Hormone Health and What it Means
Why Are Balanced Hormones So Important?
Unfortunately, the subject of hormones can be a subject that people shy away from which can lead to needless suffering and a lack of optimal health and wellbeing. Both women and men live with hormone imbalances without ever getting properly supported. So, let’s open up conversations and openly discuss this important topic.
First and foremost, we need to be having more candid conversations about hormone health, and remove the stigma attached to hormone issues. Our hormones have an impact not just on our sexual health but also on mental, emotional and physical health in huge ways for both men and women. We need to have balanced hormones in order to function properly. Our hormones signal many functions within the body from breathing, how to expend energy, the need to eat and even signal our body to grow. Hormones also regulate, metabolism, heart rate, appetite, circadian sleep rhythms, body temperature, reproductive and sexual function and even regulates stress!
Understanding Where Hormones Are Produced & What They Do…
Again, hormones are not just associated with male and female reproductive organs. We have many glands in the body that make hormones for different purposes. Get to know your hormone producing centers -
· Ovaries: Sex hormones for use in reproduction
· Testes: Testosterone and sperm
· Pituitary: Control center for numerous other glands
· Parathyroid: Calcium regulation
· Pancreas: Makes your insulin
· Hypothalamus: Regulates numerous functions such as body temperature, appetite, mood, sleep rhythms, thirst and libido
· Thyroid: Regulates heartbeat, effects metabolism and how calories are used by the body.
· Adrenal Glands: Stress hormones such as cortisol
· Pineal Gland: Produces melatonin and regulates the body’s internal clock
What Are Some of the Things That Can Disrupt Our Hormones?
Lack of proper sleep, chemical filled beauty and skin products, stress, toxins we encounter in food and even within the cleaning products in our homes. Stress also has a huge disruptive impact on hormones. A poor diet and lack of exercise are also triggers for hormone imbalance.
Other disruptors include some workout supplements, caffeine, illegal steroid use and some energy drinks.
Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
First, let’s dive into understanding how imbalances can occur. Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream. Hormones have a critically important role in the body which is why even a slight imbalance can lead to significant symptoms.
Signs your hormones may be out of balance; Infertility, PMS, postpartum depression, inconsistent or irregular menstrual cycles, brain fog, skin problems, mood swings, increased aggression and anger, decreased tolerance to stress, depression or anxiety, lack of energy, decreased sex drive, headaches, you have diabetes, PCOS or thyroid imbalances or thyroid disease and more. The specific symptoms of hormonal imbalance will depend on which glands and hormones are affected since they each control different functions within the body.
Some of the more common symptoms of hormonal imbalances include:
· Weight gain or loss that is not a result in changes in diet, exercise or medication
· Sleep disruptions or difficulty falling asleep
· Low energy or extreme fatigue
· Sudden onset of temperature sensitivity (intolerance to hot or cold)
· Excessive sweating (when not exercising)
· Skin problems such as acne, dry skin, eczema or rashes
· Changes in blood pressure or heart rate
· Changes in your cholesterol levels or blood sugar
· Mood swings, anxiety, depression or irritability
· Migraines or headaches
· Increased thirst
· Gut issues, leaky gut and bloating
· Changes in appetite
· Significant decrease or increase in sex drive or sexual function
· Hair loss, thinning or brittle hair, including of the eyebrows
· Infertility in both men and women
Natural Ways to Rebalance Hormones
Since balancing hormones is about supporting the optimal functioning of all of your different hormone producing centers, here are the top natural ways to support them all:
1. Getting enough sleep – yup, the good old 8 hours a night rule applies here!
2. Sleep in total darkness – light disrupts hormone production during sleep. Get black out curtains, an organic eye mask and ditch the electronics in your bedroom.
3. Stress management, stress reduction and increasing your capacity to deal with life’s stressors – this includes learning new tools to deal with stress, better ways to react to stress and also taking action to limit stress.
4. Exercise – getting enough cardiovascular exercise, strength building exercise as well as stretching or restorative fitness is critical to supporting hormones.
5. Balanced Diet – Eating a balanced toxic free diet that includes all of the macro and micro nutrients your body needs, for example getting enough protein, healthy fats and also low glycemic carbohydrates.
6. Reduce alcohol intake and eating processed foods
7. Swap coffee for green tea
8. Cut out dairy
9. Natural supplements (see more below)
*Warning, taking estrogen, testosterone or progesterone supplements without super vison of a health care professional is extremely dangerous. If you feel that you have a hormone imbalance that does not seem to be able to be corrected through diet, exercise, stress reduction and natural supplements that support hormone balance (not ones that include natural bio-identical hormones) then see a professional health care practitioner in order to get tested and treated appropriately for your body’s exact hormone needs.
Specific Foods & Herbs That Help
For Men –
1. Malaysian ginseng – helps with increasing libido, sports performance, weight loss, helps with production of testosterone and can even help with high blood pressure.
Ashwagandha – Adaptogen herbs such ashwagandha help with numerous hormone producing glands which has also been effective in sexual disfunction and even infertility. Ashwagandha has been used in ancient cultures for centuries to enhance communication in the endocrine system. It is wonderful at easing stress, thyroid conditions, and strengthening the adrenal system, which is important in balancing sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Ashwagandha has a positive effect on menstrual health and libido.
2. DHEA – DHEA has been known to help balance hormones and has even been used by some men for ED. It can help in the production of both testosterone and estrogen. *be sure to first check with your doctor before taking DHEA because if your body is not deficient it can sometimes cause the opposite effects on hormones.
3. L-Arginine – This amino acid helps increase blood flow and may be helpful with ED.
4. Astragalus – Known for its benefits to the immune system and also its ability to balance all hormones by helping the body to adapt to physical and emotional stress.
5. Vitamins that also help – Vitamin D, Zinc aid in hormone regulation as well.
For Women –
1. Evening primrose oil – It has omega-6 fatty acids which can help your body regulate hormone levels.
2. Ashwagandha – Adaptogen herbs such ashwagandha help with numerous hormone producing glands which has also been effective in sexual disfunction and even infertility.
3. DHEA – DHEA has been known to help balance hormones and has even been used by some men for ED. It can help in the production of both testosterone and estrogen. *be sure to first check with your doctor before taking DHEA because if your body is not deficient it can sometimes cause the opposite effects on hormones.
4. Maca is an adaptogen herb that can balance hormones depending on what you need. Maca contains flavonoids that can improve mood, reduce anxiety, balance levels of estrogen, reduce hot flashes and night sweats. It can also increase energy, support stamina and help to increase libido.
5. Astragalus – is known for its immune stimulating action and its anti-aging effect. The latter is attributed to the compound cycloastragenol in the herb which activates the enzyme telomerase that protects DNA from degradation during replication. Beyond that, astragalus was chosen because of its ability to balance all hormones by helping the body to adapt to physical and emotional stress.
6. Yellow Curcumin – has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, especially in gynecologic and female disorders. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that improves estrogen metabolism and estrogen dominance.
7. Musta – is an emmenagogue, helping stimulate menstrual flow in women. This helps to promote healthy menstruation and regulates menstrual cycle. Combined with other
herbs to treat menstrual problems it can help in treating anemia and general weakness during your cycle.
That may seem like way too many different supplements to take, which is one of the reasons Nupeutics created the Hormone Master supplement where you can find many of the needed herbs to support hormone balance within one high quality supplement. To find out more about Hormone Master click HERE (link to product)
Additional Hormone Information
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