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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jill King

Women's Hormones 101 (ish)

When talking about female hormones, there is no simple 101 course. Hopefully, this hormonal education, by Dr. Brian Walsh, ND, will offer an initial explanation of how your hormones work. It is my opinion that every woman needs to have a broad understanding of how their hormonal cycle works.

Hormones Gone Wrong

Now that you have a general understanding of your hormonal system, here are a few of the many, many things that can go wrong.

Why you want balanced hormones

Hormones are critical to the function of virtually every system in the body, specifically:

  • Estrogen and progesterone are neuroprotective, meaning they help brain function, reduce brain inflammation and help with cognitive function. There is also evidence that estrogen may prevent Alzheimer’s

  • There is an intimate relationship between hormones and neurotransmitters, which means hormones can have a major impact on mood, will power and motivation

  • Thyroid hormone, your metabolism hormone, works better when progesterone is functioning optimally

  • Estrogen is cardioprotective in women

  • Progesterone helps regulate the immune response

Most importantly, the beneficial effects of hormones occur when they are in balance. In excess or in deficiency, all hormones can have negative consequences.

Get Your Hormones Tested

If you have hormonal symptoms, you need to get tested. Blood testing can measure two types of hormones – free and bound. Free hormones are considered to be “active” hormones, in that they can enter into cells and impart their metabolic effects. Bound hormones on the other hand are attached to a protein molecule and are therefore unavailable for use in the body until they detach from their carrier.

Address areas that will wreck a woman’s hormones.

1. Blood Sugar

Blood sugar must be balanced. In women, blood sugar imbalances cause increases in testosterone, which will wreak havoc on the hormonal system.

2. Adrenals

The adrenal glands must be healthy. As you saw in the video, adrenal dysfunction can suppress pituitary function and rob the sex hormones of the necessary precursors for hormone production. Dysfunctional adrenal glands are paramount in hormonal balance.

3. GI function

The gastrointestinal function must be working properly. This is an often missed component of hormone balance. Gastrointestinal dysfunction can raise cortisol, cause hormone detoxification issues, and produce damaging hormone metabolites, to name a few. If your gut isn't working properly, neither will your hormones. Each of these systems must be working properly if hormone balance is desired. Put another way, you will not have optimal hormone balance if any of these systems are not working properly.

If you have hormonal imbalance symptoms, fixing them is not as simple as giving you more hormones. Your body needs to be functioning correctly and when it does, hormones have a magical way of properly regulating themselves. We would be glad to walk you through the process of optimizing your hormonal health. Call our office to schedule your appointment, 828-382-8005.

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