When we hear the word hormone most people thing of old people or women or mood fluctuations that come from month to month. However, that is not completely true. Young or old, male or female hormones play a role in the metabolic function, hunger, body fat, lean muscle tissue, energy level and general health. It’s when we have too much or too little of a certain hormone in our body that we have issues.
Do you experience any of these symptoms–weight gain or spare tire around your waist, water retention, bloating, fatigue, dark circles under your eyes, joint pain or stiffness, sleep disturbances, cravings, stressful lifestyle, moodiness or cellulite? If you answer yes to any two or more of these then you have a problem with your hormones! Hormones are insulin, cortisol, adrenaline, thyroid, HGH, epinephrine, leptin, ghrelin, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and various others.
Our hormones control our metabolism. Your thyroid is like a conductor of an orchestra—it tells your hormones what to do—it regulates your body temperature, your heart, blood flow, how you sleep, how you lose weight, where you gain and how you gain weight! Cortisol, also known as your stress hormone, encourages conversion of blood sugar into fat for long term storage, hence weight gain. Two hormones that relate to food intake are leptin and ghrelin. leptin tells your brain when you are full and should stop eating; ghrelin, also known as the “hunger hormone”, helps to stimulate your appetite. Higher levels of ghrelin can lead to weight gain.
Estrogen, whether it’s high or low, will cause you to gain weight. When estrogen is high, either your body is over-producing it, or you are taking in too much in your foods—animals given hormones, steroids or antibiotics give you added estrogen within your body. The increased estrogen makes insulin cells become more stressed and this in turn make your blood glucose rise leading to weight gain. If your estrogen is low our body converts our energy sources to fat to raise glucose levels. This is where we gain weight mostly in the ‘spare tire’ region.
Believe it or not women have testosterone, at a lower level than men, but we do have a certain amount in our bodies. Testosterone is important in helping to burn fat, strengthen our bones and muscles and our sexual desire (libido). Higher testosterone in women can lead to a lower desire for sex with their partner, possible infertility and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), excessive facial hair or thinning hair. A woman’s age and the amount of stress she is under can decrease bone density, lower muscle mass, obesity and depression.
So, as you can see if any of your hormones are out of whack your metabolism will be sluggish or you will have numerous symptoms listed above. What makes your hormones get out of whack? Poor lifestyle and diet choices, i.e., processed foods & meats, refined foods; hidden food intolerances, certain prescribed medications, or taking the wrong supplements can send your hormones out of control. Taking in alcohol or sugar can be a depressant and throw off your physical thermostat. Heat in the summertime will exacerbate hormone levels. Smoking cigarettes has also been proven to increase certain hormones levels. When hormones are disrupted, or out of balance, controlling our weight can slow down or stop altogether.
How do you get your hormones back under control? Making various positive lifestyle changes are certainly a place to start. Do you want to learn more about hormones and how they affect your body? Click get your FREE Body Fat Map email course located here on my website. You will get valuable information on hormones and your metabolism