Today is the last day of the October Stress Series!
And today I want to write a little bit about the impact of stress on female hormones, because…
In November, this is going to be the topic of the email series (the in December we can talk about surviving Christmas without putting on half a stone).
As always, if you are new this series, I would recommend you catch up on the whole series on my blog, starting at the beginning.
I’ve also been doing some some Video on my Facebook Page so if you haven’t already been following me on Facebook, I’ve put some videos on this blog and you can also watch then on my Fan Page. The most recent of which is talking about sugar cravings!
Okay, so, formalities out of the way, let’s talk Stress and Female Hormones!
Just to freak you out I’ll share this with you…
Now before I cause too much stress, don’t worry about understanding this. We have the rest of November for that!
What I do want you to get from today is that our stress hormones (bottom right) are created through the same pathway as our sex hormones (left hand side).
I love to use the naughty child analogy.
If you have two children and one of them is very naughty, where does all the attention go?
To the naughty child of course! And the good child can often get neglected.
Same goes for our hormones.
If the body is focusing all its energy at creating stress hormones, healthy and balanced production of sex hormones can get neglected.
The other thing to notice on this diagram is that progesterone (one of the important female hormones) is used to make cortisol, the main stress hormone.
This means that if we have to make a lot of cortisol because we have a lot of stress, we can get what is called the pregnenolone or progesterone steal.
This is when our body steals resources from progesterone to ensure we have adequate hormones to respond to our environment. Stress, and NOT fertility, is the biological priority at this point in time.
It’s not a bad thing in the short term because it doesn’t make sense to get pregnant when you are in danger. But in the long term with chronic stressors, it can cause hormonal imbalances like PMS, exacerbate PCOS, endometriosis and uterine fibroids or even increase menopausal symptoms.
That is about as much detail that I want to go into today because I will be going into A LOT more detail across the month of November.
The last thing just to mention though is that many women approach me with hormonal problems. PCOS, PMS, menstrual migraine, endometriosis, fibroids etc.
There is a lot that can be done with food and supplements to support these conditions. However, do not forget about the power of lifestyle balance.
I honestly believe that it is one of THE most powerful tools in any health journey. Whether you want to lose weight, fix your digestion, work with some auto-immune condition or balance your hormones.
That’s it from me, I hope you have enjoyed this stress series and I will be writing to you soon.
If you would like a little more science then you can also catch up on this video I created to explain what causes longer cycles in women and how this relates to stress.