Gluten Sensitivity and Hormonal Imbalance
In addition to some of the more commonly known conditions associated with gluten intolerance, such as gastrointestinal, respiratory and neurological issues, it is also a factor that can greatly influence the endocrine system and contribute to hormone imbalance and adrenal stress—particularly as menopause approaches. As the production of sex hormones by the ovaries drops, the hormonal imbalance may be worsened by consuming gluten.
The adrenal glands produce body-repairing hormones and help in coping with daily stress. They also produce sex hormones as women age. When the body is under chronic stress, the adrenals will respond to it by producing excess stress hormones (cortisol) and less sex hormones (particularly progesterone). As the adrenal glands become stressed and cannot meet the demands placed on them, bodily functions may begin to break down. Body systems do not operate efficiently and lose the ability to repair themselves. This can lead to depression, fatigue, unstable moods, weight gain, fibromyalgia and premature menopause.
Those who are gluten-sensitive and continue to eat it, can place their adrenal glands in this state of chronic stress as they try to cope with the resultant inflammation. It is likely that this condition is common, but not always diagnosed. A consultation with a health care practitioner is recommended to explore gluten sensitivity as it relates to one’s hormonal health.
Gourmet Girls Gluten Free Bakery/Bistro is located at 5845 N. Oracle Rd., in Tucson. Connect at 520-408-9000 or GourmetGirlsGlutenFree.com. See ad, page 30.