You might never know this from conventional medicine, which seems to subscribe to the idea that women are destined to suffer throughout their reproductive life. Women suffer from mood and behavior swings resulting from the three P’s: Puberty, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and peri-menopause (the years leading up to and just after their final period), or the three M’s: menstrual cramps, menopause and mental anxiety!
If you're concerned about low libido, try incorporating more zinc-rich foods—like oysters and sesame seeds—into your diet (zinc appears to be linked to an increase in testosterone levels), and ask your doctor about testosterone supplementation. To treat PCOS, your doctor might recommend taking birth control pills containing synthetic hormones that reduce the production of testosterone. It's also important to avoid refined sugars and other carbohydrates in your diet (insulin resistance is linked to a boost in testosterone production) and to eat more fiber (which counteracts blood sugar spikes and promotes the excretion of excess sugars from the body).
Everyone is tired sometimes. But you should recover with adequate rest, hydration and a healthy diet. If you feel you are taking care of yourself but are still exhausted or just can’t seem to get back to your best, consider having a comprehensive evaluation of your hormone levels. Adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism are more prevalent in our high-paced society than you may think.
Sleep helps keep stress hormones balanced, builds energy and allows the body to recover properly. Excessive stress and poor sleep are linked with higher levels of morning cortisol, decreased immunity, trouble with work performance, and a higher susceptibility to anxiety, weight gain and depression. To maximize hormone function, ideally try to get to bed by 10 p.m. and stick with a regular sleep-wake-cycle as much as possible.
Phytoestrogenic. (e.g., black cohosh) These herbs contain estrogenic components produced by plants. These herbs, at first, do treat the hormonal imbalance by introducing these plant-based estrogens into the body. However, as a result of adding outside hormones, a woman's body may become less capable of producing estrogen on its own. This causes a further decrease of the body's own hormone levels.
Falling estrogen levels during perimenopause and a lack of estrogen after menopause may lead to vaginal dryness. This makes the wall of the vagina thinner. It can be painful to have sex. A doctor may prescribe synthetic hormones or bioidentical hormones to combat these and other symptoms related to menopause. It's important to take progesterone along with estrogen to decrease certain risks of hormone therapy. Some women are not advised to take it because of an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, gall bladder disease, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer. Hormone therapy may be associated with side effects that include headaches, breast tenderness, swelling, mood changes, vaginal bleeding, and nausea.
Weight gain is a common indication of excessive estrogen production in men, especially in the chest area. This can lead to condition called gynecomastia, or development of breasts in men. This frequently happens in men struggling with obesity because estrogen can be produced by fat cells, leading to a cycle of overproduction that can quickly become vicious and difficult to break out of without pharmacological intervention. Sexual dysfunction is another common symptom.
I am a fairly healthy 22 year old female and I recently got bacterial vaginosis, however I am not sexually active. The fact that there’s no known cause to this vaginal ph imbalance has made my head spin. I was looking deeper into my sleeping habits and I have pretty out of whack sleeping patterns. I sleep at unreasonable hours and usually skimp on hours. Does this cause hormonal imbalances which in result has disrupted my vaginal ph?Or perhaps it’s stress which impairs immune function? I am pretty desperate to know why I would have gotten a bacterial infection. Thanks!
Many women experience monthly breakouts before or during their period. However, chronic acne is something different. Acne that does not go away may be due to excess androgens, male hormones like testosterone that both women and men have. Excess levels of these androgens make oil glands extra productive. Androgens also affect skin cells that line hair follicles. Excess oil and skin cell changes clog pores, leading to acne. A doctor may prescribe birth control pills, corticosteroids like prednisone, or anti-androgen medications to treat hormonally influenced acne. High androgens may sometimes indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS may experience infertility. High insulin levels can stimulate the production of androgens and may be associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss can help reverse insulin resistance.
Menopause doesn't have to mean the end of your sex life. If you experience dryness and discomfort during vaginal penetration, the North American Menopause Society suggests that you use a water-based vaginal lubricant or a vaginal moisturizer. Last but not least, regular sexual activity and stimulation can promote blood flow to the genitals ??? in this case, there is some truth to the phrase, "Use it or lose it."
In the meantime, there’s no need to wait on getting started with a diet overhaul. Since high sugar intake along with a highly refined carb/processed food diet are the most common contributors to insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance, making changes to eat “clean” can greatly improve health overall. This includes eating a variety of organic vegetables and fruits, whole grains, low fat dairy products, and lean sources of protein such as fish, suggests Healthline. It is also important to limit caffeine and alcohol consumption, as these can cause cortisol hormones to spike (which can disrupt all other hormone levels).
Vitamin D: Vitamin D almost acts like a hormone inside the body and has important implications for keeping inflammation levels low. This is why people who live in dark areas often suffer from seasonal depression and other health problems unless they supplement with vitamin D. Sunshine is really the best way to optimize vitamin D levels because your bare skin actually makes vitamin D on its own when exposed to even small amounts of direct sunlight. Most people should supplement with around 2,000–5,000 IU daily of vitamin D3 if they live in dark areas, during the winter, and on days when they’re not in the sun. (16)
Ashwagandha, in particular, can be extremely effective at balancing hormones. It benefits thyroid function because it promotes the scavenging of free radicals that cause cellular damage. Ashwagandha can be used to support a sluggish or overactive thyroid, and it can also help to overcome adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals can become overtaxed when you experience too much emotional, physical or mental stress, leading to the disruption of hormones like adrenaline, cortisol and progesterone. (9)
Along the same lines, menopause — when a person who menstruates hasn’t had a period for one year — can also be behind hormonal imbalances, Dr. Mary O’Toole, an OB-GYN at Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California, tells SheKnows. While the average age for a person to go through menopause is around 51, symptoms may begin as early as 45 or 46, she says.
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For this reason, Coconut Oil is amazing for hormone health. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production, can assist weight loss, reduce inflammation, and even has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. My favorite way to consume it is to blend into coffee or tea. This is the highest quality one I’ve found. Other quality sources of fats include avocados, animal fats, olive oil, grass fed meats, pastured eggs, and raw dairy (for those who tolerate it). Quality seafood is also very important, as it is nature’s best source of naturally occurring Omega-3s.
Our adrenal glands secret several hormones, and one of them is cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone. Adrenal fatigue happens when there’s an imbalance in this cortisol rhythm: Cortisol is high when it should be low, low when it should be high, or always high or always low. Adrenal fatigue is really a dysfunction of your brain’s communication with your adrenals – not the adrenal glands themselves. Because adrenal fatigue is mainly a brain stress problem, the functional medicine solution focuses on minimizing chronic stressors.
Simply put, PMS, menopausal symptoms, and other problems are all signs of imbalances in your sex hormones. They are not the result of mutant genes that destroy our sexual vitality as we age. Instead, they are treatable symptoms of underlying imbalance in one of the core systems in your body. Get your sex hormones back in balance, and these problems will usually disappear.
Insulin resistance is linked with many health problems, Type II diabetes, being the most commonly known, but it also leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. Insulin is a growth factor and as we eat more and more carbohydrates and sweets, it rises, and as it does it increases IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) which stimulates cancer cells. A 2004 study out of Vanderbilt University suggests that insulin resistance and increased IGF-1 synergistically increase the risk for breast cancer. The study found that women with abnormal levels of both had a three-fold rise in the incidence of breast cancer. Two years earlier, Dr. Pamela Goodwin of Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto found that women with early stage breast cancer, who were also insulin resistant (as defined by a high fasting insulin level) had a higher rate of cancer spreading to other organs (metastases), and death, compared to those whose insulin levels were normal. Type 2 diabetes, which is essentially advanced insulin resistance, leads to breast cancer—the long-running Nurses Health Study of over 100,000 nurses bears this out. Although some studies have questioned these findings, a combined analysis of 21 studies published in 2004, backs up the trend.