Many of us have had symptoms of hormone imbalance and perhaps didn’t know they were related to hormones. Hormone imbalance isn’t just a ‘female’ issue.
Hormones are chemical messengers that are released by glands or cells; different hormones have different purposes. Some metabolize digestion, some regulate growth, some regulate the immune system, and others deal with sexual function.
Below is a short list of hormones that our bodies process, and their functions:
*Insulin: from the pancreas; insulin regulates glucose intake
*Dopamine: hypothalamus (brain); a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, emotions, cognitive processes
*Epinephrine: adrenal medulla; boosts oxygen and glucose to the muscles and brain
*Calcitonin: thyroid; builds bone, regulates blood calcium
*Histamine: stomach; regulates gastric acid
*Thrombopoietin: liver, kidney, muscle; produces platelets
*Orexin: hypothalamus; wakefulness and increased energy expenditure
*Leptin: adipose tissue; decreases appetite and increases metabolism
*Thymosin: a hormone secreted by the thymus – it regulates the immune system
And of course, we know about testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen and other related hormones.
Some causes of hormone imbalance are stress, poor nutrition, disease, cancer, toxic pollutants (many chemicals are endocrine disruptors, and they are found in plastics, cosmetics, chemicals used in hair preparations, pesticides and fertilizers, to name a few), cigarette smoking, and drugs/medications.
“The most widely used herbicide in the United States, atrazine is frequently detected in surface and ground water, particularly in agricultural areas of the Midwest. Approximately 75 percent of all U.S. cornfields are treated with atrazine each year.” (environmentalnews.org)
Symptoms of hormone imbalance include hair loss, amenorrhea (a condition in which a woman does not menstruate), fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, depression, anxiety, low libido, digestive problems, headaches, reduced muscular strength, erectile dysfunction/low sperm count, incontinence, and dry skin.
Natural ways to get the hormones back in balance is through diet, proper nutrition, and, where applicable, lifestyle changes. When working on regulating hormones via diet, it is important to eat enough leafy greens and lean proteins, reduce the starchy carbohydrates, and ensure there is sufficient intake of Omega fatty acids.
Because hemp has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids, it is an excellent addition to the diet. Omega fatty acids help to regulate the hormones. A current problem in the diets of many is they are getting too many Omega 6 fatty acids and not enough Omega 3 fatty acids. Hemp has the perfect 3:1 ratio of the Omega fatty acids needed for optimum human health. Too many Omega 6 fatty acids will cause the body to create an overabundance of inflammatory hormones (insulin, for example) and can cause hypoglycemia.
Sufficient intake of Omega 3 fatty acids will create the regulatory hormones that will keep the inflammatory hormones in check.
- Essential Fatty Acids EFA’s are required for the development and function of brain and nerve tissue, particularly Omega 3s.
- Essential Fatty Acids EFA’s stimulate metabolism, increase metabolic rate, increase oxygen uptake and increase energy production.
- Essential Fatty Acids EFA’s are required for the maintenance of cell membrane fluidity and stability and also for proper cell division and genetic expression.
- Essential Fatty Acids EFA’s are integral to the action of immune function and in the functions of hormones including those governing inflammatory responses. (www.crohns.net)
“They (Omega fatty acids) have a calming effect and regulate mood as a result of the influence that the essential fatty acids have on the hormonal systems.” (www.crohns.net)
“Essential fatty acids play an important role in producing hormones, cell membrane function, regulating pain, inflammation and swelling.” (drtorihudson.com)
“Hemp oil helps with hormonal balance. Hemp oil is the only edible seed that contains gamma-linolenic acid. G.L.A is the precursor for the production of the protective and calming prostaglandin PGE1 which helps regulate hormonal balance and support menopausal health.” (www.veria.com)
As you can see, hemp is an excellent nutritional addition to aid in balancing hormones and reducing the symptoms caused by the imbalance.