Ladies, do you ever feel like your hormones get the best of you? Crying for no reason or feeling particularly moody every month? Sure, we may always have to deal with hormone fluctuations that our male counterparts don’t (and this is part of what makes us so amazing in the end!) However, we don’t have to be a complete mess month after month. Did you know that diet, exercise, and lifestyle in general have a HUGE influence on our hormones? I read the book The Hormone Cure last fall and found it pretty interesting, so I wanted to do a book review on it for any ladies out there wanting to learn more about their hormones!
The Hormone Cure: A Book Review
Dr. Gottfried, a Harvard-trained OBGYN with an integrative approach, is the author behind The Hormone Cure. She has an approach to hormones that highly values lifestyle and diet adjustments first, vitamin and evidence-based supplements second, and conventional medication last.
Dr. Gottfried has developed an assessment with questions that can be taken and used along with lab values to help asses your hormone status and figure out what may be high and low. She believes in the importance of assessing lab values along with symptoms.
This book dives into the science between each hormone high or low as well as symptoms and side effects. Then, she offers a protocol to be followed for each one. I love that her protocols ALWAYS included lifestyle modifications before any medications or even supplements were suggested. Specific actions were offered as well as information on studies related to supplements and herbs that were being studied for treatment.
What exactly does she talk about?
She discusses the science and processes of all our different hormones and what can cause high or low levels of each. She then goes into specific lifestyle and dietary modifications to improve them. Detail is provided on the following hormones:
- Cortisol (High and Low)
- Estrogen (High and Low)
- Excess Androgens
- Low Thyroid
- All sorts of combinations of the above and how they affect each other!
- Yoga and meditation were recommended at multiple times throughout the book. I do practice yoga, but this book inspired me to want to make it more a part of my daily routine.
- She provided interesting information on the effects of the chemicals we use to clean our homes and that are in the soap, shampoo, and other products we use. I’ve already worked to eliminate these things from my home, but there were still some things I needed to switch. This book inspired me to make some of those final changes.
- Similar to the chemicals in our cleaning products, she discusses the impact beauty products can have as xenoestrogens (which are stored in our fat cells and disrupt our hormonal balance)! Again, I’ve read this for a long time and have been trying to use some naturally based products, but hadn’t switched everything. I’ve been using EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Data Base to switch my products slowly. I’ve had some recent success lately with switching my mascara and a HUGE failure switching my hair product. Side note: If any of my lovely readers are fellow curly girls that truly understand what it’s like to NEED product to fight an afro and have had success with more naturally based products, I would love to hear what you are using! FYI: Shea moisture did NOT WORK for me! In fact, I felt like I smeared honey in my hair and went to work! I’m proud to say I stuck with it a month just to make sure before moving on. 🙂
- One hormone imbalance can lead to another hormone imblance and many of them are interconnected. This is why it’s important to have your levels tested by a knowledgable practitioner.
- Your cortisol can be high at certain times and low others. This is why it’s important to have good background knowledge when these things are tested to make sure your doctor is having it done at the right times of the day.
- She convinced me to give up my morning coffee. Yes, I’ll admit I was a one-cup-a-day kind of girl prior to reading this book. I may go back to this eventually as truly I still absolutely miss it! However, for now I’m going to continue drinking it in moderation which for me is no longer daily at all!
Do I recommend The Hormone Cure?
If you have struggle with any kind of hormonal issues I definitely recommend this book. It would be best read in conjunction with working with a physician who truly understands the importance of lifestyle modifications. It may be difficult to apply some of the information in this book without working with a knowledgable physician. If you do have a knowledgable doctor, this book will help you ensure your levels are appropriate assessed. On the flip side, I also truly believe in being a knowledgable consumer. I believe that we should do our own research and inform ourselves before making decisions that can have a critical effect on our health.
Who do I recommend this book for?
I’d recommend The Hormone Cure to any woman who wants to learn more about how our hormones work! Seriously, I think we should aim to be informed and active participants in our own healthcare. Specifically, I would recommend it for the following groups:
- Any woman working with a physician on hormone balance – Be an informed consumer!
- Dietitians, nurses, and physicians who are interested in an integrative and functional approach to healthcare.
- Peri and post Menopause, women who have struggled with infertility, or women who are frustrated with feeling “hormonal.” Again, I would recommend it in conjuction with a knowledgable practitioner, but truly many of the lifestyle modifications would be beneficial for any of us!
- Anyone who wants to learn more about the complexity of female hormones.
Be a Knowledgable Consumer
Do you aim to be a knowledgable consumer when you go to buy a new TV? Healthcare should be no different! We should aim to have a working knowledge of our bodies and especially any issues we have that come up. With any health issue you have struggled with having a working knowledge base will allow you to ask your healthcare provider the right questions, Additionally, it helps us ensure we are on a plan we believe in and truly support! I encourage you to start today by becoming an active participant in your healthcare and seeking the knowledge of a specialist that shares your values.