Youre Waking Up At Night
Not sleeping well at night should be a major heads up to re-examine your overall health as well as lifestyle choices. Consistent, and adequate sleep is literally one of the best tools for health, anti-aging, and balancing hormonesI formulated Sleep Savior with this in mind . So, not only is it a sign that hormones may be imbalanced, but it can also help you balance hormones.
If youre in your 30s or older, one hormone youll want to keep an eye on is cortisol. This hormone is produced by stress, but as long as it stays balancedyoure in the clear. Because it regulates energy levels, it should be highest in the morning and lowest at night.
If cortisol is high all day long or spikes at night, its a sign that your adrenals are taxed and your hormonal imbalance is likely caused by stress.
You Have Poor Digestion
We already know that digestive health affects the health of the whole body, but it can also provide clues about whats up with your hormones. If youre constipated, it might be a sign of excess estrogen levels . Many women who feel bloated or sluggish after eating meals may be experiencing reduced insulin sensitivity associated with PCOS.
No matter what, when youre experiencing any digestive symptoms, its important to find out what the trigger is before it starts a domino effect with your health.
Now that you have a better idea of how to spot a hormone imbalance, lets take a look at the quickest ways to fix a hormonal imbalance.
Learn How Your Hormones Work Together
The first half of the menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase and is where you experience a rise in follicle stimulating hormone as several of your follicles begin their final race to ovulation. These growing follicles release the hormone estrogen in higher and higher amounts. Luteinising hormone then triggers ovulation the bursting open of a dominant follicle.
Following ovulation, there is a steep decline in estrogen. The sack which contained the egg begins to secrete another hormone: progesterone which increases and becomes our dominant hormone in the second half of the menstrual cycle which is known as the luteal phase.
Each of these two phases last roughly two weeks in a typical cycle. If your cycle is longer than 28 days, the first half of the cycle will be longer, with the second half usually remaining around two weeks. After this second two-week phase, if your egg is not fertilised, the lining which has grown to support a potential pregnancy will be shed in the form of your period. The is accompanied by a sharp drop in all hormone levels as you return to baseline. This bleed becomes day 1 of your new cycle, and the process begins again.
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Natural Remedies And Supplements
Many nutritional supplements on the market claim to treat menopause and hormonal imbalance. However, few of them are backed up by scientific evidence.
Many of these supplements contain plant-derived hormones. These are sometimes called bioidentical hormones, because they chemically resemble the bodys natural hormones. Theres no evidence to suggest that they work better than regular hormone therapy, however.
Some people find that yoga helps ease symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Yoga is excellent for your strength, flexibility, and balance. It may also aid in weight loss, which can help regulate your hormones.
You can also make the following lifestyle changes:
- Lose weight. If your doctor has recommended it, a reduction in body weight may help regulate menstrual cycles and increase the chances of getting pregnant. Weight loss may also help improve erectile function.
- Eat well. A balanced diet is an important part of overall health.
- Use lubes or moisturizers free of parabens, glycerin, and petroleum.
- Avoid hot flash triggers when possible. Try to identify things that commonly trigger your hot flashes, such as warm temperatures, spicy foods, or hot beverages.
- Remove unwanted hair. If you have excess facial or body hair, you can use hair removal cream, laser hair removal, or electrolysis.
The primary cause of acne is excess oil production, which leads to clogged pores. Acne is most common in areas with many oil glands, including the:
Biohack Your Way To Better Sleep
When life is busy, often the first thing we sacrifice is sleep. Sleep or rather inadequate sleep quickly throws our body off balance. This is why its one of the first things our doctors ask about when patients come in for their initial visit. In a small study testing the impact of prolonged sleep restriction, participants that slept only 4 hours versus 10 or 12 hours experienced an increase in ghrelin, a hormone responsible for appetite regulation, alongside a decrease in leptin, a hormone responsible for communicating satiation. For many of us, 10 or 12 hours might be hard to achieve. Thats why here at Parsley we recommend getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. The benefits of adequate sleep will not only increase your glucose metabolism and leptin concentrations but increase your bodys secretion of growth hormones responsible for cell reproduction and regeneration, which all take place during periods of rest.
What’s The Best Way To Start A New Exercise Routine
If you’re experiencing hormonal imbalance, it may be extra hard to get motivated. Hormone issues can zap your energy and make working out feel like a chore and this can lead to a frustrating cycle of weight gain and energy loss. Conditions that involve hormonal imbalance are also often linked to inflammation, which can make working out even harder. In this case, its important to find ways to make exercise fit into your life as smoothly and with as little difficultly as possible.
Physical Activity and Insulin Sensitivity:
Effects of 8-week Pilates exercise program on menopausal symptoms and lumbar strength and flexibility in postmenopausal women:
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance
Just as there are many types of hormones with many functions, a hormonal imbalance has many causes. Certain medications, stress, mental disorders, injuries, or even tumors can lead to hormonal imbalance. Unfortunately, because the body depends on a precise balance of hormones to function properly, certain hormonal imbalance conditions, like diabetes and hyperthyroidism, can throw off the balance of other hormones as well.
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Hormone Balancing Tip #: Balance Blood Sugar
Having balanced blood sugar means that your body produces a normal insulin response when you consume food. A balanced meal includes good quality fat, protein, and fibre. A balanced plate might look something like this:
12 of your plate greens and vegetables 14 of your plate good quality protein 14 of your plate complex carbs 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats
Here at Nourished, we wanted women to have an easy way to get started on their blood sugar balancing journey. We created a 100% natural vitamin for you to get started on your journey. Click the button below to see more info and add our Blood Sugar Balance vitamin to your cart.
Youve Lost That *spark*
If youve ever felt like youve lost that special something, your zest for lifeand your partnerthen you know what Im talking about. Maybe its a shift in energya change in your Qior perhaps situational factors like high stress, or the life of a busy mom. Either way, the last thing youre interested in is your hubby winking at you from across the dinner table.
Having a healthy sex drive is a really important marker for hormone health . This is because the hormones that regulate libido, like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, also regulate your mood, sleep, mental health, and metabolism. If your libido has gone missing for an extended period of timeits time to find out why.
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The Different Types Of Hormones And Their Functions
Before I tell you how to get to this Promise Land, we need to discuss what these hormones actually are.
Put simply, our hormones are the bodys chemical messengers. Every moment of the day, they whizz through the bloodstream, traveling to our organs to let them know the work that needs to be done.
Theres a hormone for all our functions, too even those you didnt even know existed!
Lets look at 7 types of hormones in the body:
- The love hormone which responds to touch,
- The stress hormone which tells us when to run when were in danger,
- The metabolism regulator ,
- The sex hormones needed for a healthy cycle and fertility,
- Mood-boosting hormone
- The hunger-quelling hormone
Of course, I could go on, and there are many, many more. But, really all you need to know is that theres a hormone for everything!
Key Hormone #: Estrogen
The first hormone is estradiol this is the form of estrogen produced in the greatest amounts by women of childbearing age. Estrogen is considered the happy hormone, because it boosts neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which gives us a sense of pleasure and motivation. It is also great for:
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The Best Foods For Hormone Balance
Carrie Gabriel, MS, RDN, clues us in on the best foods to eat for hormone balance.
When we think about hormones, we often immediately think of reproductive health. But theyre not just heavily involved in keeping the reproductive system functioning: Hormones can affect your mood, stress levels, appetite, and overall health. If our hormones are off balance, we might feel more fatigued than usual. Even further, we might experience irregular bowel movements to irregular menstrual cycles, heightened stress, and general irritability. Yikes!
Many of us dont think about turning to food first as a remedy for hormonal issues too often, we tend to steer toward medication. And unfortunately, hormone production isnt something we can directly control.
Diet is integral to hormone health, especially by regulating your gut health . Thankfully, there are certain foods that can help you balance your hormones, so we can select the best foods that regulate hormones and fuel our bodies with those. Heres everything you need to know about treating hormonal imbalance with a hormone-balancing diet and other positive health habits.
Inside this article:
Which Hormones Are To Blame
Even though each hormone plays a specific role in the body, there are a few key hormones to keep your eye on as they can influence many different lifestyle factors. Here is a brief overview of each.
- Cortisol: the stress hormone that may cause insomnia, anxiety, and increased heart rate.
- Thyroid hormones: can affect our metabolism, and can be an underlying cause of irregular periods, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and hair loss.
- Estrogen: a female sex hormone responsible for female physical features and reproduction.
- Progesterone: another female sex hormone vital for a healthy pregnancy.
- Testosterone: the primary male sex hormone that influences sex drive, bone health, acne, and body hair.
- Insulin: controls the sugar level in your body.
- Leptin: helps to regulate body weight.
- Ghrelin: the hunger hormone that signals the brain to eat.
- Melatonin: a hormone that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
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You Have Anxiety Depression Or Experience Mood Swings
As a woman, you experience a lot of complex emotional thoughts and feelings throughout the month, but if your emotional health is negatively impacting your wellbeing, that of your relationships, or your day-to-activities, its definitely not normal and is a sign that estrogen and progesterone may be out of sync.
PMS is a sign or hormonal imbalance known for causing changes in mood that can start up to 2 weeks prior to your period. Because of this, you might not connect depressed or anxious feelings with a hormonal imbalance. And despite what you may have heard, PMS that interferes with your life is not normal for women.
Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Weight Gain
Yes, certain hormone imbalances can cause weight gain, including:
- Hypothyroidism: This condition happens when you have low levels of thyroid hormone, which causes your metabolism to slow down. This can cause weight gain.
- Cushings syndrome: This is a rare condition that happens when your body has too much of a hormone called cortisol. It results in rapid weight gain in your face , belly, back of your neck and chest.
- Menopause: During menopause, many people assigned female at birth gain weight due to hormonal changes that cause their metabolism to slow down. Its important to remember that this type of hormonal imbalance is natural and an expected part of life.
Several other factors contribute to weight gain. If youre experiencing unexpected weight gain or are concerned about your weight, talk to your healthcare provider.
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Biohack For Better Sleep
Remember that low libido? The anxious feelings and sometimes-erratic mood swings? How about weight gain or sugar cravings? If you want to put these troublesome hormone imbalance symptoms to bed, your first step on your journey should be dialing in a great nights sleep. To get a better nights sleep, here are my non-negotiables:
- Keep your bedroom clean, calm, and cool
- Put down devices at least an hour before bed
- Spend time in natural light in the morning
- Prioritize movement, even if just a 20 minute walk or stretching
I developed Sleep Savior to promote mental relaxation and a restful nights sleep. It helps keep cortisol in check and helps sustain sleep .
Limit Your Caffeine/alcohol Intake
Be careful of what you put into your body if youre experiencing hormonal imbalance. Caffeine can trigger stress conditions for the body, while alcohol can negatively affect your liver functioning, which is crucial for hormonal balance. Caffeine also depletes magnesium and other nutrients key to healthy hormones. They both contribute to sleep issues, which in turn makes you more tired and likely to head for the coffee machine the next morning. And the cycle continues.
Eliminating or minimizing your caffeine and alcohol intake can reduce stress levels, rev your energy and help you sleep better. All these things are important for a healthy hormonal balance.
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Keep Hormones In Balance With A Healthy Lifestyle
Hormones are deeply integrated into your physiology and play an important role in almost every aspect of your health. And theres an optimal balance for each person, at each stage of life. And while many people struggle with hormonal imbalances at one point or another, the good news is that you can make a huge positive impact with your diet and lifestyle choices. And the same habits that are good for your hormonal balance are also good for your mood, life expectancy, vitality, and waistline. Talk about a twofer!
Tell us in the comments:
- Have you ever experienced hormonal imbalances?
- Have you ever made diet or lifestyle changes that improved your hormonal balance?
- Are there lifestyle changes you can make to help balance your hormones naturally?
About Dr Roohi Jeelani
Dr Roohi Jeelani is Director of Research and Education at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Dr Jeelani earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, where she was awarded a Womens Reproductive Health NIH K12 Research Grant. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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What Are The Stages Of Hormonal Change For Men
For men, andropause is a slow decline of normal testosterone levels, which begin to lower by about 1% every year around the age of 40. Because the decrease in testosterone production is slow slow, many men do not exhibit any obvious symptoms of andropause for nearly a decade after onset. Andropause is traditionally marked by low T, which features symptoms such as low libido, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, loss of muscle mass, mood swings, and more.
How Common Is It for Men to Gain Weight During Andropause?
On average, middle-aged men gain about 19 pounds during the onset of andropause, which can be a significant cause of concern for overall health. Weight gain is one of the more common symptoms of andropause and most men will experience some about of weight gain during late adulthood.
Lower Your Sugar Intake
Minimizing added sugar intake may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function and avoiding obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.
The simple sugar fructose is present in many types of sugar, comprising up to 43% of honey, 50% of refined table sugar, 55% of high fructose corn syrup, and 90% of agave .
In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugars in the Western diet, and fructose is commonly used commercially in soft drinks, fruit juice, and sport and energy drinks .
Fructose intake has increased exponentially in the United States since around 1980, and studies consistently show that eating added sugar promotes insulin resistance regardless of total calorie intake or weight gain .
Long-term fructose intake has been linked to disruptions of the gut microbiome, which may lead to other hormonal imbalances .
Whats more, fructose may fail to stimulate the production of the fullness hormone leptin, leading to decreased calorie burning and increased weight gain .
Therefore, reducing your intake of sugary drinks and other sources of added sugar may improve hormone health.
Diets high in sugar have been shown to promote insulin resistance, disrupt your gut microbiome, and reduce leptin production. Thus, lowering your sugar intake may aid hormonal health.
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