According to Sarah Gottfried, the most common hormonal imbalances are: • An imbalance (high and / or low) of cortisol in combination with low thyroid function. How do these conditions differ? “Increased cortisol gives a feeling of fatigue, while giving it fussiness and forcing the body to store supplies in places where it’s easy to get them. For example, fat at the waist. ” And lowered cortisol makes you feel exhausted and dry, like a car trying to move with an empty fuel tank, ”explains Sarah Gottfried. • An imbalance of cortisol in combination with unregulated sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone). • Low progesterone and high androgen. “This imbalance is most often found in women at the age of thirty, which causes difficulties with conception,” the expert notes. • Low cortisol during the day and high at night. “This often happens in women during menopause, which makes them feel tired and anxious,” says Sarah Gottfried. What to do? Do not have high hopes for pills. “The main thing you need to know: hormones do not exist in a vacuum. Some of them seriously affect other hormones, warns Sarah Gottfried. – You can’t rapidly increase the amount of hormones and thereby obtain an effective medicine. For example, PMS is associated with progesterone problems, but covering oneself with progesterone gel does not mean automatically eliminating the symptoms of all women. The body is able to find the best “cure” that affects primary causes, including hormone precursors, such as vitamin B6, which helps you produce serotonin. And there are herbs that change progesterone sensitivity, and useful lifestyle techniques that soothe your brain. ”
How to restore hormone balance
The solution for each type of imbalance will be different, however, several general recommendations for restoring the “harmony of hormones” still exist. Since the production of many hormones is disturbed by fluctuations in cortisol, it makes sense first of all to “return” it to the balance.
* Relax more often. The production of cortisol is controlled by the lowest part of the brain (“reptilian”) and the limbic system. Calm them – and the level of the hormone drops to normal levels. This can be done with the help of: relaxing yoga, diaphragmatic breathing, meditation, orgasms, massage. “The cranial nerve is called the vagus because it goes from the brain stem to the colon. Massage of receptors on the skin and under it stimulates the activity of this nerve, and this is one of the reasons why massage is so remarkably relaxing, ”says Sarah Gottfried.
* Avoid stimulants. Coffee, alcohol, sugar – the psyche “inflated” by stress, all this can excite even more. So, it will launch a new cycle of cortisol production. Switch to herbal teas, decaffeinated coffee and non-alcoholic wine. LINK
* Observe the daily routine. Our ancestors lived according to the solar “schedule”: they fell asleep shortly after sunset, woke up at dawn. Artificial lighting gives us the opportunity to lengthen the hours of wakefulness and we often abuse it, sitting up in front of the monitor until late. “We need to go to bed at one and the same time and get up with the sun. This creates daily congruence, naturally optimizing your hormonal balance, ”says Sarah Gottfried. It is important not only to go to bed on time, but also not to increase the level of cortisol in the evening. “At night, your hormones get a chance to harmonize and synchronize with each other.
For example, melatonin and growth hormone, which help you fall asleep and actually sleep, are produced mainly at night, the expert notes. “If you are missing one or both of them, your cortisol can rise significantly at night.” With the passage of time, lack of sleep may increase: you will not be able to sleep because of the high cortisol. An endless loop will start. With high evening cortisol, you cannot fall asleep, sleep for a long time and have a good, deep sleep. ”
* Avoid exhausting loads. This also applies to the psychological ones (review your list of duties and unfinished business), and especially to the physical ones! Some workouts (like marathon) cause an increase in cortisol levels. However, in general, the movement has a positive effect on the balance of hormones: choose a quiet workout like yoga, tai chi , dancing, Pilates .