Boost your happy hormones. Use these principles to address hormone imbalance!
Happy Hormones are essential for growth, maturation, emotions, reproduction and metabolism of foods and energy. So many people walk around daily with their hormones out of balance and feel tired, lethargic and drag themselves out of bed. If you suspect you have a hormone imbalance and your happy hormones are lacking our team may be able to help.
1. Check your thyroid. You’ve probably heard of the thyroid, but did you know that thyroid disease is becoming increasingly common, particularly in Australia? It could be the result of many factors such as an ever increasing stress load, depleted nutrient content in the soil our food grows in, chemical overload or increased autoimmune risk. Both selenium and iodine are low in many locations of Australian soil. Thyroid testing should be part of your routine health check as it determines your hormone balance.
2. Are you sleeping sufficiently? If you are having difficulty sleeping it could mean that you have a melatonin-cortisol imbalance. Cortisol is the “fight or flight” response hormone, when it is high melatonin is then low (melatonin is what helps assist proper sleeping patterns). If you are under a lot of stress your cortisol levels are likely to be out of balance this then imbalances melatonin. These may cause a hormone imbalance and essentially if you aren’t sleeping properly your energy will not be optimal. Many people report they are getting enough shut eye, but perhaps not enough of the good quality type.
3. Nutrient absorption and gut function. Your digestive system plays a huge role in good health. It is like the root system of a tree, when the roots are healthy the tree is healthy. Did you know the digestive system is in fact a nervous system? It is called the Enteric Nervous System, it has clusters of nerves that release the exact same happy hormones or chemicals that your brain uses. These chemicals can influence your hormones. Bacterias in the gut have the potential to produce an enzyme called Beta glucuronidase, this enzyme can increase oestrogen re-circulation. This may lead to oestrogen dominance, this sort of imbalance is linked to painful periods, PMS, breast tenderness, irritability, weight gain, depression, fluid retention and lethargy.
4. Long term stress. This is one of the biggest contributors to hormone imbalance. The body produces a hormone in the body called pregnenolone. When you are exposed to stress the body uses this hormone to produce stress hormones and this can cause havoc on your reproductive hormones.
Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Its role is to help regulate our response to normal levels of physical and psychological stress. Clinically we frequently see cortisol levels either too high or too low. High cortisol is often seen in the acute stages of stress, however, when the stress response is activated too frequently the adrenals can fatigue and produce too little cortisol. Imbalanced cortisol levels are often seen in those suffering with unexplained fatigue, disturbed sleeping patterns, blood sugar level imbalance, increased fat mass, blood pressure issues, brain fog and altered mental performance.
Read more about pregnenolone steal here and how adrenals affect your energy, libido and vitality. This explains why happy hormones often go out of balance after long term stress.
5. Liver detoxification. Our liver is like the filter of a vacuum cleaner, the more clogged it gets the less it works. The liver is responsible keeping our body nice and clean. It assists in the removal of heavy metals, toxins, medications, hormones and pollutions. When the liver does not filter the way it should you may start to get an accumulation of unwanted “toxins” in the body, this can make you sluggish. We will often request a series of liver profile tests to assess your liver function including liver inflammatory markers and how testing of how efficiently your body clears toxins out of the body.
6. Get tested for pyroluria. Pyroluria is a genetically determined metabolic condition. Those with elevated pyrroles usually have an increased demand for certain nutrients that are essential for neurotransmitter production, such as serotonin and dopamine. These are your happy hormones that the brain uses! Pyrolurics are more likely to suffer with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, alcoholism, strong fatigue, temper outbursts, IBS, joint pain, memory loss or low stress tolerance. A simple urine test can confirm if you have elevated pyrroles.
7. Have your hormones been tested? Your hormone rhythm changes over the month and so the way you interpret those results should vary over the month. Often when reviewing blood tests it is evident that not all the hormones have been checked. Our Naturopaths prefer to do both blood and saliva testing to give you a description of hormones at the cellular and blood level.
Where to next?
Our Sunshine Coast Naturopath’s can offer you support by phone, skype or in person.