Reviewing new books is always a pleasure and when the book is by Patrick Holford, one of the world’s leading authorities on new approaches to health and nutrition, it is even more so. Patrick wrote an article about his approach to hormonal health which you will find on this site, but I felt it was important to have a close look at this new and updated version of his book, Balance Your Hormones, written with Kate Neil. It was first written in the 1990s and this new version is more substantial in both content and length – at least twice the size of the original.
The pioneering work of Dr John Lee is acknowledged as is the contribution of Dr Shirley Bond for her clinical insight into the use of bio identical hormones together with contributions from other experts including Dr Tony Coope from Bio-Hormone-Health.com. What this has resulted in is a very much expanded view of the role of hormones in helping alleviate women’s health problems and there is really no area throughout a woman’s hormonal life that is not covered here. Patrick Holford’s particular expertise lies in the area of diet and nutrition and the chapter on staying healthy makes clear the importance of getting that right. An imbalance in this area contributes to many of the conditions that women are prone to such as irritability, anxiety, depression, lack of energy, joint pains, water retention, weight gain and bloating – all of which can have their origins in digestive problems.
What he’s offering in this new book is a simple, drug free, way to solve women’s health problems. Once relatively rare, hormonal health problems are now common and this book combines the latest research with practical advice to help produce a plan to overcome such problems and enjoy natural good health. Among the topics that he covers are:
• How to reduce exposure to hormone disruptors
• Why reducing stress and optimising diet are vital for hormone health
• How to beat PMS, heavy periods and bloating
• Natural solutions for polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, fibroids and breast lumps
• How to conquer cystitis, yeast infections and other persistent problems
• The secret of a trouble-free menopause
• Osteoporosis prevention
• The right diet and supplements to transform your hormonal health
This comprehensive guide covers the expected areas such as how to manage hormone imbalance but also gives advice on nutrition, supplementation, stress management and how to avoid hormone disrupting chemicals. For those new to nutrition, the additional material contained in the appendices will prove invaluable as it includes the GL (glycaemic load) of most common foods to help you balance your diet and a very detailed hormonal health questionnaire to help you identify where your problem areas are. Unlike most questionnaires, this one focuses on where your particular difficulties lie – whether it is under A for allergy, C for Candida, D for digestion, G for glucose balance or H for hormone imbalance. You are then able to go directly to a specific chapter – although the action plan in chapter 5 is the very best place to start for everyone.
As you expect from Patrick Holford, it is well researched and clearly laid out in a very easy to follow and accessible fashion. Whether you just want to gain a better insight into the background to women’s health problems or are looking for specific help for topics such as hot flushes or weight gain then this excellent reference book will be able to give you the answers you are looking for. Balance Your Hormones is published by Piatkus at £12.99