Hormones can impact your physical, mental and emotional well being. They are powerful substances produced by your endocrine glands that have a huge effect on bodily processes. A tiny amount can cause big changes in your body. Hormone imbalances can be caused by stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and inactivity.
Having a hormone imbalance can cause:
- Digestive issues
- Weight gain/loss
Adrenal glands pump out adrenalin for quick reactions to emergency situations. The problem is chronic stress raises cortisol levels, which can lead to weight gain and adrenal fatigue. To address stress and anxiety, try adding in some “me” time to your daily schedule. Taking just 15 minutes a day to de-stress can make a world of difference. A leisurely walk, yoga, chair massage (a 30-60 minute table massage would be even better) or listening to your favorite music can help you unwind and take your mind off negative interactions and daily stressors.
Functioning as an endocrine gland, the pancreas secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon to control blood sugar levels throughout the day. If your pancreas isn’t working correctly or your body can’t use the insulin it makes, blood sugar levels get too high and can lead to diabetes. You can improve your diet and help your pancreas by limiting sugary drinks and switching out carbohydrates for some good healthy fat options. Coconut oil, avocado, wild caught salmon and grass fed meats/pastured eggs can provide satiety and also help boost energy and metabolism.
Melatonin is a hormone synthesized by the pineal gland and is released in response to darkness. It’s needed to get a restful night’s sleep. Take a good look at your sleep habits. Cut out caffeine by mid afternoon, turn off screen use at least an hour before bed, and have a good wind-down plan in place including things like a relaxing Epsom salt bath and/or a cup of herbal tea. Make your sleeping environment as dark as possible. Journaling before bed can help release negative thoughts and free your mind from lingering thoughts so you can drift off into a restful and uninterrupted sleep cycle.
The thyroid hormone regulates metabolic processes essential for normal growth and development as well as regulating metabolism. Thyroid hormone status correlates with body weight and energy expenditure. Being active during the day can help to keep you in shape and your weight under control. Cardio type exercise is helpful, as long as you are recovering well after your workout. Walking is always good and can be done by most everyone. Add hand weights to your walk to pull double duty if you can.
People experience hormonal shifts constantly during the day. Hormonal imbalances are reversible and lab tests are available to measure hormones in blood, saliva or urine. Knowledge is power and being aware of your hormone status can help you lead a more healthy and vibrant life!