Stress is to blame for many of the physical ailments we have suffered from in recent decades. Research in recent decades has shown that chronic stress can lead to irreversible changes in different parts of the brain and even changes in DNA. In the case of children and adolescents, in particular, animal studies have shown that maternal prenatal stress can have effects on the normal development of the fetus’ brain and also that long-term separation of the child from the mother has negative consequences for cerebral. Cortisol, the hormone that responds to stress and usually helps to overcome stressful situations, if it is also produced in excess, can cause a decrease in immunity, memory capacity and contributes to the development of metabolic syndrome, muscle atrophy and the loss of minerals from the bone system.
First of all, it is important to start with the basics of hormone production. All of our steroid hormones (including progesterone, testosterone, cortisol) are made from cholesterol. Cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone which creates hormones.
During times of stress, our body chooses to create more cortisol, “our stress hormone,” rather than any of our sex hormones. Therefore, when we feel stress for an increased period of time, we produce less progesterone and may experience symptoms such as:
If progesterone is low, our estrogen levels can be relatively high – which can cause the following symptoms:
Breast tenderness, fibrocystic breasts
Inflation, water retention
Managing stress and changing your lifestyle can help you maintain a healthy progesterone level. Some of these lifestyle changes include:
Exercise is the first line of treatment. Body movement will naturally help you lower your cortisol (stress hormone) and balance your progesterone and estrogen. Of course, exercise also stimulates mood, energy, weight loss, bone density and supports cardiovascular health.
Low alcohol consumption
No matter how much you want that bottle of wine when you feel stressed, it may not be the best idea, especially in large quantities.
In general, in the long run, increased alcohol consumption will worsen the mood and, therefore, will aggravate the symptoms of PMS. Although some studies show that complete elimination is not necessary, reducing consumption can be beneficial. In fact, alcohol, coffee and drugs often appear in research as among the factors that increase stress. Lack of sleep or too little sleep has been associated, in addition to behavioral disorders, with an increase in the rate of obesity and overweight. Only 4 hours of sleep per night were associated with increased blood pressure, increased levels of cortisol and insulin.
Avoid exposure to hormonal disruptors
Unfortunately, our environment has many chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system. These chemicals can change the way hormones in the body are metabolized and can change ovulation and the menstrual cycle. By making the effort to use glass containers instead of plastic or to choose more natural body products, you can slowly reduce exposure.
This topic is so complex and could be a topic of discussion in itself. The basics of hormonal balance include avoiding simple carbohydrates (white bread, white flour pasta… etc.) to balance blood sugar levels, which would ultimately support the mood, energy and cravings associated with PMS.
Ensuring fiber in your diet is also crucial because it allows the proper elimination of your hormones. Ground flax seeds, oatmeal, lots of green vegetables, are essential to get an adequate amount of fiber every day. The inclusion of foods rich in zinc and vitamin B6 would also be beneficial, as both are necessary for the production of progesterone and the body’s metabolism. A simple way to include zinc in your diet is pumpkin seeds (they can be added to salads, smoothies or enjoyed as a snack). Vitamin B6 is present in chicken, turkey, fish, soy, chickpeas and more.
This is a very specific and individualized area, but some of the vitamins and minerals beneficial for balancing hormones and relieving pain include: magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, fish oil, vitamin B6.
Source: Jurnalul.ro by jurnalul.ro.
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