Are your hormones out of balance? Find out…
Hormones are the most potent chemical messengers in our bodies.
Produced by our endocrine glands—adrenals, thyroid, pancreas and ovaries or testes—hormones perform essential functions, relay important warnings and communicate messages throughout the body.
They assure that everything is running smoothly and that your rhythms stay in sync.
Many things can challenge your endocrine system, leading to imbalances in your hormone levels or function. The longer a system is “out of order” the more difficult it can be to bring it back into harmony.
Identifying and correcting these imbalances early helps maintain health and prevents the onset of chronic disease.
So how do you know when your hormones are out of balance?
Here are the top 7 signs and symptoms that may clue you in to a more significant underlying problem:
Everyone is tired sometimes. But you should recover with adequate rest, hydration and a healthy diet. If you feel you are taking care of yourself but are still way too tired, exhausted all the time or just can’t seem to get back to your best, consider having an comprehensive evaluation of your hormone levels. Adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism are more prevalent in our high-paced society than you may think.
It’s not “all in your head”. Neuroendocrinology is the study of the intimate relationship of the neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers of the brain, and hormones. Excess adrenal stimulation due to the outrageous stress that we subject ourselves to has become a silent epidemic. Cortisol and norepinephrine, produced and released from the adrenal glands, often underlie the feelings that you may perceive as anxiety.
Naturopathic medicine teaches us to calm this process through eating foods that modulate this response and avoiding foods that promote it. At Wellness Blueprint Health Centre we also teach techniques such as meditation, deep breathing and modulating heart-rate variability to engage the parasympathetic relaxation side of your nervous system rather than the sympathetic “fight-or-flight” impulses.
3. Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
Why is it that so many people struggle with weight fluctuations? Why is the scale so merciless folks are starving themselves and working so hard?
It’s because they are starving themselves and working so hard.
The body experiences these challenges as stress. And when the body is stressed, it produces more cortisol. Cortisol tells your body to hang on to that fat because it’s a great storage form of energy.
There are many reasons why someone may be having difficulty sleeping. But if it’s persistent, it’s likely related to your hormones.
Melatonin, the well-known sleep chemical, is a hormone released by the pineal gland in the brain. As a hormone, it is intimately related and affected by the other hormones.
You can think of the different hormones as pieces in a complicated game of chess. If you move one, it affects all the others and they have to move accordingly. With certain moves, things can get dangerous.
If you are not sleeping well, it would be wise to have a professional assist you in holistically determining why. Conversely, if you are imbalanced for other reasons, appropriate rest is necessary to help bring things back into balance.
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There are more neurotransmitters in the gut than there are in the brain. So it should be no surprise that individuals commonly experience gut symptoms related to conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Hormones influence gut function in other ways as well such as affecting the microbiome of the gut, the bacterial system in our intestines. Hormone imbalances can lead to imbalances in our bacterial colonies influencing their numbers and function. Gastrointestinal imbalances can be caused by hormone imbalances and vice versa.
6. Skin and hair changes.
The quality and vitality of your skin and hair is directly related to your hormones. Thyroid abnormalities, for example, may cause dry hair or skin, thinning hair, hair loss or brittle nails.
7. PMS and low sex drive.
Both men and women are subject to irregularities related to their sex hormones. Although women have a more obvious gauge of hormone balance with their monthly menses, both sexes can experience sexual dysfunction or issues with libido due to the complex intricacies and interactions of these powerful substances.
At Wellness Blueprint Health Centre we can help you to understand and resolve these imbalances.
Hormone management is a delicate, imprecise and sophisticated matter. Remember the analogy of the game of chess. Moving certain pieces changes the whole board, some more than others. Some moves can be really big game changers. And some moves can really get you into trouble. Be sure you are working with an expert in the game.