A hormonal balance is necessary to keep the body healthy throughout the aging process. A survey of healthy Americans found that, although many people struggle with these symptoms, few knew the proper methods to actually balance their hormones. People have tried all sorts of solutions to recover their health -- according to official US government websites, “mediators, such as pain, anxiety, cholecystokinin, angiotensin II, vasopressin, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, catecholamines, and proinflammatory cytokines stimulate the secretion of hypothalamic CRH.”
An unforeseen problem for many Americans is when they have their adrenal glands removed for surgery, and the body struggles to re-adjust. Keep in mind that while adrenal hormone insufficiency is problematic, you also want to avoid the other end of the spectrum - adrenal steroid overproduction which “also raises significant clinical concerns. Hypercortisolism results in Cushing’s syndrome associated with central obesity, arterial hypertension, immunosuppression, and depression.”
If you ever have to have your adrenal glands amputated, be aware of the potential side effects. When dealing with adrenal deficiency issues, other symptoms may include:
- Excessive urination, often disrupting sleep
- Generalized weakness
- Low potassium levels
- Muscle cramping or spasms
Hormonal imbalance in females may also manifest menstrual cramping, irregular menstrual periods and possible trouble getting pregnant, and excess facial hair. All in all, you should never take the risks of poor hormonal balance lightly.
It doesn’t have to be daunting to work on balancing your hormones. Stress regulation is key, and easier than you may think. A medical paper published in 2008 comments on the impact of our environment and self-care on our mental well-being: “Exposure to a chronic unpredictable stressor results in a depression‐like symptomatology characterized by cognitive impairment and emotional arousal, and altered cellular responses. Reduced responsiveness of the 5‐HT1A receptor system and suppressed neurogenesis are also observed; this reduced neuroplasticity can be ameliorated.”
The paper then details a study conducted on rodents which demonstrated that factors such as our familial relationships, exercise, and physical health can impact the quality of our adrenal hormone balance. If something so powerful can be observed in animals, imagine how much more important it can be for humans.
It’s an inescapable truth that as we take better care of ourselves and our health, we’ll keep a healthier mind, body, and spirit. It’s important to keep a close eye on your well-being, especially as you age.
One way to do this is to pay attention to your stress-level and what may trigger your stress to spike, such as environment, activities, and events. Stress can cause hormonal imbalance by deteriorating the body’s ability to heal and regulate itself.
Medical evidence suggests that excessive stress and adrenal gland malfunction “can precipitate depression and psychosis through dysregulation of the HPA axis. This dysregulation manifests itself in altered action that can be excessive, prolonged or inadequate and therefore provides an aberrant signal in the management of stress and adaptation.”
This means that prolonged exposure to stress and the consequential hormonal imbalance can lead to all sorts of symptoms that challenge our quality of life. As our bodies’ systems struggle to communicate with each other, we are at risk of experiencing a range of psychological issues - from depression to serious mental instability.
Neurobiologists have taken immense efforts to study how the ability to regulate stress hormones throughout our lives can “alter the aging process and influences vulnerability to dysregulation of the normal stress response. States of stress induced by psychosocial factors can result in deleterious effects upon the well-being of individuals and predisposing to a variety of disorders … Psychological stress appears to be a critical aspect in promoting biological aging and earlier onset of age-related disease.”
In other words, the proper balance of our adrenal hormones gives us the power to better handle the stressful circumstances of our lives. In turn, as we handle stress better, we age more gracefully and maintain our mental faculties longer.
Given what happens when you have too much, or too little adrenal gland function, you may be curious how to maximize the performance of this “super-duper” gland. Some holistic approaches may be recommended in order to improve the balance of your adrenal glands.
Considering how busy and stressful our lives have become in the 21st century, healthy stress management is essential. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, our lives have also become more synthetic, processed, and unnatural. It can be difficult to find natural solutions to the natural process of aging, but it isn’t impossible. Below, you’ll find a list of natural approaches to rectify age-related hormone imbalance:
- Structured routines: Create for yourself a predictable, routine-based sleep schedule. Go to bed early, and rise early. Doctors recommend getting 8 hours of sleep per night -- you might consider going to bed at 10 pm, and beginning a productive day at 6 am.
- Active, consistent exercise: Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, but don’t burn yourself out. Just be consistent in doing it regularly. Remember that increasing your heart-rate for 15 minutes at a time is key to productive exercise.
- Regular meditation and mindfulness training: Take a few minutes every day to focus your thoughts and attention on a particular idea. Sit outside or in a quiet room with your eyes closed. Listen to the sounds around you, pay attention to how your body feels, slow your breathing, and control your thoughts.
- Proper dieting: Remember that fad diets are unhealthy and can harm your body in the long-run. Rather than focusing on losing weight, try to focus instead on eating natural foods, avoiding processed junk, drinking water, and portion control. Taking supplemental vitamins and minerals can be an excellent way to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs for healthy function.