When it comes to skin care, there is a lot to consider: What topical treatments to use? What is the optimal diet? Should I use supplements or not? … and so much more. While many are aware of the damaging effects of the more obvious poor choices – there is often an overlooked, underlying factor that determines whether something is “healthy” or not. That underlying factor is the hormonal effects of any given activity.
Proper hormone balance is a dominant factor in determining health, especially the health of our skin and hair. There are various hormonal conditions that set the stage for skin diseases like chronic acne, eczema, dry skin, hair loss and wrinkles.
Some hormones are anti-aging, protective against inflammation and oxidation, while others contribute to disease. At a basic level, when our hormones are not optimally balanced, inflammation can become chronic, which suppresses immune function and leads to disease and accelerated aging.
If your goal is to be radiantly healthy, then hormonal balance must be a primary target in your program.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
To understand what causes hormonal imbalance, it would be helpful to understand what hormones are. Hormones are chemical messengers in the body, they are the delivery mechanisms in the communication network of the body. When the body needs to get a job done, it sends specific hormones to deliver the message. In this light, the reason hormones become imbalanced has a lot to do with a person’s lifestyle, daily habits, diet, sleep patterns, stress levels and even their chronic emotional patterns.
Refining this concept, stress is the basic cause of hormonal imbalance. However, stress can manifest itself in infinite ways. Stress can be biological, psychological, chemical, thermal, and physical. In any case of stress (force, counter-force), the body has to secrete stress hormones to help the body regain homeostasis. Overtime, if stress is chronic, it can offset the secretion of other important hormones, like sex hormones and growth hormone.
So, the basic direction one must take to achieve hormonal balance is exactly that, a life of balance. The first step in that process would involve eliminating as much stress as possible.
Here are just a few places to look:
• Diet: processed, GMO, junk foods that are not a biochemical match to the body will cause a biological stress. Foods containing soy, refined carbs, polyunsaturated fats and animal products pumped with synthetic hormones are especially hormone disrupting.
• Chemical/Biological: Poor sleep, drug use, medications, alcohol, infection, environmental toxins, etc. are just a few places in which you can run into an overload of chemical stress.
• Physical: Getting into an accident, physical trauma, fighting, and excessive exercise can be a cause of physical stress.
• Thermal: Sun burn, chemical burn, or generally being too hot or too cold can cause a thermal stress in the body.
• Electromagnetic: EMFs, blue light and electronics are a source of stress today that inhibits hormonal function.
• Psychological: Chronic negative thoughts and emotional suffering create a stress response in the body that disrupts the production of youth hormone.
Tips for Hormone Balance
Now that you are aware of some of the root causes of hormonal imbalance, let’s discuss some things you can do to rebalance your hormones for healthy skin, abundant energy and vitality.
1. Clean Up Your Diet: Equally important, if not more to eliminating hormone disrupting foods is eating nourishing foods that support your hormones. First, get rid of the obvious junk foods, commercial dairy, meat, eggs, refined carbs and sugar, and excess alcohol. Next, eat foods that are rich in cholesterol – a key precursor to hormone production. Also, eat foods that cleanse the liver like bitter greens, protein, and healthy fat. These will support your liver in the production and detoxification of hormones.
2. Support Your Gut: The digestive system plays a central role in hormonal balance. If your gut is compromised, leaky, infected, inflamed or you are eating foods you are intolerant too, your body will react with chronic inflammation, suppressing proper hormone production. To help your digestive system, eliminate as much stress as possible (the number one cause of digestive issues), eat only real foods, eat only when hungry and be sure to get physical activity daily.
3. Go Green: A major source of hormone disrupting chemicals is our own home. Many commercial products like self-care products, hygiene and cleansing products contain estrogen mimicking and endocrine disrupting compounds. Swap your commercial house cleaning products and beauty products for clean, organic products to avoid a toxic overload.
4. Clear Your Mind: Chronic psychological stress elevates cortisol, which in turn suppressed hormonal balance and leads to weak immunity and inflammation and hormone imbalances. Eliminating this sort of stress takes time and practice; you can utilize various meditation techniques that get your out of your head and focused on the moment. You can’t be stressed mentally if you’re not thinking, so aim to play daily, do something you enjoy or simply just be there and observe existence. Anything that gets you out of your head and into the moment is helpful while you work more deeply to master your mind and emotions.