Hormonal Health for Women

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Hormones play a critical role in the overall health and well-being of women. These chemical messengers regulate various bodily functions, including growth and development, metabolism, mood, and reproduction. Hormonal imbalances can lead to various health problems, ranging from menstrual irregularities to infertility. In this article, we’ll explore the topic of women’s hormone health, covering everything from the basics of hormone function to common hormonal disorders and their treatments.

What are Hormones?

Hormones are chemical messengers that are produced by glands in the endocrine system and released into the bloodstream to balance various physiological processes in the body. These processes include growth, development, metabolism, reproduction, mood, and behavior. Hormones are secreted by glands such as the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, ovaries, and testes. They travel through the bloodstream and interconnect with specific target cells to initiate or regulate various bodily functions. Hormones play an important role in maintaining homeostasis in the body and are essential for normal growth and development.

Many different hormones play important roles in a woman’s body. Here are some of the most critical ones:

  1. Estrogen: Estrogen is a female sex hormone produced primarily by the ovaries. It plays a key role in the development of secondary sexual characteristics, for example, breast development and the growth of pubic and underarm hair. Estrogen also helps regulate the menstrual cycle and is essential for fertility.
  2. Progesterone: Progesterone is another female sex hormone produced by the ovaries. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle and is critical for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
  3. Testosterone: While testosterone is often considered a male hormone, it’s also present in women, albeit in smaller amounts. Testosterone helps maintain bone density and muscle mass and is important for maintaining a healthy libido.
  4. Thyroid Hormones: The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism and energy levels. These hormones are crucial in many bodily functions, including growth and development, heart rate, and body temperature.

Hormonal Imbalances in Women

Hormonal imbalances can occur for various reasons, including natural aging processes, lifestyle factors, and certain medical conditions. These imbalances can lead to various health problems, from acne and weight gain to more severe conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis. Here are a few of the most common hormonal imbalances in women:

  1. Menopause is a natural biological process that occurs when a woman’s reproductive hormones decline, leading to the end of her menstrual cycle. This decline in hormone levels can cause various symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood changes.
  2. PCOS: Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries, causing them to produce too much testosterone. It can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, and other health problems.
  3. Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus, causing pain and discomfort. It’s believed to be caused by hormonal imbalances, particularly high estrogen levels.
  4. Thyroid Disorders: Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to various health problems, including weight gain or loss, fatigue, and mood changes.

Treatment for Hormonal Imbalances

The treatment for hormonal imbalances depends on the fundamental cause of the problem. In some cases, lifestyle changes, such as exercise, stress management, and a healthy diet, can help regulate hormones naturally. In other cases, medication or hormone replacement therapy may be necessary. The treatment for hormonal imbalances depends on the underlying cause of the imbalance. Here are a few general guidelines that can help:

  1. Lifestyle Changes: Making changes to your lifestyle can help improve hormonal imbalances. It includes eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, managing stress, and getting enough sleep.
  2. Medications: Depending on the specific hormonal imbalance, medications may be prescribed by your healthcare provider. For example, birth control pills are often used to regulate hormones in women.
  3. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): HRT involves taking hormones to replace the ones that your body is no longer producing in adequate amounts. It is commonly used for menopausal women who experience decreased estrogen and progesterone.
  4. Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be suggested to remove a tumor or gland causing hormonal imbalances.

It is very important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment plan for your hormonal imbalance. They can perform tests to determine the underlying cause and develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs.

Here we discuss this with Stacey Foat, a naturopath, to get her thoughts on this topic.

NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Well, regarding hormone balance, we women go through many hormonal issues, which is what we wanted to talk about with Stacey. Stacey is not only a naturopath and nutritionist. She also went through her hormonal imbalance and weight gain journey. She had successfully been getting the hormonal back in balance. So, welcome so much, Stacey, and join us from Australia.

Naturopath Stacey: No problems. Thank you so much for having me

Women’s Hormonal Health Journey

NourishDoc: Great. So, we will start with your journey first and then how you use that for your clients.

Naturopath Stacey: Yeah. So, I was a qualified naturopath when this all happened. However, I wasn’t potentially stepping up and living my truth. So, a few things are important to lay the foundation. So, my hormonal imbalance was very much about my body speaking to me, trying to bring me back into alignment.

So, a hormonal imbalance is exactly that. Our hormones are chemical messengers, so we don’t need to be focused on trying to fix the hormones. We need to be focused on trying to listen to the hormone, and I, at the age of twenty-seven, was not listening to my body or my hormones. So my hormone problem does.

So I developed early onset menopause at age twenty. I had poly ovarian syndrome. I had an under-18 thyroid and all that typical metabolic things that come with that, from the weight gain, the cystic acne, the chronic fat depression anxiety. So it did spiral out of control. I think the thing to point out is that my body gave me little clues for probably a good twelve months. I continued to ignore these because I was very much ignored, working full time. I had just finished my studies. I was very socially active and late night parties.

Because I had enough knowledge as a naturopath, and a nutritionist, I was still eating well and exercising. So, I was doing certain things that were good for my health So; it meant that I could get away with more, but suddenly, my body was on a big heap. When I went down the traditional route to have my hormones tested through the general practitioner doctors, they said oh well, you’d started menopause. Take some synthetic hormones.

It was quite a painful journey because the other thing they said was we’ll start. I was twenty-seven at the time. I wasn’t looking to start a family; I wasn’t single, and so I had to dig deep and understand what was going on at a holistic level, the interest in how the thyroid hormones interact with my adrenal hormone and how they are affecting my stress hormones and then my digestive hormones and my mood hormone and my immune system hormone.

It is quite an intricate thing that plays out when the hormones start to, as we’ll say, behave badly. However, it’s not that they’re just letting that something is going wrong within the body, and that’s where we need to focus on finding out why your hormones are out of balance instead of just trying to fix them.

Tools Used For Fixing Hormonal Issues

NourishDoc: Wow, that is an amazing story. So now that you are fixing other women’s hormone issues, what you went through? So, you could talk to us a little about the protocol you’re using, whether it’s a diet, isn’t herbs, you use it, you’re a naturopath as well as a nutritionist as, assuming you’re using all the tools.

Naturopath Stacey: Absolutely. Yes, it is all of the above, and the important thing to point out is that there is no quick fix. Many of you have already found that yourself – and it’s very, very easy to jump on Google and Google your symptom and come up with a herb or a nutrient that will fix that hormonal symptom.

But, like, we’re just playing at the surface, so look, we continue to play like that. I’m very focused on holistic treatment, which means I address physically, spiritually, and emotionally what’s going on with your body and the signs that your body is trying to give you. So I developed the seven-step hormone healing system, which is what I put myself through a lot of trial and error over that year that good months it took me to relive my health.

Those seven steps are what I’m now implementing with clients. As I said, it’s very holistic; we need to address the emotion of our belief systems, whether we’re living in alignment with our truth and core values. As well as those physical lifestyle things like diet, exercise, stress exposure toxins, and all those other bits and pieces.

How Much Time Is Needed For Losing Weight?

NourishDoc: Okay, and then let’s say you said it, not one, like, it’s not a quick fix, but how much time, maybe we go back to your journey, how much time did it take you to lose the weight and get back, reverse I should say that, like your menopause that you suddenly started getting at age twenty-seven which is abnormal.

Naturopath Stacey: So, talk to us briefly about the time factor. So, I would say it was about 12 months that it took. Now, I was starting to get improvements in various symptoms soon than 12 months. However, it was a solid 12 months before my period was normal again. I was told that I would never conceive naturally, but I did go on to have my child at age thirty with no medical intervention at all.

So it took time, and the time was undoing, I guess, what we call the hurdles that were in place in my body. The seven steps I’ll take you through are the underlying disease process that causes the hormones to go out of whack in the first place. The seven key things usually lead to women developing a chronic hormonal condition.

So this is your reproductive dysfunction from PCOS to end right through to things like Hashimoto’s, thyroiditis, adrenal fatigue, and other chronic things. So things they have such a comprehensive presentation from skin problems to low mood to low energy to weight gain to anxiety to depression, so for anyone struggling with hormones, you can Google a list of hormone symptoms. You’re probably sitting going tick, tick, tick, tick, usually have a whole host.

So the seven steps, in particular, the seven key things that must be addressed, and the first are going to be addressing the adrenals because if your body is in a state of stress, we’re operating from a wired nervous system. Your system is in that fight and flight response. Your body’s in survival mode. It’s never going to try to heal or relax and calm because it’s like your body thinks it’s in danger. So we need to calm that stress response first.

Secondly, must cleanse the colon. The colon is like the rubbish bin of the body, and the average person has about two kilos of undigested mucoid plaque, rubbish, and junk within their colon. The colon means it’s polluting your blood all day, every day if it’s congested and dirty; it wraps itself around the uterus and our ovaries, so it’s polluting toxins into those primary estrogen-producing. It leads to skin outbreaks and mood disorders and all sorts of stuff.

The third step is really about addressing underlying infections. Now, these are infections you don’t even know you’ve got in your body. So you are not actively sick with acute symptoms. But you have these chronic overgrowths of bad bacteria in the gut. Maybe there are viruses that you’ve been exposed to in the past, even many, many years earlier. However, these viruses are still inside your body, playing a habit, confusing the immune system, and putting stress on the body.

Parasites are another one. Even chronic can overgrow, so you may not be aware you’ve got them. However, if they’re in, they’re triggering your stress response, weakening the immune system, and throwing your hormones out of balance; the next step is liver congestion and toxicity. Now again, you may go and have a liver function test done. Your enzyme may be fine and within range, but it doesn’t mean your liver is functioning opt or doing a great job; the liver plays a primary role in me and recycling your hormone.

So if it’s not doing its job properly, your hormones are put to the back of the list in terms of priorities because we don’t need especially our reproductive hormones; we don’t need them for survival if your body is stressed and unwell it’s going to shut down reproductive functions because it doesn’t believe it’s healthy enough to sustain life. This is where your period can start to go out, so getting that liver cleansed and clear so that it can heal and keep those hormones in check is a primary colon. The next one is about gut health.

Now, this is from making sure you’re producing the right amount of digestive secretions and making sure you have the correct gut micro happening; it’s ensuring we don’t have leaky gut inflammation triggers there. Then the next step is all about malnutrition. So correcting nutrition deficiencies is first and foremost.

Fixing Nutrition Deficiencies

They’re very common that we see in hormone imbalance, Magnesium being a very, very common one I being come, one Zinc, folate, and iron, but then beyond that, it’s about knowing what nutrition and dietary is right for you and your type there is no size fits all some people thrive of a plant lifestyle. Some people thrive off a keto or a paleo; there are all these different diets, but you need to know what’s right for your body.

Your body will let through subtle symptoms on a day-to-day basis that we need to be checked in tune enough to be listening to these subtle clues that our body is giving us to know whether you be a meat eater or you should be someone that focuses more on plant proteins and the final step is emotional evolution.

So this is where we recognize that stuck emotional traumas limit beliefs in our subconscious that live inside our body. They dictate our vibration, our beliefs, and our ability to heal. So that’s going quite complex, but it’s a profound part of balancing your hormones.

NourishDoc: That is a very comprehensive list, and I love the way you put a whole process together into a different step so that it’s comprehensive for anyone who’s trying to get their hormones back to a normal level, it’s amazing the work that you’ve done and what you’ve done to yourself, and then now you’re helping others, I think thank you so much for doing that.

Naturopath Stacey: You’re welcome. So if people are interested in learning more about it, I have written a book called Balanced Babes. However, it’s basically on the seven-stroke hormone healing system. So, you can read all that and learn about the steps and tune in to see how you can start making the changes in your lifestyle.

If you are someone that has a chronic hormonal imbalance, I guarantee you that every single one of those steps needs to be addressed, and it can be done. As I said, you’re looking at a six to 12-month moving through slow ticking up and address them individually. However, I also have an online course where women do it as a group and get involved and educate themselves through the seven steps.

NourishDoc: Well, thank you so much, Stacey, for all the information, and everyone, keep supporting us. We bring you ten minutes of wellness tips every single day from all over the world, so we are launching many workshops and programs. So, stay tuned, and thank you again, Stacey, for being with us.


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