Do you tend to lash out at your partner and kids when you have your period? or to lose weight?
Do you struggle to lose or maintain a consistent weight? Do you often feel tired, moody, or anxious?
If any of this sounds familiar, your hormones may be out of balance. These “hormonal symptoms” can greatly affect the quality of your life.
Hormones are little chemical messengers produced within your body by your endocrine glands. They circulate throughout the body and perform specific functions.
For instance, insulin helps with glucose transport into cells, and cortisol helps us respond to acute stress. When in balance, these hormones keep us healthy and energetic. However, when these hormones are out of balance, they result in a myriad of symptoms and health conditions.
Common health issues associated with hormonal imbalances
- Low estrogen levels: Low estrogen levels can lead to irregular periods, a diminished sex drive, mood swings, and fertility issues.
- Estrogen dominance: Higher than normal estrogen levels can cause sudden weight gain or loss, changes in appetite, low metabolic rate (BMR), sleep issues / changes in sleep patterns, and feeling stressed all the time.
- PCOS: PCOS contributes to weight gain, infertility, acne, and abnormal hair growth.
- Thyroid issues: Hypothyroidism (when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone) leads to slow metabolism, weight gain, digestive issues, and chronic fatigue. Hyperthyroidism (when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone) leads to thinning hair, anxiety, sleep issues, and weight loss.
- Adrenal fatigue: When the adrenal glands are not functioning properly, you can experience fatigue, muscle aches and pains, anxiety and depression, trouble sleeping, brain fog, memory issues and reproductive problems. If you believe you may be struggling from adrenal fatigue, we recommend assessing your levels through our Adrenal Stress Test.
- Type 2 diabetes: People with type 2 diabetes often have high blood sugar, fatigue, and difficulty healing wounds.
Ways to improve hormonal health
Eat healthy fats: Healthy fats provide the building blocks for hormone production, while keeping inflammation levels low, boosting metabolism, and promoting weight loss. Incorporate MCT OIL, avocado, and omega-3 fats (either from a supplement or fatty fish) into your diet.
Take gut friendly probiotic foods: One problem that contributes to hormonal imbalance is leaky gut, which is when undigested food particles, like gluten for example, leaks through your gut into your bloodstream.
Leaky gut causes inflammation, which impacts the endocrine glands and hormone secretion. Fermented foods and probiotic supplements (like Flora Max and Probiotic Defense) can increase the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut and improve hormone health in your stomach.
Probiotics can also improve the production and regulation of key hormones like insulin, ghrelin, and leptin. People with a gluten sensitivity can often experience leaky gut. If you think you may have a gluten sensitivity, we recommend a comprehensive gluten assessment, not just a celiac test. Here is our recommended gluten test.
If you are looking to get extra antioxidants into your diet or if you do not eat enough vegetables, adding Power Greens, a phyto-nutrient powder mix loaded with certified organic, whole food plant extracts, is a great addition to boost health.
Eliminate everyday toxins: Toxins are not completely avoidable, but you can certainly minimize your exposure. Toxins are commonly found in beauty products, kitchenware, aluminum cans, plastic containers, and non-stick cookware.
Switch to non-reactive cookware and storage utensils like stainless steel, glass, and cast iron. Toxins can build up in your body causing health concerns from weight gain to cancer. It’s important that you detox at least twice per year. You can do this through ionic foot baths, supplements, or time in our full spectrum sauna.
Lower stress and Sleep well: According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, stress can lead to changes in the serum level of many hormones, including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone, and prolactin.
Excessive stress and poor sleep are linked to higher levels of morning cortisol (the stress hormone), poor immune function, anxiety, weight gain, and depression. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you can try IDLife Sleep Strips or acupuncture.
Take Vitamin D: Studies show that maintaining optimal Vitamin-D levels is crucial for the health of your endocrine glands and hormone secretion. If you spend most of your time indoors, use plenty of sunscreen or live in parts where you don’t get enough sunshine, Vitamin-D supplements are essential.
To learn more about how to naturally balance your hormones, schedule a consultation with a functional medicine doctor today, or call us at 713-461-WELL (9355).