Top 5 Tips For Balancing Hormones Naturally

by Ann Marie Michaels on March 17, 2009

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In the past few years, I’ve learned a lot about balancing hormones naturally with a healthy diet of traditional food and food supplements. I’ve put together my Top 5 Tips For Balancing Hormones Naturally.

Before I share my tips with you, please note that I’m not an expert in this area, nor am I a doctor and this post should not be construed as medical advice. However, I have learned some things over the past few years that I want to share. I hope it will help some people out there.

This post is especially for women, since so many of us suffer from hormonal issues. These hormonal problems are more prevalent as we age, and particularly after pregnancy and childbirth. However, more and more women are experiencing hormonal problems in our youth — everything from missed periods, low sex drive, cysts in the breasts and ovaries, infertility, and breast cancer. There are many things we can do nutritionally to prevent and reverse these hormonal disorders.

My Experience with Balancing Hormones Naturally

Before we get to the tips, I want to give you a little background on my personal history.

When I was 35, I started noticing patches of dark skin on my face. Melasma, also known as “the mask of pregnancy” or “age spots” is a result of hormonal imbalances which are largely due to nutritional deficiencies. Trust me, it’s not fun to have your own mother tell you you have a mustache. A mustache you can’t wash, bleach or wax off.

I knew I had been suffering from adrenal exhaustion for a long time — ever since I was diagnosed with it in my mid-twenties. Adrenal exhaustion, or adrenal fatigue, is a condition where your adrenal glands are wiped out by stress, too much caffeine, inadequate rest, and malnutrition. It manifests itself in many ways including the problems I experienced: chronic fatigue and melasma.

The thyroid gland works in tandem with the adrenal glands. So if your adrenal glands are shot, this can affect thyroid function. Thyroid disorders include hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and thyroid cancer. Your thyroid controls many bodily functions including metabolism — this is why people who have hypothyroidism can’t ever seem to lose weight.

I have learned how to balance my hormones in the past few years by making various changes to my diet and lifestyle and taking nutritional supplements. My melasma is 100% gone and my chronic fatigue is completely eradicated. Scroll down to see my complete list of results from balancing my hormones.

Top 5 Tips For Balancing Hormones Naturally

1. Eat Nutrient Dense Foods

The main thing is to eat balanced meals with foods that are nutrient-dense. You don’t have to go crazy with this.

Top 5 Tips for Balancing Hormones Naturally

Make sure you get plenty of meat, fish, bone broth, good fats (see # 2 below), fresh or fermented fruits and veggies in your diet. If your lunch is a white bread sandwich with few thin strips of turkey and some potato chips and a Diet Coke, that’s not gonna cut it. Opt instead for a big salad with lots of meat or seafood or cheese.

Or have a sandwich but make it on sprouted bread or whole wheat sourdough and have a glass of whole milk or some kombucha instead of a soda. Liverwurst or egg salad (with real mayo made with olive oil, not canola or soybean oil) or grilled cheese (real cheese — not Velveeta) are better choices than peanut butter.

Swap the margarine for real butter and coconut oil. Eat eggs cooked in butter for breakfast instead of cereal flakes or a breakfast bar. If you want some toast, that’s fine, but put some butter on it!

Some of the most nutrient-dense foods are organ meats (liver, heart, kidney and other organ meats have 10-100 times more nutrition than muscle meats such as chicken breast or ground beef) and shellfish, including crab, oysters, shrimp, clams and mussels.

White flour and sugar are nutritionally empty so I look for better choices. I eat sprouted bread or real sourdough bread instead of bread made with white flour and commercial yeast. I eat mostly whole grains (but I don’t stress out if I eat white flour here and there,) properly prepared. See my post on soaking and sprouting whole grains

I also use natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar — look for honey, molasses, rapadura, sucanat, maple syrup, palm sugar, and stevia.

2. Eat Plenty of Good Fats

Low-fat diets are probably the number one reason young and old women are having problems with their hormones. Hormones are made out of cholesterol. If you don’t eat enough cholesterol, your body can’t make hormones.

Top 5 Tips for Balancing Hormones Naturally

What are good fats? Traditional fats that have been around for centuries — the fats our great-grandmothers ate. These include: butter, cream, egg yolks, whole milk, coconut milk, lard, beef tallow, coconut oil, palm oil, and olive oil.

Click here to find sources of good fats.

I also highly recommend cod liver oil. This is the one supplement I will always take. Click here to find the best quality cod liver oil.

Bad fats that should be avoided include: canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and any hydrogenated oils.

Read more in my post, 100 Ways to Eat More Fat.

3. Avoid Soy

I think one of the other big reasons we are seeing more hormonal problems today is due to the increase of soy in our diets. Soy is a goitrogen, which blocks iodine uptake in the body. In women, iodine is stored in the thyroid gland, the breasts and the ovaries.

Iodine deficiency causes thyroid disorders (including goiters, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer), cysts in the breasts and ovaries, and breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

You may think you’re not eating a lot of soy since you don’t drink soy milk or eat tofu. But these days, soy is in almost everything.

Top 5 Tips For Balancing Hormones Naturally

Most restaurants use soybean oil to cook with, and most packaged and processed foods contain soybean oil and/or soy lecithin. Most of the meat and dairy we consume is from animals fed soy. Most mayonnaise and salad dressings contain soybean oil.

It is okay to eat soy in small amounts, as a condiment, as long as it is naturally fermented (like naturally fermented soy sauce, miso, tempeh, or natto). It is best to avoid unfermented soy foods like soy milk and soy cheese. It is also best to avoid processed and packaged foods that contain soy.

4. Get Your Minerals On!

Most of us are depleted of minerals. Phytic acid in whole grains (like oats and whole wheat) deplete the body of minerals (unless these foods are properly soaked or sprouted — see my post on soaking grains.)

Minerals are vitally important to balancing hormones. For example, if you are low in zinc, which many of us are, you will not be able to produce enough testosterone (yes, even women need a certain amount of testosterone — this is vital to a healthy sex drive).

Top 5 Tips for Balancing Hormones Naturally

One of the best sources of minerals is homemade bone broth. Click here to read my post, 50 Ways to Eat More bone Broth.

Also, here are my recipes for homemade beef broth and homemade chicken stock.

Iodine is a trace mineral most of us are deficient in. The Japanese have one of the lowest rates of breast cancer. I believe this is partly due to the fact that they consume large quantities of iodine, mainly in the form of fish broth and seaweed. (Not, as we often hear, due to soy. They eat very little soy compared to the amount of fish, fish broth and sewaweed).

Japanese people traditionally eat miso soup with all their meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner. Modern miso soup is often made with MSG powder — but traditionally prepared miso soup is made with bonito broth. Bonito broth is made with fish. The fish are small and they use the whole fish in the broth, including the heads.

The reason this is important is the head is where the thyroid gland is contained. The thyroid is where iodine is stored. So if you are making fish broth, you need to include the head to get the iodine. The soup also contains seaweed which is also rich in iodine.

Unless you are eating real bonito broth miso soup every day, I recommend taking a supplement to get the same amount of iodine. One Iodoral pill contains 12.5 mg of iodine (which is the same amount the Japanese consume). Another form of iodine is Lugol’s. I take Iodoral.

I recommend supplementing with magnesium, as most of us are deficient. Read my post about magnesium deficiency: Are You Suffering from Magnesium Deficiency?

5. Eat Enough Carbs and Get Plenty of Rest

All of the above helped, but what helped to balance my hormones the most by far was Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery. Matt’s plan is called RRARFing — “rehabilitative rest and aggressive re-feeding”.

Get out of diet free

Prior to RRARFing, I had been eating a low carb diet, was way too restrictive about my food, and I was skipping meals. I was also not sleeping enough. This really negatively affected my hormones, but RRARFing totally worked for me.

I spent 5 months in 2012 eating lots of comfort food: hash browns cooked in coconut oil, homemade sprouted flour waffles, olive oil potato chips, ice cream, and pizza. All the “bad” foods they tell you not to eat when you go “low carb”.

I also increased my sleep as Matt advises. Instead of sleeping 8 hours, I started sleeping 10-12 hours. I did that for a couple months.

To learn more about how carbs and rest helped balance my hormones, read my posts: Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery Program — My Experience and Why I Ditched Low Carb, and How I Raised My Body Temperature with Carbs.

My Results with Balancing My Hormones Naturally

It took a few years but my hormones are totally balanced now. (It would have happened a lot faster — in a matter of months — if I had just started with RRARFing to begin with!)

My body temperature is now a steady 98.6 — day in, day out. (This is really important. Read my post: How I Raised My Body Temperature with Carbs)

My menstrual period has regulated and now lasts 7 days and the cramping is not painful. I ovulate like clockwork.

My insomnia is gone. I naturally get tired around 10 or 11 pm. I sleep a solid 7-8 hours.

My energy is through the roof. I pop out of bed at 6 am and I look forward to exercise (something I never thought I’d do). I’m now doing morning walks (30-60 minutes every weekday) and I am doing kettlebell workouts a few times a week as well.

My skin looks amazing — melasma is 100% gone and everyone tells me I look 10 years younger than I am (I’m 44; everyone thinks I’m in my 30s).


I used to be sensitive to caffeine, but I have found that after I did Matt’s program (which isn’t really a “program” at all — it’s just eating enough food and getting enough rest,) I can now drink one or two cups of coffee per day with no side effects — I don’t get jittery like I used to.

Read More Of My Posts About How I Balanced My Hormones Naturally

Read other posts on my site about balancing your hormones:

Matt Stone’s Diet Recovery Program — My Experience
How I Raised My Body Temperature with Carbs
Why I Ditched Low Carb
Is It Wheat Belly? Or Cortisol Belly?
How Intermittent Fasting Caused My Insomnia and Belly Fat
Lunaception: How the Moon Can Balance Your Hormones and Make You Fertile
Herbal Infusions for Fertility and Hormone Balancing

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This post is part of the Natural Cures Blog Carnival at Hartke Is Online!

Photo credit: Pablo Miranzo via Flickr

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{ 325 comments… read them below or add one }

Carla March 17, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Is Maca good for estrogen dominance? That is my main problem and I have to be so careful what I eat and take in (supplements, etc).

Carla’s last blog post..Eco Fashion: Do it Yourself – Yarn

Melanie March 17, 2009 at 11:08 AM

About #2 – what about edamame beans? Are these ok to eat or should they be avoided too?

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet March 17, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Great Post! Gotta love that maca powder. :-)

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet’s last blog post..Japanese Style Avocado

cheeseslave March 17, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Yes, maca helps because it helps to balance the whole system.

Estrogen dominance is an imbalance. You have to balance all the hormones to help fix estrogen dominance.

I found this quote that explains how maca works to balance the whole system and fix estrogen dominance:

“This root is reported to help the whole endocrine system including the thyroid and can rebalance the estrogen dominance that often accompanies hypothyroidism and overweight problems.”

I think what I have is estrogen dominance, too. Estrogen dominance goes hand in hand with stressed adrenals.

Read more here:

FoodRenegade March 17, 2009 at 12:00 PM

What a helpful post! I’ve never seen all this information in one handy little spot, so I really appreciate your doing this.

FoodRenegade’s last blog post..Real Food Goes Mainstream

Julie March 17, 2009 at 12:14 PM

as always…love your blog and the info you put out there in a simple, concise way.

cheeseslave March 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Hi, Melanie,

I really don’t recommend eating any soy that’s not naturally fermented and even then, it should be eaten in small amounts.

Unless of course you are eating a lot of iodine, in which case you can eat more soy. But most of us do not get anywhere near enough iodine.

Carla March 17, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Thanks for the links Ann-Marie! This is all very helpful. I took Maca root for a bit two years ago then I got out of practice

Carla’s last blog post..Eco Fashion: Do it Yourself – Yarn

Ecala March 17, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Ann-Marie, what do you think about kelp as opposed to Iodoral?

Great blog entry!

courtney March 17, 2009 at 3:01 PM

i am going to have to research maca, i have never heard of it but since my daughter was stillborn in December my hormones have been crazy. once we decide to start trying again I want to be able to feel like my hormones are just right and not on any chemical medicine.

courtney’s last blog post..Menu Planning for the Week

cheeseslave March 17, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Ecala –

I’ve read a lot of what the leading iodine doctors say and they do not recommend kelp — simply because kelp varies in how much iodine it contains. Hard to know how much you are getting.

I think Iodoral is the best. I give my daughter Lugol’s. Lugol’s is basically Iodoral in a liquid form (or rather Iodoral is the pill form of Lugol’s). I just put a drop in her milk.

cheeseslave March 17, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Courtney –

I am so sorry for your loss.

I have read that many women in South America use maca not only to increase fertility and get pregnant, but also to maintain pregnancies and carry their babies to term.

Tamara March 17, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Lovely post!!!

One question though, how are/did you take your maca? I have the powder, but it seems to overpower whatever i try to add it in…maybe im adding too much? The half a tsp you mentioned is way less than i use, but if it still helped you , then i can try again using less maca at a time lol.

Ive also found that simply drinking raw milk regularly has completely eradicated my PMS symptoms. I dunno if raw milk fixes hormones or not, but for ME, its been a lifesaver in that way.

Henny March 17, 2009 at 4:02 PM

this was such a fabulous post!!! I am linking to it on my site, if that’s cool.

(and I’m going to look into “maca” b/c I have serious hormone issues! – the other stuff I already do, and it has helped for sure… but my hormones could use an extra kick in the pants, I tell ya)

Betsy March 17, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Oh, thanks a bunch. I finally decided to take the plunge and spent more $$ at Amazon, lol. Maca and raw cocoa powder. I could use some energy, though.

Paula Runyan March 17, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Tamara, You can buy empty capsules and fill them with the Maca yourself. Costs far less then buying the capsule form, and you do not have to taste the stuff.

Paula Runyan’s last blog post..Healthy lunch/snack

cheeseslave March 17, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Very good idea, Paula. I have been thinking of buying some capsules for my maca.

I have also found that adding a little maca (not more than 1/2 tsp per cup) to herbal coffee does not mar the flavor.

Tarena March 17, 2009 at 7:20 PM

I have recently started reading your blog, but I too loved this post!
I have serious thyroid issues and this Nov. started to change EVERYTHING that I ate to help it. I have read (and am doing) everything you listed above! Except for Maca. I haven’t heard of it before, so I am excited to look into that also!
I do have a question though…I realized that the “healthier” eggs I have been buying (no room to have my own hen house, although I would love that one day- God willing!) probably are from chickens that are fed at least some soy. Although it probably isn’t much, I have been trying to find eggs that come from chickens w/no soy in their feed. Any suggestions? The only think I can think of next is to find a local farmer who might be doing this.

Tarena’s last blog post..

cheeseslave March 18, 2009 at 4:29 AM

Tarena, where are you? I would check with your local WAPF chapter — they’ll have some ideas for you. That’s how I found eggs not fed soy here in LA.

Kaylin March 18, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Thanks for this post. I’ve been dealing with hormone imbalance for over 10 years, when I found out I was hypothyroid (at age 19!). I’d really like to start taking Iodoral but I don’t want to start while I’m breastfeeding since it can chelate heavy metals and I don’t want them to get into my milk. After I wean my daughter I will start taking Iodoral. Do you know how long I should wait to get pregnant again after I start the Iodoral? Does it depend on how much heavy metal junk one has to flush out?

About a year ago I completely quit eating sugar and grains (although recently I’ve added limited amounts of soaked whole grains back into my diet) and I lost 37 pounds very easily. I can never go back to eating sugar because I can’t get up in the morning when I do! It has transformed my life.

cheeseslave March 18, 2009 at 9:56 AM

Kaylin –

I asked Dr. Flechas about taking Iodoral when nursing and he said he thinks it’s a good idea just go slow. If you are iodine deficient then your baby is not getting iodine from your milk. Which is why Dr. Flechas reco’s it. Iodine is critical for the baby’s intelligence.

If you are too worried about the heavy metals to take it, you may want to supplement your baby with Lugol’s. I started Kate on Lugol’s when she was about a year old.

And yes it depends on how toxic you are as to how long you should wait to get pregnant. I recommend working with Dr. Flechas to do a spot & loading test. He can tell you exactly how much Iodoral to take and for how long. He reco’d that I do 50 mg of Iodoral for one year.

I also did a heavy metals test w/ Dr. Flechas.

I also think it’s generally a good idea to wait 3 years between babies if you can. ESPECIALLY if you are iodine deficient. Flechas and the other docs say iodine deficiency (and babies too close together — depletion of iodine) can cause Down’s syndrome and mental retardation.

I’m probably going to wait until my daughter is at least 2.5 before we try for another.

Katy March 18, 2009 at 4:47 PM

I hate that soy is en everything. Every time I find a fancy chocolate bar wrapped up with fancy European packaging, I think “This!!” and then I turn it over and there’s soy in it. It’s in even the fanciest, most expensive ones that are pretending to be all quality and old-worldly. Soy, soy, soy. There is one gluten-free soy-free milk chocolate curry bar that I love, by 3401 Phinney.

Thinking about ordering from Askinoisie.

Kaylin March 18, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Thank you, that is very helpful! Can Dr. Flechas work over the phone? If I’m understanding correctly, if the baby gets heavy metals through my milk she can just flush them out if she is getting enough iodine with Lugol’s?

I have 3 children. The first 2 are 3 years 8 months apart, and the other 2 are 2 years and 9 months apart (almost 3 years! :-). I agree that it isn’t good for the health of either mother or baby to space them too close together. My daughter is 13 months and I was planning to keep nursing her until at least 18 months and then wait however long I have to before getting pregnant again (a year maybe?). I really want more children, but not too soon. I’m anxious to see if Iodoral can allow me to cut back my Armour Thyroid dose.

cheeseslave March 19, 2009 at 5:25 AM

Yes that is my understanding. Dr. Flechas does work over the phone. You should talk to him about this, see what he says.

Seems like your children are pretty well spaced!

Pregnancy & breastfeeding really depletes your body of iodine (and other nutrients). This is why they say to space the children — so your body has time to restore nutrients.

Iodoral can help you reduce your Armour dose from what I have read. This is because the main reason we take Armour is for the iodine. Iodine is stored in the thryoid, so if you consume the thyroid gland, you’re getting iodine.

Betsy March 19, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Wow! UPS says my maca has been delivered! Now to get some capsules (thanks to Paula for the tip). I’m a whole lot more likely to take supps if they’re in my pill box.

Bay March 19, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Hi Ann Marie – I LOVE your blog. I have been reading Sally Fallon’s book and it is wonderful. Everything you wrote above is in sync with what she says. I have melasma and read it is related to copper. I am trying to cut out high copper foods like shellfish, nuts, wheat and chocolate. Trying to eat higher zinc foods like meats and fats and fruits and veggies. I am also taking a copper free multivitamin, zinc supplements, B-vitamins to help my adrenals.

I’m interested in what you wrote about Iodine and Maca helping with your melasma. Do you know if its ok to take those if I am taking the other vitamins I mentioned?

I love getting into real nutrition which is why I love your blog. I am convinced soy is TERRIBLE as well! Its all over. That and HFCS. Ugh! People are so ignorant to what is in their food!

Erin March 19, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Thanks for the great info. I ordered some Lugol’s drops and am wondering about the dosage. I’m guessing you give your daughter a drop everyday? According to the bottle, it says 1 drop every couple of days. I’ve never taken iodine before and don’t want to start out too fast, but do you know what the maintenance dose is for adults? Thanks!

cheeseslave March 19, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Yay Betsy! Good for you!

Bay – From what I have read, that is true — adrenal exhaustion causes a buildup of copper. I don’t really avoid copper foods but I do try to get a lot more zinc. I try to eat oysters once a week to get extra zinc (oysters contain more zinc than any other food).

Maca is very nourishing for the adrenal glands. It is not a drug, but a food. It is full of vitamins and minerals. I don’t know what you’re taking and I’m not a doctor :-) — but I think maca is one of the best things you can take to nourish the adrenals. At least it has been for me!

cheeseslave March 19, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Erin –

An adult maintenance dose of iodine is 12.5 mg. So a child’s dose would be half that.

I give Kate 2 drops per day of 2.2% Lugol’s — which is about 6.25 mg per day. Some days I miss (too busy/forget), but I’d say I do it about 5 times a week. If you want start slow and build up.

Bay March 19, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Ann Marie – thank you! Where do you get Maca? Do you order it online or can I grab it at Trader Joes and/or Whole Foods?

How long did it take for your melasma to go away once you started eating better/taking Maca? I noticed mine last May when I was at the beach…its on my upper lip the worst spot! I started researching copper and adrenal exhaustion and I think I have both because I have been through alot of stress the last few years. I was on an antibiotic while at the beach which I read raises copper and contributes to a sluggish liver – so that plus stress plus the sun was the perfect storm for it to emerge! I think everything in my body is just tired and drained from stress and also not eating enough good fats and eating sweets. That’s why I love the info on your blog!

By the way, you are adorable…you look just like Meg Ryan? I’m sure you’ve heard that before. And that one picture you have of Kate with butter at the store was hilarious. Thanks for the tips!


cheeseslave March 19, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Hi, Bay,

Thanks — you are so sweet!

Yes I have heard Meg Ryan before but haven’t heard it in a while and it’s so nice to hear it! What a great compliment. :-)

I noticed the most dramatic lightening of the melasma after I was on the maca for a while. But I had been eating a traditional diet for over a year. So I don’t know.

Dr. Wilson (adrenal expert) says it depends on how bad your adrenals are shot. It can take a few years at the most, and at the very least a few months.

So be patient — it takes time to heal.

Harl Delos March 19, 2009 at 9:22 PM

All the results on medline talks about maca being Lepidium meyenii, which is variously described as black maca, red maca, or just plain maca. Websites offer Lepidium peruvianum for sale, and I can’t find anything which indicates if that’s just a second name for it, or if they are different plants.

Studies in 2001, 2002 and 2003at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia had men getting either 1.5 or 3.0 grams per day. A 2007 study at the University of North Carolina had rats getting 25 and 100 mg/kg per day. A 2008 study at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia tried doses as high as 0.5 grams/kg of body weight on men.

Wow. At my weight, that would be about 68 grams a day. Using the “pint’s a pound” rule of thumb, a teaspoon would be about 5 grams. At $28/pound for maca powder, that’s $126/month for maca.

I can’t afford that. For those who can, though, a 2008 study at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia showed that maca made rats more resistant to sunburn – UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. I guess I’ll just have to stay indoors.

Harl Delos’s last blog post..Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Redux

Sarah March 21, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Very interesting post! The maternal side of my family has had problems with melasma and age spots – while my paternal side never has. I always credited it to genetics (maternal side is much more Northern European while paternal is Native American and Welsh) but now I’m thinking it might have much more to do with nutrition (as I’ve never had melasma during either of my pregnancies, but my mom did – though I do take after my dad’s side in terms of coloring a bit more) . . . my maternal side tends to have more health problems, frankly, and they are constantly on low-fat, low-sodium diets while my paternal side always ate much more whole, full-fat foods. (Frankly, going to my paternal grandma’s was always more of a treat for dinner than going to my maternal grandma’s! :)

I hadn’t heard about the iodine side of things before, though I’ve been craving miso soup (the real stuff) and other salty foods so I think I’m going to add it back into my diet! Since I started using sea salt only, I don’t know how much natural iodine I’m eating so will focus on it a bit more. Thanks for the research!

Again, great post!


Sarah’s last blog post..Little Chef

Julie March 25, 2009 at 6:33 AM

Thanks for this post, Annmarie. I’ve recently been having some fibrocystic breast trouble. My doctor said right away “you need to cut way back on the coffee”. So, I am down to one cup a day, enjoying Dandy Blend and tea for the rest of the day. I just ordered some iordoral and will look into getting some Maca.

Jessica March 29, 2009 at 1:33 AM

Hi! I have read that if you have an autoimmune thyroid issue you should avoid iodine…? as it will make your thyroid worse? I had tried taking a iodine supplement before we researched it…and it really threw my thyroid levels off for the worse…and when I got off the supplement…it went back to the level it was before. Have you heard of that? I have a pretty bad autoimmune thyroid issue….we so healthy now and see NO improvements…and we avoid soy now….also, on the maca powder….I read it can be bad for the goiter on the thyroid…have you researched that? I got a goiter on my thryoid a few years ago…about 4 years after I started having this thyroid autoimmune issue when I was preg w my 3 rd child…..I think preg should between the Lord the family….not only our timing. Yes if you have medical issues that needs to be taken into account…but there should not just be a time frame in our heads….pray and let the Lord lead…each time frame my be a bit different depending on the need of mom…the Lord will direct what is best for each time if we ask Him.

Jessica March 29, 2009 at 1:51 AM

I need to say….I do believe what you are saying….if there are health issues or iodine issues that yes your healing issues need to be helped & it is not best for you to get preg…get your health in order…I am just saying there may be moms out there that may not have health issues & the Lord may have it for them to get preg before the 3 years your Dr. is saying…that is all. I just did not want someone to read your blog & think if they got preg before the 3 years to be scared their child would have downs or something else. Each mom has different health needs and time frames….some may even be longer than the 3 years….some a bit shorter….we just need to each look at what is going on in our own bodies and seek the Lord for wisdom of what is best. It is not my heart to upset anyone at all….
I really apprecaite the info on your post…..Thank you…..

Jessica March 29, 2009 at 2:03 AM

Hi! You can just delete my comments…….I don’t want to get in a debate w anyone….I was just trying to encourage if there are moms out there getting preg before 3 years…..if there are not health issues needing to be dealt with….w have many friends….that leave the spacing of children in the Lords hands…and the Lord has blessed them…. so I was afraid a woman like that may read your blog & worry…but if there are no health issues & the Lord has them get preg…then they need to trust that…..& rest in His will…that is all I was trying to say….but I do believe if there are health issues in mom it is good to really deal with those….

julie April 6, 2009 at 7:31 PM


I met your daughter at the WAP conference, I don’t think I met you. My daughter, Sasha, was in daycare with her some of the time. Your daughter is such a light and joy! Anyway, I had scribed to your blog long ago, but it must be going to my junk folder I just thought of you and was checking up and found this post most helpful. I had a incomplete miscarriage in the fall after two years of eating NT, but my daughter still nurses like a champ. So, I kept thinking it was something my body was missing from all the nursing. The doc’s said progesterone. Do you know of any foods/herbs that naturally contain progesterone? Does maca have that? Where did you here of that was it in wise traditions? I am going to start researching it tonight. Also, the doctor you mention is he with WAP? Just wondering where you heard of him too. Just wondering if he would have some natural ideas opposed to progesterone shots… Thank you so much for your time and response!

Tracey July 16, 2009 at 3:53 AM

What brand of Maca root did you buy? I’m searching ebay and there are so many, are all of them organic? Looking forward to a response. Thanks,

Di Spurdens September 8, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Thanks for sharing the info-I’ll try the maca out- the Raw food people like David Wolfe (US) and Shazzie (UK) also speak very highly of it.
Warmest wishes from a not -so- sunny UK!

AMJersey September 12, 2009 at 8:49 AM

This is such a great blog, thank you sooooo much Cheeseslave !!

Firstly, really pleased you’re managing to cure your melasma from the root, I firmly believe this is the way to go. I just stopped taking my combined bcp after 10 yrs on/off and know my hormones need balancing. Wil definitely try the MACA but what are your thoughts on addig falx seed to your diet? It has phytoestrogens…since I believe I’m estrogen dominent what would you reccomend?

Melissa November 9, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Great post, there are so many reasons to include maca in the diet.

Lisa Z January 2, 2010 at 9:08 PM

This is a long-ago post, but I felt the need to get in that debate with Jessica. Yes, it’s great to pray and leave spacing to the Lord, but if we are really going to do it the “Lord’s Way” (aka, natural, God-given) we would need to follow a lot of other things which naturally lead to spacing of children about three years. Breastfeeding on demand day and night, and for an extended time, which some may or may not be able to do, is the age-old way and really should go with that praying.
.-= Lisa Z´s last blog ..Hazards of a Kitchen Remodel–Gaining Weight =-.

Nicole January 12, 2010 at 2:46 PM

When supplemental iodine is ingested there is a possibility of iodine poisoning. Absorbing iodine transdermally eliminates this risk. Ingesting natural forms from food sources has no risk.

You can use drug store iodine to test whether you are in need of iodine. A patch the size of a half dollar should take 12 hours or more to absorb through the skin. Faster than this signals a severe deficiency.

christin August 10, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Do you know if Maca is Gaps legal?

chinni September 17, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Thanks for a nice site. I have been reading a lot on Weston a Price for abt a year now. Came across this site when looking for traditional corn tortilla and found something interesting for my current menstrual problem. I am in a diff problem of no menstruation for about 50 days with pregnancy tests being negative. I don’t take any soy, caffeine….all but stress of the day to day job is what my gynec tells is the reason. She has asked me to wait for some more time before taking hormone pills. I do have quite some stress with a 3 year old kid and a full time job. It is juggling all through. What about maca for such a case? Where can I get/buy maca…I stay in Phx, AZ. Also, I need some help in trying to locate Raw Milk suppliers here in Phx.

cheeseslave September 17, 2010 at 3:51 PM

@ Chinni

You can buy maca online or at health food stores.

Stress can be very hard on your hormones. You also need to make sure you are eating properly and getting enough sleep. Lots of good fats are very important. I would try increasing eggs, butter, and full-fat dairy products. I think eating enough good fat is one of the most important things you can do.

Here are listings for raw milk suppliers in your area:

Natasha October 10, 2010 at 7:43 AM

I am new to this site and its very informative. You have made some very interesting points with the correlation between adrenal glands functioning and hormonal imbalances. Is there also a relationship between the functioning of your adrenal glands and the occurrence of ovarian cyst and other female reproductive problems?

Beth December 21, 2010 at 9:09 PM

I know this is a really old post but I hope you’ll still see my comment :).

Has anyone ever experienced ‘flushes’ from iodine supplementation? By flushes I mean red, flushed cheeks, sort of a hot flash, ears burning, generally not feeling well for a spell?

I did the transdermal spot test and the iodine dissappeared well within 30 minutes. I was too timid to start taking the drops so I just kept putting a drop on my inner forearm once a day. It was around that time that I started getting evening flushes but I’m not sure if they are connected because after a while I stopped the transdermal iodine and I still get episodes with flushed cheeks/ears, etc.

Another note regarding hormone rebalancing: I have some female issues which I was able to diminish by taking therapeutic doses of cod liver oil (I’m trying to not be graphic, lol). I plateaued and after a few months cut back on the FCLO to a normal dose. The misery went back up in just a few months. I just started back on the therapeutic dose of FCLO.

Iodine or maca may be my missing link since Lyme Disease shot my adrenals (I almost lost them to Addison’s Disease) and although I take an herbal adrenal support I haven’t addressed it any other way. I’m obviously iodine dificient and my hormones are obviously out of whack.

Thanks so much for have so much info in one place. I appreciate your sharing your research.

cheeseslave December 22, 2010 at 7:42 AM


I’m not sure but it’s possible/probable. Adrenal health affects your whole hormonal system.

From what I have read, ovarian cysts can be caused by iodine deficiency. The body stores iodine in the thyroid first and foremost, then the breasts and then the ovaries. From what I understand, cysts in the ovaries and the breasts are similar to the goiter in the thyroid — the body needs more iodine.

You can get tested for iodine deficiency.

cheeseslave December 22, 2010 at 7:45 AM

Hi, Beth

Has anyone ever experienced ‘flushes’ from iodine supplementation? By flushes I mean red, flushed cheeks, sort of a hot flash, ears burning, generally not feeling well for a spell?

I have not heard of this but it could be that you are taking too much. What kind of iodine are you taking?

Another note regarding hormone rebalancing: I have some female issues which I was able to diminish by taking therapeutic doses of cod liver oil (I’m trying to not be graphic, lol). I plateaued and after a few months cut back on the FCLO to a normal dose. The misery went back up in just a few months. I just started back on the therapeutic dose of FCLO.

Interesting! How much do you consider to be a therapeutic dose? 1 TBS per day?

Harl Delos December 22, 2010 at 11:01 AM

They used to use an iodine-based contrast dye when doing intravenous pyleograms. (The IVP is an X-ray of the kidneys used for diagnosing kidney stones, among other things.) When they would inject the dye into the bloodstream, such a reaction was pretty common. It’s my understanding that they use a different kind of contrast dye these days, which doesn’t cause that kind of reaction.

OrchidGirl January 1, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I have found the following while looking for suppliers of Maca:

Which is the best type to buy?

Lauren January 2, 2011 at 4:05 AM

According to Wikipedia, Maca is a brassica. Brassicas contain goitrogenic glucosinolates and are thus contraindicated for people with thyroid and adrenal problems. Yet, also according to Wiki, Maca – especially the dark-coloured varieties – is an excellent source of iodine, which is used to treat goiters. Go figure.

Re GAPS, “The average composition [of dried Maca root] is 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 8.5% dietary fiber, and 2.2% fats. Maca is rich in essential minerals, especially selenium, calcium, magnesium, and iron, and includes fatty acids including linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acids, and 19 amino acids, as well as polysaccharides.” I’d say no, but at the amounts being discussed would probably not cause a problem.

This is a really helpful list, Ann-Marie! Thanks.

OrchidGirl January 2, 2011 at 9:18 AM

In searching for the best prices on Maca root powder, I also came across an article on sea vegetables:

Which I initially found while looking at this article:


Preventive measures may be taken against iodine deficiency problems or disease risk by adding just 2 tablespoons of chopped, dried sea greens to your daily diet.

Sea vegetables are yummy and tasty! Crush, chop or crumble any mix of dry sea greens you like into soups and sauces, pizzas or focaccias, casseroles, rice and salads. Roast them into anything you cook. If you add sea veggies, no other salt is needed, an advantage for a low salt diet. Sundried, they are convenient to buy, store, and use as needed. Store them in a moisture proof container and they keep indefinitely.

Hope this helps people with iodine deficiencies. I am a novice at this, just beginning to find out about maca through this blog.

My niece is the go-to person at a store in New Mexico that sells all of this type of product, so I will ask her about it, and get back to you with what she has to say.

cheryl January 26, 2011 at 6:47 PM

I read your article on sour dough bread first, and then see you don’t eat white flour. White kind of flour is is sour dough bread?

Jenniffer January 30, 2011 at 7:15 AM

I am also interested in this, I have recently had two miscarriages and I have a strong feeling that I have low progesterone as well. I have been reading about maca, dong quai, and vitex (chaste tree). They don’t actually contain progesterone, but they have been know to help balance hormones and in turn increase progesterone levels. I am just not sure if they can be taken during pregnancy to replace progesterone naturally. I would like to know if there is a more natural way of supplementing with progesterone rather than taking shots of artificial hormones.

cheeseslave January 30, 2011 at 9:06 AM

I don’t say I *never* eat white flour. I eat white flour occasionally. I said “avoid white flour”. If I can get sourdough whole grain bread or sprouted bread, that is what I eat.

Sourdough bread can be made with either white flour or whole grain.

Ronna February 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM

I am currently in the middle of figuring out my own hormone imbalances and have begun drinking Dandy Blend to cut down on my coffee consumption. I was on soy formula as an infant and was raised vegetarian until I switched about 3 years ago after reading a whole lot about traditional diets. Overall I feel MUCH better than when I was vegetarian. But I continue to have hormone issues: adult acne (worse than when I was a teen) and PMS mainly.
It is helpful to read what helps others. Thanks for this!

Ronna February 19, 2011 at 11:32 AM

I am currently in the middle of figuring out my own hormone imbalances and have begun drinking Dandy Blend to cut down on my coffee consumption. I was on soy formula as an infant and was raised vegetarian until I switched about 3 years ago after reading a whole lot about traditional diets. Overall I feel MUCH better than when I was vegetarian. But I continue to have hormone issues: adult acne (worse than when I was a teen) and PMS mainly.
It is helpful to read what helps others. Thanks for this!

Lara March 3, 2011 at 11:01 PM

Dear Ann-Marie,

Thanks for the valuable post.
I am also suffering from melasma for more than 5 years. I have done a lot of thing to improve it, but no luck at all. It gets lightened, but never disappeared. I have always though it is an internal issue.
I think this melasma is connected with adrenal fatigue since from many years I was under stress.
How did you checked your adrenal fatigue? since I wanted to get it checked before starting these remedies. (just to make sure). Can I successfully check it at home?

I also want to know your views regarding licorice extract since I have read it in connection with the treatment of adrenal fatigue.

Please reply?

Lara March 3, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Please, also let me know the brand of Maca you have used and from where you have purchased. Update your progress regarding melasma too..

Alina March 16, 2011 at 11:09 PM
Henry Skinner-Larsen April 3, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Thank you for this tremendous service. Found out about your blog through Granny Good Food. Dulse is the seaweed for iodine. Has generally four times the iodine of kelp and hundreds times as much as most other foods. So much iodine it has a reddish-purple color. Delicious, too. Atlantic Mariculture harvests it from the Atlantic, considering the Japan problem. I prefer seaweed to a iodine supplement because the seaweed supplies all the other trace minerals our bodies and glands need. It also includes the alginates which help to remove heavy metals from the body. Be well.

Alyeska April 8, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Thank you so much for posting this! I have been suffering from extreme fatigue for a year now and doctor’s can’t figure it out. I’m only 20 years old, but I have been taking hormonal birth control for 3 years, and my moods and energy have been out of whack ever since. I finally got off of the pill, but I know my body will go through withdrawal. I want to help balance my hormones, and I hope I’ll see improvement just like you did!

Lynn May 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Sounds interesting. Hormone testing by regular MD’s showed low everything.
Am on SCD which has helped. One Dr did blood test for mercury and iodine. Said no mercury and very low iodine , so started taking what he recommended and got a rash. stopped and rash went away. Any ideas? (yes try calling the Dr and no return calls after several left messages.
Lynn D

anne @ shitzu puppies May 5, 2011 at 1:45 AM

Hi Ann Marie! I really learned a lot from your post. I have never spend so much time in reading post until I have encountered your post about hormonal imbalance. I actually spent 45 minutes to read and understand well your article. I even make notes so I can study it again. I have hormonal imbalance for 8 years now and I’m happy that I pass by at your post because I have learned a lot from it. Is Iodoral can be bought in drug stores even without prescriptions? Is maca in tablet form and it is available in drug stores? I’m glad that I have read your post. I also read all the comments of fellow bloggers and I guess everybody really benefited from your post. Keep on writing…Thank you so much.

cheeseslave May 5, 2011 at 10:33 AM

You can buy Iodoral (or Lugol’s) online without a prescription. Just do an internet search for it.

Maca can be found at health food stores, but I don’t think in drug stores. You can also buy it online. You can buy it in capsule form. June 2, 2011 at 12:17 AM

very helpful post, thanks! I drink raspberry leaf tea too..

felicia field June 18, 2011 at 1:32 AM

Hi there,

Love your articles! For your adrenal fatigue did you ever take any of dr wilsons products like the adrenal glandulars or did you just take the maca root only. What brand do you recommend buying for the maca. Also, I have read that candida overgrowth can prevent the thyroid and adrenals from working correctly – what is your take on this? I have also heard that if your adrenals are fatigued and you also have hypothyroidism – that you should start by working on your adrenals first and then your thyroid – what is your take on this. I’m really frustrated because I spent over $300 seeing a naturopath in Jan and she really did not help me so I refuse to see her anymore and waste my money! I definetly have adrenal fatigue In dr wilsons book test I tested at moderate adrenal fatigue. Also, an absence of hair on the back of your calves, heat intolerance and salt and sugar cravings are also due to adrenal fatigue. There are some really interesting symptoms you can have with adrenal fatigue. i think 90% of people on this planet are suffering some form of adrenal fatigue. Look at all the starbucks all over the place. The most sigificant symptom of adrenal fatigue is waking up tired (no matter how much sleep you get) and absolutely needing coffee to get going.
Looking forward to your feedback

Ashleymichelle June 28, 2011 at 7:58 AM

Hello! I love your blog…just found it today while looking for hormone imbalance info. Well I have a huge problem I have been trying to fix for a long time now. Dairy makes my skin break out! not little bumps…i’m talking huge cystic bumps on my face, chest & back. I read that is is because of the huge amount of female sex hormones in milk. The people that don’t have acne do not have and imbalance but people like me do have one. I do not know exactly what hormones of mine is out of balance…all i know is i want them in balance!!! lol I haven’t consumed dairy for 3 years and i’m tired of it! I miss yogurt, Ice cream & CHEESE. I have replaced dairy w/ coconut milk…I drank soy for about a year until I found out it was unhealthy. I can get away w/ using butter & milk during cooking..but thats it..all else will break me out. I’m pregnant now (4 mos) so this may not be the best time for me to balance my hormones so i’ll probably wait. But I am so fed up!.. I have been craving icecream and cheese for 4 months now! lol idk if I can go another 6! If you know any information about this please let me know

Thnx so much =)

Henry June 28, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Were you drinking raw or pasteurized, homogenized milk? I switched to raw a while back and have been having no difficulties with it. We recently bought a milking goat and drink that when we don’t need it for the baby goats. You may be impressed with the research on raw milk, if you are not already familiar with it.

Ashleymichelle June 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Yes i’m very familiar with it..I got my hands on raw milk from a friend In may…After reading a book called “Real Food for Mother and Baby” by Nina Planck… I knew I wanted to add it to my diet especailly while pregnant. I drank the whole bottle in a day lol. Unfortunately about two days later I had a ton of bumps. I remember being so upset because I thought raw milks & cheeses would finally be my answer..

cheeseslave June 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM

It sounds like you might be allergic to dairy products. If you reacted to raw milk, then it may be the casein, not just the lactose you are reacting to.

Ghee should be fine — it has the milk sugars and proteins (lactose and casein) removed. You can make your own or buy it:

Sources of grass-fed, organic ghee are here:” target=”_blank”

The reason you are breaking out is your body is trying to detoxify and it can’t because you don’t have enough good bacteria.

What you need to do is heal your gut. Once you heal the gut, you can reverse food allergies. I would look into doing the GAPS Diet — read Gut & Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride.

Also I am teaching an online class called Reversing Food Allergies — it’s an ongoing learn-at-your-own-pace class. Here’s the link to learn more:

cheeseslave June 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

I took adrenal glandulars.

There are a few different maca powders out there — I think Royal Maca from Whole World Botanicals and Maca Magic are good.

Yes candida overgrowth/gut dysbiosis can impact the hormonal system. All health begins in the gut. Are you drinking kefir every day? If not, I would start there. If you are allergic to milk, try coconut milk kefir.

I agree with you that most of us have adrenal fatigue! I got off coffee last year and it was the best thing I have ever done for my health.

felicia field June 29, 2011 at 7:41 PM

Thanks for your info. I am drinking kefir (unsweetened) but I am now switching to raw milk cheese, raw milk kefir. I am also eating bubbies pickels and sauerkraut – it’s amazing the amount of good bacteria in their products! I am also going to take the bio kult you take. Oh, I am also drinking coconut water kefir from inner eco and I am also drinking kombucha tea from gt’s I get at whole foods. Luckily there is also a sprouts farmers maket store opening up and they sell raw milk. Whole foods does not carry raw milk anymore due to the liability issue. I am also working with dr flechas i found on your website and getting my iodine levels checked and then I will try to go back on naturethroid. I was on 2 grains a day but it caused headaches and did nothing for my energy levels and made me more irritated so I had to discontinue it. I love your blog – so much of what you say makes sense but goes against what “mainstream” people do and think but this is one of the reasons our country is so sick and tired!!!

felicia field June 29, 2011 at 7:50 PM

I would also like to include this link by dr brownstein re: iodine and why you definetly need it! There’s no point in taking thyroid meds if you are not taking iodine as well. But you need to get your levels checked to see how much you need. There is always a danger when taking any supplement of taking too much or too little and neither is helpful. Even my naturopathic did not mention testing iodine levels. With all the bromine in flour and flouride in water, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc the vast majority of people are deficient in iodine. Luckily a simple and cheap 24 urine test will let you know how much iodine you are throwing off and how much you need. I spoke to paula at dr flechas lab and she said one patient was so deficient in iodine that he had to take 50 mg (and notice that is mg not mcg and in most multis you are only getting 150 mcg and that is waaaay too low!) 2 times a day for awhile to get his levels back up (obviously this needs to be done under a doctors supervision and guidance).

paisley July 1, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Is Maca GAPS legal? Sounds like something that could help me.

Alisue July 2, 2011 at 7:26 AM

Thought it was funny…I just started taking kelp powder for iodine and maca powder too…woohoo!

Lisa_S July 2, 2011 at 10:43 AM

I have read on holistic healing sites that iodine (Lugol’s was one of the brands mentioned) can be quite bad for you if you have autoimmune thyroid issues. Anyone have any two cents on this? I have considered taking iodine, but seriously am afraid to upset the balance any worse when I have finally been feeling decent lately.

felicia field July 3, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Hi Lisa,

There is an excellent book called “iodine why you need it why you can’t live without it.” In this book Dr David Brownstein goes into detail in a chapter titled, “iodine and the thyroid gland” that even auto immune conditions need iodine. If you’ll click on the link above (at my last post) you’ll see an article written by Dr Brownstein and in it he says that a lot of auto immune conditions are due to a deficiency of iodine. An autoimmune thyroid issue is your immune system running amuck and attacking the thyroid gland. If I were you I would contact a doctor that cheeslave has talked about – Dr Flechas and here is his website with phone #

I would talk to him about your condition and do the iodine loading test to see how deficient you are (it’s not an expensive test and there’s no needles and dr flechas works with you even if you live in another state) and how much you need. He would know about autoimmune conditions and I’ll bet you he will recommend iodine.

Dr Brownstein in his book (I just recommended) says that. In order to formulate an effective, safe and inexpensive treatment for autoimmune thyroid problems, one must first seach for an underlying cause of the illness. As he discusses in his book “overcoming thyroid disorders 2nd edition, the underlying cause(s) of autoimmune thyroid disorders can be varied This can include infections, toxicities ( like mercury or flouride or bromine overload) food allergies (e.g., gluten intolerance) and nutritional imbalances. I believe an iodine deficiency may be an important factor in developing an autoimmune thyroid problem. Then he goes on to have some case studies of people with grave or hashimotos syndrome and how it was treated with iodine (and of course finding out any other underlying issues like the one mentioned above).

I think dr flechas is the best person to start with. I have hypothryroidism and I am getting
an iodine test done this week thru his office and I will post the results and what I need to take in a couple of weeks or so. The problem with only taking thyroid replacement hormone is that it is still not giving your thyroid the building blocks it needs to be healthy. The thyroid gland cannot function properly in an iodine deficient state (from dr brownsteins book).

In fact, he even goes on to say in his book -Iodine why you need it why you can’t live without it – that the next 3 chapters will expand on the concept that deficiency of iodine is one of the major causes of autoimmune thyroid disorders.

Also, keep in mind that some doctors are not on the cutting edge of things – even some holistic doctors, like my holistic doctor. All she did was test my thyroid and put me on thyroid meds and when they did not work (I had the reversal – headaches and irritability) not once did she mention getting my iodine levels checked! So you can’t always count on doctors to always be in the know. Felicia

BlackSheepPrincess July 4, 2011 at 12:03 PM

i’ve actually been making my own dashi to use as a base for miso. i can testify to the benefits of it!!!

BlackSheepPrincess July 4, 2011 at 12:04 PM

i’ve never heard of maca. i’m going to have to look that up now! :)

berryfoot July 6, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Your post is the first thing I read that clued me in to the fact that my unbalanced hormones are probably what has caused my melasma. I have had it now for almost two years. It hasn’t gotten much worse, thanks to my sunscreen use, but it is still a big problem for me. I started thinking back to what changed in my diet two years ago. I was under a lot of stress from moving, and I am almost certain I started to drink more wine, usually white. In fact, I don’t really remember drinking it much at all at my old house. I wonder if this is affecting my hormone levels, and thus causing the melasma. I have also been experiencing much more breast tenderness before my periods than I ever have before, for the last few years. And the final thing is, I seem to always have vaginal itching, like I am always having a slight yeast infection. Last year at my annual exam, the doctor said she could see yeast and prescribed me a pill that I now realize is pretty hard on the liver. I wonder if this is all related to my melasma.

ofthec July 17, 2011 at 1:24 AM

I breast fed on demand day and night for and extended period of time and my children were naturally spaced two years apart.

ofthec July 17, 2011 at 1:25 AM

Pretty sure maca is not GAPS legal as it is in the potato family.

LeahS July 19, 2011 at 11:01 PM

I want to do some more research on maca, and I think you have inspired me to start taking my iodine again…

Christy August 2, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Has anyone experienced thinning hair along with melasma? After my second child I noticed my hair got very thin.

billy August 30, 2011 at 8:58 AM

i need some tips about.

Andi September 4, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Macca made me even crazier and if I gave up chocolate I’d kill somebody.

Lulu November 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM

I like Royal Maca by Whole World Botanicals, too. The maca is gelatinized, pre-cooked, sundried, etc. Peruvians apparenly never eat maca raw.

I’m 48 years old, and going through peri-menopause with various symptoms. I’ve read somewhere that some women take maca only for the first 14 days of their cycle. Does this make sense to anyone, and why do you think that is? My hair analysis indicates that I’m “progestrone dominant”. Anyone has any idea why the first 14 days? If I’m progestrone dominant, should I be taking maca during the last 14 days of my cycle instead?

Andrea January 25, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Thank you for your generous sharing.
I think I will try the maca Miracle, for my adrenal fatigue.

Charlie February 9, 2012 at 8:27 AM

I appear to be very healthy and am in my mid 20’s. My husband and I haven’t had any difficulties conceiving, and have 2 children but I guess our only difficulty in that area is that I have a very low libido and it’s causing stress in my marriage. My basal body temperature is normally around 97 degrees (although I’ve seen it in the 96’s!). I also have barely any hair on my legs, so I only have to shave them about 1x/3 weeks–which is nice, but I think is an indication that something is wrong. We follow a nourishing whole foods/WAPF diet, but I still eat white flour, and unsoaked grains occasionally (probably weekly). Do you think these 5 suggestions will work for me, or do I have major hormone issues? I’m wondering if I have absorption issues which are causing my body not to realize I eat plenty of fats/minerals? Just a thought. Thanks!

Kris Romans February 17, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I found your blog by searching remedies for Melasma. I have been suffering from it since the birth of my first child, 5 years ago. After my second child, it only got worse and spread across much of my face. Although it is a “cosmetic” problem, it has hurt my esteem and confidence severely and have spent much money on trying to find a solution. I have recently started seeing a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor. We have discussed and decided that a hormonal imbalance is most likely the problem, so I have been taking herbs. I am curious though how severe your melasma was, how long it took to see a difference and if you truly believe it was the maca and iodine that made the difference. I have just recently started a wheat free (attempting) sugar free lifestyle and am hoping that will aid in the disappearance of the melasma. I’m not interested in just lightening it, I WANT IT GONE!!! :) I currently take my Chinese herbs, Folic Acid, B12 and zinc. Just ordered Maca from Amazon. I suppose I am just looking for some encouragement in that this ailment can be resolved b/c I read so much that once you have it, you are stuck with it. Thank you!

Lulu May 31, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I take maca by Whole World Botanical. They strongly recommend that one should not take the maca with other phyto-estrogenic herbs. I used to take herbal cream (phyto-estrogen) and other adrenal support which contained phyto estrogenic herbs to support my adrenal, as my addrena function is minimum. Now I’m torn between just doing maca, or not do maca and do phyto-estrogenic herbs because I’m not seeing a good result from maca. I’m also wondering if I should increase the dosage of maca to see what happens. The dilemma comes from the fact that my adrenal is very exhausted, yet, I heard many times now that even phyto-estrogenic herbs can weaken ones own glands to stop producing hormones (because the body relies on outside herbs instead of trying to produce your own). What do you think of all this, Cheesecake? I don’t want my body to forget to produce own hormones, as I would be dependent on the herbs forever.

Rachel June 15, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Thank you so much for the information on Maca. I have only recently learned about its fabulous healing qualities. Good to hear from someone who has used it. I hope it works as well for me.

Ruth July 10, 2012 at 5:19 AM

Please ,am a nigerian, where can i found maca here in nigeria? Pls do reply me. Thanks.

cheeseslave July 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Hi, Ruth, sorry but I don’t know. I haven’t been to Nigeria.

Jane Dunne July 12, 2012 at 1:38 PM

If you have Hashimoto’s you can use Iodine but you absolutely must take L-Tyrosine with it. I have what I believe to be Hashimoto’s (symptoms of hypothyroidism then hyperthyroidism the next is what made me get my act together health-wise). I thought I was going to die at work one day when I kept having heart arrhythmia. Turned out I was in a hyperthyroid state then. Eventually I started taking Thyroid Care by Terry Naturally. I felt like I could do 10 back flips in a row! :) I had NEVER felt that good in my life. Then I ran out of it and it was on backorder for a while so I tried their Tri-iodine. Not only did it do nothing for me, but I went back downhill. I even started suffering from serious depression and my cramps and PCOS were bad once again. So I thought, well what does the Thyroid Care have that the Tri-iodine doesn’t? L-Tyrosine that’s what. I looked it up and sure enough, the body can’t do what it needs to do with iodine without L-Tyrosine. Thyroid Care was still backordered so I bought a bottle of L-Tyrosine and took the supplement with the Tri-iodine and wouldn’t you know it. I was feeling better within days! Shortly after, Thyroid Care was back on the shelves and that’s what I take now and i feel great. I’ve also started powerlifting to help with my PCOS symptoms. So far so good and on top of that, lifting has literally “lifted” my spirits as well. :)

Jane Dunne July 12, 2012 at 1:45 PM

I meant to add, I believe people with Hashi’s aren’t successful using iodine because they fail to combine it with L-Tyrosine and quite possibly (as in my case) are also allergic to gluten. I was told (and read) that when I was having an allergic reaction to gluten, my body was also attacking my thyroid cells. So I went gluten free. But I didn’t see any real improvement in my energy and health or the Hashi symptoms until I started taking Iodine with L-Tyrosine.

During this time I also stopped eating grains and sugar. I had already started growing my own veggies in my aquaponics system and I order 1/4 of a cow and whole lamb from a farmer that only raises pastured animals with no antibiotic or hormones. And I was drinking lots of raw goat milk Keffir. The diet change is also where I saw a tremendous improvement. I was able to eliminate my life long itchy skin allergy with the Keffir alone!

Sarah July 23, 2012 at 5:15 PM

I thought I would try doing a few things to help balance my hormones, like eating organic as much as possible, cutting back on soy, exercising regularly, drinking filtered water, etc. Two weeks after my last period started, I began bleeding and have been for over a week now, although today has been much, much lighter. It looks like it’s about to stop, although I’m wondering if I’ll still get my period around day 28. The bleeding was never really heavy, but it was more spotting/bleeding than I’ve ever had in the past. I did some research online, and I found that either stopping or starting birth control or estrogens could cause breakthrough bleeding. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this when trying to cut back on things that promote estrogen and if so, how long did it take for your cycle to readjust. I’m also using a triple omega supplement (1 a day) and cod liver oil (2 capsules a day).

Cynthia July 29, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Thank you for your article. I’ve never heard of Maca but am intrigued by it. One of the most life changing things I’ve ever found for balancing hormones, addressing the thyroid, and combating adrenal fatigue are doTERRA essential oils and supplement products. They are the purest, highest quality essential oils available, and the Lifelong Vitality supplements and Women’s supplements have done wonders for me. I recommend looking into it. Good luck with your continued search for better health solutions!

Elaine Vail July 30, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Do you think the Maca would be as effective in a capsule? I’m very intrigued by this… I’d never heard of it before reading this post. I have PCOS and insulin resistance. So, I guess my hormone imbalance is opposite of yours… do you suspect this Maca would be helpful to people like me as well?

Ginny July 31, 2012 at 9:14 AM

I have spent years curled up and moaning in pain and praying for death to just come quickly with cramps once a month. : ) I can’t wait to try the maca and your other tips to try and kick my Naproxen (prescription strength) once and for all!

Jasmine August 14, 2012 at 1:52 AM

I read this and it seems that I can overcome my hormones imbalance, due to which I am not able to conceive from last many years.. Crossing my fingers..


Sarah August 14, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Well, the bleeding stopped, and I got what I believe was my period on August 10th. It has seemed pretty normal and should be finishing up in the next couple of days or so. Also, my acne seems to be getting better. I guess time will tell if this keeps up and if my cycle regulates. I certainly hope it does!

Lori September 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM

One thing I ran into on trying a high fat diet change…be cautious and aware of the amount of dairy cholesterol you’re ingesting, My cholesterol levels shot sky high when I did it, and I had to tweek and adjust the dairy. Since cholesterol tests are rather cheap, check your levels before and during to make sure you keep on track. Otherwise I loved it, My face plumped out and my skin cleared up, I lost weight, and my mood went from scary to zen.

cheeseslave September 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM

High cholesterol is a sign of inflammation and also imbalanced hormonal function. My inlaws were able to lower their cholesterol by eating more coconut oil — which makes sense because coconut oil helps to improve hormone function.

I improved my thyroid function by eating more carbs and consuming more food in general for about 6 months.

Sarah September 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Yes, I believe it’s true for me as well, that an intolerance to gluten caused my hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism several years ago. My doctor just put me on 50 mcg Levothyroxine and periodically checked my TSH levels to make sure they were normal. There were issues that I continued to have that didn’t seem to be affecting others close to my age in spite of what I thought were very healthy habits, mainly acne and some GI issues. I’d done so many things to try to resolve them but could never find anything that really worked. I finally decided to try cutting out gluten when I found an article discussing hormonal acne and that gluten intolerance could be connected. I was skeptical, but I figured what the heck, I’d try some gluten-free bread and other products since I had to buy some more bread at the store anyway. I couldn’t believe the difference I felt just on one day of being gluten-free. My “wheat belly” was gone, and I must have been really bloated because I could tell how un-bloated I was. While these were great results, I was scared because I didn’t know what they meant. Was I allergic to gluten, or did I have celiac disease? I didn’t go totally gluten-free. I still ate oats that weren’t gluten-free and did eat bread a couple of times after that. I ended up going to have blood drawn last week for the complete celiac panel and gluten sensitivity. I haven’t gotten those results back yet, but I’m eagerly awaiting them. Also, I started having insomnia when I began cutting out the gluten. At first, I thought it was a withdrawal symptom. Two nights ago, when I only had 2.5 hours of sleep, I had plenty of time to think. The only environment thing that was recently different was an air purifier I put in my bedroom. I didn’t know if it might be giving off any electromagnetic fields that could be keeping me awake. Unplugging and moving electronics that were near the bed really helped with a previous round of insomnia, so I wondered if that might be an issue. I’d had it at least a week before the insomnia started, though. The only other thing that came to mind was my thyroid medication. I remember reading something a year ago about someone who treated her thyroid issues by going gluten-free, but I dismissed it for myself because I thought I didn’t react to gluten (little did I know). I decided to stop taking my thyroid medication to see how it goes after reading Chris Kresser and others online who discussed the strong connection between hypothyroidism and gluten intolerance. The last time I went off my medication, it was for over two days, and I could feel the fatigue really setting in at that point. It’s been that long now, and other than exhaustion from lack of sleep, I feel fine. I committed to going as close to 100% gluten free as I could so I could go without my thyroid medication and hopefully get rid of my insomnia. If I continue to do okay, I plan to call my doctor and see about having my thyroid retested. I strongly believe that I’m gluten-intolerant, and if the tests don’t reveal that, I’ll be really surprised. I plan to continue on my present course no matter what the results reveal because I know how I feel. I’m not worried about an endoscopy or anything like that.

ariel September 28, 2012 at 5:35 PM

I have a hormone imbalance and no one could figure it out until i went to an herbalist/accupuncturist and it makes me really depressed& anxious and i cry ALOT. Im hoping ill feel better soon. Ive been doing herbs/accupuncture about 2-3months now and it helps alot but i still have alot of anxiety&depression and also have gained alittle weight and havent been able to lose it. Did you get that too? Im only 21.

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Nessie October 23, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I’m starting to suspect that I have a hormonal imbalance and I would love to take Maca (along with muti-vitamins and iodine). The only thing that’s stopping me from using Maca is that I’m breastfeeding my little one. Do you know if it’s safe for breastfeeding women and their babies?

Sandy October 30, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Thanks for this post, very helpful! I’ve been experiencing hormonal problems for some time and having been mainly vegetarian I’ve consumed allot of soy through the years. But I have cut back to very scant amounts in my diet now because it drastically emphasizes my PMS symptoms.

I want to try the maca but I’ve read other things online indicating that it could lead to palpitations and other anxiety like symptoms. Have you heard of this happening?
I bought a package of maca root before I read the adverse things and now have been too apprehensive to try it.

kaylee October 31, 2012 at 7:50 AM

i have low estrogen and low progestron, i was dignosed with endomrtosis in 2009 i was woundering how good vitex is has anyone tryed it i have a regler cycal so i dont know if its write for me i do take maca and have been pregnant once but misscarid, and just had a tubal pregnacey i take 525mg three times a day or maca and vitex three times a day at 300mg a multi prenatal and a omaga 3! any help would be great!

AJ Nancy November 4, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I have had reoccurring cold sores for years with a constant redness on my lips and I think it’s due to hormonal imbalance. I think iodine irratates the problem. I’m going to try the maca. Any other help would be appreciated. I’ve tried creams, herbs. Nothing helps. I have hot flashes so I know something is off. I’m tired of living in fear and being a recluse. Help if you can.

Marilyn November 5, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Cholesterol is actually a non-necessary nutrient: Our bodies produce it so we don’t need to consume it. Eat enough healthy fats like from nuts and seeds and avocados and our body will do the work :)

Stacey Christie November 9, 2012 at 7:12 AM

Hey there, I stumbled across this page and I am glad I found it. The thing is, I have acne..and I am guessing it is hormonal since I never had it last year but once my period came back this year after being ceased for nearly 2 my face has broke out. So I do think it is hormonal.

I had been tested for PCOS but apparantly it was negative, however I do have high-androgen levels in my body…I was just wondering if a diet like the one you have mentioned may help my lower these angrogens and thus perhaps help out my skin? I am at my wits end and I am so depressed with my skin that I struggle to see my friends, I seem to withdraw from mostly everything right now…and at 21 years of age I wish I never, but it is hard as I feel everyone judges my skin.

Anyway, my doctor has prescribed me Dianette (a synthetic birth control pill) to help me out, it is an anti-androgen. But I really want to help myself naturally…if it comes to it and I can’t manage that then I will try out this pill, it will be the second time going on it.

Anyway hope you get back to me :)

Sarah November 9, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I too struggled with acne for many years. I was on an antibiotic for several years, which I stopped a few years ago because I wanted to treat the acne without it. I tried several things, like washing my face twice a day, changing my pillowcases nightly, using a fresh towel on my face everyday, eating more organic/whole foods, taking a higher-quality multivitamin, supplementing with a triple omega capsule, cutting back on soy, etc. While all of these things helped, they didn’t completely get rid of my acne. I then read something about gluten intolerance causing acne. I figured what the heck; I had nothing to lose by trying it. I needed more bread at the store anyway, so I thought I’d pick up a gluten-free loaf instead and also got a few other gluten-free things. Wow…I can’t tell you how I felt just after a few days of being gluten-free. Some chronic GI symptoms that I’d been dealing with were gone, and I felt so much better. My acne began to improve and has gotten noticeably better. I only notice breakouts when I get “glutened”, or when I have certain dairy products. I’ve been as close to 100% gluten free as possible for about a month and a half now. It turns out that my underactive thyroid may actually be Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and that gluten is the trigger. Acne can be caused by any number of things, but this ended up being a biggie for me. Maybe it will help you too. What doesn’t help is continuing on doing the same things hoping it will eventually go away. I realized that wasn’t going to happen when I approached my mid-thirties and still continued to break out.

Stacey Christie November 12, 2012 at 12:45 AM

Thankyou for the reply :) Im sorry you too had to suffer with acne. Did you notice if you had any other symptoms of gluten intolerance? It does seem to be a never ending battle with me and my skin, and seriously knocks my confidence. I have always thought it was a hormonal thing though since my period ceased for nearly 2 years and as soon as it came back this year, my skin broke out…I really don’t want to go on the pill again though even though it might clear me temporarily, I do want to treat myself naturally, with natural supplements and things. Im thinking of taking a good pro-biotic too.

Sarah November 12, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Acne definitely stinks! Yes, I was also constipated, and I didn’t realize how bloated I was until I stopped eating gluten. I actually dropped 5 pounds within the first few days! I think because the gluten affected my thyroid that my hormones were affected too. The last couple of months, my period has come at around the 1-month mark, when it hasn’t done that in ages. Knock on wood, it will keep up. I always got my period, but sometimes it would be early while late at others. Oftentimes it would come about every three weeks. Of course, it could be any food intolerance, not just gluten, but gluten seems to be the big one these days.

Tracie Gonzales November 12, 2012 at 9:33 PM

After my gettin my tubes ties I have suffered from these symptoms..
Excessive hair growth legs and upper lip, excessive sweating, long periods 7-10 days
Heavy periods, endometriosis, adult face acne, pregnancy mask,excessive weight gain and others. Could this be a hormone problem. I oay started the macca powder. 2 o my drs have no answers and put me on birth control.

Anony November 27, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I would like to politely set the record straight about the cholesterol myth. My own mother once got on my about the amount of olive oil I eat, as she was concerned for my cholesterol. However, olive oil does not have cholesterol. In fact, there is not a single plant source that contains cholesterol; cholesterol is only found in animal sources. Like other animals, the human body makes cholesterol. I am not offering an opinion regarding whether we need to eat extra cholesterol, but I want to say that you cannot get cholesterol from olive oil, coconut oil, or any other plant source. Tip number 1 indicates falsely that you can. I would really appreciate if you would update this. Thank you and great post!

jh January 12, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Wow- thank you for all the information! I took Amberen for 90 days over the summer and since finishing have watched my hair start to fall out again and I well up with tears when the sun comes up in the morning (because it’s so beautiful every morning,right?). so- I just received maca and am excited about the possibilities. In addition, I am adding some fat to my diet to help the hair …. I think I naturally shy away from fats because I never seem to have enough in my diet unless I think about it. So, hopefully the combination of coconut oil and macs will help. Keep us posted on everything you find out about your own experiences because it is really helpful!

jh January 12, 2013 at 8:27 AM

oh my Courtney- I can only hope that you have a healthy and happy little brood by now…

jessica graham January 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM

I scrolled down the list of comments and didnt see this questions already. Hope i am not asking it again! LOL! I am pregnant with my 4th baby in 4 1/2 years. Before this pregnancy, I found out I had some pretty big digestive issues, along with adrenal fatigue and hormone inbalances. Pregnancy hasnt helped at all! I am trying to eat whole foods and take supplements reccommended by the natural dr. I saw. Would maca be safe to take now? (due in 3 weeks) Is it safe for breastfeeding? I am really trying to balance everything out to the best of my ability. Thanks so much!

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Drea January 30, 2013 at 6:39 AM

I just would like to point out that Butter,cream and Lard are not good fats.. All tho we do need good fat’s in our diet’s Please do not get them from these sources! Coconut oil is a miracle oil and olive oil is a safe oil as well. Some butter can be ok but i do not know who told you Lard was a good fat! Beef should be lean and even some chicken is bad if we are talking about hormones because they are pumped with antibiotics and hormones. Try to go with natural chicken and grass fed beef. Avocado is a great source of a good fat. Eggs are ok in moderation but you said egg yolks you are leaving out the white which is packed with protein. And a tip on hydrogenated oils, Check your labels because these can be hidden in the weirdest places such as dehydrated soups, Coffee creamers and peanut butters. Go for an all natural peanut butter or Almond butter also using Skim milk , Coconut milk or Almond milk makes a good creamer. Did you know that Cow’s milk contains excess estrogen and Casein a cancer causing agent. You also referred to Japanese diet. Most Asians do not consume cows milk thus why they have lower breast cancer and heart disease. Almond milk and Coconut milk actually contain twice as much Calcium as Cows milk you can also try Greek yogurt high in calcium. To truly balance your hormones you may want to take out some of the things you are doing such as eliminating red meat and cows milk and definitely lard and butter. Try yoga it is also very healthy for your body and mind and can put balance into your life. I don’t know what the rest of your diet is like but make sure you are getting plenty of veggies add beets to your diet slowly it helps clear out toxins and regulate the liver. Eat brown rice and for someone who was asking about digestive issues take acidophilus in the morning once a day it will help regulate your digestion as well as boost your immune system. A healthy diet can make a huge difference in your well being it can also reverse many illnesses including diabetes. I would research a lot more if I was you good luck!

Jade February 14, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Great blog. I’ve been struggling to balance my hormones for 12 months. Each month has been a trip to hell and back for me and my family for a few years now. I’ve tried so many different things, but recently discovered natural progesterone… and it has been amazing. I’ve been on it for 3 months, and experienced very few of my previous symptoms. Also been swabbing iodine on my skin a few times a week. A month ago I added Maca root to my daily intake, so looking forward to seeing how that works too. I feel better than I’ve felt in a very long time. Good luck!

B February 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Not sure if you will get this–but how long did it take after taking the maca and other things before your melasma faded? And did they just start gradually lightening? I have melasma and have been taking maca for about three weeks and notice no change at all–except I definitely feel better after taking it!

catherine March 2, 2013 at 5:55 PM

I found this article had some rather blatant mistakes that make me distrust the rest of the information provided.

1) You’ve completely reverse you concepts of “good fats” versus “bad fats” Many of the fats you listed as good are either saturated fats or even worse trans fat. “good fats” are unsaturated (omega 3 is particularly good) and come in sources like oily fish, nuts, and yes soy.

2) Links between soy and hormone sensitive cancers is not only a myth, but the complete opposite is true. No study on humans has found a connection between soy and breast cancer aside from those on Asian women where there is actually a negative correlation (Asian women who consume the most soy are less prone to these types of cancers) Soy is actually a great way to balance hormones. While isoflavones mimic estrogen, it has a much weaker effect and they actually trick the body into making less of the true estrogen (which in abundance causes many of these cancers) It was actually recommended to me by my doctor since I am genetically predisposed to these cancers.

Jackie March 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Love it Cheeseslave… and love how people comment on your “fats” you recommend. Have they just started following you??? LOL off to eat a smoothie with egg yolks! :)

EmilyQ March 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM

“Ovulating like clockwork”? Can’t wait to hear baby news coming from this!!!! I think of you all the time as I’m RRARFING working in bringing my temps up. best wishes to you!

sha March 6, 2013 at 12:10 PM

great read! i have been wondering about this more recently as i often read about adrenal fatigue but have never seen a way to fix the problem. but these comments have me completely laughing out loud! have these people clearly never even read your page or are they just here to refute your article with misleading Standard American Diet propoganda?

Cheryl March 6, 2013 at 12:27 PM

I appreciate this post. I am working with a dr that works with my bio-energy. He’s got me on supplements to help with my adrenal fatigue too. And is also working on my systemic yeast issue. Hormone imbalances from pregnancies and poor diet are to blame. I’m finally feeling more energy and have been working on most all of the areas you have listed above. Takes some time after putting all those “irons in the fire” as my dr has said.

Anisa March 6, 2013 at 10:49 PM

I had a feeling these 5 things would be the tips. I’ve recently been diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue (going on 3 years now). I’ve been eating a whole foods, very clean diet with lots of good (saturated) fats that were naturally sourced for about a year now. I’m hoping that if I stick to these recommendations, I will start seeing some changes. Thanks for the encouragement anyway!

Winnie Goh April 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Hi Great read on your blog. I also have some hormone problem. When i going to have my menstrual period i will get angry, crying easily, can’t have a good sleep at night and very moody. I’m 43 years old now, what should i eat and do to get rid of my problem.

Kalena April 8, 2013 at 12:14 PM

This comment will be waaaaaay too far down the line to make any difference to anyone at all, but I’d add “ONLY organic hormone-free meats/fowl and milk” to this list. I am convinced that the added hormones in our meats and milk ingested throughout our developing years are what has caused so many fertility, fibroid, and gyn problems in general for women in and around my generation.

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Have you lost weight yet? I know you said that was a secondary goal of yours. I’m trying to persuade a friend to do a real food diet, but for her, the biggest thing is to lose weight.

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Julie May 8, 2013 at 1:32 PM

First off I want to say thank you!!! I came acrooss your site after I was looking to balance my hormones naturally. After reading your experience and what you had done, I read everything I could about Matt Stone and then purchased a few of his books. I began my ” never again diet” about two weeks ago. My temp started at 95.8 and right now is at 97.5. I am sleeping better and have way more energy! I get out of bed with no problems, instead of dragging my butt. I have gained some weight (not sure how much since I have not checked yet) but feel I am on my way to better health.
I am hopeful that the weight will come off soon when I start to excercise & just eat to appetite.
Thank you again for sharing your journey with us!

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Dairy is a good protein source, but it also has drawbacks (creates an inflammatory response, affects gut/digestion, etc.).

Your post points out that soy should be avoided… eating meat contains soy since most animals are fed soy, but then… eating meat is advocated. Besides avoiding soy, there are even more compelling reasons to avoid meat: heart disease and cancer (even lean/organic meat consumption is linked to cancer). One explanation is toxins reside in fat tissue and there are environmental impacts of what animals are subjected to (steroids, other hormones, antibiotics, etc.); eating meat results in consuming high levels of cortisol resulting from animals under stress (e.g., preparing to be slaughtered). Google ‘meat consumption linked to cancer.’

Finally, your site links to another site for more information on ‘healthy fats’. The other site lists ‘sustainably harvested’ palm oil, which reminds me of the phrase ‘clean coal.’ No matter how it’s grown/harvested, palm oil is unhealthy. Palm oil is like soy in its prevalence in food and vitamins. Olive oil is healthy, but recent articles point out that the majority of olive oil available in the US either is not olive oil, or it is beyond the date of having nutritional value (> 6 months after press date). Even if an expiration date is on the bottle, you can’t tell when the ‘expiration clock’ started (after it was pressed? bottled? other?) The articles point out that most olive oil from overseas comes via (slow) ship and by the time it reaches the US, it’s already 6 months old. Apparently there is just one third-party organization in the US (in CA) that certifies olive oil is in fact olive oil, and posts the date of pressing.

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There’s no such thing as ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’ – it’s a myth created by the media, who like to simplify everything for attention-grabbing headlines. Natural fats, which would include butter as well as oily fish, are all good *in moderation*. Animal fats such as butter contain a small amount of trans fat, but nothing compared to the trans fat created and added to, for example, baked goods to extend shelf life ( The worst fats are spreads essentially make of chemicals rather than food, which people eat because they’re ‘low-fat’ – that our bodies can’t really do anything with, and end up storing as…fat!

It may be true that ‘no study has found a connection between soy and breast cancer’, but who do you think funds the studies? It’s likely to be the companies that make soy products, since who, apart form consumers, would have a vested interest in proving that soy milk is bad for you? Consumers can’t afford to fund studies showing otherwise. The fact is that the *type* of soy makes an absolutely enormous difference. In Asian countries, they don’t drink soy milk, they eat fermented sources of soy, which is good for you. Soy milk came about as a by-product, is not fermented, is highly likely to be genetically-modified, and is so highly processed it’s debatable as to whether it has any nutrition left in it (hence the reason most soy milk has various additives added to it). (

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Perhaps begin by restoring your health. Lots of women believe they have PMDD. They take medication. Try a more natural approach. Exercise is important. The more your blood circulates the more hormone production occurs. Your mood swings are due to rapidly changing hormone balances. Aerobics really help or jogging everyday for a mile or so. If you increase your hormone production naturally, you may not experience your emotions welling up because your hormones are more in balance.

Next: make sure you are getting plenty of fluids (excluding sugar drinks). I found that chilling water in a flask with several slices of cucumber really diminished my need for artificially flavored drinks. This is also good with a wedge of lemon or lime with your meals. Drink one glass of water before each meal, one before bed and 2 in the morning before you do anything. You may also like your water with lime or lemon. I do this as well. I might add that I have completely lost my taste for sugar in my lemonade. Citrus waters also aid in fighting off bacteria infections.

What to eat: Make sure you are getting enough protein. It is definitely more expensive but salmon baked with olive oil, garlic and asparagus spears is a very common meal in our house. Stop ALL white flour immediately. Increase foods like steamed cauliflower, kale (blanched and then tossed with a little olive oil and garlic is really good). Juices made with kale, spinach, basil, parsley, cucumber, celery, pinch of ginger root and one apple (seeds included) will completely improve how you feel all the time. If you do not like juices, a nice salad with the same ingredients is fine but we toss with walnuts and (naturally) dried cranberries. Squeeze lemon or lime and a little dried basil and olive oil, sprinkle with some flax seeds and you will receive plenty of praises for a good salad.

I am now 60 years old and if I knew this when I was your age, I might not have missed so much work. Feel better. and remember one thing, your well being and feeling good is all in your diet. READ LABELS.

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I am familiar with Matt Stone and RARFING and have been healing from heavy metal poisoning and complete adrenal burnout for a few years. I was a mess and have come a long way but I have a ways to go. Most practitioners that i have worked with whether they have been great or messed me up more, all attest to the candida/AF link and that lower carb is better, also for not over stimulating the adrenals.
I understand you can’t advise me medically, just wonder what your thoughts and experiences have been on this.
Thank you!!

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You don’t seem to have learned much – read the follwoing and then maybe research the BALANCING effect of phytoestrogens found in FERMENTED SOY products..

“Approximately 80% of American women experience hot flashes, while only about 20% of women in many parts of Asia experience them. The difference between the two, researchers believe, is the amount of phytoestrogens in the diet. These substances, which are found in plants, act a lot like estrogen when they get into the human body. Although these phytoestrogens are much, much weaker than regular estrogens, they may help to ease the symptoms of the menopausal period for many women.

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