Want to boost your health, shed weight and look as young as you feel? On their October 15 talk show, "The Doctors" offered holistic ways to achieve those goals by balancing your hormones. Discover how a hormonal imbalance can result in symptoms ranging from fatigue to weight gain.
At 35, Michelle told "The Doctors" that she's frustrated with the multiple problems she's experiencing as she grows older. In addition to gaining weight, Michelle feels tired, suffers from insomnia, has decreased libido and even changes in her hair. Her own physician told her it's just stress, but she wants a second opinion.
Guest expert OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton links those types of symptoms to hormonal problems. Author of "Your Body Beautiful: Clockstopping Secrets to Staying Healthy, Strong, and Sexy in Your 30s, 40s, and Beyond," Dr. Ashton says that changes in estrogen levels can result in multiple concerns.
"Changes in your estrogen levels have been linked to a number of things, not just hot flashes, but how our body processes insulin," she says. "When that is disrupted, it can cause you to gain weight, both superficially and even around your internal organs."
In addition, progesterone can start to convert to cortisol, resulting in symptoms such as Michelle's, says Dawn Cutillo, a holistic health expert and author of "The Hormone "Shift": How to Resolve Issues with Your Mood, Weight & Health." What's the concern with cortisol? Elevated cortisol levels can result in weight gain in the abdomen, insomnia, moodiness and even memory problems.
Talk with your doctor (and get a second opinion if you need to!) to explore your options for correcting these problems. Tip: Eating certain foods can help balance your body's production of cortisol. Among them: Spinach, beans, barley, citrus fruits and omega-3 fatty acids.