Some hormones decline with age, like estrogen in women and testosterone in men, and some fluctuate during puberty. Yet rapidly piling daily stressors and a fast-paced lifestyle are causing an increasing number of abnormal hormonal imbalances that show up in the form of acne at best, and chronic conditions like diabetes and heart failure at worst.
Gynecologists recommend the following lifestyle adaptations can help reset the balance, and keep these complications from ever happening:
Table of Contents
1- Sleep Right:
Regular exercise and a healthy diet will only take you so far without adequate, consistent sleep. During deep sleep (between 8pm-5am), the body undergoes its repair and hormone replenishing cycle. Consecutive sleep deprivation and low-quality sleep decreases leptin (fullness) and growth hormone production, while increasing stress hormone levels (cortisol) and insulin resistance (the body’s ability to utilize insulin).
In women, lack of sleep decreases progesterone and estrogen levels which in turn makes it difficult to fall asleep by triggering hot flashes and night sweats, and reduces fertility by suppressing ovulation.
2- Exercise Regularly:
Exercise helps both build and retain muscle with age. One way is by reducing insulin levels and increasing insulin sensitivity, which not only keeps diabetes at bay, but also provides proper energy for muscle maintenance via proper glucose management.
Regular exercise also helps stimulate testosterone (in males), IGF-1, DHEA, and growth hormone production, all of which decline with age and are responsible maintaining muscle mass. Aim for at least 30 minutes of daily exercise.
3- Avoid Under or Overeating:
Both insufficient diets and overeating can cause issues with weight gain and overall growth. In insulin resistant obese people, eating in excess further increases insulin resistance along with elevated insulin levels. Conversely, eating less than 1200 calories a day increases cortisol levels, which not only promotes stress, but also triggers insulin resistance and eventually, diabetes.
It also helps reduce breast tenderness and soreness, especially in pregnant and lactating women, by regulating prolactin production.
4- Say No to Low-Fat:
A fat-free diet eliminates essential natural fats (dairy products, olive oil, nuts, etc.) along with harmful saturated fats (found in packaged and fried foods). This deprives the body of a direct energy source, while also increasing insulin resistance in overweight, obese, and diabetic individuals.
Moreover, a healthy fat-rich diet stimulates the release of fullness triggering hormones, hence promoting weight loss. Medium-Chain Triglycerides (coconut, palm, and pure MCT oil), dairy fats and monosaturated fat (olive oil and nuts) are the fats to aim for.
5- Get Enough Protein:
Proteins promote weight loss by stimulating the release of appetite suppressing ghrelins. Moreover, consuming 20-30g of protein per meal from eggs, chicken, almonds, and milk, among others, also provides the body with essential amino acids to manufacture hormones responsible for muscle, bone, and skin growth and maintenance.
Although a healthy, active lifestyle with some extra supplementation is usually all that is needed to correct hormonal imbalance, certain medical conditions may be severe enough to warrant artificial hormone replacement therapy.
Consult with your doctor if you spot any signs of hormonal imbalance, or suspect your diagnosis (diabetes, PCOS, or other chronic conditions) worsening due to it. You can also book an appointment with a top gynecologist in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your hormonal concerns.