This topic is a dear one to my heart. Hormones and hormonal health. Over the last year, I have seen first hand how bringing my hormones into alignment can make a huge impact on your overall well-being. I am telling you – once you know how, you never want to go back!! This entire month will be dedicated to hormonal health. Let’s dive into this weeks post.
What are Hormones?
Let’s start with some basics. What are hormones? Hormones are chemical messengers in your body. They tend to travel around our blood streams to both tissues and organs. Hormones affect a lot of different processes. Amongst others, they influence our:
- Growth and development;
- Sexual function
- Reproduction; and
Hormones are made in our endocrine glands. These glands are mainly the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, and the pineal body. Hormones are also made in our ovaries and testicles. These chemical little fellas are incredibly powerful and a small change can bring them completely out of whack or create changes in our bodies.
Why is Hormonal Health Important?
As we have just seen, hormones affect and influence almost every part of our bodies and daily lives. Blood pressure, sex drive, hunger cues, and sleep are all affected by our hormonal health. This is also the reason why hormonal health is so important. When your hormones are in an optimal state, your body has the opportunity to function optimally.
It has to be noted that hormonal health in men is a lot more “regular” than hormonal health in women. Due to fluctuating hormones throughout the month, women are more susceptible to changes and our hormones can become out of alignment more easily. I will talk a lot more about hormones and the women’s cycle next week.
How to Support Your Hormonal Health
We have established why hormones are so critical for our bodies, and – thereby – hormonal health is so important. Some of this research is still emerging and has not been understood in detail. I fully trust that there will be more emerging research we will see over the coming years.
If you want to support your hormonal health, the best place is to speak to your physician and trusted care practitioner of choice. Get a full work of blood done and work out a plan with them.
How to Naturally Support Your Hormonal Health
Whilst you are waiting for that bloodwork to be done, or perhaps you want to find an easier place to start, here are things that you can do to support your hormonal health naturally. None of these are a total “game changer” and you have heard me talk about these oftentimes before, but combined they can make a true impact on your hormonal health:
- Protein. Protein supports your entire body and regulates several physiological processes, including growth, energy metabolism, appetite, stress, etc.
- Exercise. There are so many benefits to exercising, but in this context it enhances hormone receptor sensitivity which deliver both nutrients and hormones.
- Gut health. Your gut houses to a large extent your immune system. It also produces numerous metabolites, which can affect hormonal health.
- Keep your blood sugar levels stable. You have heard me go on and on about this in 2022 and I am not about to stop. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable HUGELY supports your hormonal health, as you are avoiding insulin spikes and insulin resistance, which has a big impact on hormonal health.
- Reduce stress. Stress is such a huge contributor to a hormone rollercoaster (think adrenaline and cortisol). In fact, there is emerging research that shows even if you are getting all the other “components” of a healthy lifestyle right. Stress can create such a huge inflammatory response in our bodies that it may diminish all the other excellent work you are doing. Practice yoga, tai chi or meditation in order to feel more rested.
- Get enough quality sleep. Good quality sleep is a great contributor to overall hormone balance. Remember a lack of sleep also throws leptin and ghrelin out of whack.
- Add healthy fats and fiber. Fats tend to lower blood sugar spikes, but are also involved with appetite and feeling longer full. Fiber supports your gut health massively, which again, is beneficial for your overall hormonal health.
The Takeaway From This Post
I hope this post has shown you how important hormones and hormonal health is and supported you in understanding your body a bit better. This topic is fascinating and may feel slightly overwhelming at first. What I can promise you, though, is the following. Once you get the hang of finding your optimal hormonal balance you will find it fascinating how quickly your body is able to regulate itself and come to an easy state of flow. Meaning the benefits of your investment will be visible almost immediately. What are your experiences with hormonal health? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!! Beautiful cover photo from Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash.