Did you know that wearing sunglasses makes you more susceptible to becoming sunburned. Sunlight stimulates the optic nerve and warns the pituitary gland. This results in the release melanocyte a stimulating protein that prevents sunburns!
Soooo…who wants to talk hormones.
I sure do! I think hormones need to be discussed more often. Hormones are involved in most of your bodies day to day functions, yet for some reason they are rarely the topic of discussion. While I write this for all the incredible ladies out there this also pertains to men as well.
Starting at the basics, hormones are chemical messengers for the body, these chemicals are produced in the endocrine system then secreted into the blood stream or directly into the tissues or organs. Hormones affect everything from; growth, sexual function, and reproduction to metabolism, mood, and sleep. As chemical messengers, hormones float through the blood looking for the specific cell receptors it can bind onto, once it has found a cell and attached to the receptor it changes the function of the cell.
Frequently Asked Questions
How common is hormonal Imbalance ?
Hormonal imbalance is more common than not, hormones have very sensitive feedback systems that are often disrupted by environmental toxins, stress, unbalanced lifestyle, diet, and/or major life event.
1 in 10 women suffer from PCOS
1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis
1 in 6 women suffer from infertility
1 in 4 women suffer miscarriage
Thought in North America hormonal imbalance is common it doesn’t mean that it is the norm. Life doesn’t need to be lived in discomfort or pain.
I take birth control, are my hormones balanced?
Birth control is a synthetic compound that will attach to the receptors for specific hormones. It was created to limit the chance of pregnancy but has a side effect of masking hormonal imbalance symptoms, for many people it is prescribed band-aid for many illness. Hormones function on what is called a negative feedback loop, when we need a hormone to be released into the blood specific factors will activate the release. When we are supplementing with birth control our body is constantly having birth control hormones active in the blood stream, this means the body will not be getting signalled to produce its own hormone. When and if we no longer want to be on birth control these symptoms can and will come back for revenge. (trust me, iv’e been through this) On top of all that birth control pill makes it hard for the body to assimilate some certain nutrients that can cause other set of its own adverse symptoms.
Can I increase my sex drive ?
Yes, yes, yes you can! Our sex drive is so important and should not be ignored or embarrassed about. 1 in 3 women are upset about having a low sex drive. There are several types of female sexual disfunction(fsd); low sexual desire, trouble becoming aroused, trouble with orgasm and pain during sex. Many factors can influence our vitality as women and as we work together to improve your health we will work to get to the source of the imbalance. Factors that can have an influence are hormonal, psychological, gynaecological and spiritual.
Is melatonin bad for me ?
Melatonin is recognized as generally safe to use for a short term period. When used over a long period of time it has been known to have adverse effects and symptoms like depression, irritability, abdominal cramps and disorientation. Melatonin is a hormone that plays a role in your sleep cycle and is found naturally higher in our blood at night. It can be helpful when getting through a schedule change or to recover from traveling. If using melatonin it is important to ensure it is not disruption any other medications you may be on, as a hormone it interacts with may other drugs.
Why I am always so tired by 3pm.
Do you get the afternoon crash, this is caused by a blood sugar imbalance due to your diet and hydration. When you eat a breakfast high in sugars, proteins and simple carbohydrates your blood sugar ends up running high, especially if followed with a double double coffee. Assuming you are at work and drinking coffee most of the morning and with little water you are putting pressure on your adrenal glands. This glands control our stress levels and as we get hungry and dehydrated our stress levels are maxing by lunch. Do you eat a late lunch? A short while later crashing feeling fatigue, slow and in need of a nap.
When your blood sugar is unstable it causes an imbalance in the hormones involved in our sleep cycle and energy production.
Why is my PMS worse when I'm stressed.
Unfortunately stress and bad PMS have a direct link. A study in the Journal of Women’s Health stated that women who experienced a stressful or traumatic event within two weeks prior to their expected period had dramatically worse symptoms of sadness, depression and more drastic mood changes. Symptoms may not fully dissipate but with stress management techniques along side exercise and healthy diet they should be reduced significantly.
Did you know that cuddling can be used to treat someone who needs physical healing. The act of cuddling releases bursts of Oxytocin, which is known to act as an anti-inflammatory reducing swelling and improving healing!
Glands involved in hormone production
- Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus is responsible for the body’s circadian rhythm, body temperature, hunger, moods and the release of hormones from other glands. It also controls thirst, sleep and sex drive.
- Thyroid: This produces hormones associated with calorie burning and heart rate.
- Parathyroid: Controls calcium amounts in the blood. It is mostly linked to the kidney and bone cells.
- Thymus: This gland plays a role in the function of the adaptive immune system and the maturity of the thymus, and produces T-cells.
- Pancreas: This gland produces the insulin that helps control blood sugar levels.
- Adrenal: These glands produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Pituitary: Considered the “master control gland,” the pituitary gland controls other glands and makes the hormones that trigger growth.
- Pineal: This gland produces serotonin derivatives of melatonin, which affects sleep. These are also called the thalamus.
- Ovaries: Only in women, the ovaries secrete estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the female sex hormones.
- Testes: Only in men, the testes produce the male sex hormone, testosterone, and produce sperm.
Symptoms of a hormone imbalance
When one of these hormones are out of balance it can create a domino effect causing a multitude of symptoms. Some of the symptoms that can occur with a hormonal imbalance can be quite severe, some slightly trivial.
Anxiety and depression
Irregular periods or infertility
Hair loss or thinning
Unexplained weight gain/loss
When hormonal imbalances go unresolved for long periods of time symptoms eventually turn to one or more chronic illnesses that are all to common in our society
Estrogen Dominance (Symptoms of changes in sleep patterns, slowed metabolism, and changes in appetite)
Low Estrogen (Symptoms of low sex drive, reproductive problems, menstrual irregularities, and changes in mood)
Hypothyroidism (Symptoms of weight gain, irritability, anxious, and digestive issues)
Hyperthyroidism (Symptoms of weight loss, thinning hair, depression, and irregular heart beat)
Low Testosterone (Symptoms of muscle loss, weight gain, acne, and fatigue)
Diabetes (Symptoms of weight gain, poor skin and hair health, dry mouth, fatigue, higher risk of vision loss and nerve damage)
Adrenal Fatigue (Symptoms of brain fog, muscle aches and pains, weakness, fatigue, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance)