Your Hormones, Your Health


Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? A hormone imbalance could be to blame. Hormones are chemical “messengers” that impact the way your cells and organs function. It’s normal for your levels to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause them to go up or down, too.

Irregular Periods


Most women’s periods come every 21 to 35 days. If yours doesn’t arrive around the same time every month, or you skip some months, it might mean that you have too much or too little of certain hormones (estrogen and progesterone). If you’re in your 40s or early 50s — the reason can be perimenopause — the time before menopause. But irregular periods can be a symptom of health problems like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Talk to your doctor.
Sleep Problems



If you aren’t getting enough shut-eye, or if the sleep you get isn’t good, your hormones could be at play. Progesterone, a hormone released by your ovaries, helps you catch Zzz’s. If your levels are lower than usual, that can make it hard to fall and stay asleep. Low estrogen can trigger hot flashes and night sweats, both of which can make it tough to get the rest you need.

Chronic Acne


A breakout before or during your period is normal. But acne that won’t clear up can be a symptom of hormone problems. An excess of androgens (“male” hormones that both men and women have) can cause your oil glands to overwork. Androgens also affect the skin cells in and around your hair follicles. Both of those things can clog your pores and cause acne.

Memory Fog


Experts aren’t sure exactly how hormones impact your brain. What they do know is that changes in estrogen and progesterone can make your head feel “foggy” and make it harder for you to remember things. Some experts think estrogen might impact brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Attention and memory problems are especially common during perimenopause and menopause. But they can also be a symptom of other hormone-related conditions, like thyroid disease. Let your doctor know if you’re having trouble thinking clearly.

Belly Problems


Your gut is lined with tiny cells called receptors that respond to estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are higher or lower than usual, you might notice changes in how you’re digesting food. That’s why diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, and nausea can crop up or get worse before and during your period. If you’re having digestive woes as well as issues like acne and fatigue, your hormone levels might be off.

Ongoing Fatigue



Are you tired all the time? Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of a hormone imbalance. Excess progesterone can make you sleepy. And if your thyroid — the butterfly-shaped gland in your neck — makes too little thyroid hormone, it can sap your energy. A simple blood test called a thyroid panel can tell you if your levels are too low. If they are, you can get treated for that.
chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. But other hormones, that travel the same paths as neurotransmitters, also play a part in how you feel.

Mood Swings and Depression


Researchers think drops in hormones or fast changes in their levels can cause moodiness and the blues. Estrogen affects key brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. But other hormones, that travel the same paths as neurotransmitters, also play a part in how you feel.

Appetite and Weight Gain



When you’re feeling blue or irritated, as you can be when your estrogen levels dip, you may want to eat more. That might be why drops in the hormone are linked to weight gain. The estrogen dip can also impact your body’s levels of leptin, a hunger-revving hormone.

Headaches


Lots of things can trigger these. But for some women, drops in estrogen bring them on. That’s why it’s common for headaches to strike right before or during your period, when estrogen is on the decline. Regular headaches or ones that often surface around the same time each month can be a clue that your levels of this hormone might be shifting.
Caginal Dryness


It’s normal to have this occasionally. But if you often notice that you’re dry or irritated down there, low estrogen may be the reason. The hormone helps vaginal tissue stay moist and comfortable. If your estrogen drops because of an imbalance, it can reduce vaginal fluids and cause tightness.

Loss of Libido


Most people think of testosterone as a male hormone, but women’s bodies make it, too. If your testosterone levels are lower than usual, you might have less of an interest in sex than you usually do.
Breast Changes


A drop in estrogen can make your breast tissue less dense. And an increase in the hormone can thicken this tissue, even causing new lumps or cysts. Talk to your doctor if you notice breast changes, even if you don’t have any other symptoms that concern you.

Your Hormones, Your Health

Feeling bloated, irritable, or just not your best? A hormone imbalance could be to blame. Hormones are chemical “messengers” that impact the way your cells and organs function. It’s normal for your levels to shift at different times of your life, such as before and during your period or a pregnancy, or during menopause. But some medications and health issues can cause them to go up or down, too.
 

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Help For Menopausal Mood Swings And Depression

Another reason to supplement Vit D ?
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Menopausal mood swings are no joke – ask those living with a menopausal woman – and if you are also suffering symptoms of oestrogen dominance then it may seem like you are trapped by your moods. Hormone balance is important here, bioidentical natural progesterone is a natural mood enhancer that also helps sleep. When in combination with the right balance of natural oestrogen then that has shown to be effective for women with severe mood swings and depression.

However, as well as getting your hormones balanced, there is one thing you can do right away and it is look at whether you have a lack of vitamin D as that also can affect mood swings.
Over the last year it seemed as if you couldn’t open a newspaper without some new benefit of vitamin D being hailed – in fact it has been described as a wonder vitamin. We know we need it for strong bones and maintaining muscle mass, but it also is being studied for diabetes, heart disease, various cancers and immune response.

Twenty minutes of sun exposure a day is recommended to get optimal minimum amounts of vitamin D but in northern climes like the UK we are unlikely to get the amount that we need, though this year seems to be the exception! Figures from the USA indicate that less than 10% of the population get the recommended daily amount and they are mostly outdoor workers who get the benefit of any sunshine that is going.

Women and Mood
At the The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in June, 2014 it was reported that a substantial new benefit of vitamin D has been discovered. Women with moderate to severe depression had substantial improvement in their symptoms of depression after they received treatment for their vitamin D deficiency according to a new benefit of vitamin D has been discovered. Women with moderate to severe depression had substantial improvement in their symptoms of depression after they received treatment for their vitamin D deficiency according to a new study.
This came from a very small study of women aged 42-66 who had previously been diagnosed with clinical depression. The women did not change their antidepressant medications, or other environmental factors that relate to depression, and over 8-12 weeks were given oral vitamin D. This gave them normal levels after treatment and all the women reported significant improvement in their depression.

How to help yourself
Other studies have suggested that vitamin D has an effect on mood and depression and given the amount of research being done on other additional benefits of vitamin D, it may be worth considering.
Other factors that affect mood are lack of sleep at menopause due to hot flashes and night sweats and increased stress levels. Tackling both of these can help as will eliminating or reducing stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and tobacco as these can make a real difference to mood stability.

Many women report improvements in both mood swings and sleep when helped with bioidentical natural progesterone, and if you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency it would make sense to consider supplementation to maximize the effect of the natural hormone.

Vitamin D is not readily available from food but varieties of oily fish have the most followed by much smaller amounts in liver, all types of milk, yoghurt and cheese. Many brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and breakfast cereals are often fortified with vitamin D but this is not a source to rely on if you are deficient.

Nutritionist Patrck Holford recommends that those who live in the northern hemisphere, have decreased bone mass (osteoporosis) or a cancer risk, have a 25mg capsule a day or one drop of an oral vitamin D supplement.