Endocrine System

Written by PathologyPrevention
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   Your hormones are involved in every aspect of your health. You need them in very specific amounts for your body to function optimally. Hormonal imbalances may increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems. Despite the fact that aging and other factors are beyond your control, there are many steps you can take to help your hormones function optimally. Consuming nutritious foods, exercising on a regular basis and engaging in other healthy behaviors can go a long way toward improving your hormonal health.

The Endocrine System

   The endocrine system, along with the nervous system, functions in the regulation of body activities. The endocrine system acts through chemical messengers called hormones that influence growth, development, and metabolic activities. The action of the endocrine system is measured in minutes, hours, or weeks and is more generalized than the action of the nervous system. Some issues that can happen with your endocrine system are; • Infertility. This may be caused by a problem with the hormones that control ovulation in women and the making of sperm in men.

   Hyperthyroidism This condition can change your energy level. It can make you lose weight. And it can give you a fast heart rate. It is caused by having too much thyroid hormone in your body.

   Hypothyroidism It can make you feel tired. And it can make you feel constipated. It is caused by not having enough thyroid hormone in your body. • Diabetes. This happens when your body can't produce enough of the hormone insulin or can't use it properly. Then your body can't regulate the amount of sugar in your blood. High blood sugar can damage your eyes, nerves, kidneys, and blood vessels.

   Missed or irregular periods. The hormones that control menstruation can go out of balance in some women.

   Hormones have profound effects on your mental, physical and emotional health. These chemical messengers play a major role in controlling your appetite, weight and mood, among other things. Normally, your endocrine glands produce the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes in your body. However, hormonal imbalances have become increasingly common with today's fast-paced modern lifestyle. In addition, certain hormones decline with age, and some people experience a more dramatic decrease than others.

   Fortunately, a nutritious diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors may help improve your hormonal health and allow you to feel and perform your best. Here are 12 natural ways to balance your hormones;

  1. Eat Enough Protein at Every Meal; Consuming adequate protein triggers the production of hormones that suppress appetite and help you feel full. Aim for a minimum of 20–30 grams of protein per meal.
  2. Engage in Regular Exercise; Performing strength training, aerobics, walking or other forms of physical activity can modify hormone levels in a way that reduces the risk of disease and protects muscle mass during the aging process.
  3. Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs; Diets high in sugar and refined carbs have been shown to drive insulin resistance. Avoiding these foods and reducing overall carb intake may decrease insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
  4. Learn to Manage Stress; Engaging in stress-reduction behaviors like meditation, yoga, massage and listening to soothing music can help normalize your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  5. Consume Healthy Fats; Including healthy natural fats in your diet and avoiding unhealthy trans fats can help reduce insulin resistance and stimulate the production of hormones that help control appetite.
  6. Avoid Overeating and Undereating; Consuming too many or too few calories can lead to hormonal imbalances. Aim to eat at least 1,200 calories per day for optimal health.
  7. Drink Herbal Infusions; Some herbal infusions have been linked to increased insulin sensitivity and lower insulin levels for people who are overweight, obese or have diabetes.
  8. Eat Fatty Fish Often; Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may help lower cortisol and epinephrine, increase insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin levels in obese and insulin-resistant individuals.
  9. Get Consistent, High-Quality Sleep; Inadequate or poor-quality sleep has been shown to decrease fullness hormones, increase hunger and stress hormones, reduce growth hormone and increase insulin resistance.
  10. Stay Away from Sugary Beverages; High intake of sugary beverages has consistently been linked to higher insulin levels and insulin resistance in overweight and obese adults and children.
  11. Consume a High-Fiber Diet; High fiber intake has been linked to improvements in insulin sensitivity and the hormones that control hunger, fullness and food intake.
  12. Eat Eggs Anytime; Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They've been shown to beneficially affect hormones that regulate food intake, including lowering levels of insulin and ghrelin, and increasing PYY. Importantly, these positive effects on hormones seem to occur when people eat both the egg yolk and egg white.
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