Hormonal Imbalance and Weight Loss
There are many endocrine glands in the body with the main ones being the pituitary gland, thymus, adrenal glands, thyroid and the pancreas. Hormones are dominant and it only requires a small amount of them to cause significant changes throughout the body. Both men and women produce hormones in the same areas with one exception, the sexual organs. Additional male hormones are produced in the testes while women’s are produced in the ovaries.
Some of the symptoms experienced during hormone imbalance are shared by male and female, while some are more specific to each gender. Some of the most commonly shared symptoms include fatigue, skin problems or acne, mood swings, weight problems, diminished sex drive, and no memory.
If the reactions become more severe then we run into actual hormone allergy where we find a group of more serious disorders. The disorders include arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and anxiety attacks. The presence of urinary tract infections, increased dryness in the mouth, eyes, genitalia, or abnormal heartbeat can also be experience The majority of these symptoms are experienced due to menopause. In addition, hair loss, or alopecia, can be directly attributed to the irregular levels of hormones.
Hormones that influence the cycle of hair growth are not just those produced by the reproductive organs (e.g., testosterone produced by the testes; and estrogen and progesterone produced by the ovaries.). Hair loss can also be induced by other hormones formed in other glands, including the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, pineal and the adrenals.
Typical Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
1. Persistent weight gain.
Underlying hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Unaddressed or emerging insulin resistance is one of the most common; small changes in diet — such as eliminating processed foods, sugars and wheat — are steps in the right direction.
2. Belly fat and loss of muscle mass.
When your endocrine system is under stress there’s an underproduction of certain hormones and an overproduction of others (mainly cortisol). This makes your body store fat for future use, making an increase in belly fat a clue to adrenal fatigue.
3. Low libido.
One of the most noticeable symptoms of hormonal imbalance is low libido, which starts with disturbed sleep. Without quality sleep our sex hormone production can diminish.
Can’t make it past mid-morning without some sort of pick-me-up? How about that mid-afternoon crash? It isn’t normal to feel sluggish, scattered or mentally foggy. Easy dietary changes, such as eliminating wheat and most grains, will help stabilize your blood sugar.
5. Anxiety, irritability and depression.
Not feeling like yourself? This isn’t the time for pharmaceuticals. Anxiety and depression are clues that you have an imbalance, toxicity, are overworked, stressed out, and most likely aren’t nourishing your body the way it needs. Listen to your inner voice and take the actions necessary to meet your needs.
6. Insomnia and poor sleep patterns.
This starts the cycle of physical stress and increases cortisol levels, which directly causes many hormonal imbalances. There isn’t one area of your life that insomnia doesn’t touch.
For many women, night sweats and hot flashes are the first uncomfortable sign that something is amiss. This isn’t the time to start hormone replacement therapy, but begin a food journal by jotting down what you eat and drink, how you feel physically, and any emotions that come up after. Many times our emotions are the trigger that increases internal temperature. The next time you feel the flashes coming on, stop and think about the thoughts swirling around in your mind.
8. Digestion problems.
Gas, bloating and slow digestion are common hormonal problems that aren’t usually associated with hormonal imbalances, but may be associated with eating bad foods, not chewing your food and eating too much. When you don’t have optimal digestion, your body is starving because of poor nutrient extraction.
After eating way more than you should have, or having gone through half a bottle of wine, do you look back and ask yourself why? Common causes of cravings and excess eating are adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance, and other hormonal imbalances. Again, minimising sugars, alcohol, dairy and wheat — although difficult — not only will help control cravings, but your digestive issues as well.