Hormones affect most of a woman’s moods and bodily functions, so it is important to pay attention to hormone health. These influential hormones are easily altered by many environmental situations and circumstances. Many women do not realize just how much their hormones can be changed by outside influences. You may want to change these habits so you can keep your hormones at optimal levels.
Working Out too Hard
Moderate levels of exercise help to balance hormones, but overdoing it can cause issues. Medical researchers have realized that many people who work out for hours a day suffer from overtraining syndrome. This boosts levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and lowers levels of female hormones. In the long run, overtraining syndrome can decrease fertility and increase risks for health issues.
Snacking on Processed Foods
White flour, sugars, and artificial sweeteners are not just dangerous because they make you gain weight. These processed foods also boost cortisol levels and increase inflammation throughout the body. Try substituting whole grains and natural sweeteners like honey for processed junk food ingredients to maintain hormone health.
Using Certain Beauty Products
Many beauty products contain parabens that are supposed to work as a preservative. Unfortunately, these common ingredients mimic estrogen in the body. When the body thinks there is excess estrogen, many problems can occur. A 2004 study found that parabens were linked to harmful breast cancer tumors. To avoid soaps, lotions, makeup, and creams with paraben, carefully read labels before purchasing.
Not Making Enough Time for Your Friends
Interacting with other women can actually change hormones. This is why many women end up with the same menstrual cycle as their close female friends. Female connections boost oxytocin levels which is very helpful. Without enough oxytocin, you may have increased stress and heart disease risks.
Eating Too Many Canned Goods
The metal cans that contain food are often lined with plastic to preserve tastes. This lining often contains bisphenol A (BPA), which is a known endocrine disruptor. This chemical increases certain levels of hormones while lowering others too much. According to the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, current levels of exposure are very dangerous. The levels are so high that it can alter behavior and change fetal development. Look for cans that have a label showing they are BPA free.
The glands that produce hormones need certain nutrients to work correctly. Without enough copper, selenium, iodine, and vitamin D, the thyroid has many problems. The lack of thyroid hormones can lead to weight gain, exhaustion, hair loss, and mood swings.
Being Too Clean
It might sound bizarre, but washing your hands and using hand sanitizer too much can actually be unhealthy. Hand sanitizer can kill the beneficial bacteria in your system that help to produce hormones. Antibacterial soap is also harmful because it contains triclosan, a chemical that can raise estrogen to unhealthy levels.
Hormones control your mood, but your mood also controls your hormones. When you feel stressed and grumpy, you increase levels of cortisol and other stress hormones. This causes of feedback loop that lowers beneficial hormones and increases harmful hormones. Then you end up feeling even grumpier. Some psychologists recommend that patients practice meditation or other relaxation techniques to protect their body.
Not Eating Fat
The body needs fats to produce hormones, so a strict low fat diet is often very bad for you. Without fat, your body does not create natural levels of the hormones that tell you to feel full and hungry. Some research has found that a lack of fat can also raise estrogen levels too high. This can cause period cramps and fibroid tumors. Therefore, you should try to eat healthy omega-3 fats in foods like avocado, salmon, and walnuts.
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Eating Non-Organic Items
Most animal and dairy producers feed their animals a lot of artificial hormones to speed growth and production. Studies have found that these artificial hormones remain in meat and cause problems in the body. It can trigger early puberty in young girls and increase breast cancer risk. Whenever possible, you and your family should eat organic meats, dairy, and eggs.
Keep in mind these 10 things to protect you hormone health.