Many of the clients I see in my practice report feeling as though their hormones are out of balance, none existent or just not what they used to be.
While it is very helpful to have diagnostic labs that help determine whether or not this is actually true and which hormones may be out of balance, there are other numbers that can play a pretty significant role in your hormone production.
(NEW: Salivary Hormone Testing will now be offered for clients who work with me one-on-one. Contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information).
One of those numbers is your HbA1c or Hemoglobin A1c, which provides information about your average blood sugar over a 3 month period. While the number considered normal in standard medical testing is quite generous, many people are creeping higher and higher towards a metabolic diagnosis or even pre diabetic status.
How does this effect your hormones?
Insulin, which is another hormone our body produces in response to an intake of glucose, can have a direct impact on both our testosterone and estrogen levels in our body. The more elevated our blood sugar levels are, the more insulin levels will increase as will the chance of becoming insulin resistant.
In women, the elevated plasma insulin levels trigger an androgen release (testosterone) from the ovaries. For men, it is opposite, actually triggering a decrease in testosterone levels. This imbalance can negatively impact the way you feel as well as increase the risk of hormone related conditions that are becoming all too common in today’s world (thyroid issues, low sex drive, enlarged prostate, fertility complications, weight management, PMS, increased menopause symptoms, just to name a few).
How do you properly manage your blood sugar levels?
While diet, food and beverage choice play a major role on your blood sugar levels, what many people may not realize is that your cortisol levels directly affect your blood sugar as well. Read more about how to balance your cortisol levels here or check out the Cortisol Shift Program.
Each person may have different dietary needs in regards to their individual health issues, some general suggestions that most benefit from are the following:
- Aim for 40-50 grams of dietary fiber each day.
- Choose whole grains (oats, quinoa, wild rice, kamut, millet, rye, buckwheat) versus refined grains.
- Cut our fruit juice, soda and sweetened beverages. They are full of empty calories and high in sugar.
- Have a quality source of protein at each meal (lean meats, eggs, lentils, beans, legumes, full fat organic dairy)
- Add in healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter) while cutting out the bad fats (vegetable oils, fried foods, soybean oil, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, margarine, etc.)
- Make at least 50% of your plate vegetables. (try to choose seasonal when possible and mix up for variety)
- Hydrate: half of your body weight in water. This can not only help decrease hunger and cravings but also help your body eliminate waste and excess much more effectively.
- Cut out candy, baked goods, sweets and any additional sweeteners (including artificial sweeteners).
Another area that can make a significant difference in your blood sugar levels is when you eat and drink. Most people overlook this very important part of dietary intake and just focus on the what. Each person can be different when it comes to timing but it is extremely effective in getting that number to start decreasing.
Most people can show a huge improvement in their blood glucose levels including their HbA1c just by simply changing up their diet and lifestyle habits. It can be extremely effective and express a positive impact on other areas of health including hormones, weight management, energy and sleep patterns. Many of my clients report a difference in just 3 weeks.
While it is important to continue to monitor and be mindful of your dietary habits, getting a good jump start on a plan that implements strategies to address the whole body is a great place to begin.
For more information on developing a personalized plan to help get your blood sugar, hormones and overall health back in balance, contact me directly at email@example.com or by phone (414) 507-9256.