How well do you know your body? Maya Angelou said "when women take care of their health, they become their own best friend". I truly believe that when we have a better understanding of our body, we can take better care of it.
Your hormones control the way your body functions and play a big role in overall health. Everything in the body is controlled by hormones (the endocrine system) - sleep, hunger and satiety, mood, period, stress response, fat storage and more. With such a central and key role in our body, our goal should be to keep them balanced and functioning so that we can feel our best.
If you experience symptoms such as heavy and painful periods, headaches, fatigue, acne, joint pain and mood swings, your hormones might be the root cause. Understanding the critical role they play will help you improve your symptoms, so let's look at what those hormones are.
Hormones are chemical messengers produced by the different glands in your body. Hormones send information to all the body's organ systems to relay messages and exert specific actions on our tissues. Our periods are affected from various glands and hormones - more than you probably think! It starts in glands in our skull and goes all the way down to our ovaries. A true example of mind-body connection.
THE PITUITARY GLAND (The Master Gland) -
The pituitary gland is found in our skull and controls almost all of the other glands in our body. It is responsible for releasing hormones that stimulate our other glands to produce hormones such as thyroid, ovaries and adrenal glands.
Main pituitary hormones include Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH) stimulates the ovaries in preparation for ovulation. Luteinizing Hormone (LH) triggers ovulation and the corpus leteum.
THE THYROID GLAND -
The thyroid gland is located right in the front of your neck and produces hormones that modulate our mood, senses, and metabolism.
THE PANCREAS -
The pancreas is responsible for secreting insulin, the hormones responsible for balancing our blood sugar and fat storage. Insulin has a major impact on the function and balance of our hormones.
THE ADRENAL GLANDS -
The adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and they produce stress hormones, maintain our blood pressure and to some extent take over for the ovaries post menopause.
THE OVARIES -
The ovaries are a main source of production for estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone prior to menopause.
Progesterone induces a sense of calm and by stimulating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors.
Estrogen is the main hormone in the first half of your cycle. Estrogen gives you curves, helps keep your joints lubricated, and is crucial for maintaining bone, brain and heart health. Estrogen sends a message to the uterus to make a thick lining ready for an embryo.
Testosterone is most commonly known as being essential for a strong libido but testosterone has many other benefits such as our mood, motivation and decreases depression. It helps us build lean body mass and crucial for bone and brain health.
There are various ways we can balance and support our hormones. For example, vitamin B6 and vitamin C are essential nutrients in the production of progesterone. If you have estrogen dominance you should increase your fibre intake, take vitamin B6 and consume lots of cruciferous vegetables.
As you've read, the body is a complex machine and it needs to work in harmony to find its balance. There are many factors to consider when treating a hormonal imbalance, it's not necessarily just your sex hormones, it can be the adrenals or the thyroid gland. It needs a holistic approach to identify the root cause while supporting all the systems in the body.
I believe knowledge is power when it comes to health. Understanding how your body functions can support your health journey, provide more insight and will allow you to be more compassionate and sympathetic with yourself. Hormones fluctuate throughout our lives, especially during postpartum, stressful periods, motherhood and menopause. It's vital to understand our bodies and to take care of it. I hope this inspires and empowers you to learn more about your health and to take care of yourself!
If you feel like you're having similar symptoms, then please book a free consultation call here and we can talk further.