This blog is dedicated to the women of the world. For women, written by women.
One day, Mr. and Mrs. Churchill were walking through a smart neighbourhood in London. People greeted and exchanged a few words with the Prime Minister.
A street sweeper, however, greeted Mrs. Churchill in particular, and the two stayed aside for a while in familiar conversation. Afterwards, Churchill asked his wife what had taken her so long to discuss with a street sweeper.
“Oh…he was in love with me once a long time ago” she replied.
Churchill smiled and said, “You see, if you had married him, you’d be the wife of a street sweeper today.”
Mrs. Churchill looked at her husband in amazement and said the legendary words:
“But no darling, if I had married him, he would be Prime Minister today”.
In today’s blog, we will be talking about the two major hormones that make us female and how they impact our bodies as well as our mood. Oestrogen and Progesterone.
As women, we have all suffered from hormone related issues like PMS, acne, mood swings, fatigue, PCOS, missing or irregular periods, decreased libido, or hair loss. We tend to accept these as ‘normal’, but actually, they’re often signs and symptoms of hormone imbalances that can be improved, and even reduced through lifestyle factors including good healthy nutritional balance and sufficiency (especially micronutrients), appropriate exercise, avoidance of toxins & adequate detoxification, quality sleep and very importantly, stress management.
Oestrogen is the sex hormone which promotes the development and maintenance of female characteristics of our bodies. It is made by our ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells. Oestrogen regulates our menstrual cycle, reproductive tract, urinary tract, heart and blood vessel, bones, breast, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and the brain. This is the hormone that is often used to treat menopause and menstrual disorders.
Progesterone is a sex hormone and is also involved in our menstrual cycle, pregnancy, as well as the development of the embryo. Progesterone is produced by the ovaries, adrenals and placenta. Progesterone is vitally important in contraception and during pregnancy, and also has a big impact on our weight.
Below we will go into more detail on how oestrogen and progesterone effect our skin, mood, sex drive, as well as their role in menopause and its impact on osteoporosis.
Skin- Oestrogen increases skin elasticity, moisture and firmness, and reduces wrinkles. Progesterone increases oiliness in the skin which can lead to acne.
Mood-Oestrogen increases Serotonin, the happy hormone. Progesterone on the other hand can have a depressive effect.
Libido-High levels of progesterone are responsible for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as well as the suppression of libido, while low levels can lead to sexual dysfunction.
Menopause- during menopause there is a major decrease in the amount of oestrogen and progesterone. This decline in hormones leads to fatigue, hot flushes, insomnia, reduced libido and moodiness.
Osteoporosis– oestrogen plays a vital role in bone density. During menopause there is a major decline in oestrogen. Oestrogen deficiency can lead to excessive bone reabsorption accompanied by inadequate bone formation which in turn leads to osteoporosis.
PCOS-PCOS women find it hard to fall pregnant. This is because they do not ovulate as a result of serum progesterone levels being low. Oestrogen levels are often normal.
Balanced hormones, and especially the detoxification of used hormones from the body, depend on a healthy gut. A healthy gut is characterised by a balanced abundance of healthy gut bacteria (gut microbiome), and the absence of leaky gut, or increased permeability of our colon wall. Leaky gut allows toxins to move into our bloodstream, causing low grade inflammation from inflammatory cytokines. Leaky gut is transient and can be healed within a few days when managed by a well versed medical or health practitioner.
Rebalancing your gut health supports healthy hormone balance, stabilizes insulin and decreases inflammation – all of which are often the root cause of the now all too common diagnosis of PCOS and its symptoms.
Dysbiosis in your microbiome refers to the imbalance in good and harmful bacteria in the gut. The microbiome inhibits your digestive tract and helps your body with hormone balance, inflammation, manufacturing neurotransmitter that affect mood, immune system regulation and digestion and absorption of nutrients.
What we put into our bodies and expose our bodies to environmentally has a major impact on our gut health and in turn, the balance of our hormones oestrogen and progesterone. A healthy lifestyle is key in balancing female hormones – revitalising us with the power, energy and vibrance to meet all of life’s demands… and to appreciate all its wonder and awe.
BIO: Chantal is a B.Sc.Hons Allied Health with an international diploma in Nutrition and Sports Nutrition. Chantal is a passionate Gut Health advocate & Functional Medicine Health & Lifestyle Coach, specialising in the improvement and management of the chronic diseases of lifestyle, the illnesses and diseases associated with dietary excess and their relationship to leaky gut and dysbiosis (imbalance) of the gut microbiome. These conditions include IBS, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight, obesity, acne, eczema, depression, anxiety, auto-immune, hormone imbalance, cancer, cognitive decline etc.
Over her 25 year career, Chantal has held various positions within the health and wellness industry – including 10 years as the Executive Head of Vodacom’s corporate wellness & mobile health programs. Chantal is the owner/ founder of the DripBar which offers vitamin and mineral drip therapy in improving micronutrient deficiencies related to lifestyle, underlying conditions & chronic medication. She is also the founder/owner of a Kombucha brewery which produces the brand of organic green tea ‘booch’ called theFarmacy.
Chantal is a competitive cyclist, a plant strong vegan and mom to two grown up girls.
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This blog post contains information that is not designed to take the place of,
substitute, or replace any form and method of professional or medical advice
and treatment or medicine. All content is the author’s opinion and is not
intended to diagnose and remedy. The facts and figures contained in this
document are presented solely for informational and educational purposes