Women’s Health Week is a time to talk about some (not so) talked about topics. We are turning up the volume on women’s health, so lets talk about HORMONES.
Hormone imbalances can cause us to feel lousy and are implicated in some diseases and cancers. There are varied reasons for imbalances and the symptoms they express. The good news that hormonal imbalances can be supported in a number of ways.
Oestrogen dominance occurs when the ratio of the two main female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, falls out of balance.
This can lead to:
· Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
· Uterine fibroids in older women
· Heavy, painful periods
· Depression, Anxiety
· Headaches, migraines
· Decreased digestion, constipation
· Mood changes
· Low energy
· Poor Sleep
· Low sex drive
A major cause of this is STRESS. When we are stressed, our fight or flight system kicks in which suppresses our reproductive system, as well as using up more of our cortisol. Cortisol is needed to make progesterone (I will go more into details of stress and this system in future blog posts, and feel free to ask me in your next appointment), without it progesterone levels go down and oestrogen goes up!
How to decrease oestrogen
· Stress management:
- mediation and breathing exercises, a little bit every day goes a long way to calm down the “fight or flight” system. This is a great time to lay on your posture pole / foam roller.
- A magnesium supplement- taken as a powder, rubbing an oil into your skin, or taking a long bath with magnesium salts.
- Get checked by your chiropractor – Adjustments allow your body’s nervous system (ie. Your body’s computer) to carefully balance your physical and hormonal needs. Each adjustment stimulates our brain to calm down the “fight or flight” system as well as helping to correct postural stress. The nerves from the lower spine innervate the reproductive system, so it is important to have regular full spine adjustments.
· Progesterone cream- chat to your GP or naturopath about a bio-identical, USP certified progesterone cream.
· Avoiding Xenoestrogens – these are chemicals that increase oestrogen levels. They are present in plastics that bear the BPA number 3 or 7. Keep an eye on these on the bottom of your plastic containers and bottles, or just try to go plastic free!
· Nutrition – eating healthy fats and green leafy veggies. Load up on smashed avo with poached eggs and roquette. Yummm!
Progesterone is at its lowest just before and during a period, and after giving birth. So being mindful of these management strategies in these times can be really beneficial for your overall wellbeing.
Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal and be in balance when given the right environment and nutrition to flourish. Remember it takes time to change the body so make these life changes and stick with it.
Yours in good health,
Dr Jacqui Askew xx
BHSc (Chiropractic), MClin Chiropractic, Dip Paed Chiro