Hormones and Gut-Health! Can’t live with ’em – Can’t live without ’em

Most people consider hormones as some things that happen during teenage years or monthly to females. The truth is actually a lot more complex.

The http://www.hormone.org website defines hormones as:

Hormones are special chemical messengers in the body that are created in the endocrine glands. These messengers control most major bodily functions, from simple basic needs like hunger to complex systems like reproduction, and even the emotions and mood.

For example did you know hormones are involved in telling you when to eat? And even what to eat?

Then what you eat influences mood, energy levels, even physiology. Low blood sugar levels can be indicated by low mood or downers.

Cravings, mood-swings, anxiety, depression but also love, sexual attraction, and adequate absorption of essential vitamins and minerals are influenced by the messages carried around the body through hormones.

So what are they??? Well you may have heard of adrenaline? That stuff fires our fight or flight response to perceived or real threat. It pumps our heart rate to boost oxygen to muscles, dampens the body’s pain receptors and heightens awareness. Physiologically you are now on red alert! Warning! Incoming!

You may also have heard of oxytocin – the love hormone. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for bonding, social connection and love. It also triggers uterine contractions during labour.

Cortisol known as the stress hormone. Most cells have cortisol receptors and so cortisol can affect many different functions. It can assist with regulating blood sugar levels, metabolism and controlling salt and water balance and blood pressure. It also assists with memory formation and helps to reduce inflammation.

Vitamin D deficiency affects mood and the malabsorbtion of calcium in the body not only leading to weaker bones but also adversely affecting the immune system resulting in lower resistance to viruses and infections.

Insulin assists with the absorbtion of glucose in the blood by liver, muscles and fat cells. It is then either burnt as energy or stored as fat. Insulin therefore is a significant hormone necessary for a healthy metabolism. Issues with insulin levels is defined and treated as diabetes.

Difficulties with hormones can lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms. Chelsea Owens shares her challenges with hormones in her blog. The medical profession deals with these issues through medication of the symptoms. Oh you have a headache? Here’s a paracetamol. But this approach does not consider diet or gut-health in the role hormones play in our bodies.

Firstly let’s consider diet. Simply eating inadequate amounts of the necessary building blocks to produce necessary amounts of hormones will lead to a deficiency. Consider eating fresh, locally grown organic fruit and vegetables and locally sourced protein.

Secondly, you may be eating sufficient amounts of the requisite vitamins and minerals in your diet but these are not being absorbed into your body because your gut-health is poor. Or your gut-health is poor due to toxic overload. Your digestive system is unable to function in a healthy way leading to different health issues manifesting as for example depression, anxiety as well as weight gain and other symptons of toxic overload. Let’s consider how the gut works when we absorb nutrients from our food.

Absorption is the movement of digested food molecules (nutrients) through the wall of the intestine into the blood or lymph. Nutrients are broken down through chewing and by our saliva. When we swallow we send the nutrients down our digestive tract into our small intestine where absorption occurs. Within the small intestine are small hairy protrusions called villi.

Healthy villi stand up thereby increasing the area of absorption. But unhealthy villi lie down significantly decreases the ability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients as the villi “stack” on top on each other. Nutrients then get stored or pass through the system.

So what is the main cause of “stacking” villi? Ready?… SUGAR! A simple sugar detox for 3 days will “wake up” your digestive system allowing you to benefit from the nutrients you put in your body. In three days your villi will stand up. In this way simple diet changes can support absorption and through better absorption work toward addressing nutrient and hormonal deficiency.

Our 3 stage gut-health program is designed to wake up your intestinal health. It is based on the philosophy that a healthy fully functional digestive system will naturally incline towards optimal health.

So what alternatives to medication are there to address hormonal imbalance?

  1. Consider addressing your gut-health. Are you in malabsorption??? Putting health at the top – PHATT program just might be able to help you.
  2. Quit eating sugar or at least severely restrict your sugar intake.
  3. Consider a plant based nutritional supplement that has traditional been used to balance hormones. Here’s one (Australian market) or if you live in New Zealand or US market or here if you live in Europe and this one(Australian market), or New Zealand or US market or here if you live in Europe.
  4. Consider an aromatherapy option that supports the symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Here’s one (Australian market), or New Zealand or US market or here if you live in Europe.

Let me know how you go!

Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. Always consult your medical professional prior to starting any health regime.

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