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ARE YOUR HORMONES OUT OF BALANCE?

Updated: Dec 30, 2023


When I see a mom who has been tired since having kids, I check hormones. When I see someone with autoimmune disease, I check hormones. When I see someone who can’t lose weight or with skin problems, I check hormones. This is because hormones interact with many systems in the body. They play a role in regulating immune system, mood, sebum production, metabolism, and more. In this post, we will get to know our key hormones & learn what out of balance looks like.


HORMONES & FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH



Most of us are familiar with estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen helps the female body mature follicles and release them at ovulation. Progesterone helps prepare the uterine lining for implantation of a fertilized egg (zygote). It also helps balance the effects of estrogen, which is very helpful for managing symptoms of PMS.


One of the most common things to go wrong when it comes to balanced estrogen and progesterone is something called estrogen dominance. This is a condition in which both estrogen and progesterone are in the range of “normal” but are not balanced. Your estrogen is much higher than progesterone so it “dominates” your hormonal picture and creates symptoms of estrogen excess and low progesterone such as PMS, cycle irregularities, sleep disturbances, mood swings, and weight gain.


Estrogen dominance is common because many environmental chemicals are structurally similar to estrogen. Chemicals in plastics, household mold, cosmetics, and synthetic fragrances all contain chemicals are examples. These are called xenoestrogens and they can amplify estrogen activity in the body. Estrogen dominance can also be promoted when we have poor gastrointestinal health that promotes the reabsorption of estrogen back into our blood streams instead of its elimination in the stool. Finally, fat cells likely store and make estrogen so elevated body weight can also contribute to estrogen dominance.


Besides imbalances in estrogen and progesterone, females can also feel the health impacts of imbalanced testosterone. In women, testosterone helps maintain libido, energy, body composition and mood.


Here are some symptoms that can occur when any of these 3 hormones get out of balance:


Symptoms of High and Low Estrogen

Symptoms of Elevated Estrogen:

Fluid Retention (bloating, weight gain, breast tenderness)

Anxiety

Brain fog

Heavy Bleeding

Long, irregular, or absent cycles

Ovarian Cysts

Endometrial growth (endometriosis, andenoymosis, fibroids)

Vaginal Yeast Infections

PCOS


Symptoms of Low Estrogen:


Pre-menopausal

Long, irregular, or absent cycles

Fertility problems


Post-menopausal

Vaginal Dryness

Hot flashes

Night Sweats

Joint pain

Osteoporosis


Any time during the cycle

Low Libido

Fatigue

Depression

Recurrent Bladder infections


Symptoms of High and Low Progesterone

Symptoms of Elevated progesterone

Night sweats


Symptoms of Low progesterone will be very similar to those of excess estrogen as the primary problem with low progesterone is estrogen dominance. Additionally, a woman may experience:

Spotting

Short cycles

Hot flashes

Insomnia

Increased pain sensitivity


Symptoms of High and Low Testosterone

Symptoms of Elevated Testosterone (in women)

Acne and oily skin

Excessive body and/or facial hair

Balding

Low libido

Increased muscle mass

Irregular menses and/or infertility


Symptoms of Low Testosterone (in women)

Depression, Anxiety, and/ or Fearfulness

Decreased libido

Decreased sexual sensitivity or difficulty achieving orgasm

Increased passivity of personality

Vaginal itching and/or painful intercourse

Poor muscle tone or strength

Joint Pain

Urinary incontinence


My Go To’s For Beginning to Balance Hormones


Test Your Hormones to Find out What is Going On: Because elevated symptoms of one hormone can present similarly to an elevation or deficiency of another hormone, testing is essential to finding out what is going on in the body. The way hormones metabolize can also create symptoms, even if that hormone is not intrinsically too high or low. Testing helps identify the intricacies of hormone imbalance.

Minimize environmental xenoestrogens as much as possible: switch from plastic food containers to glass; eliminate cosmetics (including makeup, shampoo, hair spray, nail polish, lotion, etc) that contain phthalates, dimethicone, or parabens; avoid synthetic fragrances (switch to naturally scented candles, soaps, lotions, laundry detergents, and air fresheners).

Track your cycle and associated symptoms: Knowing which phase of your cycle you are in when you are experiencing hormone related symptoms is essential to understand what is going on in your body.


To learn more About hormones, Check out my great social media content!



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