Hormonal Health Issues? Here's How to Fix 'em!
Hormones, the chemical messengers in your body, significantly impact your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Some examples are appetite, mood, and weight which are controlled by hormones. Any hormonal health issue can impact your mood, weight and hunger.
Normally your level of hormones is maintained at a level required for the upkeep of your health. However, changes in lifestyle and food habits can influence hormonal balance. With a healthy lifestyle and diet, your hormonal health can be enhanced to improve your overall wellbeing and performance.
Tips To Tackle Hormonal Health Issues
Your hormonal health can be at its peak if you follow some of the tips mentioned below
Increase Protein Intake
Proteins are required for the production of peptide hormones which are protein-derived as well as for providing amino acids which the body cannot produce naturally. So it is essential to add protein-rich foods to your diet to get to the essential level. Peptide hormones are produced by your endocrine glands from amino acids. They regulate many bodily functions like appetite, energy metabolism, growth, reproduction, and stress.
Protein consumption impacts the hormones that control food intake and hunger and send signals to your brain about your energy level. According to studies the two hormones i.e.Glucagon-like peptides-1 and peptide YY that make you feel satiated are produced efficiently when protein is consumed. Additionally, the production of Ghrelin, the hunger hormone is reduced on consuming protein and restricts calorie intake. A satiated feeling and restricted calorie intake will culminate in weight loss. A minimum of 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal is recommended.
Manage Healthy Weight
Weight gain is a result of hormonal health issues. This could lead to serious conditions like insulin insensitivity and also impact reproductive health. Weight gain is closely linked to insulin resistance and increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A reduction or lack of hormone secretion from the ovaries or testes is known as hypogonadism and is linked to obesity. This is the most significant side effect of hormonal health issues in men. So obesity strongly correlates with depleted levels of testosterone in men and also causes insufficient ovulation in women, both of which lead to infertility. Studies have indicated that weight loss can reverse this condition. Restricting calorie intake to an individual’s recommended level will help in maintaining moderate weight and hormonal balance.
Maintain Gut Health
Your gut is a powerhouse of friendly bacteria that produce a range of metabolites that impact your hormonal health. Gut microbiomes control insulin resistance and appetite to maintain hormonal balance. Fermentation of fibre occurs in your gut microbiome that helps in the production of short-chain fatty acids like propionate, butyrate and acetate. Acetate and butyrate facilitate calorie burning and control satiety and help with weight management and avert insulin resistance.
Studies have shown that obesity can alter the composition of the gut microbiome, and promote inflammation and insulin resistance. Lipopolysaccharides(LPS) produced by specific bacteria in the gut are high in obese people and may raise the risk of developing insulin resistance.
Include Healthy Fats In Your Diet
High-quality natural fats may help you lose weight and have less hunger. Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCTs used as energy are better absorbed by your liver and result in increased calorie burning and they are less likely to promote insulin resistance.
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that help insulin sensitivity by lowering inflammation and inflammatory markers. They also raise cortisol levels and lower stress. MCT oil, avocados, almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, fatty fish, and olive oil all contain these beneficial fats. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids may limit the rise of cortisol during long-term stress. Including healthy fats in your diet will help in maintaining hormonal health.
Incorporate Exercise To Your Daily Schedule
Consistent exercise has a great impact on hormonal health. It increases hormone receptor sensitivity and improves the delivery of hormonal signals and nutrients in addition to improving blood flow to your muscles. The key benefit of exercise is to increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin, a hormone, enables the absorption of bloodstream sugar by cells to be used as fuel. If you have insulin resistance your cells will not respond to this hormone. This will enhance the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Various forms of exercise like cardio, weight training, and HIIT help in averting insulin resistance. Exercise may also enhance levels of hormones like testosterone, IGF-1, DHEA, and human growth hormones that maintain muscle mass as we age. Even a regular 30-minute walk will help in raising the levels of these hormones if you are unable to indulge in intense physical activity.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Stress will impact your hormonal health negatively. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is produced by events that trigger your body’s reaction to stress. Increased levels of cortisol will lead to a chain reaction. Increased appetite, and excess consumption of sugary and fatty foods, lead to obesity. It also promotes the creation of glucose from sources other than carbohydrates which may culminate in insulin resistance.
Engage in relaxation techniques, like yoga and meditation, to lower your stress and cortisol levels. Make an honest effort to fit these techniques into your busy schedule as it is imperative to keep stress in control for robust hormonal health.
Improve Sleep Quality
Every effort you put in to maintain hormonal health will be in vain if you lack quality sleep. Poor sleep quality will create an imbalance in hormones like insulin, leptin, ghrelin, HGH, and cortisol. Poor sleep quality will increase the level of cortisol which will lead to insulin resistance. Lack of sleep raises the level of ghrelin and lowers the level of leptin. The brain requires uninterrupted sleep to go through the five cycles of sleep that is required for the release of growth hormones.
Try to get a minimum of 7 hours of good sleep to maintain hormonal health.
You need specific amounts of hormones as they are involved in every bodily function. An imbalance in hormonal health can raise the risk of diabetes, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Though age and other factors that are not under your control impact hormonal health, there are ways you can tackle the issue. Follow a healthy lifestyle, improve your diet and sleep quality and the result will follow.
What are the common causes of hormonal imbalance?
High-stress levels, compromised gut health, and increased inflammation are some of the common causes of hormonal imbalance.
What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance?
Some of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance are weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, and itchy skin.
How to diagnose hormonal imbalance?
Blood tests are the only way to diagnose hormonal imbalance. Your doctor will recommend a blood test to check your cortisol, testosterone, oestrogen, and thyroid levels.
Which specialist should you consult for hormonal issues?
Endocrinology is the study of your body’s hormones and endocrinologists who specialise in this area should be consulted for hormonal issues. They will diagnose, manage, and treat different issues that impact your endocrine system.
Is there a hormone to regulate sleep?
Melatonin is the sleep hormone. Effective release of melatonin improves your sleep quality. If your sleep pattern is disturbed you can resort to sleep supplements that facilitate the release of melatonin to regulate your sleep cycle.