Individualized Nutrition, Pharmacy and Healthy Living


Hormones: They Could Be Your Hidden Answer to Losing the Last 10-30 lbs.

by Heather Gunn | October 23, 2013

Did you know that you can have more energy? You can have better sleep. You can even enjoy a healthy body weight without forcing yourself to hit the gym everyday.

When your hormones are functioning optimally, your entire body works more efficiently and theoretically your body weight should be balanced. Hormones affect everyone including men, women, and children, both young and old. Most often we only associate them with women, menopause and raging teens, but this is far from being accurate. Every human being is well equipped with hormonal activity and when it out of sync, our health is at great risk. As a result of a lack of hormonal synchronicity, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, sleeplessness, low libido, or weight gain. These symptoms are sometimes shrugged off as a process of aging, but it’s much deeper than that. When you discover where your hormonal imbalances are, you can uncover chronic conditions and support a healthier, more energetic self. 

What are Hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers whose specific role is to communicate with other cells. I equate them to the role of the conductor with an orchestra. When the conductor is in good shape, the symphony plays in harmony. Hormones play a key role in maintaining an internal homeostasis – especially with body weight. Hormones that are paramount for weight management include: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, thyroid, insulin and vitamin D. Their function is particularly involved in the regulation of fat storage and metabolism.

Example: You’re stressed by a job you hate, your parents are driving you nuts and the kids need to be fed. When your stress levels are high, the production of cortisol by your adrenal glands also increases, raising your blood sugar and blood pressure. Fat cells in the abdomen have ample stress hormone receptors for cortisol. The release of cortisol from the adrenals followed by its binding to receptors located in the abdomen leads to an increase in unwanted belly fat.

Example: The meats you eat have been treated with hormone injections. Excess estrogen in the human body can contribute to inactivation of thyroid hormone and a decrease in both metabolism and weight loss.

How Did Your Hormones Become Imbalanced? 

There are so many different reasons why our bodies shift in chemical function and no two people are the same. Some of us are genetically born with a predisposition to this imbalance, while others acquire it through lifestyle and diet. Some of the more influential contributors to this shift can include ongoing stress, exposure to environmental toxins, lack of exercise, pregnancy, poor quality diet, and age. While healthy hormonal changes are necessary for growth and development, a chronic imbalance outside of the proper range is not healthy for the life and longevity of the human body.

Hormone Deficiencies and Imbalances Can Contribute to: 

  • Water retention and bloating
  • Digestive issues
  • Raging appetite
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Sugar cravings
  • Change in hair and skin
  • Mood swings
  • Thyroid symptoms
  • Emotional eating
  • Unequal fat distribution
  • High body fat percentage
  • Fatigue and burnout

What Can Hormone Testing Do For You? 

Of course there are always diet and lifestyle changes you can implement now to begin the process of regulating your hormones. However, testing can further help you determine specifically where your imbalances are so that you and your practitioner can assess and support. It can be the starting point to developing a targeted plan that works for you to correct the imbalances. Identifying them can be the key to unlocking and releasing your frustration with weight loss.

Simple Things You Can Do Today On Your Own 

  • Avoid using plastic bottles that are not BPA-free
  • Avoid pesticides
  • Take fish oil
  • Do not heat plastics
  • Shop for organic, grass-fed, hormone-free foods
  • Sleep 7 or more hours nightly
  • Exercise!
  • Eat plenty of broccoli!

Click here to learn more about Heather Gunn.

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