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Hi everyone, welcome to the Ask Dr Cris show. Today’s questions comes from, well comes from me cause I get asked it so often.  What causes hormonal imbalance?  What things are possibly causing hormonal imbalance.  I really try to nut it down to something really simple.  I call it the five S’s, so the main things that causes hormonal imbalance that I see as general pattern either one or lots of them in people’s lives are, stress, sleep issues, sugar – too much intake, sedentary lifestyle and stimulants.

So when you’re looking at stress often we’re just tipped over the edge, we’re stretched, we’re running from appointment to appointment, we never have any margin and it can be good stress.  You may love what you do and you might love your life.  Still good stress can sometimes tip you over and have too much of that.  So look at your lifestyle, are you taking time to unwind, are you catching yourself when you’re breathless and running around and just go go go and then you can’t unwind.  That’s too much stress, just take some time to unwind throughout the day, re-evaluate the stress.  I know it’s a bit of a buzz word, but re-evaluate.  Do we have to live up to a certain expectation, do we have to live up to a certain killing ourselves to reach a certain standard of living.  What can we do to reduce the amount of stress everyone will benefit in our lives and mostly us.  So stress the number one cause of hormonal imbalance.

The next one is sleep issues. Many of us suffer from sleep issues and I talk about sleep a lot in different forms in the two books I’ve written as well as in different areas but sleep.  Most us need seven to nine hours of sleep a night.  Needs to be good quality so it can’t be woken up all the time and broken.  Needs to be good quality and lots of long stretches of deep sleep.  Look at the quality of sleep.  Maybe measure it with an app or with a Fitbit or similar device.  If you are a snorer get that addressed, have a sleep study, identify is snoring obstructing your breathing? Are you waking up?  If you’ve got allergies it affects you sleep.  Deal with the allergies, use a nose spray, and take an antihistamine.  Or just clear the allergies and reduce your sensitivity in general.  So sleep, super important, seven to nine hours.   The last point about sleep I would say is keep your room cool, dark and quiet.  Nice and cool, 22 degrees, nice and dark and nice and quiet.  So the keys to getting a good night sleep often involve those three key areas.  Cool, dark and quiet.

The third cause of hormone imbalance is sugar intake.  Most of us have too much, about twelve teaspoons of sugar a day. Halve it, go for 30 grams of sugar a day.  Most of us have twelve teaspoons so go for the six teaspoons of sugar a day.  So reduce it in hidden sugars.  So get rid of the things like the tomato sauce and the barbeque sauce and all of your packaged and processed foods.  Look at things that are wholesome and nutritious in their original form from the ground or from mother nature.  So that’s the sugar.

The fourth one is sedentary lifestyle.  So look at the amount of incidental activity that you’re getting.  Buy a pedometer, start to get moving.  Exercise not only has benefits, obviously for maintaining our weight if that’s an issue but also looking at our sugar balance and our insulin response.  The load on the liver, the amount of insulin resistance that we carry in weight around the middle.  Builds our muscle mass which burns obviously sugar intake that we’re having.  Boosts our self-esteem and our mood.  There’s lots of research around boosting happy hormones, improving bone and marrow density.  So sedentary lifestyle is another key cause of hormonal imbalance.

And the last one is stimulants.  Look at the amount of caffeine that you’re having, things like pre workouts are often a huge way to boost caffeine.  So cut that right down, stick to one to two cups of coffee, three to four cups of tea.  Keep your stimulant intake down.  Stimulants are ok in the small amount but they can overload the liver, make the liver work hard.  You’re pumping out lots of sugar internally.  Insulin resistance happens and then you can’t lose the weight or get your hormones under control.

So that’s the five S’s of hormone imbalance and also the five cures of how to bring that back to balance.  Ninety five percent of the time addressing the five key factors will bring your hormones back into balance.  So hope that helps and hope that answers a lot of people’s questions that I get asked on a daily basis.

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Dr Cris

Holistic Medical Doctor, Author ‘Healthy Habits, 52 Ways to Better Health‘ and Healthy Liver

Healthy Habits book Dr Cris