Hormones Gone Haywire?
You've Got Flaky, Itchy Skin
Dry patches are one of the first signs that your thyroid hormone level is low. "These hormones help set your metabolic rate; when you don't have enough, all systems become sluggish," says John Randolph, MD, an ob-gyn and a reproductive endocrinologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The rate at which your skin cells turn over slows, resulting in dryness, redness, and rashes.
Treat it. See your doc if your skin is still desert dry after a month of slathering it with moisturizer, especially if you notice any other signs of an underactive thyroid, such as unexplained weight gain, brittle nails and hair, or if your periods become irregular or MIA, Dr. Isaacs says. He or she will give you a simple blood test to diagnose the disorder, which is usually treated with a synthetic hormone medication that you will need to take long-term. "Skin symptoms should clear up within two to three months," Dr. Isaacs says.You've Put on Extra Pounds for No Apparent Reason
Lack of zzz's may be affecting your appetite hormones. A new study published in Sleep found that after snoozing for only four hours a night, levels of glucagon-like peptide 1, a hormone that controls satiety, decreased in women. "When you don't feel full, you tend to just keep eating," says study author Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD. In fact, another of her studies showed that women down an average of 329 more calories on days they don't get sufficient sleep.
Treat it. Log adequate pillow time -- seven to nine hours a night. And start your day with protein-packed eats to keep hunger hormones in check. Overweight women who ate an egg-and-beef-sausage breakfast consumed 135 fewer calories from evening snacks than those who started their day with a bowl of cereal that had the same number of calories, according to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The reason: A high-protein breakfast boosts levels of another satiety hormone, peptide YY, all day.
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