What are hormones exactly? What do they do? And why should women care about them?
Hormones were something I didn't think I needed to worry about until I either:
couldn't get pregnant
experienced postpartum depression
was going through menopause
I had no idea they run our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Or controlled our mood, appetite, period, digestion, and whether we feel stressed or not.
Can you relate?
Most people, when they think about hormones, think they only apply to women (they don't) and they only have to do with our reproductive system.
They're so much more!
Hormones run our bodies and emotions - both men and women.
Hormones are the internal messages in your body, carried from your endocrine system, to tell your organs (including your brain) and inner systems how to function.
Some glands in your endocrine system include:
adrenal glands - regulate your stress hormones
pituitary gland - located at the base of your brain and connected to your thoughts and feelings
pancreas - helps regulate blood sugar and appetite
ovaries - regulates your monthly cycle and reproduction
testies - regulates male reproduction
thyroid - regulates your metabolism
These glands are interconnected in your body.
Here's why hormones get confusing for so many people - if one of these systems is poorly functioning, then your other glands won't work as effectively.
Let's say your adrenal glands are producing too many stress hormones because you've had tight deadlines at work, aren't sleeping well, and may be skipping meals without meaning too. You're also leaning more on caffeine for energy and to destress from work, you head to spin class.
If you have too many stress hormones, it tells your body to feel more stressed out. This then impacts your hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are connected to your thyroid and send messages to your ovaries and pancreas.
This can cause issues with your period and fertility, blood sugar (like craving more sweets and bad for you food), and lower your metabolism, which can cause you to gain weight.
Just from trying to live your life!
You can see why supporting your whole body is important to your overall health.
Hormones are carried from your endocrine system through your bloodstream by what are called neurotransmitters. They are used to carry messages to your organs to carry out a function in your body.
For example, if it's time for lunch, your stomach will release an appetite hormone called ghrelin so your brain feels the sense of hunger. You then know it's time to eat.
As you're eating and becoming full, a hormone called leptin will be released to signal it's time to stop eating. Studies have shown that obese people don't have the regular release of leptin, so they don't get the signal to stop eating when they've had enough.
Hormones are fascinating to your life and help you:
know when you're hungry
know when you've had enough to eat
identify when something is considered a threat to protect you
have your period - your body's monthly health report card
get and stay pregnant - what your body is designed to do!
Personally, I've loved learning about hormones and understanding how they connect our mind and body. I love knowing I have control over my positive mood, metabolism, having a happy monthly cycle, and feeling more emotionally balanced.
Understanding hormones didn't just help me with my period, which is how I was motivated to start. They've helped me perform better at work, improve my communication to strengthen my relationships, and even look leaner without working out so much. It's been amazing!
Balancing my hormones gave me back control over my life and make me feel happier.
It certainly hasn't always been that way, but my whole world changed when I began studying hormones. I've focused on balancing seven key sets of hormones and how to use food, fitness, and my lifestyle to support them.
Balancing my hormones has been a huge part of my path to becoming a better version of myself.
Hormones truly feel like a gift.
That's why I created the Balanced Bombshells Lifestyle Plan. I wanted a program I could always come back to and live by for lasting results.
I didn't want to give up my favorite foods and workouts. I didn't want to feel like something was wrong with me. And I wanted an easy to understand approach on my hormones and how to use them to my advantage in the pursuit of my goals.
Your hormones are your best kept secret to living a happy and fulfilled life.
I hope this explains the role hormones play in your life and you'll keep challenging yourself to learn more!