What do your Hormones do?
Your hormones are tiny little chemical messengers that whirl around your bloodstream telling your organs and body tissues to fulfill their functions. These busy bees affect your well being in various ways, which include:
- Your development and growth
- The way you metabolize food
- Sexual functionality
- Cognition and mood
- Body temperature
They impact on all aspects of your health and well-being. Making sure that you keep them in balance is crucial to your lifestyle. It doesn’t take much to throw them out of balance, so here are some signs that will warn you that all is not quite right.
* Constant weight gain - If you’re having a little trouble with your weight, 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 Cortisol production is disrupted (whether through stress or some other cause), it cannot not only cause weight gain, but can also dictate where that weight gain accumulates on your body.
* Poor Libido - Having a poor libido can also be one of the signs you have a hormone imbalance. The hormonal Androgen is manufactured in men by their testicles, and in women by their ovaries. Lack of this hormone can give rise to poor libido, even in women.
* Feelings of fatigue - Fatigue is another of the signs you have a hormone imbalance, especially if you are getting plenty of quality sleep, but still wake up feeling tired. This could be down once again to our good old friend Cortisol. The constant state of readiness that the presence of Cortisol brings about with regard to the fight or flight syndrome, occurs when feelings of stress are being experienced. If stress is present too often, this can lead to feelings of fatigue.
Another hormonal problem that can induce feelings of fatigue 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.
* Low mood - With feelings of low and bad mood such as irritability, anxiety, and depression, the Thyroid Gland can be the guilty party once again, and for exactly the same reason – over production of TSH through Hypothyroidism
* Insomnia and interrupted sleep - Insomnia and interrupted sleep conditions are often experience by women going through the Menopause or Perimenopause. It is a result of the huge change to hormonal balances. Unfortunately continued insomnia and interrupted sleep is only serves to make the condition worse. It’s a vicious circle!
The hormone Estrogen is the hormone that helps to maintain regular sleep patterns. The deficiency of Estrogen, which is a symptom of Menopause or Perimenopause, is a main cause of Insomnia.
Testosterone deficiency can also be an issue for women. In men, it often leads to Sleep Apnea causing interrupted sleep for both themselves and their partners.
* Excess Sweating - Excess sweating is another of the signs you have a hormone imbalance. Women going through the 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.
In both men and women, night sweats can be a result of problems with the endocrine system, brought about by over or under production of hormones such as serotonin.
* Problems with your digestion - If you are experiencing problems with your digestion, it could be brought about through the imbalance of 3 hormones in the gastrointestinal system. These are called Gastrin, Secretin, and Cholecystokinin, also known as CCK. These 3 hormones help to stimulate the actual digestive process that breaks food down into simple molecules that can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
* Craving for sugar - Another sign you have a hormone imbalance is a craving for sugar, which can be brought about by the gland we have already discussed on several occasions, namely the Thyroid gland. It’s another consequence of the condition of hypothyroidism, whereby the gland is underactive.
A craving for sugar can also be brought about through an adrenal overload. Again, this reaction is part of the fight or flee mechanism that we mentioned earlier, whereby the body boosts production of Adrenaline and Cortisol. Anything sweet is unfortunately a great source of energy (albeit only very short lasting) to feed the fight/flee preparation process.
* Hair loss - It was always thought that hair loss was usually the result of a lack of Testosterone. Whilst this may be true in terms of the root cause (ha ha – please excuse the pun) it is now known that Dyhydrotestosterone, or DHT for short, is believed to be the main culprit. Whilst women only have a very small level of Testosterone in their body systems, it is enough to cause DHT to trigger hair loss.
Did you know that by consuming yams and turmeric you could actually help balance your hormones! We can make you a herbal tonic containing herbs specifically suitable to you. Please call us, email or ask within.
Hormone Balancing Booster Juice
– 1 medium yam (2 cups)
– 2 inches turmeric root
– 3 carrots
– 1 cucumber
– 4 celery stalks
– 1 lemon (peel if not organic)
Getting the Balance Right - Hormones and health are closely related. You simply cannot enjoy good holistic health all the time that your hormones are out of balance – and the balance is a very fine one. Many of the symptoms discussed above do not necessarily mean that you have an actual hormone imbalance. These symptoms often relate to other conditions. This is why it is important to have a consultation with us or your G.P to find out all your symptoms so we can treat you right.