Women’s health and hormones
Metabolic and hormonal imbalances resulting in symptoms associated with PMT, PCOS, MENOPAUSE, & THYROID conditions, can frequently be improved by avoiding high sugar, refined foods and stimulants, whilst a nutrient dense diet of fresh foods and learning how to balance blood sugar levels and reduce the impact of insulin may positively reduce the debilitating symptoms of headaches, fatigue, depression and low energy.
WHAT DEFINES MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is the permanent cessation of the menstrual cycle, when a woman’s fertile period comes to an end and signals a period of hormonal imbalance, which in turn leads to physical and mental changes. Given that hormones are the chemicals that dictate numerous physiological functions within the body, it is obvious this upheaval will not go unnoticed! So we can expect both physical and mental changes at this time, although it must be stressed that some might suffer more than others, and we won’t necessarily have all the symptoms, however menopause is not an Illness!
AM I GOING THROUGH THE MENOPAUSE?
It’s probably safe to say that the menopause creeps up on you unawares to start with, as the changes can be quite subtle at first
- you may be aware that you lose your self-confidence. This may be to do with your looks and body shape, therefore your self-perception.
- You may notice that you dither or doubt more and find making decisions a problem.
- Some ladies report that they cannot concentrate for more than a few seconds and that they forget everything – we like to call these blips ‘senior moments’!
- All in all, any or all of these factors can contribute to you feeling generally low or depressed.
- Just to compound the issue, typically it is around this time, that for many women, the sense of loss of their children leaving home impacts heavily. The ‘empty nest’ syndrome can trigger a feeling of loss of purpose and direction – all of which can make you feel depressed and sad.
- Irregular periods– You will notice that your periods become irregular to start with and then stop altogether. There are three stages to note:
- Stage 1 – Pre-menopause when you may start to notice some physical symptoms (hot flushes or mood swings), but your periods are still regular.
- Stage 2 – Perimenopause – function of ovaries is declining, symptoms are more noticeable and periods become irregular.
- Stage 3 – Post menopause – this stage runs from the last period onwards.
- Hot flushes
- Weight gain and thickening waist
- Loss of libido
- Depression & anxiety
POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME(PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects the way your ovaries work. Your ovaries may have lots of small cysts or follicles (small, fluid-filled lumps or pockets) on them and they may be larger than usual too. In the UK, about seven in every 100 women have PCOS.
- PCOS is a hormonal imbalance of oestrogen, testosterone, progesterone & insulin. It causes Insulin insensitivity so the cells stop responding to insulin and reject the entry of glucose into the cells. Insulin resistance lead to more insulin being produced (hyperinsulinemia), and ovaries are particularly sensitive to insulin, so respond by producing high levels of androgens which cause PCOS symptoms – excess hair growth, irregular periods, higher levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and weight gain, and in some cases, infertility.
PCOS can be managed by balancing blood sugar levels so that insulin resistance can be reversed.