Are Your Major Hormones in Balance? Insulin and Cortisol Balance

Many people do not realize the basic connection between hormones, and the connection between hormones and diet. There are definite links between having balanced hormones and your diet. One of the key links is the connection between insulin and cortisol.

Many people have gotten into some very bad habits that caused their diets to go off kilter. Back in the 1990s, people developed a fear of ingesting fat. As a result, they turned to low-fat foods, in addition to things such as refined carbohydrates and simple sugars. This trend caused a major problem; and, it actually created a situation in which their bodies had to use a lot of insulin to balance all the sugar they were putting into their bloodstreams. It eventually got to the point where their bodies weren’t listening to the insulin and in fact became insulin resistant. This is an ongoing problem. The effect: The Obesity Epidemic.

I spoke with Dr. Alicia Stanton, MD functional medicine physician, and author or Hormone Harmony™ and she shed light on the issues related to insulin and cortisol.
The issue with insulin being out of balance is twofold. One problem is the direct relationship between insulin and belly fat. The more insulin you have, the more belly fat you tend to put on. This is a medical issue because belly fat has different enzymes in it that unbalance the hormones. Belly fat takes testosterone and converts it to extra estrogen, creating a big problem for both men and women. Women with too much extra estrogen can have breast tenderness, heavy bleeding, uterine fibroids, and other problems. That's why it's important to keep estrogen and progesterone levels balanced.
An imbalance between estrogen and progesterone, especially estrogen dominance, can occur at any age. It is tragic to see children develop insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes, which is traditionally known as adult-onset diabetes. In addition, these children probably have a genetic predisposition to diabetes, in addition to a poor diet.

The other issue with respect to hormone balance is the fact that cortisol is the balancing hormone for insulin. This means that if insulin is out of whack, cortisol also gets out of whack. A very real hormone connection: cortisol can affect your hormones, and progesterone, the building block for cortisol, also happens to be the building block for estrogen and testosterone.

What does this mean? If you have a big demand for cortisol due to your body's attempts to balance insulin, and you take all your building blocks and push them over towards cortisol, you won't have the building blocks necessary to make estrogen and testosterone. You also won't be able to balance your estrogen with the progesterone.

In a nutshell, this is the simple connection between the diet and the hormones. It's important to watch your diet so that the hormones won't become unbalanced and cause serious health problems. Of course, it’s all very complicated and specialists in functional and metabolic medicine can do the proper testing to help you get back in balance and on the right track.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Cynthia Shelby-Lane, MD is a board certified, anti-aging and functional medicine specialist, emergency physician, comedienne and talk show host who believes “laughter is good medicine”. Dr. Shelby-Lane has been seen and heard on local, state and national television and radio talk shows, educating Americans on a variety of medical issues.

ShelbyLaneMD is also the chief medical Officer for MVP Solutions, a network of healthcare professionals helping to change the health care delivery system and build health care centers worldwide. She is also the producer and host of a health teleseries called Conversations with Dr. Shelby-Lane, interviewing the best health experts on the planet.

To receive the special report "7 Anti-Aging secrets for Staying Young & Living Longer" provided by Dr. Cynthia Shelby-Lane go to