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Hormonal balance is essential for a healthy body and mind. Hormones are basically chemical messengers that control bodily functions including metabolism, hunger and reproduction. It also affects your weight and mood. It is the function of the endocrine glands to produce the exact amount of each hormone. But sometimes, it is unable to do so. This is when there is a hormonal imbalance in your body. Today, many people suffer from this imbalance. It may be due to lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits. Hormonal imbalance may also occur as you age, and your body undergoes certain changes.
But this is an undesirable state and it can lead to certain complications. According to researchers at University of Birmingham, increased levels of hormones including testosterone could cause a brain condition that can lead to blindness in women. According to this study in JCI Insight, the hormones known as androgens may be responsible for the development of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, also known as IIH. This is caused by high pressure in the brain that leads to blindness and incapacitating headaches.
Hormonal balance is important for total wellbeing. If there is any imbalance, your body will let you know. But symptoms may differ from person to person. It also depends on which hormones are out of balance.
You may experience a sudden gain or loss in weight along with increase in sensitivity to temperature. Other symptoms are unusual fatigue, changes in movements, dry and bloated face, muscles weakness, painful joints, hair fall and general stiffness. You may also experience palpitations, increased thirst and frequent urination. Sometimes, you may lose interest in sex and be nervous or irritable. Depression and anxiety are also symptoms of hormonal imbalance as is blurred vision and excessive sweating.
Hormonal imbalance may occur because of many reasons. But usually, it is the result of some underlying medical condition. If you are a diabetic or suffer from hyper- or hypo thyroidism, it can cause this imbalance. Other diseases like hypogonadism, eating disorders, some tumours, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing syndrome and stress can lead to this condition. Certain treatments like hormone therapy, some medications and cancer treatment can also cause this condition. A woman may suffer from this when she is nearing menopause or is pregnant.
This condition may be brought about by an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. Exposure to blue light also has an influence as does air pollution. Let us take a look at a few reaons why you may be suffering from hormonal imbalance.
Crash diet can wreak havoc on your hormones. Many of today's fad diets propagate starving yourself to lose weight. This is not good. At the same time, eating too much is also not advisable. Obesity can also lead to hormonal imbalance. You must eat a well-balanced, nutrition-rich diet and avoid processed foods and trans fats. Too much of tea or coffee is also not good for your hormones. Add a lot of fibre and carbs to your diet. Eat seasonal fruits and veggies and don't ignore fatty acids. Try to keep away from sugar.
You must achieve balance in your level of exercise. Too much or too little can adversely influence your hormones. But most people do not understand this and end up over-exercising or leading a too lifestyle that is just too sedentary. If you are not sure about this, take the help of a qualified professional.
Chronic stress can disrupt the balance of the oestrogen-progesterone hormones. It can transform progesterone into cortisol, the stress hormone. Stress literally throws your hormones off balance.
Hormone production decreases as you age. This is a common cause of hormonal imbalance in advancing years. It is especially true for women who go through many changes as they age. Their oestrogen and progesterone levels fall and stress and exposure to toxins in the environment make things worse. In men, testosterone levels decline with age.
Though sometimes, things may not always be in your control, there are a few things that you can do to ensure a healthy life. This will also help maintain hormonal balance in the body.
Protein gives your body its essential amino acids needed to maintain muscle, bone and skin health. It also helps regulate the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulated metabolism and fat burning. Make sure you add protein to every meal for best results.
Regular exercise can have a positive effect on your hormones. It can reduce the levels of the insulin hormone and increase its sensitivity. This will also save you from heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Take up strength training, aerobics, yoga or any other form of physical activity. If nothing, just go for a walk.
Stress is bad for your hormones. It leads to the over production of cortisol and adrenaline, which is also called epinephrine. It can cause excessive calorie intake and thereby obesity. High levels of adrenaline leads to high blood pressure. Reduce your stress. Try meditation or yoga. Go for a massage and listen to music.
It is well known that sleep deprivation is bad for your hormones. It can cause imbalance in many hormones including insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin and also the growth hormone. Try to sleep for at lead 7 hours every night.