Hormones have a huge impact on the health of women. Various hormones like estrogen, progesterone, etc are renowned to everyone as they directly impact the reproductive health of women. There are many other kinds of hormones that affect other aspects of health like energy levels, weight, mood, and behaviors. There are termed as the most sensitive chemical messengers because the female body is an ecosystem that is nurtured and update by hormones.
9 Secrets About Women’s Health & Hormones:
1. Hormones Affect Everything:
Hormones are developed in the endocrine glands and driven into the blood for the tissue and organs. They affect every single process in our body directing all the necessary functions. Our body growth, sex, mood, hunger, sleep, reproduction. Emotions, metabolism, etc are controlled by hormones.
2. Hormones Balance the Body:
Pay attention to all the minute changes in the body. Pay attention to hunger, sleep patterns, or mood changes to know the variations in hormones. Drink loads of water, consume fiber in your diet, and have adequate sleep patterns to stabilize the daily life. All these things will directly impact the hormones and regulate the body balance.
3. Hormones are Tricky:
Hormones are tricky to be followed. For instance, hunger is the best example of tracking your real requirement. By carefully tracking various food feelings, you will know the true hunger and emotional cravings given by the brain. It will help you precisely knowing the food requirements and feed well for maintaining health.
4. Hormones Need Proper Food:
Modern habits are majorly concentrated on fast-food trends as people are happier in consuming processed foods. Hormones need good nourishments to perform well, hence stick to whole and organic food habits. Leafy greens also aid in stabilizing and maintaining hormone levels in our body. Consult a reliable food expert to get a balanced diet.
5. Alcohol Can Disrupt Hormones:
Having too much or daily intakes will disrupt the normal functioning of hormones. Alcohol can affect estrogen levels, hunger patterns, blood sugar, bone density, and many more issues. Consume lean sources of protein to eliminate unwanted estrogen and balance liver levels. Eat foods like carrots, ginger, and grapefruit to boost the liver enzymes.
6. Sugar Consumption:
Insulin is responsible for extracting energy from the food and utilizing the energy for various activities. When we consume too much sugar, insulin will start to store the fat instead of burning it. Sugar can spike the dopamine levels in the body by stimulating reward centers in the brain. When we consume too much sugar, our system starts to crave more for feeling the same dopamine levels. This will create hormone imbalance triggering to overeat and excess fat storage.
7. Red Meat:
Even though estrogen is an important hormone for women, excess of it can lead to water retention, weight gain, and other health issues. Red meat is packed with abundant steroids that can directly affect the estrogen levels in the body. Red meat diets lack fiber which is an important tool in balancing estrogen. Estrogen levels can be brought down by reducing red meat consumption and consuming food rich in fibers.
8. Caffeine Consumption:
Caffeine can lead to enhanced cortisol levels that affect the stress levels in the body. When you consume too much caffeine, it can disrupt your body balance by affecting sleep patterns and enhancing body fat storage. Don’t overboard with coffee if you stressed.
9. Listen to Your Body Signals:
Always make a habit of listening to your body signals. If you are seeing variations in anybody patterns like sleep or hunger issues try to get to its root cause. You may find it childish, but it will give an idea of what you are going to do. Practice endorphin-releasing activities like exercise, enjoying your favorite hobby, etc to balance the hormones in your body.
How Does Intermitting Fasting Affect Women’s Hormones?
Everybody is different; hence every individual reacts differently to intermittent fasting. Some individuals may find benefits but some may see disruption in their hormone levels with irregular periods or water retention. Women’s reproductive system is directly linked with metabolic function. Whenever a woman gets hunger indicators from her metabolism levels, it will enter protection mode. It will hold the weight and enhance the development of hunger hormones by reducing non-essential functions such as reproduction. This will lead to variations in hormone levels. But women can practice some steps and take care of certain things while practicing intermittent fasting. Following these steps will enhance the effects of intermittent fasting while also avoiding any unwanted triggers. Below are some major rules to be followed if you decide to follow intermittent fasting:
- Never perform intermittent fasting for consecutive days.
- Pick the days spaced at regular intervals to practice this approach.
- Fasting for a longer duration can lead to negative hormonal disruptions. Hence, never fast for more than around 12 hours at a time.
- Do not work out heavily these days.
- Never fast on the days of periods.
- Consume healthy and whole foods before and after the fasting period.
Try these steps gradually for intermittent fasting through a couple of months. Analyze the effects and embrace it for a longer time if the outcome is good without any adverse results. But ensure to not follow it for longer durations or consecutive days even if you feel good or do not find any negative results. It can affect the normal functioning of hormones and popup the effects all of a sudden. Stop the process immediately if you find any signs of hormone imbalance. Assess the condition and visit an expert if you have any doubts before starting this routine.
Melissa Boll, CNM, MSN at Utah Body and Soul is an expert in women’s health. She provides comprehensive guidance and treatment for women to feel better, stronger, and healthier internally and externally. She will develop a customized treatment plan depending on the medical history, hormone tests and analysis, lifestyle changes, and any individual concerns.