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Hunger Hormones

Have you ever made a resolution to lose weight, be more active, or eat healthier? You set these goals with the best intentions of moving forward as the best version of yourself. Did you feel defeated and disappointed when you fell off track? Maybe you were like me and felt like a failure? We put in the effort to set these goals and start new habits but everyone else seem to get changes but you. Did you wonder why? Well, I did. I wanted to know what it was that I was missing.

I didn’t realize it was more than just what I was doing now, but what had been done in the past as well. I started to see patterns when our hormones play against us. I had no idea that my hormones were a factor in what was preventing me from moving forward.

Did you know that hormones are the body’s chemical messengers? They are responsible for things such as hunger, reproduction and even our mood. When these chemical signals are disrupted it can cause a myriad of different conditions. Let’s talk about two hormones that can impact our health: leptin and ghrelin.

Leptin is a hormone that inhibits the hunger centers of the brain. This hormone tells our body when we are full. This allows the brain to tell us that we are no longer hungry and to stop eating. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells us when we are hungry. When this hormone increases, our desire to consume food increases. Have you ever noticed when you are hungry that you become angry or anxious? Well, this can be related to the hunger hormone, Ghrelin.

It may come as no surprise then that Leptin has a strong link to our fat cells. That is in fact because Leptin is regulated by our fat cells. Chronically elevated levels of leptin in the body can be associated with:

  • Inflammatory diseases

  • Heart disease

  • Chronic inflammation

When levels of leptin increase, it increases the release of cytokines which increase inflammation and pain signals. The increased inflammation can increase the body’s immune response.

Hormone imbalances in the body change the way our body acts and reacts. Changes in sensitivity can stimulate or inhibit our eating patterns. The balance between Ghrelin and Leptin in the body is just one example of how hormones are essential to regulating and controlling our system.

There are several factors that can influence the balance the body has between Leptin and Ghrelin. What are ways that we can rebalance these hormones?

  • Avoid eating processed foods. Aim to eat whole foods: fresh fruit, vegetables, healthy sources of protein, and healthy fats

  • Getting necessary vitamins and minerals. A daily multivitamin is a great starting point. Just be sure to make sure it doesn’t contain additives and fillers, such as hydrogenated oils (ex: soybean oil), artificial colors, and titanium dioxide.

  • Exercise. Aim to get 30 minutes a day.

  • Drink plenty of water. Rule of thumb: try to drink half your body weight in ounces daily.

  • Get your spine checked for misalignments. Your spine protects and houses your nervous system. Spinal misalignments can interfere with the messages and functions that your nervous system controls.

These all will play a role in how well our body is able to process and adapt to the stressors that our bodies encounter every day. When our bodies fail to adapt then our bodies decrease their ability to function in the way they were designed.


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