Hormones have a far-reaching impact on female health, but they can go out of balance more often than you imagine. The female body is like a hormonal ecosystem, with multiple hormones doing their bit to keep the mood, health, and behavior on track. You may encounter problems when they play too fast or slow or fail to coordinate with each other. The imbalance may occur due to internal changes or environmental factors such as Westernized diets, extreme stress, and exposure to harmful chemicals. But the good thing is that you can stay ahead of these disruptions, provided you are vigilant and proactive. Let us share some practical ways to deal with hormonal imbalances.
Know your hormones
Perhaps the most crucial step is to know your hormones because you will be surprised by the sheer number of hormones. The hormonal ecosystem in the female body comprises different elements, with each playing a different role. Here are the ones you must pay attention to-
- Progesterone is made by the ovaries and plays a significant part in early pregnancy.
- Estrogen is also produced by the ovaries and regulates your menstrual cycle, mood, and bone density.
- Testosterone is mainly a male hormone, but ovaries also produce it. The body requires it to burn fat, develop lean muscle mass, and boost libido.
- Cortisol is the stress hormone that regulates the immune system and blood sugar. High cortisol levels can suppress the immune system and cause feelings of panic, fear, and depression.
- Thyroid hormone is synthesized in the thyroid glands, and it regulates essential functions such as breathing, metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature.
- DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is essentially a hormone precursor, and it regulates the production of puberty-related hormones like testosterone and estrogen.
Monitor your cycles and mood shifts
The menstrual cycle leads to a rise and fall of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. The lesser-known female hormones like follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) also come into play. FSH regulates ovarian function, and LH triggers ovulation. Although the ecosystem sounds complex, you can understand it by paying attention to your cycles and mood shifts. You may feel energized and happy in the initial days of the monthly cycle due to an increase in estrogen and serotonin. The release of estrogen causes a significant increase in libido during the ovulatory phase. You may feel irritable and stressed during the last days of the cycle due to a slowdown in estrogen production.
Consider hormone testing
Once you keep track of your cycles and moods, you will probably know how things work for you. At the same time, it is easy to notice something being amiss. Fortunately, it is easy to get a hormone test for women as a few simple tests can tell the entire story. Hormone testing can show exactly where you stand, whether you have enough of each hormone, and the deficiencies that should be addressed. You can get a foresight of an impending medical condition or crucial personal issues such as fertility. The good thing is that you have better chances of correcting the problems by acting on time.
Know your triggers and red flags
Another practical tip to deal with hormonal issues is by knowing your triggers and preventing them as much as possible. You must also understand your red flags. But identifying triggers and red flags is complicated as they may vary from person to person. Hormones are sensitive by nature, and the smallest of changes can send them off track. A variation in the menstrual cycle and daily routines, weight gain or loss, stress, and environmental conditions may trigger an imbalance. You may witness red flags such as anxiety or depression, mood swings, irregular or painful periods, insomnia, headaches, hair growth on the face, and gastrointestinal issues. Watch out for these signs as these are the body’s way of warning that its chemical signals are out of place.
Manage your lifestyle
While you may need medical help to address some hormonal issues, you can do your bit by managing your lifestyle. Start by eating a balanced diet as it keeps your weight at an optimal level. Also, add supplements to overcome dietary deficiencies. You must quit bad habits like alcohol and smoking, and improve your sleep schedule to keep hormonal imbalances at bay. Controlling stress levels is crucial, and the best way to do it is by embracing a daily meditation schedule.
Staying a step ahead of hormonal trouble is absolutely possible, provided you commit to a healthy lifestyle. Also, keep track of your hormones with regular testing and endocrinologist visits.