Balance in our bodies can create a long and healthy life. However, imbalances or deficiencies can wreak havoc on health and wellness. Over time, hormone balance begins to shift with age.
Human growth hormone (HGH) is the controller of your life when you are young. As a teenager, you have five to ten times the amount of HGH compared to a 70-year-old. When HGH is no longer in control, chaos begins to show up.
Balanced Nutrition and Longevity
https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/td_020909p40.shtml Balanced nutrition is an absolute requirement for good health. When imbalances or deficiencies occur, our bodies suffer. For example, vitamin B12 deficiency mimics Alzheimer’s disease.
Hormones are secreted by various organs in our bodies. HGH is secreted by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland also secretes the thyroid-stimulating hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin, melanocyte-stimulating hormone, oxytocin, and vasopressin.
The hypothalamus, pineal gland, thyroid, pancreas, ovaries or testes, adrenal glands, thymus, and parathyroid glands also secrete hormones. These hormones act as chemical messengers to keep our bodies functioning properly. They regulate growth (HGH), metabolism, immune function, reproduction – basically everything we need to maintain a healthy life. HGH is the primary hormone associated with aging.
However, there are other hormones that affect the healthy aging process. They are DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, and cortisol. When we have a serious deficiency in any of these hormones, our bodies will develop characteristic signs of mental and physical aging.
DHEA and Longevity
https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2020/7/impact-of-dhea-on-longevity DHEA is produced from cholesterol by our adrenal glands. It plays an essential role in the creation of sex hormones – estrogen and testosterone. Like HGH, DHEA begins to wane after our late 20s – we produce less of it as we age.
Also, like HGH, by the time we have reached our 70s, we have ten percent or less of the DHEA we had when we were in our 20s. An imbalance in DHEA can be manifested as dementia, osteoporosis, and chronic fatigue, to name a few.
Progesterone and Longevity
https://riordanclinic.org/2018/01/a-lifetime-of-progesterone/ Progesterone boosts our immune system and brain function. It also regulates our sleep cycle. Women need progesterone in their reproductive process. A deficiency in progesterone can be attributed to poor sleep, mood swings, and foggy thinking.
A deficiency can also lead to increased levels of cortisol which, in turn, drive other hormones to be out of balance. Lower levels (of any hormone) can affect our immune system negatively. Our bodies were built to be in balance. An imbalance in any component (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, hormones, etc.) can create health problems.
Testosterone and Estrogen and Longevity
https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/testosterone_aging_and_the_mind and https://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-women-really-outlive-men Testosterone assist both men and women. In addition to changes men go through during puberty, testosterone contributes to our moods, energy levels, memory, muscle mass, strength, sexual stamina, and performance.
It is critical for women to keep their testosterone levels in balance. Women with lower levels of testosterone usually see changes in mood, energy, weight, and sex drive. Testosterone production also decreases with age.
Estrogen is a collective term to encompass three hormones – estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Estrogen plays a large role in the aging process of both men and women. Balanced estrogen promotes and supports brain, heart, and colon health. It also regulates cholesterol levels and bone growth.
Perimenopause (a short period of time in a woman’s life just before menopause) and menopause cause imbalances in hormone levels. Prolonged and chronic stress is a major contributor to hormone imbalance.
The pharmaceutical industry has created many synthetic estrogen hormones. Synthetic hormones (xenoestrogens) are found in birth control pills, growth hormones in the livestock industry, and in almost every personal care product.
Xenoestrogens are man-made. They mimic natural estrogen. However, they overstimulate cellular activity and disrupt the normal balance in our bodies. They increase estrogen and raise the risk of breast cancer.
Xenoestrogens are found in plastics, acetone (fingernail polish and remover), pesticides, herbicides, and other industrial chemicals. They are significantly more potent than our natural hormones. Xenoestrogens are extremely difficult to remove from our bodies.
Balance is preferred in many areas of our lives. A long and healthy life requires balance in hormones as well as over thirty nutrients we get from the foods we eat daily. We tend to drift out of balance with age.
How do you know if you are low in any hormone mentioned above? In most cases, you will not know. There needs to be something happening in your life that would have your doctor check your hormone levels. To know if something is changing it is necessary to have annual physicals to have a baseline of where you are today.
Google is a good source of general information. When I Google natural DHEA sources or symptoms for DHEA deficiency I find that there are no natural food sources to increase DHEA. I also find weight gain, low sex drive, depression, dry skin, low energy, and more as symptoms of DHEA deficiency.
Dry skin and low energy may not be enough to see your doctor. However, when you have multiple symptoms and your quality of life is suffering, it is time to chat with your doctor about your suspicions and more.
I would rather consult with a professional who understands the whole body from a medical perspective than to start eating more salmon to increase omega-3 fatty acids as one option. Adrenal fatigue is a cause of low DHEA. Proper nutrition is critical for a functional adrenal gland. Quality sleep is needed for better adrenal function.
There is no single answer to hormone imbalance. However, nutritional balance is something that doctors cannot argue with. Unless you are taking prescription medicines in which some foods can interfere with their function, achieving nutritional balance is the number one thing I can recommend.
I am not a doctor or health scientist. I am a researcher and provide health and wellness awareness and education to enlighten my readers. In addition to balanced nutrition, I recommend caloric restriction, fasting, stress management, exercise, quality sleep, and more.
Body pH is critical to health. Acidic foods (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) leave the body with an acidic environment. Vegetables and fruits push pH in the other direction – to the alkaline state. An alkaline body environment is ideal for healthy living.
When you go to your physician have a list of questions about things going on in your world – foods you eat regularly, stress management, exercises, and more. The medical tests from an annual physical give you a baseline of where your body is today. The stress levels, daily foods, daily exercise, and other factors are not captured in a baseline unless you write it down.
Be proactive with your health. Become aware. Get educated. However, do not make changes especially if you are already taking prescription medicines. A healthy body can accommodate change easier than one on medicine. Talk to your doctor before making any significant change to your lifestyle.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com