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Looking for answers? Look at your hormones!

Updated: Jul 12, 2022



What are hormones?

Hormones are your body's chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs and affect many different processes, including:

  • Growth and development

  • Metabolism and body weight

  • Sexual function

  • Fertility

  • Emotions and

  • Sleep, just to name a few.


It’s normal for hormone levels to fluctuate over time, such as with your monthly cycle, during pregnancy, and with age and for women, the most pronounced hormonal changes come in the teens, their 40s and 50s.

Hormonal changes not only fluctuate with age, but are also greatly affected by lifestyle, diet, medications, pollution and environmental toxins.


Over the next few weeks I will be bringing you some juicy info about some of the hormones that I love to bang on about! Chiefly, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol


Let's start with ESTROGEN

FUN FACT!

Estrogen is involved in over 400 different functions in the body!

Wow!

But wait......

That is potentially 400 processes that may be in jeopardy should your estrogen levels be out of whack!


For example, estrogen contributes to cognitive health, bone health, cardiovascular health and reproductive health

Have you ever wondered why heart disease and alzheimers are one of the leading causes of death for women? Amongst other factors it is thought that low estrogen levels are a major contributing factor to these diseases.


So what are some of the signs that my estrogen levels are out of whack?



Not such a FUN FACT!

If your estrogen levels are low your body will try to correct this in the best way it knows how

It lays down a little extra body fat!

Why?

Because body fat aids in the synthesis of estrogen!

OUCH!



What affects my estrogen levels?






Want to know more? Click on the " > "

Medications: Hormone therapy to boost low estrogen levels will affect your levels. (e. oral contraceptives/birth control devices) Body fat: Fat tissue (adipose tissue) secretes estrogen. Having a high percentage of body fat can lead to high estrogen levels. Stress: Your body produces the hormone cortisol in response to stress. Producing high amounts of cortisol in response to stress can deplete your body’s ability to produce progesterone. The estrogen in your body is left unchecked by progesterone. Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can increase your estrogen levels and reduce your body’s ability to break down (metabolize) estrogen. Liver problems: Your liver breaks down estrogen and eliminates it from your body. If your liver’s not functioning correctly, too much estrogen can accumulate. Too few digestive enzymes, too much bad gut bacteria (dysbiosis), low magnesium levels and too little fibre in your diet can prevent your liver from removing excess estrogen. Synthetic xenoestrogens: Synthetic xenoestrogens are chemicals found in the environment that act like estrogen once they’re inside your body. They can increase your estrogen levels. Xenoestrogens include bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. Both of these chemicals are used in various plastics. Xenoestrogens can also be found in pesticides, household cleaning products and some soaps, perfumes and shampoos and those products containing a fragrance



What about estrogen dominance?

You may have heard this term before and been a little confused. What you need to remember is that it doesn't necessarily mean your estrogen levels are high, it simply means that in relation to your progesterone levels, your estrogen is high.

In functional medicine, it is the ratios that are important not the absolute figures.

Estrogen dominance therefore, may be related to low progesterone (a subject I will discuss in my next Blog) or undesirably high estrogen levels


What are some of the symptoms of estrogen dominance?

  • Mood Swings

  • Irritability

  • Decreased Sex Drive

  • Worsening PMS Symptoms

  • Breast tenderness, headaches, acne flare-ups, and mood changes may become more pronounced.

  • Irregular Menstrual Periods

  • Heavy Periods

  • Bloating

  • Weight Gain

  • Anxiety

  • Hair Loss

  • Trouble Sleeping

  • Fatigue

  • Fertility Issues

  • Memory Problems & Mental Fog

  • Hot Flashes & Night Sweats


By the way, do you know that there are 3 types of estrogen?

  • Estrone (E1) is the primary hormone your body produces during menopause and postmenopause. It’s a weaker form of estrogen than estradiol (E2).

  • Estradiol (E2) is the primary hormone your body produces in your reproductive years.

  • Estriol (E3) is the primary hormone your body makes during pregnancy.



Ok enough, enough!

How do I find out where my estrogen is at?

Some people choose to have their estrogen levels measured by a standard blood serum test. Unfortunately, and fortunately, our blood is amazing and endeavours to maintain a state of homeostasis (balance) at all times. Should there be any excess of estrogen for example, it will send the excess hormones to surrounding body tissue for storage. A blood serum test will not pick this up so hence it is not an accurate measure. A more accurate way of testing the levels of all your hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol) is a Female Sex Hormone & Cortisol Saliva Test.


If you'd like to know more about this have a listen to my live chat with Jen Knutson, naturopath:


If alarm bells are ringing or you would like to know more about lifestyle measures that can hugely affect your estrogen levels, in a positive way of course, book in a free Wellness Chat here:




Should you wish to have your hormone levels tested and given how many processes and organs they affect, I strongly suggest you do, contact a Naturopath or Functional Medicine Doctor. My girls and I love and trust Jennie Knutson and the link to her testing and other details is in the button below



Follow along on Instagram for lifestyle tips that your hormones will love!


Love and happiness always,

Lou 🌸🤗🌸









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