Hormonal Health

Maintaining hormonal health is a constant challenge with many factors disrupting this delicate balance, such as age, stress levels, and our diet and lifestyle. The endocrine system is the name given to the glands and organs involved in hormone production; these include the hypothalmus, pituitary gland, thyroid, pancreas, adrenal glands, ovaries (in women) and testes (in men). 

The major players in terms of hormones are progesterone, testosterone, oestrogen, cortisol, thyroid and insulin. The first six of which are steroid hormones and are made from lipids; fats and cholesterol. The last two are peptide hormones and are made from proteins with the help of co-factors such as B vitamins and selenium. Given that fats and proteins are the basis of these hormones, it is clear that the diet is immensely important for maintaining hormone balance.

What can happen when hormones are out of balance? Below are some of the symptoms that can occur:

LOW CORTISOL
You can feel burnt-out, exhausted or drained, PMS symptoms.
HIGH CORTISOL
You can feel tired but wired, insomnia, anxiety, difficulty losing weight (particularly around the middle)
LOW OESTROGEN
Headaches, panic attacks, bone loss, low mood, low libido and difficulty losing weight.
HIGH OESTROGEN
Breast tenderness, PMS, heavy periods, fibroids, endometriosis, cysts.
LOW TESTOSTERONE
Low self-esteem, weight gain, low libido, moodiness
HIGH TESTOSTERONE
Irritability, weight gain, infertility, anger problems, facial hair, acne.
LOW PROGESTERONE
Irregular menstrual cycle, PMS, irritability, infertility, miscarriage, insomnia.
HIGH INSULIN
Fat around the middle, PMS, excessive hunger, excess testosterone, elevated cortisol, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
LOW THYROID
Brain fog, fatigues, weight gain, constipation, thinning hair and eyebrows, miscarriage, cold hands and feet.
HIGH THYROID
Weight-loss, heat intolerance, palpitations, muscle weakness, nervousness and irritability.