An essential advantage in the process of maintaining a holistic healthy lifestyle is to be able to spot the signs which indicate hormonal imbalance, since hormones play such an important role in virtually every aspect of your well being.
What is the role of hormones?
Our hormones are tiny little chemical messengers that move quickly into our bloodstream and tell the organs and body tissues to fulfill their functions. They affect our well being in various ways, which include:
- Our growth and development
- Sexual functionality
- Cognition and mood
- Body temperature
- The way we metabolize food
They impact all aspects of our health and well-being. So, their balance is crucial to our holistic healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, hormones can easily be thrown out of balance, and there are signs that should warn us that all is not quite right in the body.
Hormonal changes create chaos in our bodies. The most common events that get the most publicity are the hormonal changes that teenagers and pregnant women experience, and the so-called “change” that both men and women experience, but which is much more pronounced in females.
Hormones and health are so connected, that if everything is well, we live in a state of well-being, but when it’s not, we suffer numerous consequences.
These are 9 signs you have a hormone imbalance:
1. Constant weight gain
Sometimes, if you struggle with extra pounds, it doesn’t necessarily mean your diet’s wrong; it can be one of the signs you have a hormone imbalance. The so-called “stress hormone”, Cortisol is secreted by the Adrenal glands. When the production of Cortisol is disrupted, either through stress or some other cause, it can cause weight gain, but can also dictate where that weight gain will be accumulated on your body.
Increased Cortisol production stimulates an increase in the amount of Insulin released into your bloodstream. This can affect your blood sugar levels, which often results in increased appetite.
It was discovered that an increase in Cortisol levels can lead to “toxic fat” gathering in the abdominal area. This increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, both, a heart attack and stroke.
2. Hair loss
Previously, it was always believed that the main cause for hair loss is the lack of Testosterone, which may be true in terms of the root cause. However, now we know that the main culprit is Dyhydrotestosterone, or DHT. Whilst women only have a very small level of Testosterone in their body systems, it is enough to cause DHT to trigger hair loss.
3. Excess Sweating
This is another indication of hormone imbalance. Women going through Menopause, or Perimenopause, often experience hot flashes. At night, when in bed, these are known as night sweats, and are sometimes a precursor to the onset of menopause itself, if it is not already in full swing.
These night sweats, in both women and men, can be a result of problems with the endocrine system, which have resulted from over or under production of hormones such as serotonin.
4. Feelings of fatigue
Fatigue is another sign you have a hormone imbalance, especially if you are getting quality sleep, but still wake up feeling tired. This could be once again due to Cortisol. Cortisol leads to a constant emergency response, with regard to the fight or flight syndrome, which occurs when feelings of stress are being experienced. If stress is present too often, it can cause feelings of fatigue.
In the cases of chronic stress, people often experience Adrenal Fatigue, which is a result of the high levels of Cortisol. Cortisol actually controls something called the Circardian Rhythm. It eventually becomes disrupted, leading to very low levels of Cortisol later in the day. This brings feelings of emptiness and fatigue.
Moreover, feelings of fatigue can be also induced by another hormonal problem that comes about when the levels of TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) are too high. This can occur when the Thyroid Gland malfunctions in a condition known as Hypothyroidism.
5. Craving for sugar
Craving for sugar can also be a sign of hormone imbalance, which can be brought about by the Thyroid gland. It’s consequence of the condition of hypothyroidism, when the gland is underactive.
Adrenal overload can also bring about this condition. This reaction is part of the “fight or flight” mechanism, whereby the body boosts production of Adrenaline and Cortisol. Unfortunately, anything sweet is a great source of energy to feed the fight/flight preparation process, albeit only very for a short duration.
6. Low mood
In cases of feelings of bad mood such as irritability, anxiety, and depression, the Thyroid Gland can be the cause once again, and again for the same reason, over production of TSH through Hypothyroidism.
7. Insomnia and interrupted sleep
Women going through the Menopause or Perimenopause often experience insomnia and interrupted sleep conditions. This is due to the huge change to hormonal balances, but unfortunately, continued insomnia and interrupted sleep just make the condition worse.
During sleep, hormone levels and balances are addressed, so sleep deprivation will affect up to 10 different hormones. This results in issues with appetite, fertility, cardiac health and mental health too.
The hormone Estrogen is the one that maintains regular sleep patterns. Its deficiency, which is a symptom of Menopause or Perimenopause, is a main cause of insomnia.
Testosterone deficiency can also be a problem for females. In men, it often leads to Sleep Apnea, causing interrupted sleep for both, themselves and their partners.
8. Poor Libido
Hormone imbalance can also lead to poor libido. Lack of the hormone Androgen can give rise to poor libido, even in women. This hormone is manufactured in men by their testicles, and in women by their ovaries.
9. Digestion Problems
The imbalance of 3 hormones in the gastrointestinal system can make you experience problems with your digestion. These are called Gastrin, Secretin, and Cholecystokinin, also known as CCK. They help to stimulate the actual digestive process that breaks food down into simple molecules, which can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
If you wonder how to deal with a hormone imbalance, the answer is: through your diet! Did you know that the consumption of turmeric and yams actually help you to balance your hormones?!
Juice To Boost Your Hormone Balance
(Recipe adapted from: Rawedibles.com)
- 1 medium yam (about 2 cups worth)
- 2 inches turmeric root
- 1 lemon (peel it if it’s not organic)
- 1 medium cucumber
- 4 celery stalks
- 3 large carrots
Put all ingredients in a juicer and prepare your amazing juice! In order to avoid oxidation, drink it immediately.
Getting the Balance Right
Balancing your hormones includes reducing stress and consuming an all natural whole food diet. If you decide to pursue the hormone imbalance route, you’ll discover that a hormone diet can go a long way towards addressing many of your body’s possible hormonal imbalances.
When eating clean, try to buy local foods, or if impossible, make sure you know the companies you are buying your food from.
Hormones and health are closely related, so one simply cannot enjoy good holistic health all the time in case of hormone imbalance, and the balance is a very fine one. Nevertheless, many of the symptoms discussed above do not necessarily mean that you have an actual hormone imbalance, but can often relate to other conditions.