Are your hormones causing havoc for your health?

Hormone balancing for health

“Image courtesy of akarakingdoms/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Hormones are chemical messengers found within your body which trigger certain actions within the body, such as the rate at which glands and other organs work.  Hormones regulate such functions as metabolism, growth and development, sexual reproduction and stress response.

The endocrine system is responsible for the overall hormone production and co-ordination. Your health is dependent upon the balance of hormones within your body and a problem with one endocrine gland will have a knock on effect on other glands.

Hormones reach every part of your body and the membrane of each one of your bodily cells contains receptors for one or more hormones which will stimulate or retard specific body functions

The endocrine system consists of a number of glands. The major ones are as follows:

Pituitary: This is the master gland which has a controlling effect on most of the other endocrine glands especially the adrenals and thyroid.

Thyroid: helps to control metabolism, including body weight, energy use and heart rate. An overactive thyroid causes the bodily functions to work too fast, and an under-active thyroid causes sluggishness, weight gain and may affect fertility

Parathyroid: control calcium balance between blood and bones

Adrenals: these produce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. They affect your response to stress, metabolic rate, growth, and blood sugar balance.

Pancreas: produces insulin which helps to control blood sugar.

Ovaries: control the female cycle through the production of oestrogen and progesterone

Testes: control the male sexual development and reproductive function through the production of testosterone.

Female Hormones:

Throughout a woman’s life, the flow of hormones changes from day to day and year to year and it is the balance and interplay of these hormones which determines her health. That is to say, how she feels physically, emotionally and mentally.

At high levels a hormone can have a completely different effect than at low levels, but sometimes the symptoms can be the same. Proper levels and amounts of the various hormones are crucial to optimal female health.

Hormone imbalance can lead to numerous problems such as: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, blood sugar problems and diabetes, PMS, endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, ovarian cysts, fertility issues, cancer, chronic fatigue, adrenal insufficiency, menopausal problems, insomnia, and anxiety.

The hormone that usually dominates female health is oestrogen, (and its relatives). This hormone rises and falls as a female progresses from childhood to old age. Prior to puberty oestrogen levels are fairly low – enough to give female characteristics but not enough for sexual maturity. Approaching puberty, (which can take around 4 years) the ovaries are stimulated into producing more oestrogen and this is the signal for puberty to commence.

Once this phase has begun the presence of the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and androgens, influence the development of further female characteristics such as breast development, the distribution of fat around the hips and bottom, bodily hair and the commencement of monthly periods.

Around the age of 16-17 girls start to move into womanhood. The sex hormones settle down but oestrogen, progesterone and androgens continue to interact to control the menstrual cycle.

If pregnancy occurs, then oestrogen and progesterone levels are kept high to maintain the body in an optimum state to maintain that pregnancy. After the birth then hormone levels drop rapidly.

As a woman gets older then production of oestrogen and progesterone declines as she approaches the menopause. These hormonal changes can have a knock on effect on other body functions such as mood, sleep, body-fat and memory.

Why is hormonal imbalance on the increase?

Female hormone imbalance can be attributed poor nutrition, poor food choices, lack of exercise, chronic stress and an accumulation of toxic chemicals from our environment.

The standard western diet tends to have high levels of refined and processed foods which contain high levels of preservatives, sweeteners, colours, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. Modern methods of food production mean that much of our food is contaminated with growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and other endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Most of us do not get enough exercise; it is difficult to fit it into our busy lives.

The accumulation of toxic substances that enter our bodies everyday has risen tremendously over the last few years. Everything from personal toiletries, cooking implements, home furnishings, plastics to industrial waste contains a myriad of chemicals. Many of them contain xeno-oestrogens – foreign oestrogens that can mimic female hormones. These send the wrong messages to the oestrogen receptor sites of the body, thereby creating potentially dangerous situations for a women’s health.

So what can you do about it?

Natural therapies can help to bring your hormonal system back into balance, gently, easily and without side effects. A woman’s health is a direct reflection of her environment. To treat hormonal imbalance effectively it is necessary to look at the individual and her unique history to understand what lies at the root of the problem.

Then you would need to address diet and nutrition to remove toxic foods and introduce health promoting and hormone balancing foods. See here for hormone balancing diet.

If stress is a major factor then this needs to be managed or removed. Finally examine your environment and lifestyle for toxic substances and do your utmost to eliminate them.

Comments

  1. This is really a great post. If people ONLY KNEW how little change is required in their life to really get their body in good shape rather than going to regular doctors and getting on drugs that then just cause new, different and worse symptoms and conditions which then require more drugs which add even more issues, symptoms and conditions which then require more drugs and maybe surgeries and then…it goes on and on and on and on.

    I know from personal experience. I got “doctored” to death. Literally, I was given maybe at the most 6 months to live. That was over 25 years ago.

    The natural, spiritual, mind, body approach I put myself on was very easy to do. I figured, I might as well if I have no chance anyway.

    Now, (for my family’s sake) I go to a regular doctor and get regular blood tests once a year and they are always fine.

    My food regime is not extreme. My exercise is walking 20 minutes every day and parking further from doors than I used to.

    Like I said, nothing extreme and yet made a world of different.

    Thanks for this post. More people need to know this information.

    Kathy

    • glad you enjoyed this post. As you say, If everyone could just make some little changes it would make a big difference to the health of the population and to future generations. Well I guess I’ll just keep going on about it.

  2. Great information here. Thanks for posting.

  3. So much is blamed on hormones, but the human body is so complex, it’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly is happening when there is a complaint. I have a grumpy day (I’m 50) so I blame hormones. My 14 yo daughter has an emotional day, so I blame hormones. I’m going to go over to your “hormone balancing through diet” post now. Great info, by the way, thank you!
    Amy recently posted..Make your own seed-starting mix: it’s so easy!My Profile

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