Feeling better and looking younger has A LOT to do with balancing your hormones, and most family doctors can’t tell you how to do it, naturally.
You know your hormones are out of wack simply by observing a few small, yet telling, changes to your appearance that wasn’t there before. Do any of these sound familiar? Your hair is lifeless and/or falling out, your skin is dull, more and more wrinkles are forming on your face, your nails are brittle, you’re gaining weight for no good reason, and your eyes don’t shine the way they used to.
If feeling better and looking younger are at the top of your priority list, start your anti-aging regimen with a peek at your hormones.
Hormones affect everything inside, and out, of your body. Your immune response, inflammation, cellular growth, and tissue repair are all connected to how well your body is regulating hormones and has a huge impact on your appearance.
In this article, we will discuss each of the major hormones that can affect appearance, plus give you strategies you can use to balance your hormones naturally for radiant outer vitality the world can see.
Let’s Begin with Insulin
You don’t have to be a diabetic to have issues with insulin. Some people have trouble with insulin resistance and don’t realize it. High levels of insulin, caused by eating too much high sugar foods that cause spikes in blood sugar and therefore too much insulin, can accelerate wrinkling of your skin. To stop this from happening, avoid highly processed sugary foods and eat a balanced diet of protein, healthy fats, and nutrient-dense carbohydrates. To keep your blood sugars balanced, it’s best to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.
Cortisol – the Stress Hormone
Stress has been proven to affect how well, or not so well, we age. Studies conducted on laboratory rats showed that collagen loss in the skin due to high levels of cortisol is ten times greater than any other tissue, which makes stress the main reason your hair is dull, thin, and your skin is sagging. Any stress-relieving tactic you can use to reduce cortisol will have a positive impact on how well you age.
Estrogen – the Hormone You Associate with Menopause
Before menopause, estrogen is produced by your ovaries. After menopause, your adrenal glands take over. Can you guess what the effect of that change is, especially with our stressful, sleep-deprived lifestyles? Our adrenal glands produce way less estrogen when we are stressed, having trouble sleeping, eating poorly, and when we are sick. Most women experience estrogen decline naturally from their late 40s on and some may experience this sooner, which results in thinner skin with reduced elasticity. Again, this leads to more wrinkles and sagging because your body has reduced the amount of collagen and elastin it produces. Estrogen also helps the skin stay moist by boosting hyaluronic acid. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can give you younger-looking skin while maintaining your skin’s collagen, thickness, elasticity, and ability to maintain moisture. CONTACT US HERE to learn more about Bioidentical Hormones.
Easy-to-implement dietary changes can help you maintain healthy estrogen levels. Eating more phytoestrogens, like flaxseed and fermented soy products, increasing the number of cruciferous vegetables you eat, and using certain herbal products like licorice, angelica, red clover, or black cohosh, can help you naturally balance healthy estrogen levels.
Testosterone – Not Just for Men
Too much testosterone, in women or men, can lead to acne on the face, chest, or back. As women age, we also experience an increase in androgen levels (a male sex hormone estrogen levels decline. Men tend to experience the opposite – an increase in estrogen and a decline in testosterone. If you think you have a testosterone deficiency, try taking herbs like tribulus terresteris, be sure to manage your stress as much as possible, and incorporate more weight training into your exercise program. Bioidentical hormone creams can also be used, but you must discuss this with us first. For women who think they have too much testosterone, you may consider a supplement of saw palmetto.
DHEA – The Path to Hydrated Skin
DHEA turns on oil production and helps increase skin hydration. This hormone is a precursor to other hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone, and similarly, levels decline with stress and age. So, since it is also needed to increase the production of collagen, making skin appear smoother and younger, you can imagine how the loss of DHEA affects how we look as we age. Do not take DHEA supplements without a doctor informing you of a clear deficiency after a full health assessment, which includes a comprehensive hormone check. That being said, Relora can be useful to increase DHEA levels and lower cortisol. You should also get better sleep and reduce stress to establish healthy DHEA levels.
Melatonin – The Sleep Hormone
Melatonin regulates sleep-wake cycles, so when your regular cycle is messed up or when your sleep environment isn’t conducive to quality restful sleep, melatonin balance will suffer. Also, if you don’t get enough protein in your diet, melatonin levels may also decline. According to a July 2005 article from the journal Endocrine, melatonin is involved in hair growth and protection against melanoma. As an antioxidant hormone, melatonin guards against UV radiation and plays a key role in repairing burned or damaged skin. Whether it’s applied topically or taken internally, melatonin may shield you from environmental and internal stressors. If you choose to supplement with melatonin, 1 to 3 mg taken sublingually at eight to nine p.m. is best.
Progesterone – For a Pregnancy Glow without the Belly
Unlike Estrogen, your Progesterone levels begin to decline in your mid to late 30s and leave your skin looking dull and lacking luster. Have you ever wondered why pregnant women glow so hard? The secret is the high level of progesterone. This revitalizing hormone is amazing for skin elasticity and circulation. Like Estrogen, on the other hand, Progesterone levels decline with menopause as well as with stress. Low levels of progesterone are also associated with PMS, fibrocystic breast disease, infertility, increased risk and incidence of miscarriage as well as a polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). You can support your Progesterone levels with evening primrose oil, herbs such as vitex (chaste berry), or natural progesterone creams. Also, stress management and good quality sleep are extremely important to maintaining healthy progesterone levels.
Growth Hormone – The Repair Hormone
Is your skin sagging? Not sure? Take a look at your cheeks, chin, and above your knees. A declining growth hormone is probably to blame if you see sagging skin in these areas. Since growth hormone drops as we age, you’ll see growth hormone supplements advertised as the way to reverse the signs of aging. Why? Because growth hormone is essential for skin-cell repair and the prevention of sagging. Plasma-Rich Protein treatments (PRP, also known as the Vampire Facial) are an excellent way to treat aging with growth hormone. Other ways to increase growth hormone naturally are through exercise, sleep, and healthy nutritional habits. By failing to exercise, sleep well, and eat a good amount of protein, you are literally accelerating your aging process because you are causing your body to decrease its repair hormone.
These suggestions will help you slow down your aging process. But sometimes, reversing the signs of aging after the damage has already been done is difficult and nearly impossible. To get a head start, medical-grade beauty treatments can help you feel good about your outer vitality again, while you work on your inner health.