Recently, in conversation with a group of lovely women who I don’t know very well (our shared bond being waiting for our children to finish various sporting activities) but with whom I look forward to chatting each week, the topic turned to hormones. As we each shared our monthly ups, downs and sometimes very downs, we were surprised to learn how similar our experiences were. We shared stories; we shared advice. We felt comforted to know that we were not alone.
Afterwards, it struck me how crazy it is that we don’t have these conversations more often. And while I’d always thought I’d listened to and looked after my body, there was so much more about our hormonal phases to know.
In our hormonal health special this issue (page 29), we asked three experts for their advice on how best to care for ourselves during key hormonal phases we can experience in our lifetime: periods, pregnancy and the menopause. “When our hormones are balanced, it’s like the harmonious sound of a graceful Viennese waltz,” writes nutritionist Angelique Panagos. “Yet, when they are in chaos – as they often are for many of us, whether we’re aware of it or not – it’s more like having to listen to a flat rendition of the hokey cokey.” The good news is, there’s so much we can do to balance our hormones naturally, to help us feel happy and healthy at every stage of our lives – without shaking any pineapples.
And if, like me, your hormones sometimes seem to be the boss of you, I urge you to share your experiences with an empathetic ear – it really does help.