You might just associate changing hormones with your teenage years, but these chemical messengers have been working hard in your body since the day you were born. The Hormone Health Network explains your hormones influence everything from hunger to your complex emotions. You’ve definitely heard of estrogen and testosterone, the main sex hormones in females and males, but there’s more to the equation than just these two. Cortisol, for example, is another one that helps your body respond to stress.
In an ideal world, your hormones would be totally balanced all the time. Unfortunately, that’s not really how it works. There are a lot of things in your life that can totally screw up this delicate system. It’s not all bad, though — most of these are completely within your control.
1. Eating too much sugar
We know your chocolate addiction is tough to kick, but it could really be messing with your hormones. After a really sugary meal, your insulin levels get a big spike, explains the Women’s Health Network. Insulin is the hormone in your body that allows you to use sugar, so causing it to jump to high levels can lead to irritability, anxiety, and poor sleep. This gets even worse for women who are nearing menopause.
The solution? You don’t need to cut out your favorite sweets completely, but be mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Too many refined sugars and carbs are bad news for your insulin levels, so go for more protein, healthy fats, and whole grains.
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