Do you have healthy hormones?

What does it REALLY mean to have healthy hormones? You may remember hearing about hormones in your elementary school health class, but beyond puberty, hormones play a vital role in our overall health through all stages of life. 

What are hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers that get secreted by the endocrine glands into the blood, which are then carried to the various organs of the body to fulfill their duties. Each hormone has a specific function in the body, and when the balance of these hormones is upset, it can lead to undesirable symptoms, and in some cases, serious health conditions. 

What are hormones responsible for in the body?

Hormones are involved in many bodily functions, carrying out many different duties within the body. 

Some of these duties include:

  • Growth and development

  • Metabolism of nutrients

  • Sexual function

  • Reproductive growth

  • Mood and cognitive function

  • Maintenance of body temperature

What happens when a hormonal imbalance occurs?

When your endocrine glands secrete too much or too little of a specific hormone, it can have effects throughout the body. 

Symptoms of hormonal imbalance include:

  • Unwanted weight gain

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle weakness, aches, tenderness or stiffness

  • Increased or decreased heart rate

  • Constipation or more frequent bowel movements

  • Frequent urination

  • Increased thirst and/or hunger

  • Lowered sex drive

  • Depression, anxiety or irritability

  • Infertility

  • Thinning or brittle hair

  • Dry skin

Hormonal imbalance can cause certain conditions, but these ailments themselves can also result in hormonal imbalances. 

Some of these conditions include:

  • Diabetes (type 1 and 2)

  • Hypo or hyperthyroidism (under and over-active thyroid)

  • Thyroiditis

  • Hypogonadism

  • Cushing syndrome

  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

  • Addison’s disease

What causes hormonal imbalance?

Changes in hormonal balance are often a result of aging, but can also occur if there is an issue in the endocrine system. This can be prompted by specific stressors on the body or endocrine disruptors, including:

  • Medications

  • Hormone therapy

  • Cancer treatments

  • Tumors

  • Eating disorders

  • Stress

  • Injury or trauma

Everyone will naturally experience periods of hormonal fluctuation in their lifetime, but women and men will experience hormonal imbalance differently, due to the difference in endocrine organs and hormonal cycles. 

Innate causes of hormonal imbalance in women includes:

  • Puberty

  • Menstruation

  • Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding

  • Menopause (including perimenopause and post menopause)

One of the most common hormonal imbalances that occurs in women is estrogen dominance. This imbalance is identified by an excess of estrogen, combined with low progesterone. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as:

  • PMS

  • Endometriosis

  • Ovarian cysts

  • Uterine fibroids

  • Cystic breasts

  • Heavy periods

  • Hormonal acne

  • Severe menopausal symptoms

How should I manage hormonal imbalance?

Depending on what type of hormonal imbalance occurs, there are different treatment options or lifestyle adjustments that can be made to amend the imbalance. A proven way to avoid or correct hormonal imbalances, is by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as:

  • Eating a balanced diet full of nutrients

  • Regular exercise

  • Managing stress

  • Practicing mindful activities such as meditation and yoga

  • Reducing consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates

  • Using natural cleaning products, and reducing toxic chemicals (such as bleach)

For women who experience estrogen dominance and suffer from painful periods as a result, Healthy Hormones is a great option. It contains 200mg of indole-3-carbinol, which detoxifies harmful estrogen by-products and relieves pain, breast tenderness and nervous tension associated with PMS. 

To continue the conversation around hormone health and more, visit CanPrev Women Conversations.

Nature's Vibe Natural Health Centre is home to many natural health Practitioners that can help you deal with improving hormone Visit our Centre's home site for details on the services available.

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