We often talk about hormones in reference to puberty, menstruation and thankfully, more recently in regards to Perimenopause and Menopause as well. Quite often, women associate their hormones with being emotional or moody. However, we all have hormones, and they serve as messengers, controlling and coordinating activities throughout the body. When you’re not getting the right amount of a particular hormone, it can cause all kinds of health issues. Depending on the hormone, you could have stomach problems, insomnia and, yes, mood swings. A hormonal imbalance can sometimes take a long time to be detected. You might not realize that there’s anything wrong because you’ve grown accustomed to the symptoms you are experiencing, and feel that this is your “normal”. But addressing a hormone imbalance can improve your health and your life. If you are a believer in philosophy then you may appreciate that our mental health is influenced by our lifestyle, our history and where we have come from. It is important to always be aware of that when it comes to our health. Vision magazine talks more about philosophy in greater detail.
Signs You Might Have a Hormone Imbalance
You might suspect that you could have a hormone imbalance, but you’re not sure where to start. There are many signs that you may have too much or too little of a particular hormone. For example, you could be feeling tired all of the time, or you might be experiencing insomnia. Maybe you’re feeling forgetful, you have acne, or you’re gaining weight. Anxiety, depression and irritability could all be signs of a hormone imbalance. You could also have digestive problems, or be hungry all the time. If anything seems off, it could be a potential sign of a hormone imbalance.
Check With Your Doctor Whenever You’re Unsure.
The only way to know for sure if you could have a hormonal imbalance is to see a doctor. They can carry out blood tests, as the symptoms you experience could be associated with many other health issues. It’s important to investigate your problem to see if there is a possible hormonal imbalance. Your doctor might suggest that you see an endocrinologist, who specializes in hormones, so they can provide further help with your issue. They can then provide you with a course of action. Depending on your health history, they may prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or a more holistic approach.
Managing Stress Hormones
Cortisol is one of the hormones that is released when we’re stressed. When you are experiencing consistent levels of stress, these hormones can have a negative effect on your body and your health. They can even affect your brain, making it harder to learn new things. You may find yourself feeling forgetful or struggling to understand something. It can be worrisome, but finding ways to reduce your stress levels could help. Managing stress is essential for everyone. There are many ways to do it, from exercising to gardening. Doing things you enjoy will exercise your mind and can help you let go of stress.
Hormones and IBS – Your Hormones Do Affect Many Other Areas
There might be a link between the hormone serotonin and irritable bowel syndrome. Usually we associate serotonin with moods, but most of it is made in the gut. Its role in digestion may suggest a link to IBS. A high percentage of people with IBS are women, who often experience worse symptoms during their period. This suggests that estrogen and progesterone could also be linked to the condition. But you don’t have to have IBS to experience digestive issues caused by hormones. Many women experience problems before or during their period. Taking a good probiotic and increasing fiber in your diet can also help with digestive issues. Good gut health is of the utmost importance for finding hormonal balance.
Thyroid Symptoms: MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK
Another common hormonal issue is hypothyroidism. A lack of the hormone produced by the thyroid can cause fatigue, depression and anxiety. It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be similar to those caused by stress. If you suspect that you may have an underactive thyroid, you should speak to your doctor. Often times, thyroid symptoms mimic perimenopausal symptoms, especially if you are in your late thirties to mid-late forties and beyond.
Finding hormonal balance could solve a number of health issues. You should see a doctor if you think you might be experiencing hormonal imbalances. Every woman in her lifetime is affected by hormones, whether it’s her menstrual cycle or other factors, including lifestyle and stress. You don’t need to suffer, there are plenty of resources online (including right here!), that will allow you to feel more like yourself. Stress is such a huge factor for so many issues, many of which will manifest in a physical way, from digestive issues, to anxiety. Anxiety itself affects millions of women, especially during the perimenopause and menopause years. If you feel that you are experiencing anxiety often, you can talk to a professional. It’s important to find support in these times. Certain types of anxiety may manifest physically as:
- Racing heart, breathlessness or panic
- Quivering nerves, weakness and general uneasiness
- Shakiness or inability to do tasks efficiently
- Headaches, tension headaches especially and migraines
- Going to the toilet more frequently
- Lack of appetite or a bigger appetite.
Any of these could be symptoms of other things as well, but anxiety does play a part in this too, so be sure to talk to your doctor.
Just To Round It All Up….
There are plenty of ways to stay on top of your hormones. Look for signs and symptoms that indicate something may be out of whack. Seek medical guidance and support, while also seeking holistic and natural ways to support your endocrine system.
Here are some ways to improve your hormones naturally:
- Eat Enough Protein at Every Meal – protein is good for muscle content and energy.
- Pump up the greens! Eating greens on a regular basis helps hormones stay balanced.
- Engage in Regular Exercise – this is going to help your body keep fit and active.
- Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs – sugars will ultimately put pressure on your liver.
- Learn to Manage Stress – stress will affect hormones.
- Consume Healthy Fats – these will help your thyroid as well as your blood and heart.
- Avoid Overeating and Undereating – keep a simple and healthy diet and schedule that will help you from eating too much, if your thyroid is already underactive, then eating too much will lead to weight gain.
- Drink Green Tea- packed full of antioxidants and is great for your health.
- Eat Fatty Fish Often – it is full of Omega three and will be good for joints and your heart and brain also.
- Get plenty of quality sleep.
You’ve got the magic in you!
Cheers, Love & a Well Balanced Life!