Our Hormonal Health

Good hormonal health is like a balancing act on a tight robe. It only takes a small change in the secretion of our hormones to cause imbalance and the development of ill-health and disease.
By: Brenda Rosenfeld, Naturopath

Chemical messengers

Hormones are our body’s chemical messengers. They give signals and instructions to our tissues and organs and help control how our cells and organs do their work. Hormones are produced by different glands including our pituitary gland, adrenal glands, thyroid, pancreas, ovaries and testes. They are secreted straight into our blood and travel through our bloodstream directly to our tissues or organs.

There are many types of hormones and they affect many different processes including our growth and development, our metabolism and how our body gets energy from food, our reproductive and sexual health, our mood and how our brain functions and our sleep cycles.

Small changes, big effects

Our hormones and the role they play in our body are intimately linked to our levels of stress, our emotional health, our diet and lifestyle and the presence of any imbalance or dis-ease in our body.

Interestingly, our glands secrete hormones only in very tiny amounts. It takes only a very small amount to bring about big changes in our bodies. Even a very slight increase or decrease in the amount of hormones secreted can lead to an imbalance and the development of ill-health and disease.

Hormonal wellbeing

Every thought and feeling we have, every stress we encounter, every food and liquid we put into our mouth and all our lifestyle habits have an effect on our glands, the hormones they produce and our level of health and wellbeing.

For example, when we are feeling fear, anger or anxiety, our adrenal glands release cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can cause our blood pressure to increase, our heart to race, our skin to become clammy and sweaty and our minds to race. If these feelings continue for extended periods of time (days to weeks to months), our body can start to become tired and overwhelmed. Our immune system may not be as effective as it should be and we may also experience symptoms such as poor sleep, brain fog, a loss of concentration, bowel changes, changes in our libido, changes in menstrual cycles and sugar and carb cravings. Hormones also create inflammation and acidity in our cells and tissues which is the driving influence behind chronic illness and disease.

I feel happy

When we feel joy, love and positivity, our glands can release hormones including dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin. These hormones support many things including our motivation, our connection to ourselves and others, our mood and sleep to name a few.

When our bodies are filled with too much cortisol and adrenaline and not enough dopamine, serotonin or other “happy hormones”, we can feel that we are on a never-ending cycle of anxiety, low mood, difficulty and stress.

How can we help our hormonal health?

It is important to know that that we can change. We can support ourselves and change our internal environment – physically, emotionally and psychologically – no matter what chaos may be occurring around us.

Some suggestions to balance hormonal health:

  • meditation has been shown to have a significant effect on our calming and happy hormones.
  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can reduce the inflammation and acidity that is created with stress and decrease the burden on our body and cells.
  • Getting enough sleep is essential to our hormonal health and starting to practice good sleep hygiene can go a long way to supporting our hormones.
  • Exercise and the release of endorphins is also an essential component.
  • Nutritional and herbal supplements that can be prescribed to support the glands in performing their functions as well as supporting the organs and tissues that may have become affected by the state of hormonal imbalance, inflammation and acidity.

About Brenda

Brenda RosenfeldBrenda is a highly qualified naturopath, clinical nutritionist, medical herbalist, mentor, international speaker and lecturer with 24 wonderful years of clinical experience. In her practice she focuses on the body-mind-emotional connection and the way our body reflects everything that we think and feel. Brenda understands that our bodies want to be as well as possible and can be incredible in their ability to regulate and repair themselves.

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