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- What you need to know about COVID-19 if you are pregnant - April 9, 2020
This is a 3 part series, this is part 1 of 9 ways to balance your hormones naturally. Did you know that your hormones are the main driver of your body? Hormone health is the most important aspect of a woman’s health. The power of your hormones affects mood, weight, bloating, bowel and gut health, fertility and infertility, ovulation, muscle growth and the development of a child.
The Importance of Hormones
How many of you have done fad diets and exercise regimes to remove that spare tire around your waist, and to your disappointment not much changes?
This is because so many issues associated with weight, skin (acne), insomnia, cravings, anxiety, depression and infertility are associated with your hormone health. Clean them up and have your hormones working at their best, which is vital for optimal health.
Cell receptors and levels of hormones decline with age, which results in various stages of endocrine hormone deficiency. What does this mean? Endocrine deficiency means your bodies endocrine system isn’t working as it should be.
Diabetes is one the most common endocrine disorders, along with cortisol disorders and fertility issues such as endometriosis and PCOS.
What do Hormones do in your Body?
The role of your hormones is to serve as chemical messengers throughout your body to perform different functions. These functions include:
- Regulating sleep
- Regulating metabolism
- Regulating your energy function
- Regulating your stress levels
The main glands/organs that secrete their messenger hormones for these tasks are:
- Ovaries and testis
- Pineal gland
- Pituitary gland
- Adrenal gland
- The gut
How to Balance your Hormones Naturally
1. Stress levels
You will commonly hear people say “stress makes you fat,” and this can be true; the body is continuously producing a stress hormone known as cortisol. Your body doesn’t know what type of stress it’s under when stressed. It is in a constant state of “flight or flight”.
Stress plays a large role in our hormone health and in the inflammation process.
An increased level of cortisol tells the body to store fat and increase appetite incase of starvation, and to preserve energy. Our bodies don’t know we are in a modern world and no longer living in a cave being chased by a saber tooth tiger!
In a study by Kyrou and Tsigos, 2009 it was shown that increased stress levels were associated with increased weight and metabolic syndrome also leading to obesity and type II diabetes.
High levels of cortisol and stress (in a study by Sanders and Bruce (1997)) can lead to reduced fertility.
Action steps you can follow:
- Practicing forms of yoga and meditation have been documented to reduce stress and have a positive impact on fertility for both men and women.
- Do things that make you relaxed, happy and laugh. It might be a funny movie, a walk in the country, playing with a puppy, meditation or yoga.
In Part Two or our series on 9 ways to balance your hormones naturally, discover how sleep, diet and exercise impact your hormonal health.