Hormones. You’ve heard about them from a young age. These messengers play a vital role in many processes and systems. As a result of being triggered, hormones are released into the bloodstream as a means of transportation to their target cells. When hormones find the cells they need, they bind to receptors. Most of the time, the surface of these cells is optimal, and that hormone can work effectively. But there are times when these pathways are blocked or negatively affected, and things can get a little out of whack. Today, we want to dive into this topic to show why it’s important to balance out our hormones, how it affects our weight, and how we can find balance through the choices we make daily!
Hormone Balancing – Cortisol, Stress, and Weight
As our daily stress increases, so too have the number of studies done on this topic. There have been a number of recent studies done that show a correlation between uncontrolled stress and abdominal fat distribution. As we’ve discussed before, cortisol is our primary stress hormone. It increases the amount of glucose in the bloodstream and optimizes the brain’s use of it during a “fight or flight” situation. But as our daily stressors are no longer include escaping a lion or bear, we sit with that stress hormone for far too long. The prolonged elevation of unstable insulin production can lead to unwanted weight gain – even if you’re working out later on in the day.
Other Stress Side Effects
These daily stressors, toxins, and other factors activate our adrenal glands. And once upon a time, this ancient response was a powerful tool for survival. But that was because the response was not constant. In today’s world, it’s easy for our adrenal glands to always be active. This stress reaction creates swings in cortisol levels that can impact our energy levels and mood. This adrenal stress also causes low levels of serotonin, depression, and poor sleep.
The term estrogen dominance comes from a menopause theory about a metabolic state. It is in this state that estrogen levels outweigh progesterone levels in the body. But as of late, medical professionals have been seeing this excess level of estrogen in non-menopausal women. Estrogen is a crucial component of bone growth, blood clotting, and reproduction. But just as you can have too much of a good thing, the same is true of this hormone. There are only a few ways in which the body can acquire that much estrogen:
- Producing too much of it naturally within the body
- Absorbing it from either the environment or through diet
Many of today’s products contain some kind of estrogen – especially toxins from pesticides, herbicides, and growth hormones. A compound known as xenoestrogens increases the body’s total amount of estrogen when consumed. These compounds are not biodegradable and end up being stored in our fat cells – which continues the cycle of estrogen production.
What You Can Do for Hormone Balancing
If you think your hormones might be out of whack and interfering with your body, there are a few things you can do:
This is the most accurate way to know whether or not your hormones are out of balance and interfering with your ability to maintain your weight. Look for a practitioner that you trust to help you regain your optimal health as there are a number of options and price ranges in regard to hormone testing.
Saliva testing is another, yet more affordable, way to learn about your hormone levels. Most of these tests can be done in the comfort of your own home. Saliva testing can show an accurate measure of cortisol, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Hormone Balancing Diets
As we’ve said before (and will say again), your health is drastically affected by the food you eat each day. You simply can’t outrun your fork! As your nutrition impacts your mood, energy, recovery, and performance, it also affects your hormones.
To help cell communication and hormone balancing, add foods into your diet such as:
- Lean protein sources
- Leafy greens
Avoid foods that will promote and elongate periods of inflammation like sugar, gluten, highly processed foods, dairy, excessive alcohol, and excessive protein.
Hormone Balancing with Zock Family Chiropractic
Part of achieving our best physical and emotional health is through chiropractic care and massage therapy. Chiropractic care is focused on allowing our spine and nerves to work to their potential. This results in not only allowing our organs to function but for them to function to their best ability. Dr. Zock would love to discuss your concerns in regard to resetting your health. Her vast knowledge of natural supplementation and body processes make her a great guide in helping you make the best choices for your body. Contact our office in Cranberry today to schedule an introductory chiropractic treatment session. We can discuss your pains and needs as part of my initial chiropractic workup for you as a new patient to our practice!
* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.