It is easy to blame hormonal imbalance when women experience mood swings and many instances of irritability. While this link is common knowledge, there remains a lot more to be understood when it comes to dealing with these symptoms.

“One mistake I see people make is they narrow down to one hormone,” nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary explains in the third episode of the Friday Food For Thought web series produced by Friday Lite magazine. “Have you heard people say, ‘you know my estrogen is off’, or men are like ‘my testosterone is too much or too little’. That’s where we go wrong.”

When dealing with hormonal imbalances, Chowdhary says we have to be selective on which areas to focus first. An understanding of two groups of hormones, “survival hormones” and “thriving hormones”, is a good first step.

“What are the first things that we think about? Food, clothing, shelter — this is survival. Till this is not taken care of, we can’t thrive,” says Chowdhary. “We can’t think of a bigger car, a fancier house, relationships, children — all of this is thriving. [It’s the] same thing with your body. Until your body doesn’t feel like survival is guaranteed, it can’t thrive.”

Applying this concept to hormones, Chowdhary says taking care of certain hormonal imbalances first will help better achieve a healthy lifestyle.   

“Always make sure that your major hormones like your insulin, your leptin, your ghrelin, your cortisol, thyroid – these are your surviving hormones – are balanced out, then your body has enough energy to allocate for the thriving things,” she says.

“All of us love good hair, great skin, a happy mood — all of this happens when we are thriving, not when we are surviving.”

Watch the third episode of the web series, hosted by Shereen Saif, where Chowdhary offers more tips on hormonal health and fad diets. Friday Food For Thought, supported by homegrown brands Mai Dubai, Waterfront Market, Al Adil Trading and Danube Home, is a health series that focuses on practical solutions for many common health issues. A new episode premieres every Friday, 4pm, on the Gulf News and Friday Lite Facebook pages and IGTV channels.

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