I have a seriously sweet tooth, chocolate being my number one weakness. As Christmas approaches we'll all will be indulging in all the sugary treats. I wanted to write this post not to be some kind of grinch, as I for one will definitely tucking into the celebrations tub, but women who suffer from hormonal imbalances may find that after a few days of eating sugar in abundance their hormones may be a little out of whack, especially those who suffer from hormonal imbalanced diseases such as PCOS and Endometriosis, like me.
It wasn't until I was diagnosed with Endometriosis that I realised my love of the sweet stuff didn't show on the outside, it was what it was doing to my insides that that made me want to seriously cut down. Im in shape, fit and always active so it wasn't obvious to me by weight gain that it was sugar, amongst other things like dairy, aggravating my symptoms and causing my hormones to be unbalanced..and heres why....
Your endocrine system perceives mismanaged blood sugar as a stressor. Your adrenal glands respond by sending out a lot of cortisol(the stress hormone) and adrenaline. This begins the hormonal havoc and can be the root cause of common issues such as PMS, cramps,irregular cycles, acne, along with PCOS,Endometriosis and infertility issues.
Fat cells in your body secrete estrogen. The more sugar you eat, the more fat cells you create, the more estrogen they secrete. This estrogen adds to the estrogen your endocrine system already produces. Add in the xenoestrogens in our environment and you're set up for estrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency and hormonal imbalance.
Ive learned this the hard way and I wanted to share some of the science behind this post:
- When you eat sugar or carb based food it stimulates your insulin response. Your metabolism is designed to preserve the glucose you get from carbs or sugar because your body and brain needs it for fuel.
- Sucrose and other sugars have to be converted into glucose for your body, and the only way glucose can get into the cells that need it is with insulin. When you eat a lot of sugar and carbs and your body has a lot of glucose in your system and sends out the insulin to deal with it.
- Glucose then enters the cells but then has too much glucose and insulin and can't use it all. It is then packaged up and used as glycogen. The excess glucose saturates the cells and sends blood sugar levels crashing.This insulin spike can prevent your hormones from triggering ovulation and the creation of progesterone(which comes after ovulation). This leads to estrogen dominance
Fibre rich foods detoxify the liver and this will help you to create the hormone FGF21 which prevents sugar cravings and get rid of excess estrogen.
The right levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone is so important in a woman, especially if you are trying to conceive or if you have PCOS or Endometriosis.Being aware of certain stressors in your diet that cause excess estrogen production can go a long way to achieve a good balance.
I hope you find this article useful, please feel free to email any questions!