The Importance of Hydration & Potassium in Women's Hormonal Health
About Tara Thorne
Tara Thorne is a Functional Nutritionist, a Certified Functional Nutrition Coach and a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. She also has training from the Institute for Functional Medicine, specifically in hormones and is an expert at interpreting the DUTCH comprehensive hormone test the GI MAP test and the HTMA test. Tara's practice focuses on helping busy mums navigate the overwhelm and confusion surrounding how to live healthfully in a hectic world by providing evidenced-based functional nutrition and lifestyle strategies.
She is a mummy of two, an entrepreneur, and a writer who has written for publications around the globe with a specific focus on nutrition. She runs her business online in order to help as many women as possible live the lives they deserve, not ones fraught with health imbalances and all the problems that come along with them. Her own struggles with hormone imbalance were what led her on this path and are why she’s able to understand and empathize with the struggles of the modern day woman.
Tell us about your journey to helping women understand and optimize their health.
My journey into this health and wellness field started when I moved from Australia to Canada. I started to have severe anxiety attacks, and after my doctor’s only solution was antidepressants and anti anxiety pills I knew there must be another way. I started looking into health and wellness and then, after my first daughter was born, I suffered with postpartum thyroiditis and postpartum anxiety. This sped up my learning and I dove into my first nutrition diploma and haven’t stopped studying or learning since. I’ve come to realise that we are let down severely when it comes to the truth about our health, and it’s my mission to spread this information to as many women as possible to help them where their doctors are not.
What are some of the most common questions you get from women about their health?
Some of the most common questions are definitely questions like, “I’m on thyroid medication, so why do I still have symptoms?” Or “I eat really well, why do I not feel great?”. A lot of women also aren’t taught about the complexities of their bodies and how the body isn’t black and white - there’s never just “one answer” to why they have the symptom(s) they do, but often they’re looking for this “one” answer. I also get questions about whether they truly can eradicate their symptoms because they’re jaded about their health, having often seen so many doctors who can’t offer them any solutions.
Why do women need to care about their hormonal health (and what is hormonal health?)
Because hormones run the show! They are the messengers of the body and without healthy, happy hormones we start to see a slew of symptoms crop up that aren’t just un-fun but can also be debilitating and dangerous. Hormonal health means having the right levels of hormones but also having them metabolise properly in the body. For example, without healthy estrogen metabolism we can get estrogen dominant cancers like breast and ovarian cancer. Hormones also dictate our mood, our energy, our sleep and so much more.
What role does potassium play in health? (Why are we deficient? How do we get more potassium?)
Potassium plays a huge role in our health. It’s important for muscle activity, blood pressure, aids carbohydrate metabolism, is important for thyroid health, aids cell permeability, it’s required to help metabolise sugar, supports the adrenals and more. So many women are deficient in this day and age - I see this ALL the time on their HTMA tests. This is due to poor farming practices, vitamin D supplementation, stress, alcohol, heavy metal toxicity, low zinc levels, and more. One of the best ways I’ve found to support women’s potassium is by drinking Bumbleroot and coconut water together. I will use a supplement too because it’s hard to get the daily requirement of potassium from food alone as we need about 4,800mg of potassium daily.
What role does hydration play in health?
Optimal hydration is critical to overall health. Without optimal hydration our cells can’t function properly and this is when we become fatigued or get chronic UTIs or kidney stones and so on. Optimal hydration is important for helping carry nutrients around the body and aids in multiple biological processes such as detoxification. Ensuring the body is hydrated is one of the first steps toward hormonal health - it’s foundational.