A person’s hormones change with the seasons. A person may notice some of these changes in mood swings, or even physical changes in their body. Some might also wonder what a person can do to maintain an optimal balance of hormones in their body, so they can stay healthy throughout the year.
Hormones are the chemicals produced by your body’s endocrine system, which contains the hypothalamus, pancreas, thyroid, adrenal gland, ovaries, and testes. Each of these glands or organs produces necessary chemicals that travel through your bloodstream to other parts of your body, affecting everything from memory to mood swings.
Some women experience a shift in hormone production as it relates to their menstrual cycle. Sunshine directly influences the length of a woman’s period, according to this 2011 study of Russian women. When the sun is shining in the spring and summer months, it increases the production of follicle-stimulating hormones in women, which in turn encourages the development of eggs. This will increase the flow of their period, potentially keeping it (and the irritability that sometimes comes along with it) shorter.
The Importance of Vitamin D
The amount of sunshine a person gets has a major effect on vitamin D levels, too. More sunshine means more vitamin D, which is a hormone released by the kidneys and is essential for the development of strong bones. But less sunshine means a lower amount of vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D deficiencies could lead to rickets in children, a condition in which the bones become abnormally soft.
Vitamin D also has an important role in maintaining other bodily functions, so if there is a deficiency, it could result in fatigue, muscle weakness, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Because there is less sunshine in the winter months, you might experience a vitamin D deficiency, but ask your doctor about replacements and treatment.
During the winter months, men generally produce less testosterone, which is the hormone that is responsible for sexual function in men. They could experience lower sex drive, hair loss, difficulty sleeping, reduced muscle mass, and mood swings. Testosterone production usually decreases as men get older, prompting them to seek testosterone therapy. But for younger men, testosterone production should increase to normal levels in the spring and summer.
According to one article from ABC Science, hormonal changes throughout the seasons can affect fat deposits in people’s bodies, too. When women’s testosterone levels are higher, they see a higher fat deposit around their waists. But when men’s testosterone levels rise, they experience more fat deposits in their abdomen. For both men and women, the study found that testosterone levels are highest in the fall months.
The study suggests that these physical shifts are minute and barely noticeable to the naked eye, but most likely are meant to subconsciously affect sexual desire. When the waist-to-hip ratio in women is bigger in the autumn, they are theoretically less desirable, since other studies suggest that a smaller waist-to-hip ratio is more attractive.
How to Maintain Balance
Even though our hormones are constantly changing with the seasons, there are ways to ensure that we get the right amount of each to keep our bodies functioning properly. Take a look at the tips below to see what habits and routines you can incorporate into your daily life to maintain healthy hormone levels and boost your mood:
- Spend time outside whenever you can. Fresh air and sunshine are natural mood boosters, and as we’ve seen, sunshine does a great deal to help our bodies get enough vitamin D, which is essential to the pituitary gland’s function.
- If there isn’t a lot of sunshine in your area, or because it’s winter, you can invest in a light box that imitates natural light.
- Get at least eight hours of sleep per night to reduce stress and maintain healthy brain function. Settling into a nighttime routine about an hour before you plan to go to sleep every night will help your body wind down and relax.
- Exercise regularly to boost dopamine levels and release endorphins, hormones that relieve pain and stress.
Make an Appointment with [firm-name] Today
If you are worried about maintaining hormone levels as the seasons change, or have questions about how hormones affect your health, come speak with a specialist at [firm-name]. We’ll help you come up with a diet, exercise, and lifestyle plan tailored specifically to you. We want everyone to learn a routine that is healthy and in line with their unique hormonal needs, so make an appointment with us today! Call our office at [phone-number].