Balance Blood Sugar To Feel Balanced Overall
Increased abdominal fat and weight gain, experienced by nearly 90 percent of women during menopause, are often directly connected to blood sugar imbalances.
The number 1 issue? Insulin resistance.
Your blood sugar levels are responsible for giving you stable energy and a feeling of overall body balance throughout the day.
Roller coaster-like blood sugar levels, on the other hand, bring about many of the same symptoms associated with menopause.
Insulin Resistance 101
Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for controlling your blood sugar balance, acting like a director for how your body uses the food you eat.
Insulin ensures that the just right amount of glucose and energy is in your blood at any one time.
However, if we have too much insulin circulating in the body at once , fat storage and menopause-like symptoms of blood sugar imbalances are common byproducts.
How does insulin resistance happen in the first place?
Imbalanced nutrition, poor gut health and elevated cortisol levels.
You dont necessarily need to be eating Hersheys candy bars or donuts every day for breakfast to experience insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can happen when:
The bottom line: Insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalances are common during the menopausal years. This is primarily because your body is more sensitive to the impacts of stress.
The GOOD news?
You can positively impact and support healthy blood sugar levels with these Do-Now Action Steps:
Signs Your Hormone Levels Aren’t Where They Should Be
Sometimes our bodies send undeniable signals that are too obvious to ignore. Coughing and sneezing with a fever? You’re probably sick with a cold or flu. Red, itchy eyes after playing with a friend’s dog? You might just be allergic to Fido’s fur. But in other cases, the signals our bodies send are much more subtle, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you just might miss the very clear message that something needs attention, stat.
In all my years of personal and professional experience around female endocrine health, I’ve found that very few women know how to spot the signs of hormonal imbalance. After all, we’re often taught that pain and suffering are just a normal part of the female experience. Why would we think to question killer cramps or massive mood swings? Because those things are, in fact, not normal, inevitable aspects of womanhood. They’re just a few clear signs from your body alerting you to a hormonal imbalance.
The good news is, you can address many hormonal issues with the proper food and lifestyle tools and techniques. I built my career around hormonal health so no woman would have to guess why she’s having a particular hormonal symptom ever again. Here’s what to be on the lookout for, and how to fix it:
Trouble With Sleep Digestion Or Focus
These types of symptoms could be a sign that you have higher-than-normal levels of cortisol ;the stress hormone running through your body. If youve been stressed out lately, you might have noticed stomach issues, difficulty;sleeping;or muscle weakness. It can also affect your ability to focus, as well as your mood and energy levels.;
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Youve Gained Weight Around The Hips
If youre naturally more of an hourglass- or pear-shaped woman, and feel like youve been gaining weight recently, its probably accumulated around your hips. This is where body fat is predominantly distributed in women, but even more so in pear-shaped or estrogen-dominant type women. As estrogen levels climb too high, youll experience irritability, heavier menses, breast tenderness, weight gain and worsening of premenstrual symptoms. If youve gained weight, body fat also produces estrogen, adding to the severity of your symptoms.
The Fix: Your liver and digestive system play a key role in metabolizing excess estrogens. Make sure your bowels are regular every day by incorporating lots of veggies and fruit, and be sure to keep hydrated. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, and natto miso are fantastic additions. To support a healthy liver, add more cruciferous veggies rich in sulphoraphone, which help to support liver detoxification and clearance of excess bad estrogens.
Pms And Low Sex Drive
Low testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are all associated with a decreased sex drive in both men and women. This is especially common after age 50 when estrogen and testosterone production declines. Since estrogen is one of the main hormones regulating a womans menstrual cycle a decrease in production can also lead to irregular periods that are too long, too short, unpredictable, heavy, or painful, infertility, hot flashes, mood swings, or painful intercourse.
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Common Signs Of A Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers and coordinate some of our most complex functions. But what happens when they go awry? We ask an endocrinologist and a gynaecologist to explore the most common hormone imbalances.
Reviewed byDr Colin Tidy
18-Jul-19·6 mins read
Seven years ago Rachael, now 28, went to A&E coiling over in severe pain. The pain radiated from her abdomen to her lower back, and it was difficult to pinpoint its origin. An ultrasound identified a large ovarian cyst which she had removed via surgery.
“I also experienced unwanted hair growth on my face and chest, weight gain, and very unpredictable periods,” says Rachael.
She was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome , a condition related to abnormal hormone levels in the body, including high levels of insulin and excess androgens .
Now an adult, Alexandra remembers the difficulty she had concentrating as a 12 year old. “I was sleepless, big-eyed and had severe mind fog. I couldn’t sit still, follow a conversation or concentrate on anything. I had tremors and a resting heart rate of 119. A GP took both my hands and asked me to put my arms straight out with palms down and try to keep them steady. I couldn’t. I was referred to an endocrinologist who diagnosed an overactive thyroid.”
Both Alexandra and Rachael suffer from hormone imbalances.
How Are The Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance Different From Menopause
Estrogen and progestin are produced in the ovaries. During menopause, this production slows causing hormones to shift or a drop in estrogen that leads to menopausal symptoms. It can be easy to confuse the signs of a hormonal imbalance with the typical signs of menopause.
Common symptoms of hormonal imbalances include:
- Changes in appetite
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Changes in sensitivity to cold and heat
- Dry skin or skin rashes
- Changes in blood pressure
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Changes in sensitivity to cold and heat
- Dry skin or skin rashes
- Changes in blood pressure
- Puffy face
- Blurred vision
Menopause has some of these symptoms in common but has a few, such as hot flashes, that help set it apart.
Symptoms of menopause can include:
- Mood swings
- Weight and body fat gain
- Slowed metabolism
- Brain fog
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hormone Imbalance
When you think of hormone imbalance, what do you think are common symptoms? For most, its menopause or erectile dysfunction. While these are two common symptoms, there are many more that may affect the entire body. Men and women may have similar symptoms, though there are some that are specific to each gender. The most common symptoms for men include: ;
- Mood changes;
- Discomfort during intercourse;
Endocrine and reproductive conditions are usually caused by imbalanced hormones. Some of the most common endocrine conditions include PCOS, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Cushings disease and more. However, there are also some lesser-known symptoms that people may not consider signs of hormonal imbalance. These can include hair loss, cold extremities, trouble sleeping, depression or anxiety and skin conditions.;
Healthy Hormones Happy You
Balancing your hormones doesnt always require medication or therapy, sometimes the root of these issues lie in your diet and lifestyle choices. Luckily, paying attention to your body and adjusting to its needs is an easy way to get your health back on track!
If you suffer from symptoms of hormonal imbalance, try these simple lifestyle changes and talk to your doctor about testing your hormone levels.
Remember, balancing your hormones is the key to optimal health and unlocking your happiness
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How Your Hormones Affect Your Health
Think of your hormones as telephone operators. They travel through your body relaying information to your tissues and organs letting them know how to perform. And it turns out, theyre responsible for many of your bodys major functions, including metabolism and reproduction.
Too much or too little of a hormone is known as an imbalance, and even the slightest imbalance can really set things off. The most common hormonal imbalance among women is having too much estrogen, or estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance occurs when your body has higher estrogen levels in relation to progesterone levels. This can be a result of your diet, too much stress, the products you use, lack of sleep, and much more.
Research shows that 80 percent of women suffer from hormonal imbalance.
Women experience the effects of hormonal imbalance from their teenage years to their 40s, and oftentimes, they arent even aware of it. The truth is, when your hormones are off balance, your body sends you signals to alert you somethings off. These signals can come in many forms. Here are some red flags to look out for…
80% of women suffer from hormonal imbalance.
Incorporate Healthy Fats Into Your Diet
Adding healthy polyunsaturated fats to your diet, such as omega-3 and omega-6 may help reduce your appetite and. Fatty acids signal the production of leptin, a hormone that reduces appetite by suppressing the area of the brain that controls our appetite and signals to us its time to eat. Without adequate healthy fats in your diet, youre more likely to have low leptin levels, which can induce overeating and an inability to feel satiated. That may be one reason women have been experimenting with seed cycling for hormone balance.
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Your Circadian Rhythm Is Off
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland that is located in the brain. It produces melatonin, which affects circadian rhythm and the levels of other hormones in the body. A pineal cyst is a disorder of the pineal gland that may not produce any symptoms. If the cyst is large, it may produce symptoms including water on the brain , headache, eye problems, and vision problems. Large pineal cysts that cause problems usually affect women who are in their second decade of life.
You’re No Long Interested In Sex
Where once there was a vivacious, sex-crazed person now lays a tired human with a “headache.” But who can blame you? In the same way hormones fuel your sex drive, they can also take them away.
If this sounds like you, know it’s not your fault. According to Gottfried, “In most cases, estrogen dominance or low estrogen can be blamed, but your thyroid health and cortisol levels can also play a role. Add to that high stress, burning the candle at both ends and poor sleep, and sex is probably the last thing on your mind.”
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Youve Got High Belly Fat
High belly fat reflects high levels of visceral fat, which is the fat that accumulates around your organs. It is very pro-inflammatory and dangerous for your overall health. The vast majority of your cortisol receptors are located around your mid-section. If your belly fat is high, your cortisol stress levels will be out of balance and leading you down the path to weight gain, poor health and lack of vitality. Cortisol is the yang to insulins yin, responsible for increasing blood sugar levels by breaking down your muscle mass. If you have a cortisol problem, it can create an insulin problem.
The Fix: If youve got high belly fat, stop drinking beer until things start shifting back in the right direction. There is a reason they call it a beer belly! Visceral fat is also strongly connected to poor insulin function and thus high insulin levels, so lowering your carb intake is also a great way to lower your systemic or total body inflammation.
Increased Risk Of Sleep Apnea
The risk of obstructive sleep apnea increases in women during and after menopause. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that causes people to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. OSA occurs when muscles in the throat relax and block the airway during sleep. People who have this type of sleep apnea often snore. Researchers who performed one study found that perimenopausal and postmenopausal women who had lower estrogen levels were more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea than women who had higher estrogen levels. More studies are needed, but women who feel tired or who have unrefreshing sleep should see their doctors to assess hormone levels and discuss risk factors and testing for sleep apnea.
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What Exactly Are Hormones
Hormones are often blamed for every teenagers notorious moodiness, but the truth is that your body cannot survive or function properly without hormones. Hormones act as messengers between body systems in order to regulate physiology and behavior. This means that everything from your digestion, sleep, reproduction, and mental state is influenced and controlled by the hormones in your system.
Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are the three most common hormones associated with hormone imbalance and sexual dysfunction, but there are other hormones like melatonin and cortisol that might also fall out of balance over time.
What Influences Appetite And Weight
When Estrogen Drops, Hunger Increases
A decrease in estrogen levels during a woman’s monthly cycle may trigger mood changes in some women. Some females may reach for comfort foods that are high in fat, calories, sugar, and salt in an effort to feel better. Sadly, eating these foods backfires and makes women feel worse. Sodium increases water retention and bloating. Sugar, excess fat and calories will lead you to pack on the pounds. Falling estrogen levels also affect leptin, a hormone that inhibits hunger. Combat hormonal weight gain by adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan. Stick to lean meats, healthy fats, complex carbs, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables to help prevent PMS and encourage healthy blood sugar levels and weight loss.
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Risks Of Not Treating Hormone Imbalances
Hormone imbalances, when left untreated, are more than just annoying mood swings and bad PMS. They can be indicators that something more serious rarely, even cancerous is happening in your body.
Not getting your hormones back in balance could lead to other problems, like elevated cholesterol, osteoporosis, obesity, lack of sleep, and more.
Although truly identified hormonal imbalances often need medical or even surgical intervention, a healthy lifestyle can improve low-level symptoms.
Do your best to get:
- 6-8 hours of sleep each day;
- 30+ minutes of vigorous exercise daily;
- And a high-quality diet with enough protein and healthy fats and less sugar.
Common Signs Of Hormonal Imbalance
Knowing the signs of a hormonal imbalance in women can help you address the underlying cause and help get your hormones in balance again. Sometimes, all you need is to make some lifestyle changes to help your body produce enough hormones. Other times, you can use some natural remedies to help manage the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance.
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Women These Are The Signs You Have A Hormone Imbalance
A hormone imbalance wont always announce itself with dramatic symptoms that make you immediately suspicious. Instead, a hormone imbalance is more likely to gradually and subtly diminish your quality of life and leave you feeling confused about the changes to your physical and emotional health. By learning about the signs of hormone imbalance, you will have the knowledge necessary to seek treatment for hormone issues before your symptoms take control of your life.
Ways To Naturally Balance Your Hormones
Hormonal imbalances are common in todays day and age, because of our fast-paced lifestyles and poor food and exercise habits.
However, there are ways to naturally keep your hormones balanced. Here are some tips that will help you get started:
A nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle choices may help keep your hormonal health in check. However, consult your doctor and discuss a way forward for your diet.
The Gut Is The Gateway Health
The gut is the gateway to health.
Think about it: Every single cell in a womans body is nourished, fed and supported by what goes into the gut.
In addition, one of the major centers of hormone production occurs in your gut itself. In fact, the gut is now being termed an endocrine organ.
Thus, when we have a weak foundation in our gut , then the rest of our body takes a hit cortisol and hormone levels included.
Since essential nutrients are unable to reach these hormones or other cells that govern our metabolic processes, stress is much more likely.
Even if you do eat healthy, if you have an underlying gut imbalance or you are not supporting the health of your gut and digestion as a whole, then your body is simply not going to absorb and digest the foods you do feed it.
In short: A common reason why women experience all the usual symptoms of menopause goes back to the gut.
Heal the gut, reduce hormone imbalance
So what to do?
To get to the bottom of your own health or gut imbalances, its always advised you consult with a doctor or other healthcare practitioner trained in a functional approach for addressing the roots of these imbalances .
Much of our contemporary medical way of thinking is the replacement model.
This is simply replacing hormones or treating hormone imbalances with hormone replacement drugs and therapies before looking into the reasons why hormones are significantly out of balance in the first place.