Women Health and Hormones

Hormonal dysfunction can occur at any age in a women’s life, it is not exclusive to older people.

For example, PMS, postpartum depression, fibroids, or fibrocystic breast disease, are caused by imbalance between the hormones estrogen and progesterone (estrogenic dominance)

All the hormones in the body are a symphony. Much like an orchestra must play in tune, your hormonal symphony must be in tune throughout your life in order for you to have optimal health.

What are: “Hormones”?

A hormone is a chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs.
All the hormones in your body interact with each other. They are a web.
Your sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA interact with the cortisol (your stress hormone) and insulin (your glucose or sugar regulator).
All of these hormones (besides insulin) are made by pregnenolone, your memory hormone.
Our sex hormones are what make us women.
If your hormonal symphony is playing in tune, you feel fabulous but if your hormones are playing out of tune, you will experience symptoms.

All these hormones also interact with your thyroid hormones, which regulates many functions in your body, including metabolism.
Hormone levels also change throughout your lifetime.

 

Let’s talk about the different hormones and their functions:

  1. Estrogen

The estrogen is produced in the ovaries and your body has receptor sites for this hormone everywhere: in your brain, muscles, bone, bladder, gut, uterus, ovaries, vagina, breasts, eyes, heart, lungs and bloods vessels, to name a few.

Estrogen has over 400 crucial functions in your body:

  • regulates body temperature
  • helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • helps regulate blood pressure
  • enhances your energy
  • increases your sexual interest
  • improves your mood
  • helps prevent muscle damage and maintain muscles
  • helps prevent tooth loss
  • keeps your arteries open
  • improves serotonin production
  • decrease the bad cholesterol and prevents its oxidation
  • decreases some factors for heart attack like the production of lipoprotein A
  • decreases the accumulation of plaques on your arteries
  • decreases your risk of developing colon cancer
  • decreases wrinkles
  • improves magnesium
  • improves elasticity of your arteries
  • dilates your small arteries
  • helps maintain your memory
  • improves insulin sensitivity
  • increases blood flow
  • increases reasoning
  • increases the water content of your skin
  • increases your metabolic rate
  • inhibits platelet stickiness
  • maintain your bone density
  • maintain the amount of collagen in your skin
  • protects against macular degeneration
  • increases the good cholesterol called the HDL cholesterol
  • help with fine motor skills
  • enhances the production of nerve growth factors
  • reduces homocysteine (a risk factor for heart diseases and degenerative diseases)
  • reduces your overall risk of heart diseases by 40-50%
  • reduces your risk of cataract
  • reduces vascular proliferation and inflammatory responses.

 

Smoking and low fat diets decreases free estrogen in the body. Perimenopause, menopause and premature ovarian failure are causing estrogen deficiency.

They will experience some of the following symptoms:

  • acne
  • anxiety
  • arthritis
  • bladder infections and leakage
  • brittle nails
  • brittle hair
  • chronic fatigue
  • decrease in breast size
  • decrease in memory
  • decrease in dexterity
  • decrease in sexual interest and function
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • difficulty losing weight
  • dry eyes
  • elevated blood pressure
  • elevated cholesterol
  • food cravings
  • fibromyalgia
  • heart attacks
  • increase in facial hair
  • increase in insulin resistance
  • increase in tension headache
  • increased cholesterol
  • infertility
  • low energy at the end of the day
  • more wrinkles
  • PCOS
  • restless sleep
  • stress incontinence
  • panic attacks
  • strokes
  • thinner skin
  • thinning hair
  • vaginal dryness
  • vaginal pain
  • weight around the middle
  • oily skin
  • osteoporosis and osteopenia
  • joint pain
  • more frequent migraines

Some conditions like diet low in grains and fiber , or elevated 16-hydroxyestrone, environmental estrogens , impaired elimination of estrogen , lack of exercise or taking too much estrogen can lead to estrogen dominance which as well cause a lot of symptoms like:

  • bloating
  • cervical dysplasia
  • decrease in sexual interest
  • depression with anxiety or agitation
  • increased risks of developing breast cancer
  • heavy periods
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • fibrocystic breasts
  • increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases
  • increased risk of developing uterine cancer
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • panic attacks
  • poor sleep
  • swollen breasts
  • uterine fibroids
  • water retention
  • weight gain: abdomen , hips, thighs

 

Natural estrogens are biologically identical to the chemical structure that your own body makes .

The body makes many kinds of estrogen , the 3 main estrogens are :

  • E1 called estrone
  • E2 called estradiol
  • E3 called estriol

 

Estrone is the main estrogen your body produces post-menopausally, it is derived from estradiol (E2) . It stimulate breast and uterine tissue , it is considered a reserve source for estrogen. Before menopause , E1 is made by your ovaries, adrenal glands, liver, and fat cells. It is converted to E2 in your ovaries . Post – menopausally, very little E1 becomes E2. Later in life , E1 is made in your fat cells and, to a lesser degree, in your liver and adrenals. Alcohol consumption also increases your levels of E1

 

Estradiol or E2 is the strongest form of estrogen (12 times more than E1 and eighty times more than E3 or estriol) It is the main estrogen your body produces before menopause . Most of your body estradiol is made in your ovaries . E2 is the form of estrogen you lose at menopause . However , 2/3 of postmenopausal women up to the age of 80 continue to make some E2.

 

Estriol or E3 does not promote breast cancer like E1 and E2. In fact, considerable evidence exists to show that it protects against breast cancer this is why we are combining some E3 with some E2 in the transdermal  bio-identical hormone replacement therapy . These creams or gel are called Biest ( a combination of a certain percentage of E2 and a certain percentage of E3 adjusted according to lab results of each patient

E3 prefers to bind to the estrogen receptor -beta in a three to one ratio which decreases cell growth and helps prevent breast cancer development . E3 is an adaptogen, meaning that it adapts to the specific environment of the body it is in . However , E3 does not have the bone , heart , or brain protection that E2 does. E3 can help with control of hot flushes, insomnia, vaginal dryness , prevents urinary tract infection.

 

  1. Progesterone

Progesterone is one of your sex hormone who play a role in menstruation, pregnancy, and the formation of embryos .It is made in the ovaries up until menopause. After menopause it is made in the adrenal glands .

What are the functions of Progesterone ?

  • balances estrogen
  • has positive effect on your sleeping pattern
  • help build bone
  • helps prevent anxiety, irritability, and mood swings
  • helps the bladder function
  • relaxes the smooth muscle in the gut to break down food into nutrients.

Sometimes progesterone can become deficient in these cases: hypothyroidism , hyperprolactinemia,stress, sugar, low LH, deficiency of vitamin A, B6, C and zinc , antidepressants, excessive arginine consumption, saturated fat .

This will lead  to some symptoms as :

  • anxiety
  • decreased HDL -the good cholesterol
  • decreased libido
  • depression
  • excessive menstruation
  • hypersensitivity
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • migraine
  • mood swings
  • nervousness
  • pain and inflammation
  • weight gain
  • osteoporosis
  • weight gain

Sometimes if you are using too much Progesterone or pregnenolone, it can leads to symptoms of excess progesterone like:

  • incontinence , leaky bladder
  • increases fat storage
  • increases cortisol
  • increases carbohydtates