Written by Valerie Carlson, RN, CNP
The Symphony of Hormones
Hormones are so important to our health; they regulate literally every system in our body. There are many kinds of hormones that are made in different glands or organs. A hormone is produced in one area of the body, released into the blood stream until it hits a receptor site where it does its work, much like a key fitting into a lock.
A few major hormone systems are thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones like estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. These hormones regulate energy, sleep, metabolism, heat, cold, stress response and sexual functions. Often the thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones are thought of like a 3-legged stool; each leg is different, but the stool is not balanced if one system doesn’t work.
When everything is working well in our bodies our hormones are in “symphony” with each other and we feel great! But throw in holiday stress, eating too much sugar, too many holiday “beverages” and not enough sleep and no exercise, and your symphony will sound like 7th grade orchestra!
To maintain a beautiful harmony of hormone balance through the holidays think moderation. Plan to eat healthy food BEFORE the party, hydrate every day and drink extra water to help the body detox sugar and alcohol better. Sleep is NOT overrated; that’s when the important things happen to reset hormone balance, including our appetite hormones. Exercise is a great way of burning off stress and excess calories, and yoga type activities turn off the “fight or flight” and activate the calming hormones.
Social events can be a great stress reliever as we enjoy others but if you find yourself in toxic relationship situations more during the holidays plan to limit time with these people- your symphonic balance is worth it!
Take time to relax in quiet moments, acknowledge one or two things you are grateful for each day during this crazy season, and enjoy the beautiful colors, lights and sounds of the holiday!
– Valerie Carlson