Balancing the scales of hormones
Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands throughout the body and are responsible for controlling how we function and react. Hormones affect all aspects of the body including the physical, mental and even emotional. When hormones are imbalanced some of the common symptoms may include digestive problems, excessive weight gain, chronic acne, and headaches. Mental and emotional tolls may include extreme mood swings, depression, fatigue, low sexual drive and a lack of clarity.
During certain stages in life, hormonal imbalances are both expected and normal. Hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy, periods, menopause, and when certain health conditions are present. It is important to monitor sudden spikes and drops in hormone levels, and to adjust one’s lifestyle when possible to prevent such volatility. Finding healthy amounts of rest, exercise, and balanced diets are essential in stabilizing hormone levels.
Attaining high quality sleep and rest are critical in regulating hormone levels. Without proper sleep, cortisol stress hormones may rise and the release of the required growth hormones can be inhibited. Lowering stress through meditation or other physical activity is also recommended to reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
A proper diet plays a huge role in ensuring stable hormone levels. Diets rich in protein and fiber aid in controlling appetite, increasing insulin sensitivity, promoting well-functioning digestion and metabolism. Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates should be avoided as they easily throw off insulin levels. Healthy fats from nuts and omega-3 oils found in fish can reduce insulin resistance, promote anti-inflammatory functionality and reduce cortisol levels. Consuming green tea is also an excellent source of antioxidants and can increase insulin sensitivity.
Finding healthy hormone levels, is imperative to so many functions of our body, is it important to always take a wide comprehensive approach in addressing balance.