Image credit: CIMWELLNESS
Feeling a bit off but can’t determine why? Most of us blame lack of sleep or the common cold as reasons, and then beeline for over the counter medicine as a quick fix. Well, think again – Hormone imbalance could be the real problem. A subject more commonly talked about, we now know the signs to spot and the powerful role hormones play in our overall health.
Hormones are chemical messengers that influence the way your body’s cells and organs function. They are a key faucet, affecting everything from body temperature, sexual function, mood and even growth and digestion. With many organs and glands responsible for regulating hormone production, the body can quickly feel off kilter with even a minor imbalance. Knowing the common signs will help you stay a step ahead and keep you feeling in tip- top shape.
Signs of hormonal imbalance:
If you wake up feeling tired after a good nights sleep, hormone imbalance could be the reason. As the body ages, levels of estrogen and progesterone can fluctuate, impacting sleep patterns and increasing cortisol if stressed. Quite commonly, the body’s thyroid gland can be damaged, making you tired, as you can no longer produce enough hormones.
Often tied to fatigue, weight gain is a common result of hormonal imbalance. Lack of sleep increases cortisol levels, telling the body’s cells to store additional fat (often in the abdominal region) and release more insulin in the blood. Additionally, if estrogen levels are low, this can alters levels of leptin, which are a hunger-inhibiting hormone.
Loss of Libido
Experiencing poor libido can be an indication of hormonal imbalance. If the body’s androgen hormone, produced by both men and women, is low there is a likely chance that a low libido will result.
Changes in hormonal levels can be directly related to feelings of moodiness, irritability or even anxiety. Estrogen comes into play again, along with other hormones, influencing significant brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that directly correlate with how you feel.
The androgen hormone termed DHT is guilty of causing hair loss in both men AND women. Men do lose their hair if lacking testosterone, but an increase in DHT is thought to be the root factor. While women do have very low amounts of testosterone in their bodies, it is still substantial enough for DHT to spark hair loss.
Gastrin, Secretin, and Cholecystokinin (CCK) are hormones in the gastrointestinal system that can trigger digestive issues in the body. Responsible for breaking down food to aid in absorption, when these guys are imbalanced you likely won’t feel right. Research has indicated that gut health is influential in regulating the body’s hormones. If suffering with stomach pain, bloating or IBS, hormone levels could be to blame.
Natural ways to balance hormones:
- Eat foods with healthy fats such as coconut oil and avocados
- Interval exercise
- Aim for more sleep (seven-eight hours, preferably by 10pm)
- Monitor caffeine intake
- Improve digestive health through probiotics or by eating specific foods and supplements