WHY HORMONES GO ROGUE AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT ITApr 18, 2023
I used to think, years ago, as I'm sure many of you do as well, that there are certain things that happen hormonally as we age and there's not much we can do about it, right? Wrong. Well, yes you, may have thought that once too, but let me assure you that assumption was incorrect.
Yes, things happen. Changes occur that bring about symptoms and feelings that we are not always happy about. But are they all normal? And should we be expecting them and all the crazy that comes with and call it normal? I'm living proof that this doesn't have to be the case. Many functional medicine doctors and natural health practitioners agree and say the same.
Well known physician and author, Dr. Mark Hyman, stated in one of his podcasts, “.... unfortunately, especially for women, the signs of hormonal imbalances are constantly being written off as “normal.” I’m here to tell you that they’re not!” Great news, right? As Hyman suggests, hormonal imbalances and the fallout that goes with, happens when your body is out of balance. Women are more susceptible especially after the age of 40 and as menopause symptoms start to creep in. But that's not to say that men can never be affected. Andropause is a real thing as well. Both are affected by hormonal imbalance.
Not surprisingly, the key culprit in any hormonal imbalance or dysfunction, is food. Not only what you eat, but how you eat it can either set your body up to be in a state of balance and calm, or a seriously hot mess. And when you're talking hormones, “hot” is something most of us want to avoid.
When it's not working properly, a condition known as insulin resistance, insulin is the hormone largely responsible for inflammation, weight gain, and chronic disease. Insulin is literally a “fat feeder”. The Cleveland Clinic defines insulin resistance as, “...a complex condition in which your body does not respond as it should to insulin, a hormone your pancreas makes that’s essential for regulating blood sugar levels.”
An unhealthy body won't release that excess weight, neither will a body struggling with dis-regulated blood sugar. When blood sugar is out of balance, hormones are as well. If you're thinking balancing hormones is really only important for those women dealing menopause, and men facing andropause, think again. The Cleveland Clinic defines hormones as, “..chemicals that coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages through your blood to your organs, skin, muscles, and other tissues. These signals tell your body what to do and when to do it.” I'd say hormones are pretty important at any age, wouldn't you agree?
These are the exact reasons that the approach I share with my clients doesn't use food to lose weight like diets do, but rather uses food to create hormonal balance and stabilize blood sugar. We focus on creating health in the body first. A healthy body with stabilized blood sugar, will naturally balance hormones, turn on metabolism, increase energy, decrease the risk of disease, even reverse disease. Our bodies are designed to heal when we give it what it needs and create the right conditions for it to do so.
Diets, on the other hand simply use food – count it, track it, limit it, restrict it, even eliminate some of it – to achieve a desired number on the scale. The problem with that approach, aside from the discomfort, cravings, hunger pangs, guilt, shame, negative self image and feelings of failure when you realize it's not something you can do for life, is that health suffers here. And when health suffers, and the unrealistic expectations mandated by those diets are no longer something anyone can do, it stops “working”. I use “working” loosely because if what you're doing to create health and lose weight isn't something you can live for life, did it ever really “work” for you? Food for thought.
Approaching weight loss by first stabilizing blood sugar, targeting the six components needed to create health – nutrition, sleep, stress, water, exercise, supplements – and then filling in nutritional gaps, will not only get you results today, you'll be able to live your life healthfully and with food freedom and keep them.
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