What should every woman know about her hormones?

Maintening a healthy hormone balance, which includes natural estrogen, is absolutely vital for any woman.

What successful hormone treatment depends on is the careful monitoring of ALL hormone levels and making sure that the replacement hormones are not foreign to the body.

Integrative and preventive medicine specialists have been advocating this view, but still it seems as though it hasn’t quite filtered into conventional practice yet.

Which are the 6-8 key hormones that affect women’s health and wellbeing?

  1. ESTROGEN – the energiser and builder

Builds everything (muscle,hair,skin,bone,and even fat) Improves memory Lowers the risk of seizures Lowers the risk of Alzheimer Boosts dopamine levels, which controls energy, motivation, drive and mood Makes acetylcholine more available in the brain, a chemical needed for memory Makes serotonin more available , which affects mood and relieve anxiety Improves blood flow to the brain Boosts norepinephrine levels, needed for energy and dealing with stress.

The body makes a lot of different estrogens, the main 3 estrogens are:

  • Estrone or E1, mainly produced after menopause, and may be related to an increase in breast cancer and uterine cancer.
  • Estradiol or E2 , the most potent estrogen maintening bone health, maintening memory and helping protecting against heart disease\ Estriol or E3 , the weakest estrogen but the only one which protects against breast cancer.
  • Estradiol or E2 is 12 times stronger than estrone and 80 times stronger than estriol

They are over 400 functions of estrogen in your body.

These are the main functions of estradiol:

  • Improves sleep
  • Helps maintain memory
  • Helps absorption of magnesium, calcium, zinc Increases endorphins Increases growth hormone Decreases platelet stickiness Increases the good cholesterol, decreases the total cholesterol and the triglycerides.

Women reaching menopause will experience symptoms of low estradiol levels like:

  • Dry skin and hair
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Memory loss
  • Bladder symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty to reach climax
  • Depression

In peri-menopause and other gynaecologic problems like Fibrocystic breasts, irregular cycle, Fibroids, heavy periods, endometriosis , … Often we will see an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone and what we will called estrogenic dominance .

 

  1. PROGESTERONE – the Balancing hormone
  • Becomes cortisol
  • Balance estradiol (estrogen)
  • Antidepressant
  • Thermolytic and a natural diuretic
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves libido
  • Prevents migraines and headaches
  • Helps protect nerve cells

Progesterone is responsible for a lot of function , but only if it is in a natural form and not in a progestin form Natural progesterone helps to balance estrogen Leaves your body quickly unlike progestins Helps you sleep Natural calming effect Lowers high blood pressure Protects against breast cancer Increases scalp hair Normalises libido Dilates blood vessels Helps thyroid function Protects against fibrocystic breasts Increases metabolic rate Natural diuretic Natural antidepressant Builds bone Helps balance fluids in the cells Antiproliferative effects Protects against endometrial cancer Normalises zinc and copper levels

Progesterone deficiency occurs before estrogen deficiency in the perimenopause, and the risk for breast cancer goes up as the progesterone level goes down.

 

  1. TESTOSTERONE – the strength

Strength (muscles, bone, heart, emotions,spirit) Boosts norepinephrine levels, a brain chemical needed for energy and dealing with stress Improves memory Improves emotional well- being, self-confidence, and motivation Boosts libido

Testosterone, DHEA, androstenedione are often called the “male hormones”.

Testosterone is made in the adrenal gland and ovaries.

It is important to measure both the free testosterone and the bound testosterone since only about 1% is freely available, the rest is bound to SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) which carries the testosterone in your blood

 

Testosterone has a myriad of functions like:

  • Motivation, emotional well-being, self-confidence Increases muscle mass and strenght Increases sexual interest Helps maintain memory Helps maintain bone strength Decreases excessive body fat Increases muscle tone
  • In menopause and peri – menopause, low levels of testosterone will lead in a decrease of motivation, loss of muscle mass, decreased libido, excessive body fat, loss of muscle tone
  • On the other hand, in excessive testosterone production or excess intake of testosterone replacement, it can cause masculinising effects as male pattern loss, acne and excessive hair growth   .

 

  1. DHEA – the inner energy hormone
  • The Adrenal androgen
  • From which half of a woman’s testosterone is derived Improves sleep Boosts growth hormone levels in the brain Improves your body’s response to sugar Improves mood

 

  1. PREGNENOLONE
  • The mother of the steroid hormones
  • Improves the way your nerve cells work
  • Boosts your memory
  • Helps repair nerve damage
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves your ability to deal with stress Increases alertness Improves your mood Improves learning Reduces pain and improves your ability to deal with it Improves energy levels, both mentally and physically

 

  1. CORTISOL – the General
  • Increases blood sugar
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Oversees the immune system
  • Affects how all of your other hormones work in the body Affects how your body reacts to stress Plays a role in improving sleep, mood and thought processes.

 

  1. MELATONIN
  • Improves mood and sleep
  • Boosts levels of the “sex hormones” testosterone, estrogen and progesterone Protects the brain Lowers cortisol levels to help to cope with stress.
  • In Anti- aging and Integrative medicine, we will suggest to use Bio-identical hormone therapy and transdermal route of delivery.
  • We will always suggest to balance all the hormones, balancing the Adrenals, balancing the estrogen, progesterone, testosterone levels.
  • Each treatment will be individualized for each women function of their medical history, gynaecologic history, familial predispositions, environmental exposure, lifestyle, and laboratory testing.
  • Education as well as regular check-up, and the advice on natural supplements for cancer protection like I3C, DIM, cruciferous vegetables, curcumin, rosemary, will be discussed at your consultation.