, cereals which contain refined carbohydrates that are lacking in nutrients and are high-glycemic index foods fuel the creation of advanced glycation end (AGE) products in the body and can trigger inflammation.
Every body responds differently to different types of food - so discover how food impacts you.
Other ways to decrease inflammation in the body include:
Blood Sugar Balance - Make sure you’re eating every 3-4 hours and pairing a carb, protein & fiber together at your meals. No skipping meals!
Improve Your Sleep - Aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Support your sleep quality by spraying Moon Boost Magnesium Oil onto the soles of your feet, and blocking out all light with Moon Mask .
Sun Exposure for Vitamin D production - Getting 15-20 minutes of sun exposure daily supports your circadian rhythm, and your body’s production of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is anti-inflammatory and supports hormone production and regular menstrual cycles. Low Vitamin D levels are linked to inflammation and hormone dys-regulation.
Regular exercise: Regular exercise has shown to help lower inflammation in the body, even if it’s just 20 minutes it decreases inflammatory responses and may protect against chronic conditions with low-grade inflammation
Switch to Natural Products: Lower your toxic load by finding natural alternatives to skincare and household products. Many products contain endocrine disruptors such as alluminium, parabens, phthalates and fragrances which can lead to hormone imbalances and disrupt the inflammatory response within the body.
Hydrate Your Body: Drink 2-3 liters of filtered water daily
Decrease Stress: Regular exercise, infra-red saunas, meditating, tapping, shaking, breath-work, restorative exercises, journaling are all amazing practices to regulate the nervous system.
Top Anti-inflammatory Supplements & Herbs
Research has shown that low magnesium is associated with higher levels of inflammation & histamine, and higher magnesium levels are associated with lower levels of inflammation.
We recommend using Moon Boost Magnesium Oil daily, consuming a food high in magnesium and talking to your practitioner about quality supplement if necessary.
Read 10 Reasons Why Every Woman Needs More Magnesium Here.
Turmeric is a spice that contains a powerful component called curcumin, which is known for its ability to effectively inhibit inflammation in the body.
Certified organic turmeric features in Luna’s Gold Latte as an easy, delicious & effective way to help reduce inflammation in the body daily.
Read 5 proven ways turmeric is amazing for women's health here.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in numerous studies to decrease inflammation in the body. You can take Omega-3 fatty acids in supplement form, and by increasing foods such as seeds & nuts, oily fish and olive oil.
Read Why Every Woman Should Eat More Seeds here.
Ashwagandha is a star ingredient in our Luna’s Lover Latte, combined with cacao & reishi mushroom, a powerful blend to help reduce inflammation, support adrenal function & hormonal health.
Other herbs and spices to help lower inflammation include astragalas, ginger chamomile, oregano, thyme, nutmeg, black pepper, and rosemary - so try adding these to your diet when you can!
The most effective way to start reducing inflammation in your body is to begin with implementing certain dietary & lifestyle strategies, which will help set strong foundations for lasting hormonal health, better periods and wellbeing.
Reducing inflammation is a critical step when it comes to balancing hormones & fixing your period problems. Check out Master Your Cycle to learn more.