Continued good health is as much a function of good food as it about healthy hormonal activity inside your body. We all know that unhealthy and unhygienic food can cause ill health putting us down with diseases. On the other hand, hormonal imbalances are far more potent in the sense that these can cause physical, emotional as well as mental problems within us which are more difficult and intractable to deal with. While physical problems can be relatively easy to overcome, emotional and mental problems are much more difficult. It is a widely accepted fact that majority of people do not see any association between hormones and overall well being. Both low as well as high hormonal levels can lead to grave disturbances inside the body that disrupts normal working of tissues and organs. It is a fragile balance between the level of various hormones inside the body that keeps us going and even a small imbalance can throw us out of gear. Well, hormones are chemical substances that are released in our blood stream carrying messages to various organs imploring them to function for which these have been designed in the first place. Consequently, hormones affect various processes inside the body that have direct bearing upon metabolism, growth and development, sexual function and our mood too.
More often than not, it is anxiety and stress that cause glaring imbalances of hormones, producing either too much or too little, thus adversely affecting the normal functioning of body processes. Another factor that is a potential cause of hormonal imbalance is our lifestyle. It is actually a cluster of factors such as sleep deprivation, consumption of liquor and unhealthy of foods high in calories and fats, frequent use of contraceptive pills etc. Any combination of the above factors becomes a lethal mix and the outcome can be deadly or even fatal. For most people the symptoms range from infertility, loss of libido, irregular periods, depression, anxiety, hair loss, weight gain and mood swings. Can you now understand how potent the hormonal imbalances are? So how do you restore the hormonal imbalances?
[ Also Read: Mental health is far more important than physical health ]
The first and foremost thing is to change your lifestyle and adopting a healthy one. You all know what a healthy lifestyle is, that comprises enough sleep, consuming 3 to 4 litres of water per day, avoiding fatty and spicy foods, physical workout, stop overuse of contraceptive pills, eating home cooked food as much as possible, avoiding food additives, colouring agents and taste enhancers. Catching up with mandated hours of sleep gives time to the body to repair and mend itself. During sleep, the hormones get time to rebalance themselves. When you are sleep deprived, don’t you feel irritable and tend to over eat? The craving to overeat is fuelled by the hormone called as ghrelin, the hunger hormone. A rise in this hormone is almost alongside accompanied with suppression in hormone called as leptin, the satiety hormone. In this condition the person tends to overeat and develop obesity.
The other change that you need to incorporate in your schedule is to reduce stress and anxiety. You might be the kind of person who takes undue or overdue stress as compared to others in equally challenging situations. Stress is the biggest factor that is associated with lot many disturbances inside the body. There is a surge in the level of hormone called as cortisol (a.k.a stress hormone). If you are predisposed by nature or personality to assume stress then you should practise meditation and deep breathing exercises. Also taking deep breath while exhaling slowly helps. Doing this a number of times can lower stress almost immediately by lowering the level of cortisol.
Choose organic fruits and vegetables over the non-organic varieties. It is a reality that in order to derive good economic value for the produce, fruits, vegetables and even poultry are being injected with growth hormones like oxytocin to make them mature faster, probably just overnight. Consuming too much of such injected farm produce or even poultry products is injurious to health which can cause hormonal imbalance. This hormone is also called as love hormone as it is connected with love and emotions. Therefore, settle for organic variety that is supposedly devoid of this hormone. Also consuming sulphur rich vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage serve to detoxify the liver and increase healthy oestrogen levels. Oestrogen, is the primary female sex-hormone which is responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system as well as secondary sex characteristics.
Indulge in hobby classes like cooking, gardening, learning a new language etc. All this should help you boost levels of hormone called as serotonin. Abnormally low levels of this hormone in the brain can make you sink in depression. Hence finding a good pastime is an important factor in enhancing this hormone that saves you the risk of slipping into depression.
Over exposure to or frequent use of chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) found in deodorants, cosmetics, detergents, perfumes and plastics should be avoided. It is best to avoid them completely, if not, try to minimise exposure to them. You may consider moving on to organic or less harmful alternatives.
Don’t you find that keeping peaceful, happy and contended is very important in life. This gives rise to healthy levels of a hormone called as dopamine. This is a neurotransmitter that gives rise to the feeling of pleasure. In order to boost healthy levels of this hormone you should remain stress free and do as your heart says. Indulging in pleasurable activities will certainly lead to healthy levels of dopamine.
Since hormonal imbalances are difficult to deal and have far reaching repercussions, special attention should be paid to keep them under check.