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The COVID-19 pandemic has created havoc across the world, causing concern, fear and stress among people. The lockdown has further added to the woes of the people, taking a heavy toll on their mental and physical health. If you're feeling tired or out of whack at this moment, it may be because of your hormones going out of balance.
Hormone balance is an essential part of wellbeing because hormones play an important role in how your body functions. Hormones can influence one another, and so if one hormone gets out of balance, the consequences can ripple throughout your body. Fatigue, brain fog, sudden weight gain, and hair loss are some of the symptoms of hormone imbalance.
Balancing your hormones is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. But some of your bad habits may cause hormonal imbalances. These include poor diet, stress, lack of sleep, or a sedentary lifestyle and it is pretty obvious if you're indulging in any one of these bad habits at this time of uncertainty and stressful environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your body produces over 60 kinds of hormones, each of which has a specific function. If you want to improve your health and feel normal once again, try to find out what aspect of your lifestyle, and its corresponding hormones, are unbalanced so that you take the necessary steps to bring them back on track. Here are four ways the COVID-19 lockdown can put your hormones out of balance.
Your diet plays a major role in influencing your hormones. If you're are taking too much sugar, simple carbohydrates and processed foods, you need to control your diet. This unhealthy eating habit can increase your blood glucose levels and affect the body's production of insulin, a hormone that helps your body to process sugar into energy. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. Excessive sugar intake can cause insulin resistance, which can lead to acne breakouts or even diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Eat a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, low fat meat and whole grains to keep your blood sugar from spiking too high or low. Yes, low blood sugar can be a problem too. Called hypoglycemia, low blood sugar can lead to mood swings, night sweats and heart problems. Make sure to consume enough calories based on your daily physical activity, otherwise you can develop nutritional deficiencies, which can also put your hormones out of balance.
Stress and anxiety during a pandemic are a common issue. But if not kept in check, stress can negatively affect your hormones. When your body is stressed, it produces elevated amounts of the hormones - cortisol and adrenaline. When these hormones build up within the bloodstream, they can wreak havoc on the immune system and mental functioning. . Too much cortisol can also cause a spike in the glucose levels and affect insulin production and blood sugar levels.
Chronic stress can even impact your sex hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone, leading to irregular periods and decreased sex drive.
Try stress management and daily relaxation techniques to regulate hormones.
Are you struggling to sleep? Just like stress, lack of sleep can raise cortisol levels, and affect your blood sugar. Insomnia coupled with a poor diet can put you at risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure. Constant insomnia can lead to overproduction of adrenaline, which both keeps you awake and wears you out. Avoid caffeine as it can aggravate the problem, instead drink herbal teas. Don't stay up late at night, try to go to bed earlier. Turn off electronics and dim the lights in your home, it will signal to your body that it's time to sleep.
If you find that your sex drive has decreased dramatically, ask yourself when the last time you exercised was.
Regular exercise, especially cardio, causes your body to release endorphin, the hormone responsible for activating the pleasure sensors in the brain. This hormone is also known as the 'feel good factor.' If you exercise, you'll feel fuller longer and less hungry. This is because exercise also influence the 'hunger hormone,' ghrelin. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle or couch potato behavior causes ghrelin to increase, which will trigger hunger and make you eat more.
Exercise also helps regulate blood sugar and burn off excess energy derived from food. When you remain sedentary, the body turns unused calories into fat instead.
Increase your physical activity by doing household chores, doing yoga or just walking around the house a few times. This will greatly enhance your hormonal balance, and prevent mood swings and fatigue during this lockdown.
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