Hormonal balance in females is essential for maintaining health and wellness, and organs such as the ovaries, parts of the kidney, and the adrenal glands influence the way that hormones are produced in the human body. As women begin to age, the ovaries and the adrenal glands begin to produce fewer hormones. The body was designed for the adrenal glands to take over the function of producing hormones after menopause; however, in order for the adrenal glands to achieve this, a woman would have had to live virtually stress free for most of her life, regularly exercised, and eaten an incredibly healthy diet. Because this scenario is rarely the case, most women experience the symptoms of hormonal decline with aging.
In women that have not entered into perimenopause or menopause, the adrenal glands can still play a large role in hormone imbalances. This is because the kidneys and adrenal glands have an intricate relationship with female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. When a woman encounters stress for an extended period of time, the adrenal glands are forced to secrete cortisol. Because cortisol shares the same building blocks as progesterone and estrogen, the body chooses to use the materials to make cortisol instead of sex hormones in order to regulate the effects of stress on the body. Cortisol is a steroidal hormone that reduces the inflammation caused from stress, and without it, a person could literally die of the physical responses caused from stress. When it is produced in excess, women of all ages can experience the effects of hormonal imbalances. Some of the effects of female hormone imbalances can include weight gain, water retention, fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, low libido, PMS, and mood swings.
Weight Gain can occur due to imbalances with estrogen and progesterone, and it most often tends to collect around the middle. This excess body fat can cause estrogen dominance, which can increase the risk for breast cancer and cause irregular periods and ovulation, low libido, and high blood pressure. Hormonal imbalances can also cause cravings for sugar, which can increase inflammation in the body, wear down cells, propagate premature aging, and fuel the growth of candida.
Water Retention is another symptoms that can be caused due to imbalances with estrogen and progesterone, and it can cause women to feel fatigued, bloated, and like none of their clothes fit the right way. Even when women lose fat, they may find that they still feel bloated and like they are retaining water. Restoring the balance between estrogen and progesterone can help to reduce bloating and water retention.
Fatigue can be one of the most difficult symptoms to deal with when it comes to hormonal imbalances, and it can manifest as a mental lack of motivation, physical exhaust, or a lack of interest in activity of any kind. This kind of fatigue can greatly impact the quality of life and lead to depression. Estrogen and progesterone imbalances can interfere with brain chemistry to cause decreased serotonin, which elevates feelings of contentment, and lower serotonin levels can also cause fatigue.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats are usually caused by estrogen deficiencies and imbalances. Hot flashes can cause women to suddenly feel flushed on their face and cause spontaneous sweating, and night sweats can cause women to wake up soaked in sweat, which can interfere with sleep. At times, hot flashes or night sweats are followed with cold chills. Estrogen plays a large role in the vasomotor response of the blood vessels, and when the vessels are operating efficiently, temperature control can be more balanced. When estrogen is restored to a healthy level, night sweats and hot flashes can be diminished.
Low Libido can occur on mental, emotional, and physical levels. One of the first signs that libido is decreasing is a lack of desire or energy for arousal, and stress can play a part in decreasing libido. When a woman is stressed, the body releases cortisol, which directs blood away from the sexual organs and back to the heart. When women are going through age related hormonal decline, a lack of estrogen and progesterone can cause vaginal dryness or atrophy of the vaginal wall. Other factors such as lack of sleep, excessive caffeine, drugs, or poor emotions can cause hormonal imbalances that can drag down libido.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) can vary in intensity for each woman, and hormonal imbalances can negatively impact the severity of PMS. Women that experience PMS usually endure symptoms that include water retention, headaches, fatigue, acne, swollen breasts, cramping, food cravings, and mood swings. Excess amounts of estrogen can worsen many of these symptoms, and it may cause more bloating, heavier periods, and more painful periods. When women balance progesterone levels with estrogen and reduce stress levels, they can reduce many of the symptoms of PMS.
Mood swings can be caused from imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This is because these hormones affect brain chemistry in that they allow for healthy amounts of neurotransmitters to relay messages of calmness in the brain. For women that are in their reproductive years, increased stress and cortisol can interfere with brain chemistry and female hormone balance. In women going through menopause, a lack of estrogen and progesterone can disrupt the nervous system and cause prolonged feelings of anxiety, anger, and depression.
While many factors can affect female hormone production, aging and stress seem to be two of the biggest factors in female hormone decline. Women in Ottawa Otario going through perimenopause or menopause can experience drops in estrogen and progesterone that cause women to lose their quality of life. For women going through their reproductive years, stress can cause estrogen and progesterone to be in a losing competition with cortisol for hormonal building blocks. Other factors such as lack of exercise, environmental factors, poor sleep, or an unhealthy diet can also cause women to experience the symptoms of hormonal decline. However, despite the reason for hormone decline, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can rescue women from the doldrums of hormonal deficiencies. Ottawa ON Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Programs can supplement deficiencies or imbalances in a natural and non-invasive way in order to restore the quality of life and optimal levels of health for women of all ages.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy can transform the way you look & feel. Contact a Ottawa Ontario Menopause Doctor today & get back to being you.