Having talked with numerous women in my Wombman wellness consultations and in general conversations, it has become apparent to me that many women don’t know much about their hormones beyond high school biology. So it goes without saying that they are also not aware of the role hormones play in their overall health nor are able to identify the signs of hormonal imbalance.
If you are that woman, it’s ok, this is what we are here for, to help you get to know your body intimately and rediscover just how amazing it is!
I also was once completely oblivious to the function of hormones beyond their role in me having a period and getting pregnant. I went through it all, acne on my jawline and chin, stubborn weight I couldn’t lose, I would go months without a period and when it came it would stay for way too long, I lost hair where I didn’t want and grew hair in places I wish it wouldn’t, Yet no one(doctors) told me this was all hormone related, crazy right? No woman should ever have to go through this or have her symptoms dismissed as normal ‘lady problems’ because guess what? Your body is not hostile towards you, everything it does is in your best interest, even though it may not always feel like it.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR HORMONES?
Welcome to the Hormones 101 class.
YOUR HORMONES AFFECT E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Hormones run your body. They control and regulate nearly all functions in your cells and organs.
Our endocrine system performs so many roles they can not possibly be listed in one article. Below are the main endocrine glands in women and some of the vital functions they perform.
- Hypothalamus: If it were a table, this gland would probably be sitting at the head of it. The hypothalamus is responsible for body temperature, hunger, moods and the release of hormones from other glands; and also controls thirst, sleep and sex drive.
- Pituitary: the “master control gland,” it releases hormone like substances that stimulate other endocrine glands and tissues to function.
- Parathyroid: This gland controls the amount of calcium in the body.
- Pancreas: This gland produces the insulin that helps control blood sugar levels.
- Thyroid: The thyroid produces hormones necessary for metabolism, glucose absorption and heart rate.
- Thymus: the link between our hormone system and our immune system.
- Adrenal glands: produce the hormones that control sex drive and cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Pineal gland: ‘the 3rd eye’ produces melatonin the sleep hormone.
- Ovaries: Only in women, the ovaries secrete estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the female sex hormones.
- Adipose tissue(body fat): recognised as an endocrine organ that produces oestrogen, leptin and aromatase.
If there is a misfiring somewhere in the communication process between hormone and organ or cell, it will affect other systems as well. A domino effect. Take for example, in women we have the OAT axis, a hormonal loop between ovaries, adrenal and thyroid gland. If a woman is having a problem with her ovaries like menstrual irregularity, it may weaken the adrenals and result in thyroid malfunction. What would this look like? Picture this. You have irregular periods or heavy clotting of menstrual blood, you can go from eating salty food to sweet food in one sitting, you often get cold in your hands and feet, you feel tired even if you haven’t done much during the day and then you are restless at night. What I’ve just described to you is hormonal imbalance in the OAT axis but it doesn’t end there; the ovaries, thyroid and adrenals are ‘end organs’, they have parent loops.
There exist various loops within this circuit
- HPA (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenals)
- HPT (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Thyroid)
- HPG (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonadal), ovaries in women and in men testes
- OAT (Ovaries-Adrenals-Thyroid)
So an imbalance in the ovaries will not only affect the adrenals and thyroid but you can be guaranteed that the hypothalamus and pituitary are also part of this unfortunate mess of what can only be described as ‘tangled Christmas lights ’. Don’t fret, it can all be untangled!
With this in mind , it’s ludacris that a woman experiencing hormonal imbalances like heavy periods is put on the pill and nothing else is addressed because more often than not, and I see this all the time, as soon as she comes off the pill her period either gets worse or disappears altogether. When it comes to hormonal imbalances, a holistic approach must be taken to address the root cause of your discomfort, something I address in depth during a consultation so that you have full understanding and can start to unravel the Christmas lights.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY HORMONAL IMBALANCE?
That’s the burning question.
I’ve put together a quick guide to help you identify hormonal imbalances. You can download it here. The guide will give you a brief insight into hormonal imbalances plus some practicals steps you can take to help with immediate discomforts. If you resonate with at least two of the symptoms, you have some work to do and you identify with at least three, see a doctor so you have a better idea of what may be going on with you.
I get interact with a lot of women who are overwhelmed, battling with various symptoms of hormonal imbalance and don’t know where to start with dealing with their ‘Christmas light’ chaos, they know they need to do something but just don’t know how to begin, I specifically started the Wellness Chats for this reason, to help you figure it all out aswell as get easy and practical health tips so you can start to heal. BOOK Your FREE Wellness Chat here and I’ll give you a call. Let’s have a chat and get you started on your journey to wellness.