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Hormone Health and Healthy Hormones
- Hormone health can have a number of effects on the body, but one of the more common effects of hormone imbalance is weight gain.
Hormones such as estrogen or insulin are substances which are released by internal organs, glands or tissues. Their role is to regulate the activities of organs and cells in other parts of the body. The systems in the body that control the release of hormones are collectively known as the endocrine system.
Basics of Hormone Health
As well as being produced in the body, hormones are sometimes taken as medication. This is perhaps where a health hormone is taken in order to improve hormone health or to derive a health benefit. Examples include estrogen therapy and birth control pills.
Hormone health can have a number of effects on the body, but one of the more common effects of hormone imbalance is weight gain. Hormone treatment is perhaps more associated with women, however, men can also be effected and can be treated with hormone medication. Women with a hormonal imbalance may put on weight around their bodies mainly between the tops of the thighs and the armpits. The legs and arms tend to stay unaffected. Men tend to gain weight around the waist, and may even begin to develop what look like breasts.
The hormone estrogen is produced within the body in fat cells. Estrogen has the effect of increasing fat cells. The process can then spiral because as estrogen production increases, so does fat cell production which in turn increases estrogen production and so on. Identifying this problem and then treating it coupled with a weight loss plan will break the cycle. Here’s how to go about it:
1. Get a diagnosis.
An appointment with your doctor should lead to a test which will assess the ratio of progesterone to estrogen you have in your body. If there is an estrogen dominance, this likely to be a contributory factor to weight gain.
2. Estrogen lowering program.
An estrogen lowering program may include medication to increase your levels of progesterone, although this is by no means the only measure you can take. There are other things that you can do to promote a healthy hormonal balance:
• Eat more fiber.
• Increase your intake of indoles. Dietary indoles are formed within plant cells. They can be found in a large number of plants but good dietary sources include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Aim for 3 servings per day.
• Increase your intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Fatty acids like those found in oily fish such as salmon and herring, help to regulate prostaglandin production in the body which helps to regulate estrogens. EFAs can also be taken as a dietary supplement.
• Increase your intake of vitamin C either by using a dietary supplement or by eating more fresh fruit and vegetables.
3. Balance your meals.
As well as eating lean protein from good sources such as fish and chicken, make sure you eat plenty of fresh vegetables and compound carbohydrates. Opt for whole grains where possible, such as whole grain rice and pasta, and be careful with your portion size.
4. Exercise regularly.
Stay active by adopting a fitness program. This will help your over health and well being as well as weight management. You don’t necessarily need a gym membership. A regular brisk walk can be an excellent form of exercise, although some resistance training is advisable as it can be very beneficial for bone density.
Men and women who suffer from hormone imbalance frequently feel unwell and often gain weight. If you follow these simple tips, you can improve your hormone health which will increase your health and well being, and will help you lose weight.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Hormonal Health2 Jan 2009|