Our Chemical Body Messengers – Journey of Hormones
Ever felt like you suddenly switch to another planet sometimes? All goes awry, you sleep patterns get scattered and you have lost your once robust appetite. In addition, the stress has made your metabolism slower and reproductive issues seem to have emerged. One minute you’re fine, and then you suddenly feel low.
Chemical messengers, known as hormones, in our bodies affect our everyday health. Our organs and glands secrete hormones. In a slight state of imbalance, it can lead to intense health problems. Hormonal imbalances are caused by a wide range of factors inclusive of diet, genetics, stress levels and toxin exposure. Together with thinning hair, anxiety, and irregular heartbeats, the symptoms are bound to lead to mood swings.
Ways to Balance the Hormone Rollercoaster
Natasha Turner, a naturopathic doctor explains in her book The Hormone Diet that balancing hormones can cure multiple diseases and maintain a good sleep pattern, leaving you with glowing skin and healthy hair, based on scientific evidence.
1. Exercise for Better Health
Exercise balances hormones, reducing inflammation and maintaining a healthy weight, lowering stress and regulating appetite as well as aiding in better sleep patterns.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep contributes to hormonal imbalances. Sleep helps with keeping a balance of stress hormones, building energy, and allowing body recovery. Excessive stress combined with poor sleep is linked to a decreased immunity level, work performance levels, anxiety, depression, and weight gain. Balancing hormones related to stress according to Dr. Jack Kruse, a neurosurgeon and health educator, will reduce inflammation levels, diabetes risks, and joint problems.
3. Reduce Your Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
A caffeine intake of moderate amounts might be okay for some. But don’t overdo it. Caffeine stays in the system about six hours. The chemical can raise the heart rate, cause central nervous system disorders, and increase alertness. It changes the way hormones are produced by the brain.
In addition, watch your level of alcohol intake as high levels will have an impact on liver functions and interfere with the functioning of the pancreatic system, it lowers testerone levels and contributes to anxiety as well as malnutrition. The liver is a key organ for hormonal balance with over five hundred functions.
4. Reduce Your Salt and Sugar Intake
Limiting salt will reduce brain water retention and bloating. This may ease physical as well as emotional symptoms caused by hormonal imbalance. Also, you should pay attention to your sugar intake and don’t go overboard with it.
5. Take Vitamin Supplements
Women should increase their Vitamin B6 intake – either by supplements or by adding beans, nuts, and fortified cereals and bread to their diets. Increasing zinc levels with poultry, nuts, whole grains and seafood is also a good idea. Magnesium can be found in nuts, whole grains as well as vegetables. A vitamin D boost is helpful. The best way is by getting exposure to sunshine or with a supplement if you live in an area with a lack of sunshine.
The Role of Hormones in Our Bodies
Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream to various organs and tissues in the body, communicating a “message” that can trigger specific responses. These messages communicate information about processes such as growth and metabolism or processes related to the reproductive system.
One of the most important hormones is insulin. Insulin is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. When the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when the body fails to respond to insulin correctly, this can lead to the development of diabetes.
Another hormone that is vital to good health is cortisol. This hormone helps the body to manage stress by regulating blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and the immune system. When cortisol levels are consistently high, this can lead to long-term health problems such as weakened immunity, sleep disturbances, and depression.
The Role of Hormonal Imbalances in Disease
Hormonal imbalances play a role in a wide range of diseases and conditions, including acne, infertility, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a condition that affects women of reproductive age and is characterized by irregular periods, weight gain, and the growth of cysts on the ovaries.
Hormonal imbalances can also contribute to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. For example, low levels of the hormone serotonin often lead to depression, while high levels of the hormone cortisol can lead to chronic stress.
Treating Hormonal Imbalances
The treatment of hormonal imbalances depends on the underlying cause of the problem. In many cases, lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can help to balance hormones naturally. For example, women with PCOS may benefit from a low-carbohydrate diet and regular exercise to help regulate insulin levels.
In other cases, medical intervention may be necessary. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often prescribed for women going through menopause. HRT replaces estrogen and progesterone levels that decline during menopause, helping to alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings.
In cases where hormonal imbalances are causing more serious health problems, such as diabetes or thyroid disease, medications may be necessary. These medications work to regulate hormone levels and prevent further health problems down the line.
The Bottom Line
Hormonal imbalances can cause a wide range of health problems, from acne to depression. By making lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, getting enough sleep, and taking vitamin supplements, you can help to balance your hormones naturally. If you continue to experience hormonal imbalances despite these lifestyle changes, medical intervention may be necessary. Talk to your doctor about treatment options that may be available to you.