Such an important part of the human body but for some the imbalance of hormones can be the most frustrating thing ever! You have probably been affected by hormone imbalance (or been on the receiving end of someone affected by it) at some stage in your life.
Most commonly affecting women but impacts men also, a hormone imbalance is not just some annoying monthly thing to deal with but actually can be quite detrimental to health if you leave it unchecked.
In this article I cover what hormones are and what you can do to get them back into balance.
Hormones are a chemical substance produced in the body to control the activity of cells or organs of the body. Their main job is to communicate to cells/organs to carry out a particular function in the body or regulate a function. I always remember them as some type of messenger and part of a messenger system regulating our body’s function, so their role is actually very important.
Hormones are involved in regulating our heart rate, how we make energy from nutrients, how we store nutrients, our mood, our appetite, our sexual function, growth, stress, sleep and much more.
When there is a dysfunction it is because there is either too much or too little of a hormone. Even small changes can have a huge effect within the body.
An imbalance might occur due to poor diet or poor digestive health, stress, injury or trauma. It may also be the result of disease itself. Because hormones are involved in so many different functions within the body, hormone dysfunction can look like any of the following:
As you can see men are just as much at risk of hormonal dysfunction with metabolic (cardiovascular and diabetes), mood (stress, depression) and sexual health (low libido, infertility, prostate) being common issues.
And as for women – specific conditions such as endometriosis, poly cystic ovary syndrome, fibroids, pre menstrual symptoms such as breast tenderness, low mood or infertility and menopause are some of the common hormonal issues that we complain about.
A well-functioning hormone system is a wonderful thing. It is often described as being like a complex orchestra where there are so many instruments needed to play and make beautiful music. If one instrument doesn’t quite keep to the beat of the conductor then the music may sound…awful.
Which is how we can feel sometimes right?
Heavy periods, painful periods, feeling weepy, not able to lose weight, always sick, feeling faint, growing hair in unwanted places, losing your hair on your head, feeling tired, not sleeping, feeling overwhelmed, feeling angry, feeling out of control…..these are just a number of reasons why you should come and speak to one of the Clinical Nutritionists at Mint Gym and Nutrition.
In clinic we will get a timeline of what has been happening to your health, so we can a good grasp of what is going on. We will most likely ask for the last 12 months of blood tests from your Doctor as well as ask for new ones and check for specific markers to see what might be out of balance.
For those particularly tricky cases, we may suggest a functional test such as the Oats or DUTCH Test. This information can help us as Clinical Practitioners to get a clearer understanding of how your biochemistry is actually working. Is tells us what nutrients are being absorbed & what is out of balance. This enables us to come up with the right nutrition and supplement program that is tailored to you – and your hormones!
If we don’t eat we die right? You know the saying “you are what you eat” yes?
Well this is fundamental to good health. Our body runs off the nutrients from our food. So if you keep fuelling it with nutrient dead foods (processed foods) then eventually your body is going to get sick in some way.
By eating nutrient rich foods – that are whole foods which have no or minimal human interference- then you can guarantee that those foods will have the right nutrient chemistry to support good hormonal function. Organic where ever you can is also recommended as ingesting chemicals from sprays that are on our food also play havoc with our hormones. (or try washing in apple cider vinegar and warm water ?)
In clinic we may suggest key supplements to help bring your body back into balance. The ultimate aim is to eventually rely on that solid foundation of good nutrition to keep you ageing healthily.
Supplements in the forms of nutrients and herbs have a positive benefit when trying to tackle hormonal issues. There is a mountain of fantastic research available to back the use of supplements to get your health back on track.
Like what you have read? Want to regain control of your body?
Then why don’t you look at what we can offer at Mint to help support your hormones and get you feeling great again!
Article by Mint Clinical Nutritionist Claudia Oxford-Gonzalez