There seems to be a growing silent epidemic of hormonal problems among women – this includes thyroid problems, breast and ovarian cancers, precocious puberty, PCOS, and severe menopausal and menstrual symptoms, among many.
Why is this happening?
What are Hormones?
Hormones are the chemical messengers that control all the functions in our body, from our circadian rhythm, metabolism, growth, stress responses, blood sugar balance and energy, as well our sexual function and reproduction.
Hormones include cortisol, adrenaline, melatonin, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and insulin, among many, many others.
All these hormones are interconnected and work together, and if one or more go out of balance, the whole system could become imbalanced.
What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance in women?
In terms of hormonal imbalance specifically related to women, the symptoms and conditions can include:
- Poor sleep and insomnia
- Weight gain or loss
- Mood swings, anxiety and depression
- Irregular and painful periods
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Digestive issues
- Low libido
- Breast tenderness or pain
- Acne and other skin issues
- Brain fog and memory lapses
- Headaches and migraines
- Joint pain
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Why is this happening?
There are times in our life when we as women will naturally get imbalance with our reproductive hormones, such as puberty, pregnancy, whilst breastfeeding, as well as perimenopause and menopause. This is normal.
However, sometimes this imbalance can be more extreme and/or prolonged than it should be and it starts to negatively affect our everyday lives. It seems that more and more women are suffering with severe PMS, menopausal symptoms, infertility, and it’s even affecting girls; it is now common that menarche (a girl’s first period) occurs as young as 8 or 9 years old, whereas it wasn’t like this even 30 years ago, where the norm was more like 12-13 years old or even older.
Since the functions of all hormones are interrelated, it is not surprising that with our increasingly stressful and hectic lives, as well as our chronic exposure to toxicity from our environment and food, that our hormones don’t work the way they are supposed to!
Let’s just take chronic stress, probably the biggest factor. When we are constantly stressed out we secrete too much cortisol, the stress hormone that is produced in our adrenal glands.
Too much cortisol can in turn lead to increases in oestrogen; excess oestrogen is the main culprit for all sorts of hormonal symptoms, many of them listed above; it is even one of the factors in developing breast cancer (though it doesn’t necessarily mean you will!).
Another big factor is the toxic substances in our environment. Some of these chemicals are what are called xenoestrogens or endocrine disruptors. These chemicals mimic oestrogen and can cause imbalance in our hormonal system.
Xenoestrogens are present in non-organic foods, skincare products, plastics, paint, cleaning products, car fumes, water supply, birth control, and disposable menstrual products. They are basically everywhere! It’s no wonder our hormonal systems are all out of whack!
What can you do about it?
Aiming to eat more organic foods, avoiding conventional household and skincare products and replacing them with more natural options, managing our stress better – all these things will help.
Take baby steps and be kind to yourself; it can be overwhelming to change everything at once, and even then it is still difficult to avoid everything and be perfectly calm and mindful all the time.
Each of us is unique; we have different lifestyles and challenges, so our hormonal imbalances will affect us in different ways. Some of us will get the mood swings and weight gain and low libido, whilst other may get the breast tenderness and headaches.
This is why I love homeopathy for hormonal imbalance – every single prescription is tailored to your unique symptoms and situation.
If your hormonal symptoms are affecting your everyday life more than you’d like, then feel free to get in touch to see if homeopathy can help. I offer a free 30-minute call where we can chat about how homeopathy can help you and see if we can work together.