Could It Be Your Hormones?
Many people fighting with fatigue, weight issues, menstrual cycle irregularities, skin problems and mood changes are doing so because of underlying hormonal imbalances. These symptoms serve as a warning sign of hormonal issues, but often go ignored for a very long time. Hormones work together to keep our bodies functioning optimally, and a disruption in one hormone will inadvertently affect many other hormone systems.
A few key players keeping our bodies running optimally are cortisol, insulin and thyroid hormone. These hormones work in sync and also impact our sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Cortisol is released during stress to give our body the push it needs, but long term it can cause weight gain, sleep and blood pressure issues. Insulin helps our body balance blood sugar, and insulin imbalances predispose to Diabetes Type 2, skin and mood problems. Thyroid hormone is responsible for growth & development of every cell in our body, and poor thyroid hormone function leads to weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, poor memory and temperature intolerance.
Dietary and lifestyle factors directly impact how our hormones act. Chronically elevated cortisol (due to long term mental or physical stress) decreases thyroid hormone production and increases insulin. Insulin spikes (due to diets high in refined carbohydrates and processed foods) increase cortisol. High cortisol directly blocks thyroid hormone production.
Working on hormonal health takes a comprehensive approach and understanding the problem, identifying key triggers, and setting up short and long term solutions with a variety of therapies to get the best results. However, there are steps you can take to start improving your hormonal balance today:
- Eat balanced meals every 2.5 to 3 hours for blood sugar balance; include good quality protein (animal sources should be locally-sourced organic)
- Add good fats in the diet (wild fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil); Fat is essential for the production of hormones
- Drink 2L of filtered water; dehydration causes stress on the body
- Ensure good sleep (7.5-9 hours, in a cool dark room, wearing loose clothing)
- Exercise 3-4 times a week; improves blood-sugar balance & stimulates thyroid hormone production
- Invest in self-care, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises; significantly reduces mental stress
If you want to see if your health concerns are a result of hormone imbalances, and to find out how you can start your road to reclaiming your hormone health, book a consult with us today.
Yours in health,
Nadia Saleem, BSc(Hons), ND