Is stress messing with your hormones?

Hormones are more than pesky chemicals that cause mood swings. In fact, our bodies host around 50 different hormones that keep us functioning properly. They ‘ re responsible for our sleep cycles, metabolism, and skin health. In other words, they ‘ re a very big deal.

When your hormones are in check, you feel healthy, happy and on top of your game. But when they ‘ re not, it can lead to unpleasant side effects including fatigue, weight gain, and skin problems. Not surprisingly, chronic stress is one of the leading causes of hormonal imbalance.

Common symptoms of hormonal imbalance

While a little stress can be beneficial, too much of it over a long period of time can negatively impact your health. A hormonal imbalance can manifest in different ways – here are a few symptoms to look out for:

  • Your period is irregular – shorter or longer periods than usual, painful cramping or flow at an irregular time of the month.
  • You feel tired and awake – you ‘ re tired during the day, but struggle to fall asleep at night.
  • You crave sugar or salt – while it may feel comforting to eat a bag of sweet or salty treats, this will only aggravate the cycle.
  • You put on weight around your midsection – stress can cause high insulin levels which increases your appetite.

6 Ways to prevent stress from affecting your hormones

Combatting stress isn ‘ t an overnight event. Think of it more as a journey to knowing your body and practising regular self-care . Here are a few ways to help get your hormonal levels back on track:

  1. Say no to things that don ‘ t bring you joy or make you smile.
  2. Use food as medicine – eat nutritious whole foods, hydrate, and eliminate excess sugar and processed foods.
  3. Practice yoga, meditating or stretching to help you slow down and relax.
  4. Move your body more – do regular exercise that you enjoy, whether that ‘ s walking, Zumba, Pilates or martial arts.
  5. Get into a good sleep routine.
  6. Consider taking a supplement that supports the maintenance of normal hormonal activity, such as Vital Women.