Did you know that you produce over 50 hormones? Each hormone responsible for a different function within your body. There are multiple glands throughout your body that produce hormones to carry out specific functions. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate functions like sleep, growth, hunger, metabolism, and reproduction. If a hormone imbalance occurs, our body can be affected with either weight gain or with problems losing weight. As we age, we find that hormones and weight loss are intimately linked throughout our life.
Extra body fat, high levels of stress, poor nutrition, and toxin exposure all can play a role in how well our hormones function. Carrying excess body fat hinders our body’s ability to control our appetite. The hormone responsible for telling us we are full, leptin, is produced by our fat cells. The excess weight we carry hinders our brain’s ability to receive the signal from leptin that we are full. This miscommunication can lead to overeating and additional weight gain.
Living with excess stress can create a situation where your adrenal glands overproduce cortisol. This hormone is responsible for raising your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It is also responsible for regulating your immune system. High levels of stress can wreak havoc on your body. We may find that sugar cravings increase, feelings of fatigue worsen, and the likelihood of thyroid dysfunction grows.
Fortunately, diagnostic testing is available to help determine the reasons for unexplained weight gain or the inability to lose weight. Getting a complete hormone panel test administered will assess your thyroid, adrenal, and gonadal glands. This will chart your course to return balance to your hormones. Recommendations from your healthcare professional could range from dietary adjustments such as reducing your sugar intake, moderating caffeine and alcohol consumption, and increasing proteins and vegetables in your diet; switching from strength to cardio training; and increasing your sleep and practicing relaxation techniques.
The good news is that hormone balance can be achieved. If you find yourself stuck in the weight loss department, something more may be going on. Knowing what you are up against can turn the tides back in your favor so you can reap the rewards from your efforts to obtain better health and wellness.