You take care of yourself; you exercise, eat well, and maintain low-stress levels but something is not quite right. You may find yourself irritable, have a sudden breakout and may even be gaining a few pounds. So what’s going on? In some cases, it may be something that is no fault of your own. Hormone levels fluctuate throughout our lives and, if not in balance, can lead to some worrisome symptoms. Check your hormone levels in San Francisco.
Key hormones that can fluctuate at levels outside a healthy range include insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin, testosterone, and estrogen. While you are unable to control the levels of hormones and their fluctuations, there are ways to help steady their levels to some degree. Changes in diet and lifestyle can help hormones get back on track. Here five signs you may have a hormone imbalance and how to bring those hormones back in check.
Hormones And Weight Gain
Persistent weight gain could be an indication of insulin resistance, which means your body may not be as responsive to the hormone insulin, making it more likely that you store calories as excess body fat.
When weight is put on suddenly or the pounds continue to add on even though you’re exercising and eating well, hormones may be the cause. Excess estrogen, low thyroid, and insulin resistance are common reasons why it may be hard to lose weight.
Localized weight gain in your middle can also be an indicator of a hormone imbalance. If you tend to store fat in the abdominal core, this could indicate high levels of the hormone cortisol. Gas, bloating, and elimination can all be influenced by hormones. Excessive amounts of estrogen, cortisol and certain kinds of prostaglandins can cause loose bowels, while low thyroid may cause constipation.
A diet that is too high in processed and refined foods and or foods high in omega-6 can cause on-going inflammation and stress, affecting cortisol levels and overburdening the liver.
To help combat weight gain, there are a number of changes you can easily make to your daily diet. Cut out added sugar to balance your blood sugar levels and bring hormones back in balance. Replace high-glycemic foods like refined white flours with complex carbohydrates like whole grains and include more fresh fruit instead of sugary treats to help create more stable blood sugar levels. Relying on long-burning sources of healthy fats, protein, and fiber and eating regularly throughout the day will also support balanced blood sugar levels. Schedule an appointment at EZCare Clinic to talk to our doctors.
Exercise along with a healthy diet can enhance insulin sensitivity and can get you on track as a regular movement will help to sync your cycle. It is important to find the right type of exercise, however, and keep in mind that overtraining is not good for hormones that are out of whack. Moderate to gentle exercise is usually best with consistency.
Hormones And Low Libido
Many with women and men with hormone imbalances suffer from low libido. If your testosterone and estrogen are not at optimal levels for your gender, your libido may begin to fade.
Excess weight, stress and not enough sleep can all heavily influence these hormones. Losing the weight, minimizing your stress and getting enough sleep can help get you back on track. Also try taking a hot bath, performing meditation or deep breathing to relax.
Sleep and Fatigue Issues
Difficulty getting to and staying asleep can be symptoms of a hormonal imbalance due to high levels of cortisol. Stress, even if you don’t realize you’re stressed, can keep you awake as well.
Waking up and feeling exhausted during the day, even after a full night’s sleep, could be a sign of an under-functioning thyroid or adrenals. Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is another symptom of hormonal imbalance that can also cause fatigue.
Sleep is essential and works in harmony with your diet in reducing stress levels. Without enough sleep, cortisol and insulin are negatively impacted which will keep you in a state of hormonal imbalance.
Establish a good sleep routine. Go to sleep and wake up around the same time each day and allow for 7 or more hours in bed each night. Begin by dimming the lights, turning off all electronics and getting rid of any stressful thoughts you are experiencing. This should help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
PMS, mood swings, and fluctuations in emotions throughout the course of a month or even a day are normal. However, extreme PMS, sudden drastic mood swings or prolonged depression or anxiety may be a result of hormonal imbalance.
It is important to work with a doctor or physician who specializes in hormone imbalances. Hormones are complex and the endocrine system is not isolated. There are many factors that can contribute to hormonal imbalance and working with a medical professional can greatly reduce guesswork and give you personalized guidance to resolve hormonal imbalance for good.
Facial Hair and Acne
Large, painful pimples along the chin or jawline or facial hair growth are sure signs of hormonal imbalance. Adult acne can be both physically and mentally painful as well as embarrassing. Everyday topical treatments can pose some problems for adults as old skin is thinner and prone to dryness. Oral medications like the contraceptive pill and hormone-replacement therapy can effectively get rid of acne, but these are usually prescribed to counteract menopausal or hormonal symptoms. Oral antibiotics can be used but it is essential that you consult a dermatologist for advice in determining what treatment is best for you.
Hormone imbalances can lead to a wide range of issues that can be difficult to deal with. But by utilizing a healthy diet, avoiding stress and getting enough sleep, hormone imbalance does not have to control you, quite the contrary, you can control it. If you believe you have a hormonal imbalance and would like to get your levels tested, please contact us.