Hormones are pivotal in health and wellness, influencing everything from weight and energy to sleep and mood. Like every other aspect of your health, hormone production and function relies on good nutrition. When you’re not getting the nutrients your body needs, you can develop hormonal imbalances that can profoundly affect your health and well-being.
At the Institute for Hormonal Balance in Arlington and Prosper, Texas, our team offers nutritional support and weight management to help patients achieve an optimal balance of key hormones for better health and quality of life. In this post, we explore the link between hormones and nutrition.
Hormones are chemicals produced by the glands in your endocrine system. While many people think of hormones in terms of sexual function, these chemicals are involved in much more than your libido and fertility.
Your body produces more than 50 hormones that affect your metabolism, help regulate blood sugar (glucose), manage red blood cell production, regulate sleep and body temperature, and much more.
When your body produces too much or too little of a specific hormone, it can result in an imbalance that can have far-reaching, serious consequences for your health. While many factors can influence your hormone levels, including your age and gender, nutrition is one factor you can control.
Like every system in your body, your endocrine system relies on a steady flow of nutrients to function normally. Poor nutrition can result in gland dysfunction and abnormalities in how your hormones are produced and used.
Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals your body needs for good health. Not surprisingly, when you don’t get enough of these essential nutrients, you can have widespread symptoms while increasing your risk of health problems.
Iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and other vitamins play important roles in hormone production and activity. Unfortunately, despite the plethora of food choices in the United States, data show many Americans lack basic vitamins and minerals, partly due to eating habits that focus on fast food, prepackaged foods, and foods filled with additives and “empty” calories.
Micronutrient levels that are too low or too high can directly affect gland function and the production of hormones necessary for many functions. At the same time, abnormal levels of micronutrients can also affect how cells and tissues react to hormones. Supplementation is imperative to overall health, which is why we have a private-labeled nutraceutical line to help our patients choose the best supplements to aid in hormone metabolism, weight management, and overall wellness.
Macronutrients include things like fats, protein, and carbohydrates. While we need some of each to support good health (and maintain normal body function), consuming too much of any of these can cause a nutritional imbalance that, in turn, can “throw off” your hormones.
For instance, eating too much sugar or carbohydrates can wind up interfering with the hormone insulin, leading to metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Sometimes fasting insulin levels can rise indicating insulin resistance even prior to a diabetes diagnosis. Consuming too much or too little protein can cause an imbalance in thyroid hormones that regulate body temperature, digestion, nerve activity, and other functions.
People who have eating disorders or absorption disorders and those who are following very restrictive diets can also have hormonal imbalances simply because they’re not consuming sufficient calories. When calories are severely restricted, your body focuses more on surviving and less on day-to-day functions.
As a result, your glands and organs prioritize certain activities, which means you can wind up with decreased hormone production and disruptions in how hormones are used. For example, data show that low-calorie and low-carb diets both exert an influence over female sex hormones, taking a toll on a woman’s menstrual cycles as well as her fertility.
Our team understands the critical balance between nutrition and hormonal imbalances and the symptoms and complications those imbalances can cause. To learn more about nutrition, nutrient supplementation, hormone replacement therapy, and other steps to help you lead your healthiest life, request an appointment online or call the Institute for Hormonal Balance team today.