Attempting to lose weight without addressing the hormonal component is like going to the gym and then eating a big piece of chocolate cake. Focusing on whole foods, reducing refined carbohydrates, exercising as prescribed by your doctor and treating any hormone imbalances will help you successfully lose weight and keep it off. Here are a few symptoms of unbalanced hormone levels:
A Hormone Imbalance can affect all aspects of your life
Over a period of time with constant stress, the adrenal glands produce less and less cortisol...our bodies crave sugar, caffeine and other stimulants to [then] counteract low cortisol levels.
Hormones play an important role in maintaining blood sugar balance and restorative sleep patterns. Sugar cravings and hormonal changes are nothing new to many women.
Your adrenal glands make cortisol, which impacts blood sugar levels, blood pressure, heart rate and metabolism. The amount and daily pattern of cotisol production can influence how your body uses or stores fat. Cortisol is also important for controlling levels of inflammation throughout the body. The ideal cortisol pattern is highest first thing in the morning, decreasing towards night time. Over time, continued stress disrupts the delicate balance of hormones, including how much and when cortisol is made and released.
Cortisol is commonly referred to as the "stress hormone." It plays an important role in glucose metabolism, blood pressure regulation, insulin release, immune function and the inflammatory response.
Effect on the Body
Normally, cortisol levels are highest 30 minutes after awakening and then taper down throughout the day. Cortisol is "designed" to help the body respond to a stressful event. When the event passes, cortisol levels drop. When your body is under constant stress, your nervous system never receives the signal to relax. This causes the cortisol response to become altered, which can lead to other hormones going awry.
Long busy days and short nights of sleep send messages to the body that it is in a state of stress. We may be civilized, but our bodies are still ruled by primitive survival drives. The body begins to store fat as a response to the stress, so there are stores ready for a future event that threatens survival.
Over a period of time with constant stress, the adrenal glands produce less and less cortisol, yet the stress continues. Without enough cortisol, the body needs to find energy from somewhere else. Our bodies crave sugar, caffeine and other stimulants to counteract low cortisol levels and temporarily raise energy levels. These can create other responses in the body, such as mood changes, weight changes over time, and excessive sleepiness or "crashes".
At NuWave Wellness Center, we use saliva testing which is proving to be the most reliable medium for measuring hormone levels. Hormone levels in saliva accurately represent the amount of hormone delivered to receptors in the body, unlike in the blood which represents hormone levels that may or may not be delivered to receptors of the body. Clinically, it is far more relevant to test the amount of hormones delivered to the tissue receptors as this is a reflection of the active hormone levels of the body.