5 Ways to Keep Your Hormones in a Healthy Balance
Hormones have a huge impact on every aspect of life. It is no joke that an imbalance in hormones can touch nearly everything in your daily routine. It can cause issues with weight gain or unexplained weight loss, sleep quality, skin health, digestive discomfort, sex drive, mood and depression, pain and/or swelling of muscles and joints, etc. This list could go on and on. It is evident from this list just how significant it is to find balance in your body regarding hormones.
what are hormones?
Let’s touch on what hormones are and what they do in the body. A hormone is defined as a chemical messenger produced by the endocrine glands. Hormones are moved throughout the body via the circulatory system to initiate specific functions including hunger, reproduction, mood, sleep, etc. The chemistry of the body is deeply impacted by hormones because they are responsible for carrying signals amongst the organs and cells. What are some hormones in the body? Cortisol, leptin, insulin, oestrogen, testosterone, ghrelin, growth hormone, progesterone, melatonin, adrenaline, renin, oxytocin, and so many more. Each hormone plays a different role within the body. Because of this, it is imperative to be aware of how your lifestyle impacts your hormone production.
let's look at 5 ways to keep your hormones in a healthy balance
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight – some of you might already be aware that being underweight or overweight can be a result of hormone imbalance. Did you know that these conditions can also be a cause of imbalanced hormones? People facing obesity have hormone levels that encourage the body to store fat. On the flip side, being underweight can disrupt hormone regulation. Both overeating and undereating can create hormone shifts that cause problems with weight. Leptin, insulin, oestrogen, and somatotropin are all hormones that are impacted by body weight. It is crucial to maintain a healthy weight to balance hormones within the body.
2. Decrease Stress Levels – most of you are probably familiar with the word “cortisol.” As the stress hormone, it is a hormone that receives a lot of attention from scientists as well as the general public. High levels of cortisol in the body signal fat storage so many people blame cortisol for fat on the body, especially around the midsection. Adrenaline is the hormone that is activated by the body being in danger (think “fight or flight”). Both hormones can become imbalanced by high levels of stress on the body. In today’s world, many people are up against chronic stress from the daily demands. It is important to maintain a balance in the cortisol and adrenaline hormones by finding 10-15 minutes each day for stress-reducing activities. This might include meditation, yoga, going for a walk, massage, conscious breathing activities, etc. Reducing levels of stress will help keep your hormones in a healthy balance.
3. Regular Exercise– regular exercise is most closely connected to balanced insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that takes sugar and amino acids from the blood and uses it for energy. High levels of insulin in the body can be very damaging. Heart disease, inflammation, cancer and diabetes can all be linked to having too much insulin in the body. Physical activity is also linked to hormones that help maintain muscles. These hormones are very likely to decline with age, so it is essential to do things that encourage the body to produce them and maintain a balance of them. If resistance training or aerobic exercise is too hard on your body, simply going for walks can improve these hormone levels.
4. Consuming more Healthy Fats – first, fats are necessary for hormone production. A diet with healthy fats is another way to keep the insulin levels balanced. When we look at healthy fats, consider things like MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), avocados, olive oil, nuts, salmon, etc. These types of fat are shown to aid in insulin resistance for those with diabetes. A diet that includes healthy fats can help with symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. We are not recommending a diet full of bacon & cheese! These fats will not promote balanced hormones.
5. Reduce or Eliminate Alcohol Consumption – alcohol affects many things in the body. When it comes to hormones, sleep is a big one of them. Regular or excessive alcohol consumption create problems with getting enough, restful sleep. It is shown that the brain needs to have uninterrupted sleep where it can go through the entire sleep cycle (5 stages). Not sleeping well can wreak havoc on the balance of hormones in the body. Another problem with alcohol in regards to hormones is that it is known to cause an imbalance in estrogen. This estrogen dominance can be the culprit of many problems including anxiety, insulin resistance, decreased sex drive, problems with functions of the pancreas and more!
our parting note
Remember that hormones are chemical messengers that are responsible for specific functions in the body. Hormones play a huge role in your life. Your lifestyle choices can help you keep your hormones in a healthy balance. It is important it is to find balance in your body regarding hormones.
If you have any concerns with your hormone balance, an endocrinologist can best help you look for serious health problems or determine if there are issues that can only be addressed with medical intervention. We suggest that you consult your doctor, especially if you try these 5 ways to keep your hormones in a healthy balance and still find yourself struggling. There may be underlying factors that need to be addressed.
Many people overlook the fact that hormones have a great deal to do with how they feel day to day. If you are looking for ways to feel healthier overall, some of these ideas may aid in balancing your hormones. We recommend that you be conscious and aware of what you can do to help yourself feel better. A little attention toward your body and how it responds to certain things can go a long way!