As women start to age, their hormones start to change, sometimes creating a hormonal imbalance in the the form of what we call ‘menopause’, but other studies have found this is not the only case and hormonal imbalance can actually occur at any age. Understanding what is causing hormonal balance is important since our hormones control our metabolic and reproductive systems.
How Your Hormones Affect Your Weight
When our bodies change, and we either start to lose or gain weight suddenly it can be easy to attribute this to exercise levels or your diet, but in actuality it might be your hormones that are affecting you. Your hormones can influence your appetite, which in turn could affect how much you are eating or exactly what you are eating.
If you are someone who tends to crave things suddenly, it might be your hormones talking and if these cravings are not necessarily healthy it can negatively impact your wellness in the long run. Another way hormones influence your weight is through controlling how much body fat you are storing.
There are many hormones that can affect your weight but some of the most common ones are leptin, cortisol, and estrogen.
- Leptin is classified as the hormone that controls if your body feels full or hungry. This could mean that it can either tell you to continue eating even when your body has enough food to sustain itself, or tell you you are not hungry when in actuality your body is in desperate need for food.
Not having control over this can be quite frustrating especially if you are trying to hit a certain goal in terms of your weight, which is why learning how to combat hormonal imbalance is so important.
- Cortisol is the hormone that controls your stress levels.If your cortisol levels are high, meaning your stress levels are high, your body tends to want to overeat to compensate for this issue. If you are someone who has been feeling extra stressed recently, and can’t seem to understand why, your cortisol levels might be coming into play.
- Estrogen is one of the most commonly known hormone, and it is classified as the female sex hormone. This hormone can simply fluctuate your weight within itself, whether it is high or low.
Symptoms and Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
Unfortunately for women, when it comes to the symptoms of hormonal imbalance the list seems endless. This is because your hormones play such an integral part in many aspects of your overall health. Other than weight fluctuation some other symptoms of hormonal imbalance may include but are not limited to: fatigue, muscle pain, sweating, hot flashes, constipation, feelings of thirst or hunger, depression, anxiety, dry skin, and troubling vision.
Now that we understand the possible symptoms of hormonal imbalance, we should dive into what exactly might be the cause of hormonal imbalance. Much like with the list of symptoms there are an array of possible causes, but some of the main ones are: an unhealthy diet, high stress levels, allergies, thyroid fluctuation, birth control use, and certain medications.
How To Combat Hormonal Imbalance
Combating hormonal imbalance can be a life changing experience which is why considering all of the above information is so crucial. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of possible symptoms or causes of hormonal imbalance, rest assured that you are not the only one and that overcoming it is not as out of reach as you might believe. Taking small steps at a time to better your overall health is always better than none.
In terms of your diet, having a healthy diet packed with vegetables is important as it promotes hormone detoxification. Even just adding some greens to your daily lunch salad, or adding some broccoli or brussel sprouts as a side to your dinner will do the trick. It is also important to have some healthy fats in your diet.
Some foods that are high in healthy fats are avocados, olive oil, or raw unsalted nuts. Whole fruits are also important to add to your diet as it helps promote stable blood sugar levels. Lastly, making sure your gut microbiome is in check also goes hand in hand with hormonal imbalance. Adding fermented foods or probiotics to your routine will be your new best friend to ensure healthy gut bacteria.
Probiotics can be found in the form of food, but also supplements as well. Our probiotic, Probiotic Renu, helps balance your gut microbiome, supports your digestive system, and boosts your immune system. It is a great addition to your morning routine, and you can start your day knowing you helped your body towards a better and more balanced you.
Aside from food and supplements, there are other ways to promote balanced hormones. Like previously mentioned, a lack of exercise in your routine can diminish your efforts. Exercising is a great way to reduce your insulin levels and increase your insulin sensitivity which in turn can boost your metabolism and any inflammatory issues you might be having.
Lastly, we have to make sure we are understanding when our body is under too much stress and learn how to combat that. Stress, regardless of the reason, can have major negative effects on your hormones. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce stress including: meditation, listening to calming music, journaling/venting, and/or yoga.
If you are someone who mentally feels stressed, journaling or speaking to a loved one about your concerns might be a great way to get that stress out. Sometimes you might find your issues feel smaller once they are out of your brain. In contrast, you might hold your stress more physically which is when yoga or meditation might be the better option for you.
Overall, hormonal imbalance can truly diminish many aspects of your life which is why being able to identify the symptoms and how to fix it is super important. Aside from choosing to do these personal practices for yourself it is also important to speak to your doctor about any concerns you might be having. Hormonal imbalance is super common and not something to shy away from or ignore, but instead we should all support one another in learning how to control it through our daily practices.