There are well over 200 hormones in the body. Changes in hormone production — producing either not enough or too much — can change signaling pathways and can cause several issues including weight gain, infertility, mood disorders and even disease states such as diabetes.
There are several hormonal disruptors in our environment including toxins, medications and stress, but what seems to be very misunderstood is the effect of diet-related hormonal fluctuations.
Our chronic overeating then trying to compensate by undereating can greatly disrupt hormonal pathways and completely change the way we feel, not to mention setting us up for potential disease states.
Sudden weight fluctuations can change energy levels, cause muscle aches and weakness, joint inflammation, temperature sensitivity and other issues. Women are particularly sensitive to caloric restriction as it down regulates hormone production, in particular the sex hormones.
Under eating and over exercising in the quest to lose weight are terrible hormonal disruptors — and very likely one of the biggest causes for the failure that results in. To properly lose fat and maintain that fat loss, you need a very well-balanced and well-working hormonal system, not to mention the facts that you feel better, you function better and your quality of life is not negatively affected.
Whether your health goals are to lose weight, build muscle, prevent disease or just live a long and gratifying life, understanding the importance of overall hormone balance is an absolute must. If you feel you may have some hormonal concerns or issues, start by optimizing your diet by eating adequate healthy fats such as nuts and seeds, quality low fat proteins, whole fruits and vegetables, and avoiding processed and man-made foods.
The food-hormone connection is far too powerful to ignore, no matter what your state of health and/or goals may be.
Dr. Warren Willey is a Pocatello physician. Visit his website at drwilley.com.