Understanding Hormone Changes & the Effects of those Changes

Hormones are a chemical process created by the body to regulate the activity of certain cells. They are typically secreted by glands but can also be synthetically produced through over the counter and prescription based formulas.

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Hormones are one of the main culprits for changes in the body whether positive or negative. For women, beyond just PMS, you can expect to have hormone changes begin around the age of 30. Reproductive hormones will begin to slow which affects several conditions within the body like collagen loss or skin elasticity, hair loss, hair gain (sometimes in unusual areas), weight gain or loss, drier skin and looser less ecstatic skin. For men, the loss is more gradual decline. A man’s testosterone level helps maintain a man’s collagen production, bone density, and event muscle strength. Ultimately both testosterone and estrogen have a very powerful role in the promotion of collagen. Collagen is a group of proteins in the dermis within the connective tissue layer of the skin.

Additionally Human growth hormone, or HGH, begins to also taper which means cells don’t turn over as quickly regardless of being a man or woman. Both the reduction in hormones and HGH result in the collagen production to eventually slow and if not managed correctly it will affect the skin conditions negatively. That gives way to the common perception that time will eventual march across one’s face.

Now we know that we cannot drink the serum of the fountain of youth just yet, but there are options to help manage and regulate the hormones along with their results as we age. To understand how to regulate your hormones, you should see a specialist to assist with measuring your current levels. You can seek help from a hormone specialist through your primary care physician, specialty spa clinics or seek alternative solution through a Chinese medicine. They can create a Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT, plan for your unique needs. This is something I would not recommend doing or experimenting on your own.

However if you are not ready to seek a specialist, avoid the following items that cause the acceleration of both hormone and HGR process like:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking heavily
  • Illegal drug usage
  • Not wearing at least 30 SPF in the sun daily
  • Stress
  • Sleeping less than 8 hours per day
  • Eating processed foods – think moderation
  • Poor hydration

Obviously each of us are very different and each of us cannot control genetics but just be mindful that these items cause your aging processing to accelerate. Also note that this is a very similar list to a specialist who would recommend these changes to avoid disease and cancers.

As for items to start including, start incorporating the following items and always cheek with your doctor to understand how these additions may affect current medicines or conditions.

Exercise can help increase collagen growth and prevent loss of collagen through muscle development. Muscle development can support sagging tissues.Include a diet high in amino acids like lysine found in lean meats, fish and low-fat dairy. Also include proline found in egg whites and wheat germ.
Include a high diet of plant-based proteins such as hummus, nuts, and soy. Typically, women should consume 46 grams of protein while men should consumer 56 grams of protein each day.

Include a diet of Omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oils and flax seed. Choose a diet with wild salmon and not farm-raised salmon, as the diet of the farm raised salmon does not contain the same amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Vitamin C helps with the absorption of other vitamins and minerals as well as supports healthy collagen by transforming amino acids lysine and proline into forms to rebuild collagen. Take 400 mg a day for best results. Choose a diet that includes citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges. Add them to water for a special treat.  Vitamin D also assists with the hormone process. Take at least 1000 IU a day to help with bone density and flexibility.

Calcium in does of 500 mg, taken twice a day for premenopausal women and three times a day for postmenopausal women. Choose a diet of organic dairy like cheese, sugar free yogurt and milk products. Make sure to choose organic as frequently as possible to obtain the best benefits from your food sources.
Biotin helps support nail and hair health, including 1000mg into your diet will strengthen each.

Gently exfoliating your skin through a natural brush or glove, body or face scrubs, or through alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) or betahydroxy acids (BHAS). These can be used daily but use precaution and monitor whether how your skin reacts.

For more advance exfoliating there are mechanical microdermabrasion (available select spa clinics or at home devices), glycolic acid, and retinol creams. Be sure to stop your daily exfoliating methods to give your skin time to heal and rebuild.

Remember to always be gentle and balanced within your heath regime and to never over do it. Everything should be performed in moderation regardless if it’s your diet, exercise or adding products to your skin. Be mindful of your body’s reactions and include any changes you experience with your doctor’s evaluation.

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