Almost any imbalance in the body can be traced back to your hormones. It’s easy to think that our hormones are localized in our lady bits and mysterious man musk, and that they only surge at certain times of the month or around pregnancy, but au contraire. We are walking bags of hormones that govern everything inside of us, and our wellbeing hangs in the balance. Sorry to be dramatic.
If you’re worried you might be off-balance, you likely are. Don’t freak out: we all are from time to time, at least a tiny bit. Our endocrine system is a very delicate operation, and modern life often (annoyingly) gets in the way. What we eat, put on our skin, breathe, and experience all affects the endocrine system. Since we can’t escape modern living, we can be mindful of the factors that help us stay on track. A domino effect of goodness will follow.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that our hormones aren’t just produced in the ovaries. They are produced in the brain, kidneys, and pancreas, just to name a few, and they regulate emotions, thirst, appetite and weight, sex drive, sleep cycles, and so much more. Think of hormones as chemical messengers. While all that might seem overwhelming at first, it’s actually fairly easy to understand whether or not you’re experiencing a hormonal imbalance, however slight.
If you’re chronically stressed, have trouble sleeping, have digestive issues, have skin problems, or find yourself lacking daily drive and feeling consistently low, these are signs that your hormones need attention. In order to know exactly which hormones are off and why, you’d want to see an endocrinologist and have them run some tests. However, there are some things you can (and should) be looking at from a basic health standpoint that could make a world of difference.
The first thing is stabilizing your blood sugar. If you do nothing else for your health in any other regard, do this one thing. In the words of Alisa Vitti, Holistic Health Counselor and author of the hormonal balance bible “Woman Code,” if your blood sugar is a problem, “none of the other parts of your endocrine system will function according to plan.” That’s because the main job of blood sugar is to transport glucose as energy to the brain, muscles, and heart. You could say it’s kind of a big deal.
“Think of hormones as chemical messengers.”
Managing blood sugar is a totally tailored game, meaning it is different for everybody. But regardless of your body type or metabolism, it does mean being aware of the sugars and carbs that you consume. Most of us think donuts and carbs can mean just weight gain, but that is only part of the issue— the end result of something way more complex. Excessive sugar and complex carb intake creates insulin imbalance, which is the culprit of major hormonal imbalance.
Don’t worry, this certainly isn’t a rallying cry to cut out carbs. Carbohydrates fuel your brain. Vitti explains, “it’s all about eating the right kinds and quantities.” Try to consume your carbs earlier in the day so you have time to use up that fuel. Skipping meals and binging later (or vice versa in an attempt at diet repentance) is a sure-fire way to send your blood sugar off the rails, so don’t let guilt control you, either!
This can be tricky after the excess of the holiday season, or if your hard and fast New Year’s resolutions get broken early on. Don’t let a slip lead you to make drastic changes. Just let it go, and start again the next day. The bottom line is, we’re not perfect, and we need to live our lives, but keeping glucose levels cozied up to the stasis line as often as possible will set you on the path to hormonal balance.