Daria Bailey, FCP
Why Having Balanced Hormones is SO Important
Here at Groesbeck and on or blog we have talked a lot about hormones and why they are so important to conceiving a baby, helping with PMS, and fertility in general. But really having your hormones balanced at all times in every season of life is so important to your overall health.
"Hormonal balance is necessary for keeping everything functioning properly inside the female body. When a woman's hormones get “out of whack,” there are several unwanted consequences that can occur. All women will experience normal, temporary symptoms of hormonal balance."
Although it is normal for our hormones to fluctuate the goal or the hope is we can find a regime to keep the hormones at bay. There are many things that can come from an improper hormone balance, besides fertility related issues such as, constant fatigue, moodiness, photoflashes/night sweats, low libido, depression, mid-section weight gain, and brain fog, or even breast cancer.
Having to live on a daily basis with any of these symptoms is no way to live life fully. So how do we work to balance our hormones? First and foremost don't just make guesses about what is happening to your body, go find out. A lot of your hormone imbalance can show up on a blood test. Information is power, head to your doctor to inquire about a hormone blood test panel. Secondly we have to take a good look at what we are putting into our bodies and how we treat them.
It is annoying to look all around us and see the "diet culture" or some celebrity telling us we should eat this or try this. But really what we put in our body or how much of something we are consuming can really affect how our bodies function. The strain we out on our bodies because of the business of life is also an important factor to look at. Here are some things to consider:
Protein: Are you getting enough good quality protein. Protein is so essential in helping our Peptide Hormones. These hormones help balance things like stress, energy, and in some ways reproduction. In no way is anyone telling you to eat a dozen eggs at breakfast to help you have a balanced life, but really take a look at the amount or the kind of protein you are taking in. There may be a possibility that you need to take it up a step.
The Dreaded Exercise: If you are someone who hates to exercise I am so sorry and really I totally get it. And maybe it's not that you hate exercising maybe it's you just don't feel you have the time to exercise. It is a legitimate concern to feel you are so busy, but if you think about it wouldn't you feel better able to handle all the chaos if you physically felt better? Getting regular exercise can increase your hormone receptor sensitivity. In a study I found it talked about how beneficial regular exercise is to our hormone production:
"A major benefit of exercise is its ability to reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that allows cells to take up sugar from your bloodstream to use for energy. However, if you have a condition called insulin resistance, your cells may not effectively react to insulin. This condition is a risk factor for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease."
We know that exercising is good for you, for our muscles, to help maintain a healthy weight, for our heart, but it is such an important factor to our hormone health. I am not saying you need to join a gym and start working out for 2 hours a day, ummm no way! I think simply going for a walk up to 20-30 minuets a day could make a big difference.
Do You Have a Sweet Tooth?
I LOVE sweet things. Really it is huge problem for me. Cookies, candy, chocolate, ice cream, oh boy I just want to eat it all. And I know I shouldn't. I know eating all these things, on a daily basis is probably not the best choice for me. Too much sugar gives me acne, hurts my stomach, gives me a headache, and does not help my hopes to lose some weight. We all know that too many sweets can do this to us, but did you know it can also impact our hormone health?
Those added sugars again go back to that insulin resistance, but also it has a really big impact on your gut health. When our insulin is off and our gut health is out of wack it throws our hormones off in a big way. I always say, everything in moderation, but also try not eating added sugar for 2-3 weeks. Once that time is up take inventory of how you feel. Do you feel better without it? If so maybe it's worth eliminating it from your diet all together.
We all know stress is bad for us. I feel like stress is possibly one of the main factors in why we are seeing people struggle with their health so much. Cortisol is our stress hormone. This is literally the hormone that is supposed to help us with our long-term stress. But if we are in a situation of chronic stress, then that hormone production struggles to keep up. In order to help our cortisol to be at a healthy and even level we should try our best to keep our stress at a manageable level...Did I just make you laugh? Isn't it funny to think about trying to keep our stress level at bay? It makes me laugh! Cause it is so darn hard, but it is so very important. Just like everything else, finding ways to manage our stress with help our overall health, it is all connected.
The bottom line is your hormone health is very much connected to your overall health. Our bodies can only properly work if we are getting the right amount of our hormones. This all may seem overwhelming and trust me there are more things I can talk about, but it is crucial to our health. As a Fertility Care Practitioner I have not been trained in nutrition or diet, but I have seen a lot of people struggle with hormone issues. And in my experience I have learned what can help, but also how vital living a healthy life is to producing balanced hormones.
If you are someone who is struggling to get your hormones in line or may suspect something may be off, ask your doctor. Get a hormone panel done and work with a practitioner to learn how to look for those physical signs. Living a life feeling totally tired and off all the time is not a life we are meant to live. Finding a way to live a healthy life, will allow us to live our best life.
For more information about hormones or how to find a doctor to help you on this path head to our website and contact one of our practitioners. We would love to help you get to a place where you feel your best.