The impact of eating disorders on hormones is clear. Eating disorders impact a wide range of physical systems within the body including the hormones. Your hormones are signals sent from your thyroid to tell your organs how to work as well as telling each cell how to function to achieve the goals of keeping your body healthy. When your hormones are not balanced, the impact is across the board impacting your mental and physical health and virtually every system in your body. How can an eating disorder interfere with your hormone production?
The Impact on Your Hormones
The way you eat impacts the way your hormones function. Hormones influence the way your body develops, the health of your bones, whether or not you are fertile, and even your level of alertness and appetite. The amount of hormone produced by the body has to be very specific to allow each of these systems to work the right way. When you do not eat in a healthy manner, your hormones are directly impacted and do not produce the right amount of type of hormone.
Take a Look at Metabolism
One of the many ways hormones work is by regulating your metabolism. This is the chemical reaction in your body that allows your digestive system to turn food into energy to help you to grow and react to the world around you. There are numerous hormones in play during this process. If you are not eating enough nutrients, for example, the hormones will tell your body’s metabolism to slow down because it moves into starvation mode. This means that those hormones will reduce the functionality of some systems to put energy that you are getting where it needs to be – keeping your brain, heart, and lungs working.
Stress Hormones Are Impacted, Too
Eating disorders also impact the stress hormone, which is the hormone used in the “fight or flight” decision your brain needs to make. When your body isn’t getting the right amount of hormone to tell your brain how to react, you may suffer from a variety of feelings including anxiety and depression.
In short, hormones are impacted by all types of eating disorders because improper nutrients are entering the body. These nutrients help to stimulate the function of your thyroid as well as to give your body’s systems the fuel they need to operate in the way necessary. If you are not eating in a healthy nourishing way, it will likely impact every system within your body as a direct result.