Sleep issues. Heavy periods. Anxiety. A few extra pounds. Did you know these can all be symptoms of chronic inflammation?
We recently caught up with Daphne Kostova, a certified holistic nutritionist, registered natural nutrition clinical practitioner and a hormone-balancing weight loss coach for women. We chatted about hormone health and how to get a better handle on treating what ails you, including inflammation.
What is chronic inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is referred to as slow, long-term inflammation lasting for prolonged periods of several months to years, says Kostova, also founder of DK Wellness. According to a study done in 2000, over 125 million Americans have chronic inflammation. Not surprisingly, due to COVID-19, these numbers are reportedly much higher in today’s world.
“Reducing inflammation is an important part of a healthy body, not too mention helping women go through perimenopause and menopause without symptoms,” says Kostova, who offers discovery sessions as a complimentary service online.
“Improved energy, no weight gain, no hot flashes, sharper brain, better mood, improved gut health and libido, better memory are some of the immediate benefits women experience when you begin to get inflammation under control.”
Um, sounds amazing! But, is it complicated? It doesn’t have to be, says Kostova. It starts with building common sense habits into your daily routine.
How to lower your body’s chronic inflammation
Here are some of her top tips on how to lower your levels.
- Balance your blood sugar: Eat three meals and avoid snacking.
- Balance your macronutrients: Make sure you have a good amount of protein with every meal, unrefined carbohydrates and healthy fats.
- Manage your stress: Be proactive and show up for yourself so you can support your responses, when stress happens.
- Practice gratitude and forgiveness: Emotional stressors are important to address too.
- Spend time in nature: Getting fresh air and outdoors movement holds great benefits for lowering inflammation as it directly supports your insulin levels too.
For a customized, deeper dive into these solutions and how they work check out the world-renowned Metabolic Balance Program Kostova uses in her practice – an integrated nutritional approach based on one-on-one support alongside an individual personalized nutrition plan.
As Kostova says, “I believe at always looking deep at the root cause of hormone imbalances or any hormone-related health issues women suffer from.”
Hormones are personal
She knows whereof she speaks. “Truth is, my own hormones weren’t always balanced. I spent my 20s chasing unrealistic body image goals and trying to achieve them by doing restrictive diets and too much cardio exercises. Have you heard the old ‘calories-in/calories-out‘ approach? That’s what I believed to be true and practiced for years.
”This approach led to disorderly eating and an eating disorder. I had hypothalamic amenorrhea in my 20s. My metabolism had suffered because of restrictive diets and I was putting on weight no matter how little my food intake was.” (Hypothalamic amenorrhea is absence of periods due to restrictive dieting and/or excess exercise.)
It was that difficult and prolonged struggle that eventually led Kostova to become a holistic health nutritionist and open her own practice in her 40s.
“Women’s health needs to be approached by looking at body, mind and soul,” she says. ”And nourishment should always be the main focus.”
I’ll eat to that!