As humans, our bodies are regulated by hormones. They play a massive role not only in our growth and development, but also in our everyday health and wellness.
To describe them in the simplest terms, hormones are basically your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs, and affect many different processes. They help to regulate not only how your body grows, but also your metabolism, sexual function, reproductive function, and even your mood. In other words, they’re super important—and they’re also awesome.
They’re created by endocrine glands, and having healthy levels of them is important; even a very tiny fluctuation can cause big changes in the cells—which can translate to even bigger changes throughout the entire body. So when stuff messes with your hormones, it can actually mess with your life in a bigger way. And this may not be a good thing.
So in this post, I’m sharing 5 things that may affect the hormones that maybe you never realised could do so.
As humans, our diets have a major impact on the day-to-day processes within our bodies. You may be able to get away with a poor diet every now and then. But if you indulge in too much unhealthy food too often, your hormones can really start to get thrown for a loop.
Food serves as the fuel that we use to create energy, generate cells, and repair damage. Eating a healthy diet is crucial for maintaining your gut health. Poor gut health is linked to inflammation, which is a root cause of many hormonal imbalances. So if you have a poor diet, you may also have poor hormone levels.
Yes, drinking alcohol can be fun sometimes. And it can sometimes help you to deal with stress and anxiety. But it’s certainly not good for you—by any stretch of the imagination. Drinking alcohol can also contribute to hormonal imbalances.
One of the most common negative effects of alcohol consumption is a form of estrogen dominance, which can lead to an increase in your risk of problems like abnormal insulin resistance, abnormal pancreatic function, and even liver disease. It can also lower testosterone and interfere with your sex drive.
There have been a number of studies done on the role that cannabis plays in our hormone systems. Some studies have outlined that CBD—which is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis—is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and may help to boost the body’s natural testosterone levels.
In other words, taking CBD could actually lead to better overall hormonal health.
Stress causes a number of hormonal changes within the body. The most dramatic of these changes is the increase in cortisol that the body experiences once it’s kicked into a stress state. This can lead to an increase in anxiety, decreased immunity, weight gain, depression, and a decreased ability to focus and concentrate.
In the short term, stress is a survival mechanism that helps to make us hyper-aware of danger. But in the long term, it’s really hard on your body and can cause a number of hormonal problems.
Poor Sleep Quality
Getting enough sleep is actually a major pillar of health and wellness. Alongside a healthy diet and exercise routine, getting a quality night’s rest is a crucial part of staying healthy as a human.
With that being said, getting inadequate sleep can cause some pretty serious hormone-level issues within the body. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body’s natural stress reactions get triggered. This pumps up your cortisol levels and basically puts your body into a stress state. This isn’t good for you in the short term, and it’s definitely bad for you in the long term.
Of course, the best-case scenario is for us to make decisions about our bodies that’ll lead to better and more successful health and wellness outcomes. And in order to do this, you need to have an understanding of how the human body works. So hopefully this post has helped you to understand a little bit more about what can affect your hormones.
*This is a contributed post. As ever, all opinions are my own.