7 Hormone Imbalances That Cause You to Binge and How to Fix Them ...

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7 Hormone Imbalances That Cause You to Binge and How to Fix Them ...
7 Hormone Imbalances That Cause You to Binge and How to Fix Them ...

Binging is an action that is a sign something in the body needs assistance, and certain hormone imbalances that cause you to binge, might be the entire reason you can’t seem to stop. Diets don’t work. Books don’t work. Reading blog after blog for answers doesn’t work, so what does? Getting your hormones balanced does, along with being aware. To get over binging, you’ve got to get real with yourself, and get real about your hormones. Read what hormone imbalances that cause you to binge might be the reason you can’t seem to stop and start today on making a lifelong change.

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1

Cortisol

The most well known hormone involved in hormone imbalances that cause you to binge is cortisol. This hormone is secreted in the body, any time your body senses you are stressed. It can happen during exercise, a traumatic event, or in a state of flight or fight, where you’re in panic mode. Cortisol is actually given to us for a reason. It’s made to give us a sense of anxiousness for times of emergency when we might need a huge burst in energy. Yet, when our body starts to release cortisol when we aren't in an emergency, we need to figure out why and how to fix it. When cortisol takes over, your body naturally turns to food to comfort it quickly. Fat and sugar calm and satiate the brain and nerves, so when you’re stressed, eating is an ingrained survival mechanism your body reaches for to calm you quickly. To manage cortisol secretion in the body, it is very important to eat more calming foods that won’t spike your blood sugar like fatty and sugary foods will. Not all fats are bad, so I don’t want to imply that, but they are hard to stop eating when you’re stressed. As you’ll see below, protein is the best way to do that, along with other foods.

2

Serotonin

Serotonin is the best hormone to fight depression and anxiety. It is that happy hormone that sends a calming sensation through your body. Serotonin is produced when tryptophan rich foods are eaten. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, and can help you fight that crazy feeling you get when you’re stressed. Foods high in tryptophan include eggs, pumpkin, turkey, fish, leafy greens, yogurt, oats, chicken, and sweet potatoes. Other calming foods include magnesium rich foods such as chocolate, leafy greens, almonds, fish, yogurt, oats, vegetables and all seeds. Magnesium rich foods offer the same calming properties as tryptophan and help induce serotonin production in the body.

***

It's quite fascinating how what we eat directly influences our moods. By incorporating tryptophan-rich foods into our diets, we are essentially fueling our brains with the necessary components to synthesize serotonin. It's like natural mood therapy on a plate! Imagine enjoying a delicious salmon salad or a warm bowl of oatmeal and simultaneously doing wonders for your serotonin levels—it's a win-win. Remember, it's not about overhauling your diet overnight but rather about making mindful additions that promote a more balanced, serene state of mind.

3

Insulin

Insulin is the hormone your body uses to store fat, and it is released by a surge in your blood sugar. When you binge, your blood sugar is likely already high, or will be high, after a binge. You need to control your blood sugar to be able to stop binging and stop the excess insulin. Insulin feels like you’re so hungry, no matter what you just ate, or how much you’ve eaten all day. It makes you feel hungry, even if you aren’t. To keep insulin low, it is best to eat regular meals and snacks that are rich in protein, non-starchy veggies and moderate fats, and keep your carbs lower. You don’t need to quit eating carbs, but be careful about eating them alone, and choose lower glycemic options.

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By balancing your insulin levels, you can curb those false hunger signals. Integrating fiber-rich foods can slow the release of glucose into your bloodstream, preventing those peaks in insulin that drive your cravings. Also, mindful eating practices, such as pausing to assess your true hunger level before snacking, can help. Remember that regular physical activity is your ally—exercise enhances your body's insulin sensitivity, which means your cells can use the available sugar more effectively without needing excess insulin, thereby lessening those urges to binge.

4

Leptin

How’s your sleep been lately? I struggled with insomnia, sleeping late in the morning, and being tired during the day. My sleep levels were incredibly messed up because of my hormones, and leptin, was a hormone that caused binging issues for me. Leptin is a hormone that is produced while you sleep, and it tells you when to stop eating and if you’re full. If you become deprived of sleep, leptin levels are offset and your sensors lose their working magic. To combat this, I started taking a GABA supplement to calm my nerves at night and help me sleep, helping me to wake up after 8 hours of sleep. I’m not a doctor and can’t tell you this will work for you, but it did for me. I also found a magnesium supplement to be helpful in getting enough rest. Getting your leptin levels restored allows your brain to register when you are full, so long as you choose healthy foods to eat.

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Beyond leptin, my sleep hygiene became a focal point. I swapped late-night screen time for a book, ensuring my bedroom was a sanctuary dedicated exclusively to sleep and relaxation. Also, establishing a regular bedtime routine was pivotal. Little changes like a warm, soothing bath and a cup of herbal tea before bed worked wonders. It's empowering to know that by aligning my habits with my body's natural rhythm, I could help recalibrate my hormones, leading to a noticeable decline in those ravenous food cravings. Remember, it's all about listening to your body and finding what soothes your unique system.

5

Estrogen

Because of all the things I put my body through the last 15 years,and until I recovered, estrogen was one of the main hormones causing my binging. Estrogen sends a sense of happiness throughout the body, energy, and prevents depression. Too much or too little estrogen in the body can lead to alterations in hunger levels and hunger cues, or can cause depression leading to binging. To figure out if your levels are too high or low, you’ll need to get tested by your doctor.

***

When our bodies have an imbalance of estrogen, the effects can profoundly impact our relationship with food. For women, especially during the menstrual cycle, perimenopause, and menopause, fluctuations in estrogen levels are common and can disrupt our emotional well-being. If you're experiencing irregular periods or symptoms such as mood swings or sleep disturbances, these could be indicative of estrogen fluctuations influencing your eating habits. Balancing estrogen may involve lifestyle adjustments like diet changes, stress reduction techniques, and, in some cases, hormone replacement therapy. Always consult with a healthcare provider to tailor a plan that's right for you.

6

Ghrelin

Ghrelin is a hormone that sort of acts as leptin’s partner because it is also affected by your sleep. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you how often you need to eat. It is the little signal that says, “Okay, I need a meal or snack now”. For ghrelin to be regulated, sleep is necessary. This means you need to take action to be sure and get 8 hours sleep a night, and try to go to bed at the same time, and wake up at the same time every morning.

***

Just like its counterpart leptin, ghrelin levels can become skewed if sleep is inconsistent or inadequate. When you're short on shut-eye, your body tends to ramp up ghrelin production, leading to increased hunger and potential overeating. To keep ghrelin levels steady, aim for a sleep environment that promotes restfulness. Avoid caffeine and electronic screens close to bedtime, and establish a calming bedtime routine. Consistency is key—commit to a regular sleep schedule and your body will thank you by keeping those "time to eat" signals in check.

7

Melatonin

Another important sleep hormone is melatonin. This hormone tells you when to go to sleep and when to wake up. Melatonin levels in the body can be offset by the time change, or when the seasons change. It can also be disrupted by a stressful time or crisis you might be dealing with. You can easily regulate your melatonin levels and get them back to normal with a temporary supplement. They’re available over the counter, and just taking them for a week can get your levels back to normal. When your body is low in melatonin. your hunger levels become offset, and it can also cause depression, mood disorders and feeling fatigued. If you’re not sleeping well, consider a supplement to regulate your body again.

Binging is a hard issue to overcome, but I promise it isn’t impossible. If you’re struggling, I urge you to get help through the NEDA website at nationaleatingdisorders.org, or feel free to visit my blog if you need emotional support at soulfulspoon.com. Have you ever dealt with hormonal imbalances? What issues did they cause for you?

Sources : nationaleatingdisorders.com, soulfulspoon.com

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