What is a hormone exactly?
How do I know if I have a hormone imbalance?
And if I do, what can I do about it anyway?
These are common questions that Candace and I hear as we work with women everyday. Sometimes we forget how many of us don’t know the basics about our own bodies so don’t feel embarrassed if you are among those who don’t. I rely on my car mechanic to sort through the ins and outs of my vehicle when IT is out of balance. But I always feel a little sheepish because I don’t even know the right questions to ask. In many ways, I think women feel the same way about their bodies when they begin to show signs of imbalance. So here is a brief overview to answer these questions and help you understand when it is time to do something about how you feel.
A hormone is a chemical that is produced in a gland(such as the ovary or the thyroid) which is released and has far-reaching effects on other parts of the body. These hormones have many functions, including regulating metabolism, fertility, fluid balance, mood, blood sugar regulation, to name a few. Hormones act on organs, tissues and cells throughout the body and are essential for optimal functioning.
Hormones work best when they work together and are balanced with one another.
Think of a symphony which consists of various musical instrument sections coordinated in such a way that each section comes in at just the right moment, volume and tempo to complement the other sections. When the conductor and the musicians work well together, the music is melodic and lovely. When they don’t, it is difficult to hear the music at all(it sounds more like a bunch of noise!).
There are days when all of us wake up and we just feel ‘in balance’ and have energy to spare. Then there are those days that we know our balance is definitely off; everything seems off-kilter. This brings me to some of the symptoms of hormone imbalance. We have mentioned a few in previous blogposts but here are some you may(or may not ) be aware of: hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, belly fat, irritability , depressed mood, anxiety, foggy thinking, feeling cold, hair loss, hair in new places, weak or peeling nails, insomnia, low libido, menstrual changes, dry skin, vaginal dryness, inability to concentrate, fatigue, memory changes…… I could go on but I think you get the picture.
If any of these sound familiar, there is a good chance that something has caused your hormones to be out of balance. Common causes include pregnancy, stressful life events, over scheduled and busy lives(sound like anyone you know???), lack of exercise, poor diet, toxins in our environment, toxic relationships, job stresses, and the simple act of moving into ‘midlife’ .We all have so many demands on us and often don’t have enough time in the day to get it all done, leaving us feeling depleted and ‘not like ourselves’.
Hmmm…got you thinking hopefully, so now what? Stay tuned and we will be posting a ‘checklist of symptoms of hormone imbalance’ in the near future so that you can do an inventory of your individual symptoms. Once you have those identified, the next step will be to get your hormone levels tested. Let us know if you would like to get this done as we are working on putting together an offer for our readers and would like to get an idea of how many people are interested. Just list your first name and first letter of your last name in the comments section.
As always, give us YOUR suggestions for future blogposts and feel free to ask us questions….there is no such thing as a silly question!
Wishing you balance