FEMALE HORMONES

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FEMALE HORMONAL IMBALANCES

Suffering from PMS, Endometriosis, Fibroids, PCOS, Menopause, Infertility, difficult periods, heavy bleeding……….you most likely have a female hormonal imbalance. I can thoroughly assess your presenting signs and symptoms and carry out further testing if required to determine your underlying imbalance. Treatment is then individually tailored to address causes and contributing factors to your imbalance. There are other options other then the Oral Contraceptive, HRT and pharmaceutical chemical drug treatments.

COULD YOU BE LOW IN PROGESTERONE?

Progesterone is produced in the ovaries (by the corpus luteum, the adrenal glands (near the kidney), and, during pregnancy, in the placenta. Progesterone is also stored in adipose (fat) tissue.

Progesterone is important for correcting estrogen imbalance. Progesterone starts to rise around day 15 to become the dominant hormone during the second half of the month. And then about on day 26 it drops dramatically. That fall of progesterone is the signal for the uterus to shed the blood that built up. The body always makes some estrogen, even if you were to remove the ovaries the body makes some estrogen and your fat cells produce estrogen.

Estrogen levels drop only 40-60% at menopause, which is just enough to stop the menstrual cycle. But progesterone levels may drop to near zero in some women. Progesterone is the precursor to so many other steroid hormones, its use can greatly enhance overall hormone balance after menopause. Unopposed estrogen creates a strong risk for breast cancer and reproductive cancers. Progesterone is the precursor to so many other steroid hormones, its use can greatly enhance overall hormone balance after menopause.

All forms of stress, whether it is physical, mental and or emotional dramatically reduce our progesterone. Most often PMS symptoms are caused by deficient progesterone and or excess “bad” estrogens.

Functions of progesterone

  • Prevent PMS Symptoms such as bloating, pain, irregular bleeding, tension, moodiness, depression, breast pain, sugar cravings, constipation
  • Protecting breasts, uterus, and ovaries from cancer
  • Producing a calming, anti-anxiety effect
  • Acting as a natural diuretic balancing sodium fluid retention
  • Contributing to formation of new bone tissue
  • Helps utilize food as energy rather the storing it as body fat like estrogen does
  • Plays an important role in the signaling of insulin release and pancreatic function, and may affect the susceptibility to diabetes or gestational diabetes
  • Stimulates bone-building and thus helps protect against osteoporosis
  • Reduces spasm and relaxes smooth muscle.

Progesterone has poor bio availability when taken orally. Synthetic progesterone-like chemicals bind to the body’s progesterone receptors and function like progesterone.

Because they are chemically different than natural progesterone, they have side effects or actions that are different than progesterone.

Reported Side effects of synthetic Progesterone(Implanon, Mirena, Depo Provera, mini pill)

  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Increased risk of birth defects if taken during the first four months of pregnancy
  • Fatigue, tiredness
  • Fluid retention
  • Depression
  • Abnormal menstrual flow
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Acne
  • Mental depression
  • Nausea
  • Hirsutism
  • Masculinization
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods
  • Sore breasts
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Bloating or weight gain
  • No menstrual periods

COULD YOU HAVE ESTROGEN DOMINANCE?

Dominance of estrogen can start early in a women’s menstrual cycle. Doctors often give these teenage girls birth control pills to help regulate the frequency and severity of their periods. This often masks and can compound the problem.

Some women will develop estrogen dominance syndrome much later in life, sometimes as a result of poor diet, liver impairment, stress and everyday pressures or environmental factors. Also, estrogen dominance may be a result of anovulatory cycles(menstrual cycles in which no ovulation has occurred). The corpus luteum forms on the surface of the ovary at the site of ovulation and this gland is responsible for producing progesterone that remains for the last half of the menstrual cycle. Without ovulation, less progesterone is produced, which can cause estrogen imbalance in some women.

Some Signs and Symptoms

  • PMS (premenstrual syndrome)
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Breast, uterine and prostate cancer
  • Hair loss, especially male pattern baldness
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • Endometriosis
  • Fatigue
  • InfertilityMagnesium deficiency
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Osteoporosis
  • Irritability
  • Allergies
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Acne
  • Depression

Other causes of estrogen dominance

  • Obesity -The higher your percentage of body fat, the more estrogen you can produce and the fatter you will be unless you control your diet and use supplements and exercise to lower estrogen production. As you reduce stored body fat, your estrogen conversion will be reduced
  • Stress causes adrenal gland fatigue and reduces progesterone output.
    Excessive estrogen in turn causes insomnia and anxiety, which further compounds the taxing of the adrenal gland. This cycle leads to a further reduction in progesterone output and even more estrogen dominance.
    After years of this cycle, problems worsen and can lead to blood sugar imbalance, hormonal imbalances, and chronic fatigue.
  • Liver Disease from drinking excessive alcohol reduce the breakdown of estrogen. Taking drugs that impair liver function also contribute to a higher level of estrogen.
  • Alcohol consumption decreases your body’s ability to clear “bad” estrogen from your system
  • Deficiency of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium Too much estrogen also tends to create deficiency of zinc, magnesium and the B vitamins. These all play an important role in hormonal balance.
  • Exposure to xenoestrogen Compounds such as petrochemical have a chemical structure similiar to estrogen and are found in consumer products such as creams, soaps, shampoo, and lotions. Adhesives found in paint removers, nail polish, and glues along with car exhaust, petrochemically derived pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides solvents are all sources of xenoestrogen. Industrial xenoestrogens are a family of chemicals called solvents. Industrial xenoestrogens enter the body through the skin. They are commonly found in cosmetics, fingernail polish, glues, paints, and cleaning products.
  • Commercially raised cattle and poultry -Commercially raised animals are fed growth hormone and estrogen-like hormones. People that eat these animals may have the hormones passed on to them. Antibiotics used in livestock can contribute to hormone balance problems. The use of antibiotics is especially prevalent in poultry farms.  Livestock feeds contain a myriad of toxins that disrupt hormone balance. Toxins such as pesticides, antibiotics, and drugs are used to fight the potential for disease from over crowding farms.  Deep sea fish and smaller fish (such as sardines and cod) are far superior to beef or chicken in terms of hormone load.
  • Commercially grown fruits and vegetables containing pesticides
    Pesticides from fruits and vegetables disrupt hormone balance. Pesticide residues have chemical structures that are similar to estrogen which are eventually passed on to humans.
  • Contraceptive Pill /Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) HRT with estrogen alone without sufficient opposing progesterone increases the level of estrogen in the body. HRT commonly uses patented drugs that are chemically different and not the same hormone as what you have in your body. Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) works with excessive estrogen and only has a small percentage of progesterone.

ESTROGEN AND CANCER RISK
Hormone production can be viewed as an interconnected pyramid with some 40 different types of estrogen metabolites. Many endocrinologists maintain that some excess estrogens, like estradiol and 16-hydroxyestrone, may potentially increase a risk for cancer of the breast, cervix, uterus and prostate. They are also implicated in obesity. Epidemiological and animal studies have identified estrogen exposure as a risk factor for several cancers, namely breast, endometrial, ovary, prostate, testes, and thyroid.

At Nourished Naturopathy & Nutrition I review your hormonal balance and address the imbalances to create optimum health and harmony in your body and optimize weight loss.

Estrogen EffectsCreates proliferative endometriumBreast cell stimulation (fibrocystic breasts*)Increased body fat and weight gain*Salt and fluid retentionDepression, anxiety, and headaches*

Cyclical migraines*

Poor sleep patterns*

Interferes with thyroid hormone function*

Impairs blood sugar control*

Increased risk of blood clots*

Little or no libido effect*

Loss of zinc and retention of copper*

Reduced oxygen levels in all cells*

Causes endometrial cancer*

Increased risk of breast cancer*

Increased risk of prostate cancer*

Restrains bone loss

Reduces vascular tone (dilates blood vessels)

Triggers autoimmune diseases*

Creates progesterone receptors

Relieves hot flashes***

Prevents vaginal dryness & mucosal atrophy***

Increases risk of gall bladder disease*

Improves memory***

Improves sleep disorders***

Improves health of urinary tract***

Relieves night sweats***

Progesterone EffectsMaintains secretory endometriumProtects against breast fibrocystsHelps use fat for energyNatural diureticNatural anti-depressant & calms anxiety

Prevents cyclical migraines

Promotes normal sleep patterns

Facilitates thyroid hormone function

Helps normalize blood sugar levels

Normalizes blood clotting

Helps restores normal libido

Normalizes zinc and copper levels

Restores proper cell oxygen levels

Prevents endometrial cancer

Helps prevent breast cancer1

Decreased risk of prostate cancer

Stimulates new bone formation

Improves vascular tone

Prevents autoimmune diseases

Increases sensitivity of estrogen receptors

Necessary for survival of embryo

Precursor of corticosteroid biosynthesis

Prevents coronary artery spasm and

atherosclerotic plaque.

Sleepiness, depression**

Digestive problems**

* Indicates that these effects are caused by estrogen dominance, or an imbalance of estrogen caused by too little progesterone.

** Indicates that these effects are caused by an excess of progesterone.

*** Indicates that these effects are caused by a deficiency of estrogen.

 

TESTING HORMONES

Hormonal Assessment

Have “normal” blood tests but suffering from all the symptoms?

Reasons why we can’t rely on mainstream blood Tests

There is no perfect hormone test. You may need to look at hormones from a few angles.

Blood testing is good for some things, such as detecting menopause and confirming ovulation, but blood testing cannot accurately measure hormone levels during hormone replacement treatment.

Saliva testing is better for monitoring hormone replacement, and it is also a good choice for assessing oestrogen dominance and cortisol. Saliva levels can be somewhat unreliable. Both blood and saliva tests have the disadvantage of being a ‘snapshot’ look at hormones that fluctuate greatly during day.

24-hour urinary hormone testing is a new approach. It has many advantages. Firstly, it measures total daily hormone production and metabolism. This avoids inaccuracy due to fluctuations. Secondly, it measures hormone metabolites as well as primary hormones. Hormone metabolites are hormones whose molecular structure has been changed in order to be excreted from the body. Some metabolites such as 16-hydroxy oestrone are particularly risky for breast cancer.

Testing beyond hormones

Just knowing your hormone levels is not enough. Hormone balance and function is affected by other aspects of health, such as bowel and liver function. I will need to test for basic biochemistry, insulin balance, inflammation and more. Most of this is done by blood test, but some new urine metabolic testing is available.

Diagnosis by Symptom evaluation

Your symptoms and medical history give us the best information. The first consult is one hour to allow time to gather this information. Shelley assesses your hormones thoroughly with functional pathology testing if needed, detailed history taking and in consultation assessment of signs and symptoms