Overcoming Hormone Challenges

Overcoming Hormone Challenges

Posted 26 Aug '18

For your optimal, healthy body and mind, your hormones should be balanced and functioning at their peak. A little disruption and the body immediately reacts with different symptoms.

The endocrine system releases chemicals that control different cell, tissue, and organ functions. The adrenal glands, the thyroid and the parathyroid gland, the pituitary gland, ovaries, testes, and pancreas, they are all part of the endocrine system.

Hormonal Imbalance Causes

Hormonal imbalance can be a sign of disease or chronic inflammation, and there is always an underlying cause. Below are several lifestyle factors that may cause hormones to become unbalanced:

  • Unhealthy diet
  • A history of diagnosed medical diseases
  • Gut, or gastrointestinal disorders
  • Food intollerances or allergies
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Chronic stress
  • Poor sleep
  • Some OTC medications or prescription drugs
  • Increase in inflammation brought on by poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle
  • Gene mutations
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals such as xenoestrogens that are found in plastic containers and personal care products including makeup.
  • Endocrine disruptors (chemicals that interfere with the endocrine system producing adverse developmental, immune, neurological, and reproductive effects. Even minute doses of which could lead to devastating effects that only show up several years after exposure.)

Chemical Endocrine Disruptors

There are several endocrine disruptors and they include the following:

  • Pesticides such as DDT
  • BPA, commonly found in canned food, baby toys, teethers, and pacifiers
  • Certain pharmaceutical drugs
  • Animal products and plant crops that have been exposed to pesticides, fertilizers, and hormones. An example is farm-raised fish.
  • Food and drinks that have been stored in plastic containers
  • Using non-stick pans and pots
  • Poorly filtered water or tap water
  • Synthetic chemicals used on cleaning products, personal care items, makeup, and nail polish
  • Artificial air fresheners
  • Tampons and feminine pads

Signs and Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

Signs and symptoms may differ depending on the type of disorder or illness it is causing. Diabetes, for example, often comes with weight gain, changes in appetite, eyesight problems, and damage in the nerves.

In both males and females, top hormone imbalance disorders are hyperthyroidism, Grave’s disease, diabetes, adrenal fatigue, and deficiency in cortisol caused by overworked adrenals brought about by chronic stress. Most commonly seen in women of all ages is progesterone deficiency. For menopausal women, it is estrogen deficiency. Insufficient progesterone levels leads to estrogen dominance. And too much sugar and simple carbohydrates causes androgens to elevate. For men over 50 years, testosterone deficiency is most common.

Look out for ANY of these:

  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite and/or cravings
  • Digestive issues
  • Low libido
  • Loss of muscle mass and gaining of belly fat
  • Irritability
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive sweating

Endocrinology Treatment

There are two endocrinology methods — Hormone replacement, wherein hormones are measured and identifying which ones need to be replaced to be elevated, and which ones need to be lowered; and Functional medicine, wherein the underlying factors that have caused the hormonal imbalance is addressed, and the body then regulates the hormones and eventually regain balance and optimise levels.

In hormone replacements, the causative factor is often disregarded, especially if the physician bases the treatment on numbers from tests alone. Functional medicine would be a more superior method since it aims to find out the cause and treat them.

Natural Ways to Balance Hormones

  • Eat healthy, organic, and nutrient-dense foods — organically farmed produce, wild-caught fish and seafood, grass-fed meats
  • Get enough sleep and develop healthy sleeping patterns
  • As much as possible, avoid food products that are packaged, whether in plastics, or cans
  • Store food in glass containers instead of plastic
  • Replace non-stick pans and pots with healthier alternatives such as ceramic, glass, top food grade stainless steel, or cast iron
  • Filter tap water
  • Prefer personal care and home cleaning products that are naturally-derived and earth-friendly. Throw out makeup that contain synthetic chemicals and go for ones that are made of natural ingredients and are free from mineral oil. Stay away from those that have “fragrance” or “parfum” in their labels as it is a catch-all term that includes phtalates, sulfates, parabens and other toxic chemicals
  • Learn to manage stress
  • Stay physically active through exercise
  • Opt for more natural birth control approaches

If you suspect that you or someone you know might have hormone imbalance, consult your Functional Medicine Practitioner now for help.

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