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Your Hormone-Related Questions, Answered by Expert Lara Briden

I’m so thrilled to be working with our JSHealth hormone expert, author of Period Repair Manual and Hormone Repair Manual, plus all round super woman, Lara Briden for Menstrual March 2022. As hormone-related issues are some of the main concerns I hear from you, my beautiful community, Lara has kindly answered some of the top questions that you sent in. She’s shared her wealth of knowledge in response to these, below.

Remember, if you are experiencing menstrual issues, hormonal breakouts or going through a transition such as perimenopause, you are not alone.

Love Jess x

Lara Briden Answers Your Hormone-Related Questions

JS Community: What can I do if I am experiencing loss of my menstrual cycle or irregular periods?

Lara B: Get an accurate diagnosis and then treat accordingly. For example, there is a common pattern of women with hypothalamic amenorrhea (periods lost due to undereating) being misdiagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. The treatments are different, so finding the root cause first is key.


JS Community: I’m experiencing very painful periods. Help!

Lara B: My top picks for “normal” period pain is zinc, as well as a dairy-free diet. If it doesn’t improve after three cycles, then it might not be “normal” period pain and could be something more serious like endometriosis, for which you should do further investigation with a professional.


JS Community: What can I do about hormonal acne?

Lara B: Supplementing with zinc and a dairy-free diet can also be very helpful for skin. Women need to also watch out for post-pill acne, which is a bad flare of acne starting about three months after stopping a pill like Yasmin. In that case, I recommend a natural anti-androgen supplement such as DIM. 


JS Community:  I’m going through perimenopause and experiencing weight grain. Any tips?

Lara B: Identify insulin resistance by testing for insulin – not glucose. Then use insulin-sensitising strategies such as supplementing with magnesium, taurine, enjoying a diet with increased protein and reduced sugar, getting enough sleep, moving your body, and intermittent fasting. 


JS Community: Can you share your insights on painful sex and women’s libido? 

Lara B: Painful sex (dyspareunia)  is one of the biggest obstacles to libido, and sadly, it affects about one in four women. Causes of painful sex include endometriosis, pelvic floor dysfunction, the low-estrogen dryness of postpartum and menopause, and many more! Treatments are available for all the different causes of painful sex so I encourage women to speak to their doctors. Don’t be shy! 

If you’re experiencing lower libido, you may also want to check in on your sleeping patterns. According to research, “getting enough sleep” is one of the best ways to boost libido. Sleep as a libido-enhancer is true at any age, but it’s especially true for women over 40 when sleep can be impaired by the hormonal changes of perimenopause. Top tips for sleep (and therefore libido) include magnesium, morning light, and moving the body. 


For more: on any of the topics, there is lots of free information available on Lara Briden’s blog, as well as in her 2 incredible books. Head to www.larabriden.com.

Remember this is general advice only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure. Please always consult a health professional before making changes to your supplements and diet.

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