Optimal health depends on balanced
What do hormones have to do with your health? Well...everything! Hormones affect your energy, sleep, weight, stress response, menses, digestive function, immune function, and more! In short, balanced hormones are crucial for cultivating and maintaining health.
But did you know that our different hormone systems (such as the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, and sex hormones) communicate with and impact one another? This means that imbalances in one area often lead to imbalances in other hormones over time.
For example, a woman with adrenal dysfunction as a result of chronic stress can start experiencing symptoms of sex hormone imbalance, but the reverse is also true. And insulin resistance from long-standing blood sugar irregularities due to poor dietary choices can impact thyroid function, and vice-versa.
Aside from impacting one another, hormones also directly affect digestive and immune function.
One common example of hormone levels affecting digestion is the tendency toward constipation with hypothyroidism. Without proper amounts of thyroid hormone, the normal contraction of muscles lining the intestines is weakened, and the movement of stool through the GI tract is compromised. This can lead to dysbiosis (an imbalance of the microbes that live in the gut), hemorrhoids, and an increased toxic burden, among other issues.
Another example illustrates the relationship between sex hormones and the digestive tract. Cells in your gut have receptors for estrogen and progesterone, meaning your digestive system is designed to sense and respond to these sex hormones. This partially explains why many women experience a change in bowel habits depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle. It turns out estrogen and progesterone impact how quickly food moves through your GI tract, as well as the level of inflammation present in the gut.
Hormones also directly impact immune function. For example, increased cortisol output due to stress suppresses the immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick or developing cancer. Suboptimal thyroid hormone levels can hinder the immune system’s response to viruses and inflammation. Abnormally high or low levels of estrogen depress immune activity, and estrogen, progesterone and testosterone greatly influence the onset and severity of autoimmune disorders.
Symptoms such as fatigue, menstrual irregularities, painful or heavy periods, weight gain, anxiety, and insomnia, as well as the presence of autoimmune or gastrointestinal diseases, can be signs that one or more of your hormone systems is out-of-whack.
What areas have the greatest impact on hormone function and balance?
What you put into your body, how you live your life, and how you respond to stress.
When you work with me, you’ll learn how to incorporate health-promoting foods, lifestyle modifications, and natural therapies that enhance nutritional status, improve stress management, regulate sleep and energy, support detoxification, and optimize overall function and physiology so that you can restore balance and health to your hormones!
Ready to restore your health?
Schedule your comprehensive Naturopathic Health Consultation today!