HORMONES AND HEART DISEASE; GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

HEART DISEASE; ENOUGH TO GET ANYONE’S TICKER TICKING FASTER

Sorry, but it’s a fact:

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. One person dies every 37 seconds in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease. But no one has to tell you how scary heart disease is. No one is immune. At almost any age.

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT BEING HEALTHY

With the threat of heart disease ever looming, people are trying to become more informed about what they can do to avoid it. They think they get it, but do they? Yes, more fruits and veggies, fish, skinless poultry (but the skin’s the good part) lean meat, (wait, burgers are a national pastime) nuts, legumes (how many of you actually do legumes?). Yes, more fiber (who’s actually comfortable even discussing it?) No, not a lot of sugar. (But Ben and Jerry are like family). Not too much caffeine. (Name a decaf that has real taste). 30 minutes of exercise. Both aerobics and strength training. That ought to do it. Right? It’s a good start. (So start, already.)

PUMPING SOME NEW INFORMATION INTO IT          

No matter how well you eat and how much you exercise, heart attacks can attack from a number of outside influences:

  • Heavy physical exertion
  • Furious arguments or gut-churning anger
  • Weather
  • Air pollution
  • Infections
  • Sexual activity
  • Overeating
  • Grief
  • Lack of sleep
  • Mental and work-related stress
  • The use of cocaine and other “recreational” drugs
  • Even the World Cup if you’re seriously into it and lose. (Oh nooooo….)

No joke. But then absolutely nothing is funny about a heart attack.

THE LOWDOWN ON HORMONES AND HEART HEALTH

Wait. Heart? Hormones? What else don’t I know? When it comes to heart health, hormones play a leading role. The way they’re functioning in the body directly impacts the cardiovascular system, the heart and the blood vessels. What does this mean? When they’re working properly, hormones can help prevent heart disease. When they’re out of balance, they can cause it. We’ve got some 50 or so hormones coursing through our bloodstreams signaling every cell and organ as to what they’re supposed to do to keep them all doing what they’re supposed to. And many of these hormones affect how the heart functions.

DAMAGE IN A HEARTBEAT

There are hormones you’ve never-ever heard of (unless you’re a hormone expert) like catecholamines, endothelins, glucocorticosteroids, leptin and PTHrP, that when appearing in excess can increase heart rate. Then there are hormones you’ve most likely heard of like cortisol and adrenaline (fight or flight) that have confirmed ties to abnormal heart rhythms, and can contribute to vessel and structure-related conditions. Thyroid hormones which you probably think have to do with weight, also have direct effects on the heart. Hyperthyroidism increases heart rate and can cause palpitations as well as abnormal heart rhythms. One such abnormal heart rhythm is atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular beating of the heart and can lead to heart failure and stroke. Another example is insulin which too much of can cause type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems — like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. Stop! Well, fortunately, you can do something about it.

TAKE HEART

Before your left arm shoots up clutching your heart in a death (ironic) squeeze, fear not. There is someone who has years of experience in the heart-hormone connection; Denver Hormone Health. They have infinite knowledge in the intricate balance between hormones and head-to-toe health, including the heart. Every hormone expert at DHH understands which hormones can be a contributing factor to heart disease. They also know that hormones might not be an issue with you. It could be genetics. Lifestyle. A combination of many things. But it could be hormones. DHH is the place to find out. And do something about it. With simple tests, they can tell which hormone imbalances can be problematic when it comes to heart health. And those tests also let them create a unique treatment plan. So stop stressing (which isn’t good for anyone’s heart) and call DHH for an appointment now. Be still your heart.

12 DAYS OF TIPS TO AVOID NOT-SO-MERRY HORMONES FROM RUINING YOUR HOLIDAYS

It’s beginning to look like Christmas…actually, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas which isn’t always so great.  Ho ho whoa…everything seems so overwhelming. You worry about the craziest things; that Santa will be coming to town and because every hotel in the area is booked, will want to stay with you. (You already have more out-of-town guests than you can handle). That Amazon closes for the holiday. That you don’t have a chimney. Your latkes will turn out leaden. You do too much. You eat too much. You sleep too little. Holidays can send the already delicate balance of your 50 or so hormones seriously off the skids, making you feel anything but comfort and joy. Cortisol, leptin, insulin, thyroid hormones, progesterone, estrogen, even the normally happy, fuzzy, feel-good hormones serotonin and oxytocin. All of them, together or by themselves can cause a list of health issues longer than your list of gifts which even includes the person at your groomer who sweeps up the hair of your beloved Havanese:

  • Insulin overload
  • Low energy
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Heartburn, diarrhea, constipation
  • Overall aches and pains
  • Migraines
  • Low immune system
  • Low libido
  • High blood pressure
  • Even risk of heart disease

But before you get your tinsel in a tangle, we’re going to give you some help to keep the ho ho in your holiday.

On The First Day Of Christmas

Start ordering your Pumpkin Spice Latte decaf. “Unthinkable” you think. Well, a study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, links excess caffeine intake to a jolt of cortisol, which will not only cause you to experience increased stress and anxiety, but severely disturb your sleep. It also stresses the adrenal glands.

On The Second Day Of Christmas 1st/2nd Day of Kwanzaa/4th day of Hanukah

Party, just not so hardy. If you’re on the holiday party circuit and staying out for a go-go night, then awakening early for a go-go day, you’re setting yourself up for leptin dysfunction. When leptin levels are low, your appetite increases and your metabolism slows.

On The Third Day Of Christmas

Raise your glass only not as often. Alcohol raises cortisol (stress hormone) levels. If you’re already stressed out, alcohol takes a further toll on the body, exacerbating anxiety, low mood and headaches. Plus alcohol is stored as belly fat. And hormones aside, it’s not a time to get behind a wheel.

On The Fourth Day Of Christmas

Eat more protein. The thyroid can’t function properly without adequate protein. This leads to a slowing down of the thyroid, which you’ll feel as fatigue, sluggishness and persistent weight gain.  One way to resist unhealthy sweets and foods this season is to incorporate more protein into every meal. You’ll feel fuller, so you’ll eat less and cut down on all those elf nibble and Pin-perfect tidbits.

On The Fifth Day Of Christmas

Breathe deep. Whether you do yoga, meditate or simply take a 20-minute time-out for yourself, deep breathing into the lower and upper lungs has a calming effect on your body, telling it that it’s safe to focus on making sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) rather than stress hormones (cortisol and cortisone). Watch that low libido go.

On The Sixth Day Of Christmas

Disappear for a while…get a massage. Research has shown that massage has a direct impact on lowering the levels of stress hormones that create the “fight-or-flight” response, and can boost “feel good” neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin.

On The Seventh Day Of Christmas                       

Resist the big binge-o-rama of non-stop food. The average person consumes nearly 6,000 calories during Christmas day. This might be why people gain an average of 6 pounds in the nine days between Christmas eve and New Year’s. Go into meals with a game plan. Don’t deprive yourself, but don’t go overboard either. (Like with 3rd helpings. Yes, you, you know who you are.)

On The Eighth Day Of Christmas

Sleep. Most people are wired during the holidays. So they rarely get their optimal 7.5 to 8.5 hours each night. And their sleep patterns are non-existant. Studies on sleep show that this can make you prone not just to emotional irritability, but to mild to moderate cognitive impairment and motor skill impairment. Think falling off ladders putting up tree toppers. Or toppling all those candles meant to light up the holiday, not light fires. (It happens.)

On The Ninth Day Of Christmas

Exercise. During the holidays, it’s tempting to throw your workouts by the wayside with the promise to start again after the New Year. If you can’t fit in a sweat session, even walking 30 minutes a day will do the trick. Regular exercise lowers the level of stress hormones. It also helps release endorphins and improve your sleep quality. Reduce depression. Elevate mood. Works wonders.

On The Tenth Day Of Christmas

Say no. You don’t need to buy every item on your kids’ lists which they have been adding to since last December 26. You don’t need to lead the caroling brigade while cooking up an endless storm. Ask Siri and Alexa to trim the tree. Stress depletes the calming, “happy hormone” progesterone. And maintaining a healthy level of progesterone is absolutely essential since it converts into other hormones as needed (including estrogen and testosterone) supporting natural hormonal balance.  

On The Eleventh Day Of Christmas

Cut out your expanded consumption of sugar. (We’re not saying to red light the pecan pie or tell those yummy gingerbread men to take a hike. Just be rational. Eating an excess of sugar-laden foods, can mess with your gut, which messes with your cortisol, which makes you crave more sugary foods. Sugar not only creates highs and lows in mood and energy, it disrupts the hormone insulin, which in turn impacts all other hormones in your body. Not so sweet.

On The Twelfth Day Of Christmas

Increase your “me time” under the mistletoe. Researchers have found that expressed affection, of which kissing is a prime example, was directly related to lowering the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day. Kissing activates the brain’s reward system, releasing neurotransmitters like oxytocin, “the love hormone. It also raises testosterone which increases sex drive. (Oh joy, oh joy…)

On any day of Christmas, ask Dancer or Prancer for a lift (OK, so maybe just take a Lyft) to see the hormone experts at Denver Hormone Health. Instead of worrying about all the gifts you’ll have to return, focus on returning your hormones to the levels they need to be And don’t say you don’t have the time. With just few simple tests the hormone professionals at Denver Hormone Health can determine if your hormones are unbalanced and know exactly how to get them where they are supposed to be. So put down the Pfeffernüsse and make an appointment with Denver Hormone Health now.

Helping you feel your best, is their gift to you.

YOU CAN THANK THANKSGIVING FOR YOUR HORMONES GOING HAYWIRE

Thanksgiving…we wait 365 days for the opportunity to eat ourselves into a food coma. Today, Thanksgiving has become the Super Bowl of eating like a horse, unable to ever rein it in. “Unbuckle Our Belts” has become the Thanksgiving Day anthem.  The bar flies open. We eat before we eat. Platters of calorie-laden treats tempt us even before we even pull a chair up to the table. And that’s where the real feast begins; ta-da…the main event. An obscenely huge turkey with its everyone-will-fight-over greasy, crisp turkey skin. Thick, thick creamy gravy; a virtual bacchanalia of butter. Bowls of sugar laden cranberry sauce. Mounds of potatoes. (Oooo those tiny little marshmallows) Gobs of green bean casserole. But wait, oh wait, don’t stop there. Dessert! Caramel apple snickers cake, chocolate bourbon pecan pie, triple cream pumpkin cheesecake (be still, my stomach.) all topped with endless mounds of whipped cream. Oh happy day. Right? Thanksgiving might be something you celebrate, but for your hormones, it’s a yearly hard-core smorgasbord of gastric misery.

WHAT’S GUT GOT TO DO WITH IT?

The gut is the body’s largest hormone-producing organ, releasing more than 20 different peptide hormones. These gastrointestinal hormones (or gut hormones) constitute a group of hormones secreted by cells in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine that control various functions of the digestive organs. Is there a link between hormones and heaving food uncontrollably into your body? Without question. And how they link up is enough to make you want to give the whole binging thing up. But, of course, who would ever even consider such a thing? Thanksgiving really gets you in the gut in endless ways. At some point of packing it in, your gorge gauge explodes releasing levels of these hormones that can make you nauseous and make your body work harder, the digestive overload requiring the heart to pump more blood to the stomach and intestines. It’s a digestive disaster.

A NICE BIG HEAPING OF HEARTBURN. (AND WORSE)

After about 1,500 calories (and the average for a typical Thanksgiving meal is 3,000) the gut hormones go wild. Imbalances of these hormones can influence the movement of food through the intestines—some by speeding the process up, causing diarrhea, gas (gross) and abdominal pain; and others by slowing things down, causing bloating and constipation. And that burning that seems to crawl up your esophagus and out of your mouth in a belch that’s more like a roar? That’s acid reflux and it is not a comfortable condition. This acid reflux or Gerd as it is often referred to can actually make people feel like they’re having a heart attack and send them rushing to the hospital. On Thanksgiving, there’s an emergency room overload.

KEEPING YOUR HORMONES HEALTHY IS GRAVY

If you’re like most people, it’s a good chance that you’re going to regret what you shoveled in. That’s why it’s a smart idea to make an appointment ahead of time to see the hormone professionals at Denver Hormone Health. No one in the Denver area knows more about the effect unbalanced hormones can have on your body.  Their skill and expertise match their care and understanding (which is something you’ll appreciate when it comes to discussing your holiday carb-o-bliss and fat-frenzy.) With simple tests, the hormone specialists at Denver Hormone Health can tell where you where your hormone levels stand and what exactly you should do about it. With their help Thanksgiving can be a fabulous feast instead of something you just can’t stomach. Contact Denver Hormone Health now. It’s something you’ll be more than grateful for.