Get to know the basics.
There is a strong narrative that suffering is an inevitable part of being born into a female body – but it’s time to shed that story and step into a new paradigm of health and wellbeing.
Let’s begin with the female endocrine system – it’s our bodies blueprint and is embedded into our very core. This system is used to send messages – interrupt the messages and this is when things start to go awry. Yes, you can be born with a predisposition but its not a predetermined destination – you can in fact influence certain genes to switch on and off – and what sends the messages? Hormones of course!
What is YOUR body telling you?
WHAT SYMPTOMS ARE YOU EXPERIENCING?
Metabolism and Stress Symptoms
- Carb cravings
- Sugar and chocolate cravings
- Reliance on caffeine/energy drinks
- Consuming more than 3 alcoholic drinks per week.
- Waking up during sleep
- Low libido
- Weight gain
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Oily skin
- Bloating and water retention
- Acne or cystic acne
- Hair loss
- Diarrhoea or loose stools
- Body Odour
- Night sweats
- Mood Swings
- Irregular cycles
- Ovarian cysts
- Cystic breasts
- Breast tenderness
- Unexplained infertility
- Heavy periods
- Painful periods
- Missing periods
Once you realise that these are ‘clues’ which are indication that something needs healing you can then begin to truly heal and work with your endocrine system AND of course, your WHOLE BODY.
What IS causing women to suffer from adverse symptoms? Because your symptoms are not the cause, but the effect and can be linked too
- Unstable blood sugar levels
- HPA Dysregulation ( the correct term for adrenal fatigue)
- Chronic stress and being in a constant state of “fight”
- Dysfunction through the pathways of elimination – such as constipation
- A lifestyle that does not support your cyclical nature
I am covering but a few of the root causes, and in my experience, both my own and the women I have worked with, it is just as much to do with their mind, and more vitally, their soul health. A disconnection from their feminine energy, unacknowledged trauma, disconnection from their creativity flow and experience of joy is a huge part of why women/female beings are suffering from unwanted hormonal symptoms and related illnesses.
To begin, I want to introduce you to your Infradian rhythm – this is your most important internal compass as it governs all our internal workings. It comes into play from when you experience your first period and comes to its end a year after you had your last period (post menopause).
Your Infradian rhythm is connected to your complete monthly cycle (not just your period, which is but one phase of four) it also affects your brain chemistry and your physiology. So from when we enter into Menarche, all the way until we reach menopause we have not one, but two rhythms, the circadian and the infradian, and the health of both is vital to our overall mind, body and soul health.
It is divided into four phases
Follicular – lasts on average 7-10 days
Your bodies internal Spring. Hormone levels are at low levels and slowly beginning to increase in concentration. FSH increases to help the eggs begin to mature. The hormonal effect on your brain is one of expansiveness, openness and creativity. It’s a great time to begin brain storming, starting new projects and planning for the weeks ahead.
Ovulation – lasts on average 3-5 days
Your bodies internal summer. The rise in FSH followed by the rise in LH stimulates the follicle to release an egg. Estrogen increases, as does testosterone. These hormones stimulate your verbal and social areas of your brain, you may find yourself feeling more sociable and more likely to want to be in larger groups of people. Creativity will be at a high.
Luteal – lasts on average 12-14 days
Your bodies internal Autumn. This phase is almost split in to two. Oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone reach their peak but then fall at their lowest levels before your bleed begins. PMS IS COMMON BUT NOT NECCESARY. In the first half of this phase you have energy – then in the second half it’s time to take it down a notch, rest, walk, stretch and listen to your body. You will also have a deeper connection to your intuition, feel more empathy toward others and begin to turn inward.
Menstruation – lasts on average 3-7 days.
Your bodies internal Winter. Hormone levels decline quickly. This brings your inward and the effect that this change in hormones has on the brain is one of analysis. It’s a good time to journal and create quiet moments for yourself. Your energy will be at it’s lowest – which means it’s completely normal to feel tired- Taking a nap is totally OK! Eating lots of warm foods like soups, stews and slow cooked foods will feel nourishing for your body.
Each cycle lasts approximately 28-32 days
There are seven key hormones at play. Progesterone, oestrogen, FSH (follicle stimulating hormones) and LH (Luteinizing hormone) Testosterone, Insulin and Cortisol.
How we support our body and our endocrine system will impact how these hormones interact and ultimately how a body either thrives or merely survives.
Note if you are on hormonal contraceptive you are not experiencing a true cycle. You can still look after your endocrine system as much as possible and you can still work with each of the phases BUT you won’t be experiencing the same ebb and flow of hormones as someone who is not on HC. If you went on to HC to combat hormonal imbalances it is important to understand that the underlying issues are not resolved, and HC simply masks the problem. We have been mis lead to believe that menstruating isn’t important and that unless we are wanting to get pregnant we don’t need to experience a true cycle, but this is incorrect. Our cycle is pivotal to our health and longevity.
Working with your cycle can enhance every area of health and wellbeing for LIFE. It’s important to really understand that the majority of health and fitness studies are not done on women during their cyclical years because of the fact that we need different things at different times of the month – in fact of the studies that do include women are women who are post menopause or are in the second half of their luteal phase where hormone concentrations are lowering. We are hugely underrepresented and because of that women are using tools that are not applicable to our bodies day in and day out. We are also being prescribed medications which supress our hormone levels and ultimately set us up for a lifetime of ill health. Being a women doesn’t have to be complicated or painful – we’ve been conditioned to see our bodies this way but actually, once you understand the rhythm, the hormones sequences – it’s a reoccurring pattern and once everything is tune there is no reason for us to feel like less than vibrant.
It is also important to note that how look after our body during our cyclical years will influence how we experience peri menopause and menopause. Supporting your endocrine system is KEY for smooth transitions and it is NEVER TO LATE TO START.
Ready to return BALANCE? You can find more details here about the online BALANCE hormones programme!