Our bodies usually send us signals when something is wrong, but sometimes we don’t pay attention. The symptoms of hormonal imbalance are out there, but many people have been imbalanced for a while without giving any thought to it. If you want to lose weight, it is essential to recognize and treat these subtle warning signs.
Digestive disorders, allergies, autoimmune disease, arthritis, asthma, eczema, acne, abdominal fat, headaches, depression and sinus disorders are associated with chronic inflammation. This imbalance has also recently been recognized as the root cause of obesity and most diseases associated with aging.
Insulin is an essential substance whose main function is to process sugar in the bloodstream and carry it into cells to be used as fuel or stored as fat. There are several reasons for excess insulin, but the main culprits are stress, consuming too many processed foods, artificial sweeteners, not enough protein and diet low in fiber. The symptoms are sweating, poor concentration, weakness, anxiety, fatigue and irritability. Our bodies respond to these symptoms by making us think we are hungry.
Serotonin plays a vital role in helping to control mood, emotions, memory, craving for carbohydrates, sleep habits, digestion and body temperature regulation. When we’re depressed or down, we naturally crave more sugars and starches to stimulate the production of serotonin. Sunlight, protein, exercise, vitamins and a good night’s sleep will help the body produce healthy levels of seratonin.
Stress causes the body to produce high amounts of the hormone cortisol. If you have a mood disorder such as anxiety or depression, or even a digestive problem such as irritable bowel syndrome, your body is producing too much cortisol. This causes a raging appetite, lower metabolism, belly fat and a loss of muscle tissue.
Researchers have now identified excess estrogen, in men and women, to be as great a risk factor for obesity as poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Excess estrogen can be accumulated by the body producing too much of it or by constantly eating foods with growth hormones and pesticides. A woman with too much estrogen is likely to have constant PMS, excess body fat around the hips and trouble losing weight. Men with too much estrogen may have loss of muscle mass and excess body fat around the belly.
Testosterone enhances libido, bone density, muscle mass, strength, motivation, memory, fat burning and skin tone in both men and women. An increase of body fat and loss of muscle may occur when testosterone levels are low, even with proper exercise and diet. Testosterone levels tend to taper off with aging, but today men are experiencing declines in testosterone levels much earlier in life. Low testosterone can cause depression, obesity and heart diseases. Estrogen-like compounds found in pesticides can be attributed to the lower testosterone levels.
Every system in the body slows down when there’s not enough thyroid hormone. People who suffer from hypothyroidism tend to feel tired, sleep a lot, experience constipation, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, mental fatigue, brittle hair, splitting nails, infertility, poor memory, depression and decreased libido. If you believe you may have a thyroid condition, ask your doctor to assesses you and all of your symptoms, not just your blood work. Some blood tests show that thyroid function is within a normal range even when the thyroid level is causing weight gain and problems with metabolism in men and women.
Restoring The Balance
To restore hormonal balance and ultimately lose weight, diet and exercise are essential, and so is sleep. A good night’s sleep will help reduce inflammation in the body, limit stress and help the body with digestion. Along with this, talk to your doctor about any suspected hormone imbalances. Be persistent about getting the proper tests and necessary treatments. Hormonal imbalances not only affect your ability to lose weight, but also your mental and physical wellbeing.