The brain and nervous system play a huge role in the functioning of our body but there is a secret service also doing a lot of the grunt to keep us living optimally.
Inside of us are silent workers. Special chemical messengers made in the endocrine glands that run in the background, which command most of our major bodily functions. They control things ranging from the most basic need to feed, to mood, emotions, and intricate orders like reproduction.
These handy little couriers are our hormones. Lets go over some of the signs that show you may have hormonal imbalance, and the different ways to set yourself up for success against it.
The Signs of Hormonal Imbalances
Insomnia – There are approximately 10% of our population who have mild insomnia. Persistent insomnia may be caused by a lack of the hormone Melatonin; the sleep chemical. But, as hormones and neurotransmitters work synergistically this is usually caused by an imbalance elsewhere… such as Serotonin or Cortisol. Serotonin converts to melatonin when the sun begins to set allowing us to feel groggy and less alert – the perfect remedy for sleep time. When we do not have enough serotonin we cannot make enough melatonin which disrupts a person’s circadian rhythm and ability to rest.
But let’s go back one step further. If a person is feeling stressed and under the pump this elevates cortisol levels (more on this below) in the body which in turn suppresses the feel good hormone, Serotonin… are you starting to see the links here??
Any hormonal imbalance, usually created by lifestyle choices creates a cascade of detrimental health effects in our body.
Anxiety – Everything isn’t always “In our heads”. Our imbalanced hormones may lead to anxiety disorders. High amounts of stress can lead to overstimulation of the adrenal glands. This overstimulation would then cause the overproduction of norepinephrine and cortisol, which is responsible for those feelings of anxiety and panic.
Cortisol raises our blood sugar levels, which then increases the demand of insulin, especially when we are not physically active to release the stress chemicals from our system. Cortisol also interferes with insulin sensitivity in the cells so high cortisol levels can create multiple issues with the blood sugar balance and cell uptake of glucose.
Changes in Hair and Skin – Once our hormones go out of balance, the quality and vitality of our skin and hair drastically changes. One example is when thyroid abnormalities (thyroid being a large ductless gland found in the neck that releases hormones) occur in a person, making hair grow thinner, nails to become more brittle, and skin to dry up.
Getting Our Hormones back in Balance the Natural Way
That all seems pretty grim, but in truth, correcting hormonal imbalances can be done with a little TLC.
Healthy Fats – Healthy fats not only promote weight loss, keep inflammation at check, and boost metabolism, but it is also required by our bodies to manufacture hormones. Foods to include are;
- Coconut oil
- OIly fish such as Salmon
- Hemp products
When supplements are useful – Although it’s true that having a healthy diet is vital, it still isn’t always enough if we do not eat organic and fresh foods. This is where supplements come in handy because they fill in the gaps in nutrition. Things like probiotics (which help repair our gut lining) and bone broth (which soothes the digestive system), all work together to bring hormones back to balanced level.
Consuming Adaptogenic Herbs – Herbs such as Rhodiola, Astragalus and Gotu kola are called adaptogenic herbs, which have been used for centuries to defend the body from various diseases and aid getting hormones back in balance.
Our hormones are amazing. They keep our body temperature regulated, sex organs functioning and play a role in all of our bodily systems. Having a well-balanced lifestyle with plenty of exercise, rest, stress management and good nutrition will assist in keeping our hormones in check.