Hormone balance is key to overall health and wellness, and when hormones become imbalanced, they can wreak havoc in the body.
Hormones are our body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to organs or tissues.
Our hormones control or regulate many biological processes. They enable different parts of the body to communicate and control most major bodily functions, from basic needs like hunger, metabolism to complex systems like reproduction.
The food we eat, the environmental chemicals we are exposed to and lifestyle can affect or alter our hormone function. Some chemicals can actually mimic hormones in the body leading to potentially dangerous health conditions.
As a woman, there’s a very good chance that you’ve experienced unwanted symptoms from a hormone imbalance, but never understood the cause. Often we get used to the way we feel and accept it as normal. The problem is, as we get older, these imbalances can have a bigger effect on our health.
In this article I’m going to explain the importance of balancing our hormones and what factors lead to hormonal imbalances.
A little about stress
One factor that can have a tremendous impact on our hormones is stress. Stress gets a lot of bad press. A little stress is a good thing. Stress helps you meet your daily challenges and motivates you to reach your goals. Good stress can feel like excitement. Your pulse quickens and your hormones surge, but there is no threat or fear. It’s often short term and can inspire you or motivate you. We feel this when we are going on a first date, have an exciting new project, or are on a roller coaster for example.
The problem occurs with the bad stress, and particularly when we experienced it for long periods of time.
A study in 2018 by the Mental Health Foundation found that 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Out of that, 81% were women.
I would expect those figures to be higher now, given what we have all dealt with over the last few years.
What is Chronic stress?
Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in our body and is a major contributor to hormonal imbalances. Everyone experiences and reacts to stressors differently, but regardless, the body does not respond well when faced with it consistently.
Chronic stress occurs when the body experiences stress with such regularity or intensity that the nervous system does not have time to regulate our hormones. This means that the body remains in a constant state of stress.
When the natural stress response goes haywire, chronic stress causes prolonged exposure to cortisol, leading to the disruption of almost all the body’s processes, which can lead to:
- Feeling jittery or shaky.
- Incessant worries cluttering your mind.
- Digestive problems.
- Feelings of anger, sadness, and irritability.
- Fatigue or sleepiness during the day.
- Insomnia at night.
- Feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Regular headaches.
- Weight issues.
- A disruption of the menstrual cycle and PMS.
- Fertility problems.
- A worsening of menopause symptoms.
- A low libido.
- Long term health conditions.
The importance of hormonal balance for women
As women, we are very affected by our hormones, which change over our lives. The two main female sex hormones are oestrogen and progesterone.
Oestrogen plays a big role in puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause but it is also really important for our brain, cardiovascular system, hair, bones, skin and mood.
Progesterone regulates your cycle. It is produced after ovulation and prepares the uterus for pregnancy, it helps prepare the lining of the uterus for a fertilized egg, supports pregnancy and balances oestrogen production after ovulation.
If these hormones are out of balance then we will experience symptoms of PMS, heavy periods, bloating, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and weight gain amongst other things.
Paying attention to when we are feeling out of whack and making the necessary adjustments is important for our overall health.
As we begin perimenopause, our levels of oestrogen drop and we can experience hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, headaches, fatigue, weight gain, bone loss, a low libido and vaginal dryness.
Low progestogen can result in irregular periods and short cycles.
Balance your Hormones for Better Health
If you have experienced any of the above symptoms then there are things you can do which will help. There are many natural methods for balancing hormones and reducing the negative effects of chronic stress to achieve better health.
Reducing stress, eating a nutritious and balanced diet and removing chemicals and toxins from your environment are a few ways you can do this. Other ways to tackle stress are:
- Getting regular exercise.
- Drinking 2 litres of water a day.
- Maintaining a regular sleep pattern.
- Getting enough protein.
- Looking after your gut health.
- Cutting out sugars and processed foods.
- Maintaining a good weight for you.
This does not have to be difficult, there are simple steps you can take today to improve your health. I believe in everything in moderation, you don’t have to give up everything you enjoy to stay in good health.
I hope you have found information regarding Balancing Our Hormones in this article useful. To find out more about balancing your hormones, come to my webinar on 19th September at 8pm.
My goal is to teach you the importance of stress, sex hormones and simple, natural ways of keeping them in balance.