Why your sugar cravings are making you fat
Hormonal imbalance is never caused by a single condition. Hormonal imbalance is more of a syndrome with many factors contributing to the total imbalance. One of the least known, yet most powerful causes of hormonal imbalance is insulin resistance caused by the intake of too many refined sugars.
Resistance to insulin
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control the amount of sugar in the blood. It helps move glucose from blood into cells, where it is broken down to produce energy.
Insulin resistance means the body’s tissues are resistant to the effects of insulin. The body therefore has to produce extra insulin to compensate.
High levels of insulin cause the ovaries to produce too much testosterone hormone, which interferes with the development of the follicles (the sacs in the ovaries where eggs develop) and prevents normal ovulation.
Insulin resistance can also lead to weight gain, which can make hormonal imbalance symptoms worse because having excess fat causes the body to produce even more insulin.
Many women with hormonal imbalance are found to have an imbalance in certain hormones, including:
- raised levels of testosterone– a hormone often thought of as a male hormone, although all women normally produce small amounts of it
- raised levels of luteinising hormone (LH)– a hormone that stimulates ovulation, but may have an abnormal effect on the ovaries if levels are too high
- low levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) –a hormone that helps reduce the effect of testosterone
- raised levels of prolactin(only in some women with PCOS) – a hormone that stimulates the breast glands to produce milk in pregnancy.
The level of refined sugars consumed in the diet has a direct effect on imbalancing hormones due to the association of the pancreas with the other glands in the body, especially the ovaries, adrenals and thyroid. Every reaction of one gland effects another in some fashion. Most women with hormonal imbalance report sugar and carbohydrate cravings and it is well known to crave sweet foods premenstrually.
So next time you reach for a piece of chocolate think about the effect it will have on your overall hormonal imbalance.
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