Your hormones play an important role in everyday life. It can be one of the first measurable markers when you are experiencing stress, changes in mood, libido, and reproduction. Stress can be physical, mental, or emotional.
Stress can wreak havoc because it will influence how your body responds and adapts to what is happening in your life. We have all heard of “fight or flight” response, or the analogy of the “bear chasing you in the woods”. When your body responds to a stressor, it causes a rise in the hormone cortisol. If cortisol is elevated for long periods of time, it will “steal” other hormones needed that influence mood, libido and reproduction. Some of the first signs and symptoms you may experience are fatigue, weight gain, changes in mood like depression/anxiety, low sex drive, and changes in menses for women.
Habits for Healthy Hormones
The good news is, our Functional Medicine team can help balance your hormones through diet and lifestyle changes. Here are some top tips from our Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition team. Good habits to have to help balance hormones:
1. Reduce stress: make time to engage in something you enjoy at least one time a week.
2. Do not pull all-nighters with studying.
3. Be mindful of medications/supplement that can alter your natural sleep patterns.
4. Good sleep hygiene: turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. Go to bed at the same time each night getting at least 8 hours of sleep.
5. Include a well-balanced diet of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and antioxidants. Reduce sugar intake.
6. Begin tracking menstrual cycle on apps like FLOW.
7. When in doubt, have your hormones tested.
About Functional Medicine
Our Functional Medicine & Clinical Nutrition team addresses the underlying cause of disease. Examining dietary, lifestyle, genetic, and environmental factors, we are able to uncover and effectively treat the root cause of health concerns. Informed by thorough clinical and diagnostic testing, we create individualized plans to help your patients achieve optimal health through focused one-on-one sessions.
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