If you are currently facing higher than normal stress levels, you’re not alone. As we begin to feel the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in virtually all areas of our everyday lives, many of us are struggling to find our new normal. What can you do today to protect your physical and mental health, as well as that of your loved ones? Safeguarding your hormone health is a great place to start!
The Importance of Hormone Health
While we all face so much uncertainty at the moment, taking proactive steps to protect our health is critical. Your body’s adrenal glands go into overdrive during times of extreme stress. Think of this as your body’s natural alarm system. Most notably, your adrenal glands are responsible for your fight-or-flight instinct. In addition, your adrenal glands produce cortisol which effectively serves as a mood stabilizer; regulates inflammation; manages your sleep cycles; regulates how your body metabolizes proteins, fats and carbohydrates; and manages both your blood sugar and blood pressure. In other words, your cortisol levels play a critical role in your overall health.
How does your body regulate cortisol levels?
Together your pituitary gland and your hypothalamus regulate the cortisol levels in your brain. If your levels are low, your adrenal gland produces more cortisol and your pituitary gland regulates how much is released into your blood stream. Together these two unsung heroes of your nervous system, ensure that cells throughout your body receive the critical cortisol they need to facilitate healthy everyday functions. In moments of high stress, your body will alter cortisol levels to stop or slow functions such as reproduction, immune response or even digestion.
Depending on how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting your daily life and stress levels, your hormone response systems may already be in overdrive. However, there are things you can do today, to combat these issues and protect your hormone health throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s explore a few:
Wash Your Hands
We’ve all heard this several times a day since news of the Novel Coronavirus first hit our news feeds. While regular hand washing is part of our everyday health, in the face of a global pandemic, keeping our hands free of germs is paramount to public safety. We’ve all heard it countless times, but we must all live by it. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds several times throughout the day and every time you come into contact with any potential germs.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential to not only your hormone health, but it’s critical to the health of virtually every function of your body. According to the CDC, adults ages 28-60 should get 7 or more hours of sleep a night.  Even if your regular schedule doesn’t typically allow for this much sleep, extra hours spent at home in the coming weeks, should allow you the time to get those extra hours of sleep. Make this a priority, your body will thank you for it!
Avoid Stress Eating
News of the COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent run on our grocery stores. With shelves being emptied and demand soaring, many of us have stocked up whenever possible. This sense of scarcity can breed a propensity to stress eat which in turn spikes blood sugar levels and negatively impacts your natural hormone levels. If you find yourself fighting the urge to overindulge, step outside, call a friend or find another viable distraction.
Safeguard Your Mental Health
If you’re prone to depression, anxiety or other forms of mental health disorders, stress and isolation can kick these things into overdrive. However, there are plenty of things you can do to naturally regulate your mental health including maintaining a routine, stretching, getting regular exercise, talking to loved ones via phone, and getting dressed and ready for the day; to name a few. Identify the things that make you feel accomplished on a daily basis and continue to prioritize them.
BHRT and Other Hormone Replacement Therapies
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and other hormone replacement therapies are used to aid both men and women when their hormone levels drop or become unbalanced. If you are currently taking advantage of BHRT, we encourage you to continue your therapy regime when you are able to return to your provider. If you haven’t yet experienced BHRT and want to know if you’re a candidate, we encourage you to take our online quiz! Discover if BHRT can assist in helping you maintain hormone health. If you’re a candidate, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, when no longer self-isolating of course.
Focus on What You Can Control
Finally, we encourage you to focus on the variables in your daily life that you can control. While it is important to watch the news and/or read trusted news and government websites to stay informed, you can also limit your exposure. Rather than allowing around the clock news and social media updates to add to your anxiety levels, be mindful about the information you’re consuming. Take this opportunity to spend time with your immediate family, read a book and tackle some of those projects around the house that you’ve been meaning to complete. Look at this as an opportunity to reset and prioritize what really matters – your health!
By taking a proactive approach to safeguarding your hormone health at this time, you can minimize the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in your daily life. We encourage you to put these practices to use today and take charge of your hormone health.
Disclaimer: The Simpatra website and blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from the Simpatra website and blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. As health and nutrition research continuously evolves, we do not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of any information presented on this website.