If you want to be the healthiest you possible, all your internal systems and processes need to work together in harmony. This is particularly important when it comes to your hormones.
Hormones are chemicals made by your endocrine system. They act as messengers running through your veins to help various functions in your body communicate with each other.
They help regulate your mood, sleep cycle, temperature, metabolism, heart rate, sex drive, appetite and many other systems. The human body produces about 50 different hormones.
How Do Hormones Fall Out of Balance?
No matter how healthy you are, sooner or later most of us will experience some kind of hormonal imbalance.
As you begin to put your reproductive years in the rearview mirror, your body slows down the production of different hormones. This temporarily nudges your chemical levels out of balance.
For women, this can feel like the normal symptoms of menopause or perimenopause. If you’re a man, you may experience hypogonadism with decreased libido, fatigue, muscle loss and erectile dysfunction. In some cases, this condition responds well to treatment. Most often, an injectable option is prescribed. To buy legal testosterone injections, you will need a doctor’s prescription, as this is the only way to get hormone treatment in the US.
But age isn’t the only thing that can throw your hormones out of whack. Here are a few other common causes of imbalanced hormones:
- Long-term stress or fatigue
- Sleep deficit
- Dysfunction thyroid activity
- Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
- Excess or insufficient weight
- Hair loss
- Use of certain medications and steroids
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Depression, anxiety and other mood issues
- Libido issues
- Excess adrenaline
Whether your hormones are out of balance, there are things you can do to control them and their symptoms. Here are easy tips we’ve put together to help you keep hormones in balance.
Eat More Protein
Including a bit of protein, every time you eat a meal can help balance your levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Having a nutrient-rich protein shake for breakfast is a great way to kick off your day.
Try to include some kind of organically sourced protein with both lunch and dinner. Choosing organically raised livestock and fish will help keep any weird commercial hormones out of your body.
Get Enough Sleep
Some of your body’s most important hormones are only released during deep sleep. These include natural chemicals that repair your tissues, boost your immune function and regulate your stress levels.
If it’s difficult for you to get to sleep or stay asleep, follow our four tips to improve your nights and get the quilty rest every night.
Be More Active
Whether you prefer strength training or cardio, any physical activity triggers the happy hormones – dopamine and serotonin.
Dopamine helps keep away depression and stress. Serotonin can improve sleep, memory, digestion and sexual function.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, exercise can increase your testosterone levels. For women, intense exercises like running or spinning can bring relief from uncomfortable menopause symptoms caused by low estrogen.
For men, testosterone naturally declines with age, which can lead to low sexual desire and muscle mass loss. Exercise boosts testosterone production, slowing down these age-related effects.
Pass On Plastics
One of the many reasons to avoid plastics is what they can do to your hormones. Most kinds of plastic contain chemicals that could mimic estrogen in your body.
Over the long term, exposure to even small amounts of these chemicals can throw your hormones for a loop. They can cause breast and prostate cancer, infertility, impotence and many other health problems.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners and Processed Foods
Insulin is a hormone your body makes that regulates your blood sugar. Eating refined sugars and carbs can send your blood sugar on a dangerous joyride that may have more downs than ups.
The more of these you eat, the more insulin your body has to make, which can eventually lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. Save processed and refined foods for rare cheat days, and use natural sweeteners like honey.
Supplements can work together with these changes in lifestyle to help maintain your hormonal balance. Look for products designed to regulate your stress response, balance your estrogen levels and alleviate menopause and PMS symptoms. Multivitamins can also supply important nutrients to help control your thyroid hormone production.
Use Non-Toxic Beauty Products
Many cosmetic and hygienic personal care products are made with chemicals that can disrupt your inner balance. They can seep through your skin into your bloodstream and affect your hormones.
Always check the ingredients before buying a product, and try to stay away from these toxins:
- Coal tar dyes
- Sodium laurel sulfate
- Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- PEG compounds like propylene glycol
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
Stress can cause a number of different hormones to dip and spike, causing all kinds of health issues. It’s probably unrealistic to try to avoid all stress, but there are things you can do to manage it. Meditation and social support groups can help calm your mind and keep your stress in check.
Hormonal imbalances can happen to anyone, so try one of the tips we mentioned above and they can help you avoid or even reverse. Start small and live a healthier, more balanced life.