You may want to think of hormones as chemical messengers that play a significant role in your mental, emotional and physical state. Your endocrine system is responsible for the production of specific hormones to facilitate various functions in your body. These processes include your food intake, mood, weight, and even sleep. Your hormone health is crucial for optimal liveliness, and hormones participate in the functions of the:
- Adrenal gland
- Thyroid gland
- Pineal gland
- Pituitary gland
- Pancreas gland
- Ovaries and testes
With aging comes a decline in your hormone levels and cell receptors; it is nature’s way. Nevertheless, the effects of these hormonal changes are more evident in some people than others. With the fast pace of today’s modern lifestyles, there is a notable increase in cases of hormonal imbalances. Note that some hormone issues can be corrected through growth hormone replacement therapy for men and other similar therapies.
What is hormone deficiency?
Hormonal imbalance is caused by a deficiency of a specific hormone or is limited in its production. At the other end of the scale is the excessive production of the said hormone. Your thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that affect your metabolism, temperature, skin integrity, and respiration, together with calcium and energy levels. Meanwhile, the cortisol hormone influences your psychological and physical wellbeing. Thoughts of dysfunction in your body can be alarming, mainly because your body has over 50 hormones. Let’s look at the workings of the thyroid.
Fatigue is one of the most reliable indicators of a hormonal deficiency in the thyroid gland, namely hypothyroidism. If your thyroid gland produces excessive progesterone, you may feel tired or sleepy, and low production makes you lazy. You can do a blood test to determine if you are experiencing a hormonal deficiency. Hormone deficiency in the thyroid gland occurs as a result of increased oxidative stress and suppressed metabolism. Specifically, the gland is not working at an optimal level, and its production levels are low.
Indicators of deficiency in the thyroid gland are
- Muscle weakness
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Chest pains
- Increased heart rate
- Increased appetite and unexplained weight loss
- Dry skin
What are the causes?
Changes in your hormone levels may cause you to feel tired. Shifts in hormone levels are expected during pregnancy, and these changes are likely to cause weight gain in menopausal women. On the other hand, such occurrences can be an indicator of underlying issues. These may include health conditions, medications, or an unhealthy lifestyle. Ovarian and thyroid dysfunction reflect the symptoms mentioned above and targets more women than men.
However, it is hard to isolate in postmenopausal women and the elderly because the symptoms are sometimes nonspecific. Thyroid disease in women increases with age, during pregnancy, being postnatal, and during menopause. Your body’s immune system causes hypothyroidism. Even in this malfunctioning state, your body sustains the dire condition.
Your tiredness is likely an indicator of hormone deficiency in thyroid function. You can improve your hormonal balance by adapting some practical changes to your lifestyle:
Your thyroid gland significantly depends on dietary iodine for its optimal function. Issues arise in the body if your consumption is below 50mcg per day. It is vital to include vegetable oil in your diet, sea vegetables, iodized salt, and saltwater fish. However, if you are subject to a restrictive sodium diet, avoid the salt but indulge in the sea vegetables. Stick to an anti-inflammatory diet, and include ginger because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is a herbal plant and thus easily accessible.
Other important medicinal plants to help treat thyroid issues include sage, bugleweed, motherwort, lemon balm, and self-heal.
While the above directly addresses thyroid hormone deficiency, here are some other ways to improve your hormonal balance:
Increase your protein intake
Your body can’t produce essential amino acids independently, and therefore you need dietary protein. Your daily consumption of dietary protein helps maintain bone, muscle, and skin health. Protein stimulates the production of hormones that control your appetite and food intake.
In a random study, findings reveal that a high-protein breakfast gives you a feeling of being full. This research proves that while protein produces a satiated feeling, it reduces the hunger hormone, namely ghrelin. Another study introduced varying amounts of proteins in the respondents’ food to observe the significance of high protein in meals. The respondents experienced a 25% decline in hunger ratings compared to a regular protein meal intake. Hunger increases your fatigue levels, so consider introducing high protein meals in your diet.
Hormonal deficiency leads to increased levels of insulin. When you exercise, you reduce your insulin levels and increase your insulin sensitivity. Insulin is an essential hormone whose function is the uptake of amino acids and sugar from the bloodstream. This process produces energy and helps maintain muscle.
Overproduction of insulin is dangerous and can cause inflammation, diabetes, and cancer. It is where your cells fail to respond to insulin signals adequately, making you feel tired and weak. Studies reveal that physical activity such as aerobic exercises reduce insulin levels and positively impacts type II diabetes mellitus. Strength training and endurance exercises decrease insulin levels in patients who have recovered from breast cancer. At any age, cancer, diabetes, and hypothyroidism will make you feel tired, so regular exercise will increase your energy levels and improve your appetite.
It is useful to engage in aerobics, walking, and other exercise forms because it will positively affect your hormone levels. If you practice this regularly, even as you age, you will protect your muscle mass and reduce disease risk.
Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disorder that is commonly associated with women. Fatigue-related complaints are characteristics of the condition. Again, the risk of acquiring this hormone deficiency increases with pregnancy, aging, perinatal and menopausal stages. The suppressed metabolism in the body leads to the thyroid gland producing low levels of vital hormones. However, there are treatments and remedies available for this hormone deficiency. Medical experts are now able to identify the areas of the population at risk and educate them on the subject.