Do you suffer hormone imbalance or are your hormones healthy?

hormone imbalance

Statistics show that 80 percent of women suffer from hormonal imbalance. Some women live with these hormone imbalances without even realising it. 

In my aromatherapy practice, I focus on women’s health and that means a lot of time talking to women about the importance of maintaining healthy hormones. Most of the women with whom I work, experience some or all of following:

  • A Rollercoaster of up or down moods
  • Hormonal challenges whether during menopause or at particular times during their monthly cycle
  • Issues maintaining a healthy weight.

How do hormones work?

Two of the main hormones associated with hormone imbalance are oestrogen and progesterone. Everything in nature is a balancing act much like a see saw. When one is up the other is down and vice versa. If this gets out of balance then we start to experience a multitude of symptoms.

Progesterone

Firstly I want to talk about progesterone? Where is it produced, what ir does and how it can be linked to hormone imbalance? 

Every month at the spot where the egg from is released from our ovaries during ovulation a blister is formed which is called Corpus Luteum. Main site of progesterone production. Some progesterone is made in other places but the majority comes from this little blister.

Progesterone ripens lining in uterus, encourages mucus in vagina to be released ready for intercourse.

Progesterone is the bodies way of ensuring fertilisation.

It is the feel good hormone – gives us increased energy – good skin and hair – and increased libido.

When women get pregnant there progesterone continues to rise and progesterone helps to keep the fertilised egg in place in the uterus in the first few weeks. Therefore low progesterone can be one factor in early term miscarriages. It helps women to feel good during their pregnancy. It also gives them that pregnancy glow and even a heightened libido.

Oestrogen

Let’s have a look at how our oestrogen levels change through out our monthly cycle and can cause hormone imbalance. Everyone is a snowflake. Women all have different length cycles but to make it easier to explain I am going to use a 28 day cycle to explain how oestrogen and progesterone levels change. 

hormone imbalance

Around Day 7 – Oestrogen begins to increase, causing massive cell growth as the lining of the uterus thickens for the egg to implant, stimulates eggs to be released and makes mucus in the vagina ready for sex. Oestrgoen is like food for cells which is why you may have heard of oestrogen receptive breast cancer this means the oestrogen is feeding the cancer cells and causing it to grow.

Oestrogen has a particular chemical structure which contains a phenolic ring. This ring is a chain of hydrocarbons. This phenolic ring is what opens the door way to the cell and allows it to get inside. This is fine when everything is natural and working in balance.

However if for some reason our body starts making an excess of oestrogen because there is not enough progesterone to keep it in balance like the see saw or what is more often the case in modern society where the body is exposed to xenoestrogens which are synthetic chemicals that have the same phenolic ring or chemical make up as oestrogen. The cells think the chemical is oestrogen as it has the right key to unlock the door however it is these xenoestrogens and there are so many of them that are cells become over loaded and fat.

So one of the best things you can tell someone with breast cancer or any cancer for that matter is to switch over to natural products that don’t contain any xenoestrogens. 

Around Day 14 the egg bursts out of the ovary, travels down fallopian tube, settles in the lining in the uterus. As Progesterone increases oestrogen drops off. Like the see saw I mentioned earlier.

Progesterone rises and peaks around day 21. I call this “Slut week” as most women have a heightened libido around this time. 

However every good thing must come to an end and just like having withdrawals from drugs there are certain side effects when we are coming down off our progesterone high. This is what I like to call “Divorce week” as it is usually the time in a women’s cycle where she wants to kill everyone, quit her job, get a divorce and move to a deserted island.

Symptoms of oestrogen dominance and excess oestrogen

This is where the body isn’t making enough progesterone to keep our oestrogen levels in check or where we are exposed to a lot of xenoestrgoens and they are causing thesesymptoms. 

High levels of oestrogen can lead to weight gain, particularly around the hips and waist. Excess oestrogen can also cause menstrual problems, such as:

  • irregular periods
  • light spotting
  • heavy bleeding
  • more severe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS

Females with high oestrogen can experience other symptoms, including:

  • bloating
  • cold hands and feet
  • difficulty sleeping
  • tiredness and fatigue
  • hair loss
  • headaches and even migraines
  • low sex drive
  • mood changes, depression and anxiety
  • problems with memory
  • swollen or tender breasts
  • noncancerous breast lumps and
  • uterine fibroids which are noncancerous growths that develop on, in, or around the uterus.

Having high oestrogen can increase the risk of developing certain health problems, including:

  • thyroid diseases
  • blood clots
  • heart disease and heart attacks
  • stroke
  • breast cancer and
  • ovarian cancer

Another symptom that many women experience if they have hormone imbalance due to low progesterone and their oestrogen levels get out of balance is acne.  

hormone imbalance

What causes hormone imbalance?

A co-worker of mine, Pamela Lund is a Life Coach for women and she likens healthy hormonal balance to the four legs of a table. If just one of the legs is wonky then the table is unbalanced and could topple over. The four legs are:

  • Stress – The female endocrine system (hormonal system) is very sensitive to stress and this therefore can cause hormone imbalance. This could be from too much work and not enough sleep. The modern-day pressures women experience trying to juggle everything that is expected of them, without adopting good stress management techniques, puts a strain on their sympathetic nervous system. Under chronic stress, cortisol levels rise and this can cause a reduction in other hormones being produced.
  • Diet and Exercise – eating the wrong foods for your body, or too many processed foods and not getting enough good fats to make hormones can cause hormone imbalance. Plus not drinking enough water and not exercising regularly all impact on being able to maintain healthy hormones.
  • Emotional stress from past traumas that have been stored away because they weren’t fully dealt with at the time all impact on hormone production. Emotional toxins can be just a harmful on our well-being as environmental and chemical ones. I bet you didn’t think your emotions could be causing your hormone imbalance.
  • Physical hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen are the usual suspects when it comes to hormone imbalance. Progesterone is a hormone found in both men and women that is generally associated with women’s health. It plays an important role in influencing menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause. Genetic makeup, environmental influences, and other factors can negatively impact progesterone levels, which may lead to other imbalances in the body.

It is therefore essential that women work on balancing all these four areas if they want to address thier hormone imbalance. If you would like to learn more about maintaining healthy hormones why not check out our  Hormone Balance Test or come along to one of our Happy Hormones workshops click here!

Are you are cranky, sad or feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster every month? Then you should join us tonight for Let’s Talk About…. Dragon Time!!!! 

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