The Perfect Formula for Hormones Gone Wild
A big factor in whether or not you will develop a hormone imbalance in your life boils down to how you treat your poor liver. Alcohol, medications, chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins in our environment (or red Solo cups) burden the liver. This is a problem because the liver is the most important organ for breaking down excess estrogen and getting it out of your system. A liver that’s overloaded is sluggish and will create an environment that slows down detoxification, resulting in a hormone imbalance often in the form of an excess accumulation of estrogen.
Speaking of things that are toxic for you: fat. High percentages of body fat mean high percentages of toxins being stored in the fat cells. But even more importantly for women, excess body fat means the body will store more estrogen, which leads to low testosterone and more fat gain and muscle loss. There is also an enzyme known as aromatase in the fat tissue that converts testosterone into estrogen, further complicating the imbalance and fat gain.
Making things worse, when estrogen is elevated and out of balance with progesterone and testosterone levels, it interacts with insulin (the fat-storage hormone). Insulin is needed to get glucose from your blood into your cells, but when estrogen is elevated, it can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar level and upset your insulin factory (the pancreas). If the production of insulin is not kept in check, your cells can become less insulin sensitive. As a result, the sugar in your blood cannot enter your cells to be used for fuel, forcing the body to store it as fat (creating yet another vicious cycle).
As we age, our hormones decline naturally. If you add in poor lifestyle with stress, lack of exercise, excessive body fat, a toxic liver, and a round of nightly alcohol, you will likely have the perfect formula for hormones gone wild. This is why hormone imbalance symptoms in younger women are becoming more common.