There are many toxins in our modern world that disrupt our hormones. Most people think of pesticides, food chemicals, cleaning products etc. when we talk about hormone disrupting toxins. Yes, those toxins can disrupt your Testosterone, Estrogen, and Progesterone, but so can stress.
The human body has an amazing ability to handle stress and is able to heal beautifully under most circumstances. The problem lies in the fact that our bodies were designed to deal with short lived stressful situations, not long term ones. We were well designed to fight off a predator or heal from an injury. We were not designed to live in fight or flight mode on a daily basis.
Traffic, financial issues, work, relationship issues, news, being constantly accessible by cell phones, etc are all fairly new experiences for the human body. The stress response that keeps you alive does not understand the difference between real danger and things that are in our minds.
The end result: your adrenal glands work too much and you can end up with adrenal fatigue. This disrupts your Cortisol, Progesterone, Estrogen, and Testosterone production. You can end up tired, gaining weight, irritable, having sleep issues or suffering from one of many other symptoms. Rebalancing your hormones with bio-identical hormones will help you to heal and feel better. Minimizing your stress exposure and readjusting how you deal with stress is also important.
This is the time of year where people are highly motivated to get healthy. Tap into this motivation and write down the things that you want to improve about your health. Then write down how you would feel if you had these things. We do not do things logically or everyone would eat perfect and always exercise because we all know we should. We do things based on emotion. It is important to know this so that you can utilize this fact to help you.
Think about this: why do you want to be healthy? Is it to feel good fitting in your pants? Is it to have the energy to do things with your family? What does being healthy do for you emotionally? Really think about it and write it down. Nothing is too silly!!
Then write down small things you can do to reach your goals. Take small steps each day and focus on how you feel and your emotions. Do not focus on the scale or any setbacks you have along the way. Focus on the long term emotional benefits of being healthy and realize that it does not mean you have to be perfect. Being healthy means doing the right stuff most of the time and having it be your main belief, it includes having some room for indulgences at times. Focus on progress not perfection and you will be healthy: physically and mentally.
Stress, Hormones, And Life
Stress is pretty much an every day occurrence these days. You are bombarded by negative news, financial stress, a life on the constant go, among other things. Your body has an amazing network of hormones that keep you alive and functioning. The problem is that your body was not designed to deal with constant daily stress. Your body was designed to deal with temporary stress (running from a predator, chasing after food, etc) and then be able to have the time to recover.
Living in this world depletes many critical hormones and leads to fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression, a lack of well being, loss of libido, hot flashes, weight gain, etc. Our medical system has gotten used to simply treating the symptoms with different medications, rather than treating the underlying hormone imbalance.
Re balancing your estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, and thyroid (the major hormones that get imbalanced) requires a holistic approach. Taking bio-identical hormones definately helps you to feel more balanced. In addition there are many lifestyle changes that you can do: getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, eating a diet rich in organic vegetables/fruits, deep breathing (breathe in to the count of 4 and out for the count of 7), avoiding stressors in your life when possible, and eliminating hormone disruptors. Hormone disruptors come in the form of hormone fed dairy/beef products, and skin care or cosmetics that contain parabens/mineral oil/dyes/etc.
Regaining your optimal balance takes some effort but it is well worth it. Feeling full of life and having the energy and mood to enjoy your life is worth some money and time.
Memory and age
We should all be able to live a long time and with a good memory. Losing your brain function is not normal, nor should it be accepted. It is time that we all realized that we are meant to live vibrantly and not slowly deteriorate for many years.
In today’s society, many people lose brain functioning as they age and there are many causes. Of course we all know about Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease but did you know that stress, nutrition, and hormonal imbalance all can cause a bit of brain fog?? I have seen a lot of patients get evaluated for memory loss, only to find out that it was one of those three things.
Sugar and gluten are two of the big culprits I see in a person’s diet that can affect memory. Excess alcohol/caffeine and artificial sweeteners are other things that can impact memory. Also a lack of certain nutrient can cause you to have an issue with memory. Low testosterone is often a cause and rarely checked for by doctors. If you are having memory issues that no one can figure out for you, then I advise a full nutritional evaluation, hormonal evaluation, and an evaluation of how you can manage your stress. You will be surprised how easy it can be to fix your brain when you appropriately find the problem.
Often people will come to me complaining that their mood is off and that they feel like they are on the edge. Sometimes they feel like crying at the drop off a hat and other times they want to bite someone’s head off. These are definately signs of hormonal imbalance!
Your hormones are a vital piece of your mental well being. When you have an excess of one hormone and a deficiency of another, this can wreak havoc on your mind and body. Commonly, I see an excess of Estrogen and a deficiency of Testosterone and Progesterone. This can present as mood instability, low sex drive, fatigue, sleep issues, weight gain; among other things.
Attaining proper hormone balance involves eating a healthy diet full of organic non-GMO vegetables/fruits. Regular exercise is also important. You can make your exercise fun and easy to incorporate in your life. In addition, replacing your deficient hormones with bio-identical hormones will help you to live a balanced life in the crazy world that we live in.
Stress And Your Body
Today’s world is full of stressors and your body pays the price. The normal stress response was helpful when a person encountered a threat, such as a tiger or bear. The hormonal stress response would save your life. The problem is that this response was not designed to deal with chronic daily stressors. When you are exposed to stressors on a regular basis, your adrenal glands get “fatigued” and your cortisol (main stress hormone) gets depleted and you can end up tired, achy, overweight, and mentally off.
Now, you can not change the stressors in the world, but you can change your response to them. You can choose how to react. Take a deep breath and count to 7 breathing out. Do this for 5 breaths throughout the day and anytime you feel stressed. Focus your mind on solutions, not problems. Life is always going to have speed bumps, your response is what you control.
I advise turning off the news since it tends to be negative. Also, surround yourself with people who are more positive minded and not people who complain all the time. Exercise regularly and do yoga or meditation. Keep a daily journal of what you are grateful for. Helping to balance your hormones by minimizing stressors and changing how you respond to stressors is in your control!