What’s Throwing Your Hormones Out of Whack?
What's causing your hormone imbalance and making you feel all out of sorts? Hormonal changes are normal as we get older but you should always feel rested and have the energy to focus on daily tasks. If you are feeling sluggish or bloated or just plain tired all the time there may be something not quite right.
What's Causing Your Hormone Imbalance?
Hormones are powerful chemicals that are produced by endocrine glands. These messengers travel through the bloodstream and influence the functioning of organs and tissues. Normal fluctuations in hormonal levels due to aging are common in every individual.
However, certain diseases, medication, injury, hormonal therapy, genetic and lifestyle factors, etc. may cause your endocrine glands to malfunction. As a result, the natural balance of hormones gets disrupted in the body.
This imbalance if left unattained may lead to serious consequences like infertility, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain, irritability, and many more.
What are the Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance?
According to Healthline, common hormonal conditions affecting both men and women could cause many symptoms.
Read more about Causes of a Hormone Imbalance and Symptoms You May Have One.
Here, we are going to look at some important hormones in our body and understand what disrupts their levels.
1. Cortisol can cause Hormone Imbalance
Cortisol is secreted by the adrenal gland. It’s an important hormone that gets imbalanced with an excess of stress. Chronic stress causes your body to constantly pump-out cortisol in the system which has several negative effects such as:
- weight gain
- cardiovascular diseases
- digestive issues
- suppressed immune system
- elevated blood sugar levels
You can manage your stress levels by including simple practices like exercise, yoga, meditation, enough sleep, clean eating, etc in your daily routine.
2. Estrogen and Progesterone Hormones
Various studies indicate that most factors associated with breast cancer are linked to either excess of estrogen or unbalanced estrogen-progesterone levels.
Estrogen dominance is common during perimenopause and menopause. But, many women today face estrogen dominance at an earlier age as a result of anovulatory cycles (failure to ovulate) and experience symptoms like tender breasts, painful cramps, heavy bleeding, and mood swings.
This condition is majorly linked to poor lifestyle choices such as crash diets, consuming hormonal birth control pills, taking excessive stress, unhealthy diet, and xenoestrogens found in many personal hygiene products.
3. How Insulin Affects Hormone Balance
Insulin is responsible to maintain normal blood glucose levels in the body. A condition called insulin resistance arises in the body when we consume an excess of sugar, this leads to resistance in glucose delivery to the cells.
Such a situation not only increases the risk of diabetes and obesity but also plays an important role in inducing breast cancer. This is because excess carbohydrates from refined foods and sugars are stored as fat in the system.
Elevated fat level leads to an increase in estrogen production and ultimately causes estrogen dominance in the body that leads to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle by avoiding simple carbohydrates, highly processed and sugary food, and including complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats in your dietary regime.
4. Thyroid Hormones
Optimal thyroid functioning is extremely essential for the maintenance of overall health. When the thyroid gland produces too little (hypothyroidism) or too many (hyperthyroidism) hormones, it causes imbalances.
Hyperthyroidism can induce symptoms like anxiety, irritability, weight loss, muscle weakness, short and light periods, insomnia, etc.
On the other hand, hypothyroidism can cause weight gain, constipation, depression, long and heavy periods, fatigue, hair loss, etc. Also, it is seen that babies born to women with untreated hypothyroidism have a higher risk of various birth defects.
Both hyper and hypothyroidism can occur due to autoimmune diseases. Hypothyroidism is caused due to too little iodine in the diet, inflammation of thyroid after pregnancy (postpartum thyroiditis), certain medications, etc.
While hypothyroidism can be cured with prescription medications but, practicing good sleep hygiene, avoiding alcohol, relaxing can help in treatment.
Lastly, many hormonal imbalances caused by external factors such as medications, excess stress, and dietary choices may have detrimental effects on the body. You should always speak to your physician if you’re experiencing symptoms related to hormonal fluctuations.
How Do I Get Rid of Hormonal Imbalance?
There are quite a few things you can do to help a hormonal balance. Here are 5 Amazing Foods to Balance Hormones