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Happy, healthy hormones





"Hormones 101" : This is a basic explanation about our hormones.


Hormones are chemical messengers, think of them as text messages sent around the body.





A hormone is a substance that regulates functions in the body. They are produced in the body and sent throughout your body to help regulate and control your body’s development. They play a large part in many of our daily functions as well as critical life milestones. 


Hormones influence behaviour, mood, muscle mass, energy, metabolism, blood sugar, blood pressure, growth and fertility, sex drive and even sleep. Their influence goes as far as changing the way we think and act day to day. There is no doubt that hormones are powerful.


Women experience more sudden and frequent hormonal changes than men. And for some, these changes can cause difficult symptoms. 


Most of us are aware of our sex hormones, Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone, however, we may not be aware of the other hormones that could be playing havoc in out bodies, in fact if these hormones are out of balance it could be them that are affecting our sex hormones. The other hormones that can really upset the “apple cart” are Thyroid, Adrenalin, Cortisol and Insulin.


  • Thyroid Hormones - The thyroids role is in regulating metabolism, energy levels and body temperature.

  • Adrenalin - The “fight or flight“ hormone that gets you ready for action.

  • Cortisol - This is the stress hormone. Cortisol increases sugar, also called glucose in the bloodstream.

  • Insulin - The role of insulin is in glucose regulation and energy storage.

  • Sex Hormones - Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone balance the hormonal equation.


Common Hormonal Imbalances - Signs and Symptoms to name but a few;


Sleeplessness

Hot flushes

Mood swings

Weight gain, especially around the belly

Moodiness

Depression

Brain fog

Lack of energy

Hypothyroidism

Insulin resistance.

Lack of libido

Hair loss

Fibromyalgia

Heavy periods

Loss of hair

Stress and Anxiety

Panic attacks






Four books I absolutely recommend (and you can get these in an audible form so can listen and go back and listen again whilst out on a walk or even folding the washing, for those of us that love to multi task)!






Period Repair Manual (I think this book should be given to all our female children at puberty stage) and Hormone Repair Manual, (for women from about the age of 35 onward and get the men in your world, partners, sons to read it too, this may give them an understanding of the massive transformation your body is going through).

Both these books are written by Lara Briden. Lara is a naturopath, living in Christchurch, New Zealand with more than 20 years experience in women's health. She has a website, blog and podcast so there’s lots of information on hand.


The other 2 books are Fast Like A Girl by Dr Mindy Pelz and Women, Food and Hormones by Sara Gottfried.


Our bodies are so amazing that even though we may think sometimes they are sabotaging us, they are actually simply trying to get back into balance. 


I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on our hormones but I am continuing to educate myself about my body. And I urge you to do so too.


As I mentioned previously my thyroid is sometimes out of balance and I also know that from a blood test I had earlier this year that my insulin levels were starting to creep up. Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, however that doesn’t mean I am worried about getting it, it just means that like my TSH levels, I have been focussing on correcting this in my body.


So I started doing a metabolic reset. What did this look like?

First I looked at my nutrition (because we are what we eat), I cut back on carbohydrates, (bread, potatoes, crackers, rice and pasta), I have a break from eating for at least 12 hours overnight, so this means no snacking after dinner. I aim to get a decent amount of sleep, I exercise at least 4 days a week and if I’m not walking I have a 15 minute yoga practice I can do in the morning and I do my best to manage my stress through breath work, saying no and putting boundaries in place. This is not being selfish, it is being selfless. By doing this I can correct my system all on my own without adding any medication. I know this might sound a bit daunting and I’m not saying you have to do this alone, but just make one tweak a week or contact me if you need support .


Understanding your own body is the first step towards creating a harmonious and vibrant life.

So, take care of those hormones, and they'll take care of you!

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