Dangers Of Hormone Imbalance
The most dangerous thing about a hormonal imbalance is not actually the symptom, but what it may represent. Common causes of a hormonal imbalance range from diabetes to thyroid issues, to glandular issues and possible tumors either benign or malignant. If your body is reacting in these ways to changes in your bodys chemicals, it could be sign of a deeper issue, which could be dangerous if left untreated.
Particularly in women, a hormonal imbalance could indicate early onset of menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, primary ovarian insufficiency and even ovarian cancer, among other conditions. In men, hormone imbalance could indicate any number of conditions, including prostate cancer.
Talk to your doctor about any new or unusual symptoms that are not typical of your personality or body. Many people keep a log to keep track of changes this is helpful when describing to their doctors any concerns or symptoms. Once diagnosed, your doctor will work with you to prescribe medicine, advise life-style changes, conduct additional testing, or refer you to a specialist.
Remember, a hormonal balance can be serious if left untreated, but speaking to your doctor even if youre wrong can only help make the issue better.
To Decoding Your Hormones: How Long Should Your Period Be
Since we only have our own period to compare to, it can be hard to know whether what we experience is normal. Lets run through some normal cycle parameters so that you can determine where you fall:
The length of your periodrefers to the number of days from the first day of your bleed to the last day before your next bleed. A healthy range for your cycle length is anywhere between 21 and 35 days, with the average being around 29 days.
Many of my clients tell me their period is always late because it comes on day 30 . This is a huge misconception: that if your period isnt 28 days, you arent normal. If your period consistently arrives around the same day of your cycle, and it falls within the healthy range of 21 to 35 days, this is your normal, healthy cycle length.
Whether or not you fit this textbook 28 day cycle , the most important factor to consider is whether your normal has changed or not.
Our menstrual cycles are very responsive to stress in our lives and demonstrate this most clearly in the length of our cycles. Stress is not always psychological , but may be physical .
When we are more stressed, our body does not deem our environment to be a safe place to bring a baby in to the world, and can shut down ovulation all together, or delay it until it deems we are safe. The end result of this change in ovulation is a missing period altogether, or longer cycles than your normal. Think this might explain your menstrual cycle problems?
Treating Imbalance With Medications
Treatments for hormonal imbalance are often specific to the type of hormone in question and its related effects. Doctors use medications to treat imbalance because there are a variety of medications that can either stimulate or even replace hormonal chemicals in the body. These treatments are often referred to as hormone therapy.
Medications to balance female hormones, like estrogen and progestin, can alleviate symptoms like hot flashes and even increase fertility. Women with high androgen, a male hormone, can take medication to suppress high levels. Meanwhile, testosterone supplements can help men experience relief from fatigue, muscle loss, and other symptoms of âLow Tâ. Medications can even stimulate puberty in teenagers with delayed puberty.
There are a variety of other medications used to relieve other hormone imbalances, including insulin to treat Type I and Type II diabetes. Hormone therapy medications are available in pill, patch, injection, and topical cream form, depending on the treatment you need.
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How To Fix An Imbalance
For each person and each hormonal imbalance, the treatment plan will be different. For some, simply losing weight sets off a cycle of change in the vital hormones of the body helping to create balance. For others, hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, and vitamin supplements can be used to balance hormone levels.
If you have or suspect a hormone imbalance the best place to start is talking to your doctor about having your hormone levels checked and creating a treatment plan that is customized to your needs. It may take some experimenting with different treatments to find the right treatment for your personal situation.
Level Of Effort: Medium To High
First, youll quit caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy, gluten, and most oils for 2 weeks.
Also, Turner recommends using pH strips and ketone strips to test your bodys pH balance getting a series of blood, urine, or saliva tests to check hormone levels and taking supplements including multivitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and calciummagnesiumvitamin D3.
Limitations: If youre used to eating prepared meals and snacks, The Hormone Diet might be a big adjustment, since it focuses on whole foods that you cook yourself. If you love coffee or soda, you may find it hard to give up these beverages in favor of green tea and other drinks on Turners list.
Cooking and shopping: The plan calls for eating organic foods as much as possible. The recipes and 1-week sample menu are fairly basic, so if youre not comfortable cooking the foods in the diet plan, your options may be limited.
Packaged foods or meals: Not required, though Turner recommends certain brands of supplements.
In-person meetings: No.
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Ensure Enough Activity Including Walking And Stretching
One of the most frustrating aspect of perimenopause is that it happens often at the height of our careers and busy lives. Since perimenopause is often a 7-10 year process, it most certainly can come at times when we are very busy and dont have a lot of free time.
Nonetheless, its so important to prioritize daily activity. You dont have to necessarily spend hours at a gym or do high-intensity training, but at least 30 minutes of daily walking, yoga, or stretching is very important.
Our bodies are meant to move on a daily basis, and that movement helps with digestion, flexibility, and even mental health. For exercise specific to help reduce bloating, look for videos on YouTube that are identified as core work.
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You Feel Hungry All The Time
Ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, tells you when its time to eat and has a major impact on the size of your appetite. Ghrelin is directly related to our dietary habits. For example, if you decided to skip a meal or two tomorrow, your body would begin to release ghrelin, telling you to eat again. However, if you suddenly began to binge and overeat, your body would quickly cut back on ghrelin secretion.
Research shows that ghrelin secretion can become dysregulated when you gain weight. Overweight individuals tend to have elevated circulating levels of leptin and decreased levels of ghrelin. Consistently elevated leptin levels can lead to dysfunction of leptin receptors which means your brain will not receive the message that youre full. This can throw your hunger cues out of whack, so you can continue to eat without ever receiving the signal to stop, resulting in undesirable weight gain.
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Other Potential Causes Of Menopausal Belly Bloat
Simple slip-ups such as swallowing air or overeating may be responsible for belly bloat. But more serious problems display this symptoms, too, such as esophageal reflux, constipation, ovarian cancer, pancreatic insufficiency, tumors and celiac disease. Dont assume that frequent bloating is from menopause, as it could be from more serious health conditions. Check with your doctor to determine what is most likely responsible with your bloating issues and how best to treat them.
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Switch To Clean Beauty
Here at CS, we love all-things clean beauty. From moisturizers to mascaras, weve tried em all. When it comes to skincare and makeup products, clean is keen. On a daily basis, we are exposed to so many chemicals, and as women, we are particularly targeted. Chemicals are found in our beauty and personal care productswhich we use, every day. In fact, women use an average of 12 personal care products, daily, that contain 168 different chemicals. Although an individual beauty product may have small amounts of harmful chemicals, our overall exposure is what causes problems. More research is showing that the chemicals in these products can affect our hormones, fertility, and the health of our babies. Thankfully, clean beauty brands are a dime a dozen.
Image by Kristen Kilpatrick
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Is Early Menopause The Same As Perimenopause
No, perimenopause is a stage where your estrogen levels drop down effecting your menstrual cycle among other things. It starts almost a decade before your menopause.Menopause is the end of menstrual cycle. If it happens to women younger than 45 years, it is called early menopause. It is the phase where a woman does not get menstrual periods for at least 12 months.In simple words, perimenopause is the beginning of the end and early menopause is the end.
How To Keep Estrogen At Optimal Levels
To balance estrogen levels naturally and prevent the weight gain that happens with an estrogen imbalance, youll want to do the following:
- Commit to a regular exercise routine. Many studies, including this 2012 one, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, explain how exercise lowers estrogen levels in obese women.
- Eat your fiber. Fibrous foods help decrease elevated estrogen levels.
- Eat veggies in the cruciferous family. These include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy. Anything green and leafy is always a good idea, too!
- Reduce your exposure to endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with our natural hormones. Avoid plastic containers, cans, or water bottles made with BPA. Never microwave plastic.
- Choose organic foods when possible, and choose phthalate-free cosmetics and personal care products.
- Consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which uses plant-based hormones identical to those produced naturally by the human body to keep hormones balanced.
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Youre Consuming Too Much Sugar
I think of leptin as the hormone that says, Darling, put down the fork. Under normal circumstances, its released from your fat cells and travels in the blood to your brain, where it signals that youre full. But leptins noble cause has been impeded by our consumption of a type of sugar called fructose, which is found in fruit and processed foods alike.
When you eat small amounts of fructose, youre OK. But if you eat more than the recommended five daily servings of fruit plus processed foods with added sugaryour liver cant deal with the fructose fast enough to use it as fuel. Instead, your body starts converting it into fats, sending them off into the bloodstream as triglycerides and depositing them in the liver and elsewhere in your belly.
As more fructose is converted to fat, your levels of leptin increase . And when you have too much of any hormone circulating in your system, your body becomes resistant to its message. With leptin, that means your brain starts to miss the signal that youre full. You continue to eat, and you keep gaining weight.
If you eat more than the recommended five daily servings of fruit, plus processed foods with added sugar, your liver cant deal with the fructose fast enough to use it as fuel.
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Tips To Help Reduce Hormonal Bloating
First and for most we have to look at reducing excess oestrogens. In addition, try these practical tips:
Eat slowly slow down when eating, sit comfortably, away from screens and chew your food to help with digestion
Avoid gum, carbonated drinks, drinking with straws, talking whilst eating all can increase the amount of air swallowed
Reduce your salt intake it can worsen water retention, bloating and gas
Eat smaller meals bigger meals can make bloating worse, smaller meals more often can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of bloating
Keep a food diary write down what you have eaten and rate the level of bloating afterwards. It may indicate a food trigger.
Common triggers are:
- Refined carbohydrates white bread, pasta, cakes, bagels, pastries, cereals
- Vegetables broccoli, onions, cabbages, brussel sprouts
- Legumes lentils, beans, peas
Drink plenty of water being dehydrated worsens fluid retention
Exercise helps maintain a healthy digestive tract
Stress management practices stress impairs the gut and your ability to absorb and assimilate your food. Try these stress-reducing ideas.
Try homeopathic remedies for hormonal bloating you would need to work with a practitioner rather than self-prescribing, however, if you just struggle with the occasional bout of bloating after eating too much, 2 useful remedies are:
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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.
How To Balance Your Hormones
At Balanced Medical Solutions, our team specializes in getting to the root cause of your condition, and if hormone imbalance is hindering your ability to lose weight, we can help.
Our treatments include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to level out your estrogen and relieve your menopause symptoms and your weight loss frustration.
We also offer treatments to optimize your pituitary gland, which is responsible for hormone production. In particular, this treatment increases your production of human growth hormone to increase your stamina, boost your metabolism, and sharpen your focus.
If youve hit a wall in your diet and exercise routine, it might just be your hormones. and find out if hormones are keeping you from losing weight.
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Risk Factors For Vaginal Atrophy
Some women are more likely than others to get atrophic vaginitis. Women who have never given birth vaginally are more prone to vaginal atrophy than women who delivered their babies vaginally.
Smoking impairs blood circulation, depriving the vagina and other tissues of oxygen. Tissue thinning occurs where blood flow is decreased or restricted. Smokers are also less responsive to estrogen therapy in pill form.
Increased Or Imbalanced Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a hormone that helps the body manage and respond to stress or danger and plays an essential role in our flight or fight response. When you feel stressed, your adrenal glands will produce more cortisol, which sends signals to your body to store more fat.
Suppose you are dealing with high levels of stress, anxiety or any stress-related disorders. In that case, your body will produce increased amounts of cortisol, and high cortisol levels can lead to excess belly fat and weight gain.
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What Are The Signs Youre Experiencing A Hormone Imbalance
Everyone experiences fluctuations in their hormones across the course of their lives. It may occur when your endocrine system is not functioning optimally.
The endocrine glands are responsible for producing, storing, and releasing hormones into your blood. Multiple endocrine glands control different aspects of your body functions, and can present symptoms like:
Excess Cortisol From Stress
Stress, whether due to emotional reasons, major life events, or physical stress from things like having a baby, can cause hair fall. If the stress trigger is temporary, then as the pressure eases, hair should start growing again. But if you live a life that is fraught with constant stress triggers, alternative therapy can help bring back the balance of stress hormones like cortisol.
Ayurvedic remedy ashwagandha can ease stress and anxiety by regulating stress-hormone cortisol levels in the body. This adaptogenic property allows your body to recover better from stress by raising or lowering cortisol hormone levels when they are too low or too high.14Use yoga or meditation to help relax your body and mind and manage stress better so it does not wreak havoc on your hormone levels.
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How Hormones Upset Internal Peace
Although hormones naturally rise and fall throughout your lifetime, it isnt normal for them to be so out of whack that you are consistently feeling miserable.
Some natural changes happen around your menstrual cycle, for example. Estrogen rises on the first day of your period, and drops mid-cycle. Progesterone rises mid-cycle right before ovulation, then drops a day or two before your period begins.
But some women have progesterone levels that are far too low all the time, which can result in nasty symptoms, like feelings of constant irritation. Often, this deficiency is a result of ongoing stress. When your body is under a constant barrage of stress, it calls for an ongoing supply of cortisol. And if your adrenals are busy pumping out cortisol, there can be a direct impact on the production of sex hormones, resulting in imbalances.
The good news is, there are some simple solutions. A progesterone cream, for instance, can be very effective in treatment of PMS symptoms. And dont forget the power of food. Paying close attention to the quality of your nutrition. It can have a bigger impact than any prescription!
Hormones can be linked to so many aspects of your health, including how you view the world. Studies have shown that during the latter part of a womans menstrual cycle, called the luteal phase, brain changes may have you hearing words in a more negative way, or cause a stronger reaction to touchy subjects or events.