Are Your Hormones Out of Whack?

This is a good article by Dr. Oz….

 

By Dr. Mehmet Oz

470_2661688I think of the body’s hormones as musical instruments in an orchestra: Each plays its own part in creating a perfect concert–until the day one is out of tune and throws off the entire melody.

Although it was many years ago, I still remember one of the first patients I saw with a hormonal disturbance. She was a lovely woman in her early 40s who was a little heavy; despite having tried every diet under the sun, she couldn’t seem to shed the extra pounds. As we talked and she mentioned a few more of her concerns–dry skin, brittle hair, a lack of energy (even shortly after her morning coffee)–I realized I needed to test her thyroid levels. Sure enough, they were too low. With proper medication, my patient’s skin and energy improved, and she was no longer a prisoner to a simple chemical imbalance.

No one should have to live with an untreated hormone problem. Some require medical care, while others may be addressed with lifestyle adjustments, but almost all are treatable. Here is a guide to some of the most common signs of hormone imbalance–and what you can do to restore harmony.

Estrogen

The Clues
If you are overweight, you may have elevated estrogen levels; fat cells actually produce the hormone, so extra weight can lead to too much estrogen in the body. This can be a serious problem because excess estrogen can fuel breast and uterine cancers. During menopause, on the other hand, all women experience a natural drop in estrogen levels, along with side effects that range from hot flashes to headaches to joint pain.

What You Can Do
I know I sound like a broken record, but if you carry extra pounds, exercising and watching your diet are essential: Losing weight can improve your estrogen balance and simultaneously reduce your risk of cancer. (An overweight or obese postmenopausal woman who loses just 5 percent of her weight could potentially cut her risk of breast cancer by up to 50 percent.) I also suggest that women with too much estrogen avoid foods that are high in phytoestrogens (plant compounds that mimic the hormone), such as whole soy products.

For women going through menopause, there is some evidence that herbal supplements such as hops and black cohosh may help alleviate symptoms. But if the symptoms interfere with your daily life, talk to your doctor to see if hormone replacement therapy is right for you.


Testosterone

The Clues
In the years preceding menopause, a woman may suffer from decreased testosterone as her ovaries and adrenal glands slow the production of sex hormones. This may explain why many women experience a drop in libido during this period of their lives. Excess testosterone, however, may be the result of a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); possible symptoms include irregular periods, male-pattern baldness, a deepening voice, and excess body hair.

What You Can Do
If you’re concerned about low libido, try incorporating more zinc-rich foods–like oysters and sesame seeds–into your diet (zinc appears to be linked to an increase in testosterone levels), and ask your doctor about testosterone supplementation. To treat PCOS, your doctor might recommend taking birth control pills containing synthetic hormones that reduce the production of testosterone. It’s also important to avoid refined sugars and other carbohydrates in your diet (insulin resistance is linked to a boost in testosterone production) and to eat more fiber (which counteracts blood sugar spikes and promotes the excretion of excess sugars from the body).

Melatonin

The Clues
Low levels of melatonin, the hormone responsible for maintaining the body’s circadian rhythm, are associated with poor sleep and depression. Our bodies may produce less melatonin as we age, which could explain why some older adults have more trouble sleeping than children do.

What You Can Do
If you struggle to get enough shut-eye, try taking .5 milligram of a melatonin supplement one to two hours before bedtime. I’d also suggest drinking melatonin-rich tart cherry juice: In a pilot 2010 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, subjects who drank two cups a day experienced some relief from insomnia.

Ghrelin and Leptin

The Clues
Stomach growling? Thank ghrelin. Produced in the stomach, ghrelin cues the brain that you’re hungry. After you eat, leptin swoops in to tell the brain you’re full. If these two hormones fall out of sync, you may lose the ability to recognize when your body is satiated and overeat as a result.

What You Can Do
Try your best to get a full night’s sleep: A Stanford University study found that habitual sleep restriction (five hours a night as opposed to eight) raised a person’s ghrelin levels by nearly 15 percent, lowered leptin levels by 15.5 percent, and was directly associated with increased body weight. Other research has shown that exercise and stress reduction may help keep ghrelin levels in check.

Thyroid Hormone

The Clues
Thyroid hormone regulates how fast you burn calories. One in ten women doesn’t produce enough of it–a condition known as hypothyroidism, which can lead to weight gain, depression, and fatigue. On the other end of the spectrum is hyperthyroidism, in which the thyroid gland releases too much of its hormone, causing symptoms such as anxiety, a racing heart, excessive sweating, even diarrhea.

What You Can Do
If you have hypothyroidism, a daily thyroid hormone replacement pill can help correct the imbalance. You might also want to consider eating more onion. This veggie contains kaempferol, a compound that may kick-start production of the hormone. If you have an overactive thyroid, your doctor may prescribe one of several treatments, from radioactive iodine–to slow hormone production–to surgical removal of the gland; most patients respond well once they get the proper care.

Aldosterone

The Clues
Aldosterone regulates your body’s sodium-to-water ratio. But a condition called renal artery stenosis–a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the kidneys–can trigger the release of the hormone, causing a surge in blood pressure.

What you can do
A heart-friendly lifestyle that keeps your blood vessels healthy can also be a kidney-friendly lifestyle. Minimize salt intake, follow a low-fat diet, get some exercise, and don’t smoke.

Cortisol

The Clues
When you’re under pressure, your cortisol spikes to provide the body with a quick dose of energy. Chronic stress, however, can keep your cortisol elevated continuously–a dangerous state, since the hormone can suppress the immune system and has been linked to the accumulation of abdominal fat.

What You Can Do
When I’m stressed, I close my eyes and breathe deeply for two to three minutes with one hand on my chest and the other on my belly; my chest stays still while my abdomen rises and falls. As you calm down, your cortisol should drop to normal levels.

The Hormone Factory

A brief tour of your body’s finely tuned endocrine system

1. Pineal Gland
Named for its pinecone shape, the pineal gland is tucked between the two hemispheres of the brain. It’s still a bit of a mystery, though we know it produces the sleep hormone, melatonin.

2. Pituitary Gland
Known as the master gland, this pea-size organ releases hormones that stimulate the other glands to, in turn, release their hormones.

3. Thyroid Gland
Think of this gland as the thermostat for your metabolism: It can increase or decrease the rate of calorie burn by releasing more or less thyroid hormone.

4. Adrenal Glands
Perched atop your kidneys, these glands secrete hormones that control your “fight or flight” response to stress (cortisol and adrenaline) and your blood pressure (aldosterone), among others.

5. Ovaries
These organs produce more than eggs; they manufacture and release the most important hormones for female development: estrogen, progesterone, and–yes–testosterone.

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Stressing Out, Gaining Weight, and Finally Losing It

A GREAT article that explains what happens to our bodies when we are stressed. I found this very interesting because I’ve been more stressed this last 6 weeks and it does affect you. This article explains how.

Stressing Out, Gaining Weight, and Finally Losing It

Your phone is ringing, breakfast is sizzling, and you’re trying to get the kids off to school — all the while getting ready to go to work yourself. Sound familiar, or are you stressed out just by reading these words? If you’re a living breathing human being, chances are you experience some type of daily stress. And it’s true: Stress can cause you to gain weight.

In fact, a recent study conducted by Susan J. Melhorn and colleagues from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, found that not only can stress can take a daily toll on you in terms of physical and psychological well being, but it can cause weight gain. According to recent studies, social stress — public speaking, tests, job and relationship pressures — may cause overeating and weight gain.” But you probably already knew that; stress makes many of us want to eat more.

You gain weight for two reasons:

Biological Interference: Biologically your body is designed for a “fight or flight” response to stress. So when you’re stressed, your body releases hormones to help you do either. And since you’re most likely not being chased by a saber tooth tiger, this response is not exactly helpful when your boss sends you a stressful email or you have an argument with your spouse.

What happens (in the most basic terms) is that your body releases chemicals when you’re stressed. The brain sends out a stress hormone called cortisol, which regulates energy by tapping into the body’s fat storage and protein, converting it into glucose and bringing it to muscles and to the brain. Additionally, it can move fat from storage depots and relocate it to fat cell deposits deep in the abdomen; researchers have shown that the abdomen is the best place for fast energy retrieval.

Cortisol may linger in your body long after the cause of the initial stress has passed and trick your body into thinking it has done something active in response to a perceived ‘threat.’ What’s even more surprising is that cortisol acts like a biological green light, which sends signals to your brain to refuel your body as soon as possible.

Eating Comfort Foods: When things are stressful, what can we do? How can we feel better? How about brownies, donuts, candy, ice cream, pizza, mashed potatoes, and fried chicken? This type of comfort food is always quick to the rescue in our time of need. Over the past year we’ve comforted ourselves by gravitating toward this kind of food, thinking, “You only live once, so I might as well enjoy myself now.” When tension and anxiety are high in one aspect of life, it’s not unusual for other areas to seem trivial or less important.

Why do we crave these foods? First of all, it’s what we’re used to having in times of discomfort. Parents gave you ice cream when you had a bad day at school. I know my parents did. I do it for my daughter. I can’t help it — she feels better.

Secondly, carbohydrates make you feel better by releasing the hormone serotonin, which is a brain chemical that makes you feel good. So those are the reasons, now what?

Here are a few tips to relax and stay healthy during stressful times:

  • Create a “Stress Snack Eating” Kit. Assemble an actual kit that has healthy snacks. Keep this kit around your office or at home and break out when needed. Make sure that you have portion controlled foods in there that are low in calories in case you over-indulge. Also put in a few non-food items, such as an iPod loaded with comedian sketches, a jump rope.
  • Keep Away Unhealthy Snacks. This becomes very important when you know you’re going to have a stressful day. Researchers have shown time and time again that snacks in sight are snacks that are eaten.
  • Enjoy Healthy Comfort Foods. My favorite is popcorn (made in a pan or air popped) made at home with a bit of butter spray, salt, and garlic. You can find more recipes in my column, Healthful Comfort Food Recipes for Rough Times.
  • Exercise the Stress Away. Yes, go out for a walk, take a spin class, go for a run — research shows that a bit of exercise can help you fend off unhealthy eating and reduce stress.

Article by… Charles Stuart Platkin, PhD


** 2 Supplements that I’ve found that help with stress and controlling your cortisol levels are… Estracort and Glutamine. I use these 2 supplements and they DO work really well.


Clifta Coulter Perez

Reno Personal Fitness Trainer

The Secret to the Body of Your Dreams!

EstraCort – The Secret to the Body of Your Dreams!

Estrogen, cortisol, hormonal imbalance… Chances are you have heard these terms and they probably either confused or scared you. Estrogen is quite a word. To some it might mean femininity and signify the essence of being a woman. But to someone interested in getting in shape, it might mean something altogether different. Estrogen is not bad, but excessive estrogen can lead to fat gain, cause difficulty losing fat, water retention, mood swings, cravings….and the list goes on and on! Combine that with excessive cortisol—the STRESS hormone, and reaching your goals and feeling your best will be extremely difficult to do! In todays fast-paced, stressful world it is not uncommon for estrogen and cortisol levels to get out of whack, creating a hormonal imbalance. Knowing this, PGN Nutrition with the help of world renown fitness trainer Chuck Rudolph, MEd, RD, and Two-Time Miss Olympia and Miss Fitness International, Jen Hendershott, created the PERFECT supplement to help women control estrogen and cortisol to help achieve their goals and get the body they have always dreamed of! The future of the fitness-minded woman’s supplement is here, and it is PGN Estracort™. The FIRST supplement designed to specifically address this essential need!

PGN EstraCort – Estrogen and Cortisol Support for Women

Hormones are chemical messengers that signal the body to perform certain actions. For example, after you eat carbs, the hormone insulin is released to signal the body to absorb these carbs from the blood stream. The body releases various amounts of insulin depending on the type and amount of carbs you eat. Controlling insulin levels through smart diet choices is important since high levels of insulin lead to fat gain. Insulin is not the only hormone that contributes to controlling your weight, there are many. Of prime importance are the hormones estrogen and cortisol.

Estrogen is the primary female hormone (comparable to testosterone in men). Estrogen gives women their feminine characteristics and testosterone gives men their masculine characteristics. Estrogen has numerous actions in the body. Estrogen is needed for normal functioning of the body but too much or the wrong types of estrogens can have negative effects on your body. The same holds true for another hormone called cortisol.

Cortisol is called the “stress hormone” because it is released in response to stress and anxiety. When released at a normal level cortisol helps restore homeostasis after stressful events. But, like estrogen, when too much cortisol is released or cortisol levels are elevated for too long negative affects arise.

Knowing all of this PGN has created a formula to control estrogen and cortisol levels, leading to increased fat loss, less water retention and an overall leaner figure.

PHAT GIRL NUTRITION ESTRACORT INGREDIENTS

Summary Of EstraCort Ingredients:

  • 250mg DIM (Diindolylmethane)
  • 200mg Calcium d Glucarate
  • 500mg PhosphatidylSerine (250mg)
  • 500mg Green Tea (50% EGCG/95% PE)

DIM (Diindolylmethane)

DIM, a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, is an estrogen metabolism modulator, meaning it favorably shifts estrogen metabolism. Estrogen is not a bad hormone, it is needed for normal functioning of the body, but certain metabolites of estrogen have more positive actions while other metabolites have more negative actions. DIM increases the amount of “good” estrogens (2-hydroxy) and decreases the amount of “bad” estrogens (4-hydroxy and 16-hydroxy). The good estrogens protect the brain and heart due to potent anti-oxidant activity, along with other positive actions, while the bad estrogens promote weight gain and are linked to cancer (breast and uterine). By supplementing with DIM your body’s natural estrogen metabolism becomes primed to create more of the good and less of the bad estrogens, leading to a health-promoting estrogen balance.

Calcium D Glucarate

Calcium D Glucarate is a botanical extract found in fruits and vegetables that promotes the removal of toxins and excess estrogens from the body. Calcium D Glucarate helps detoxify the body through a process called glucuronidation. The body naturally tries to removes toxins and excess estrogens through glucouronidation, but this process can become reversed by the enzyme beta-glucuronidase, which releases the toxins back into the body. Calcium D Glucarate increases the detoxification process by inhibiting the beta-glucuronidase enzyme, allowing the glucouronidation detoxification process to work its magic. Supplementing with Calcium D Glucarate increases the elimination of cancer-promoting toxins and estrogens.

PhosphatidylSerine

Phosphatidylserine is a phospholipid found in the membrane of all cells, particularly in the brain. Phosphatidylserine keeps cells flexible and primed for nutrient absorptive. Supplementing with phosphatidylserine has been shown to improve cognition, memory, and mood and decrease blood concentrations of cortisol. Excessive cortisol levels can lead to suppression of the immune system and the accumulation of abdominal fat. Supplementing with Phosphatidylserine not only will improve brain functioning but will also help control cortisol levels.

Green Tea

Green tea is a type of tea leaf (black and oolong are other types of teas). Green tea has been used by the Chinese to treat a variety of disorders for years. Green Tea has powerful antioxidant properties, specifically from the active EGCG, and has been shown to help protect against various cancers. EGCG has thermogenic effects and has been shown to assist in weight loss by decreasing dietary fat absorption, appetite suppression, and catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT) inhibition. COMT is involved in the breakdown of catecholamines (i.e. NE). By inhibiting COMT, NE breakdown is slowed and it is able to activate the adrenergic receptors to a greater degree and enhance lipolysis (fat breakdown). Supplementing with green tea extract improves overall health and helps promote fat loss.

Summary

  • DIM positively shifts estrogen metabolism to produce more good estrogens and less bad estrogens.
  • Calcium D Glucarate increases the elimination of cancer-promoting toxins and estrogens.
  • Phosphatidylserine not only will improve brain functioning but will also help control cortisol levels.
  • Green tea improves overall health and promotes fat loss.

Supplementing with DIM, Calcium D Glucarate, Phosphatidylserine, and Green Tea together will optimize a women’s hormone levels, promoting a leaner, more healthy figure.

Not only will Estracort support your overall health, but it might just be exactly what you need to shift your body into the DREAM ZONE – obtaining the body you have always dreamed of having! So stop wasting time and letting estrogen and cortisol spoil your results. Get the body you have always wanted with Estracort today!

Clifta Coulter Perez of PHAT Physiques
Reno Personal Fitness Trainer

Reno Bootcamp Instructor

775-996-7183

Get Leaner and Lose Body Fat with Estracort

Estracort – Estrogen and Cortisol Support for WOMEN!

Estracort is scientifically formulated to help women safely and naturally support estrogen and cortisol to help support fat loss, reduce water retention and maximize results! Being on low calorie diets and everyday life can sometimes stress your body and cause you to release cortisol, which makes you gain belly fat… Estracort helps you to control that and get lean!!! I think this works great! It also helps you to get better quality sleep too.

I used Estracort for my last show. In about 3 1/2 weeks along with diet, cardio, and weight training, I went from the photo on the left… to the photo on the right. It seemed like Estracort  helped give me a little boost and helped me to get leaner than I would have without it. I also noticed that it helped me to sleep better.

Clifta Coulter Perez

Reno Personal Fitness Trainer

Phat Physiques….

775-996-7183