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Hormones. Chemical messengers responsible for transmitting communication between cells. This basically means that hormones prepare the body for fighting, fleeing, sex, menstruation or menopause, activation of the immune system, stimulation or inhibition. Feeling stressed? Hormones. Feeling wired or adrenalized? Hormones. Sexy time? Hormones. Mood swings? Well, you get the picture.

Hormones are made from cholesterol, and cholesterol is both synthesized in the liver and consumed via diet. Get plenty of good fats (olive oil, flax oil, coconut oil, butter) and also proteins, and keep a clean liver for good hormonal balance. A clogged liver = a liver that is unable to process hormones and cholesterol = hormonal imbalance. Low cholesterol = not enough raw materials to make hormones.

Let’s get down to business. If you’re a woman, you know that your menstrual cycle and the production of estrogen and progesterone can be adversely affected by stress. This is because cortisol levels (your main stress hormone) rise under stress, and the body diverts all of its hormonal precursor reserves to make cortisol at the expense of other hormones, because cortisol is necessary for most of your metabolic functions and more important to keep the body running than sex hormone production. Make sense? So if you’re chronically stressed, you may have irregular periods or difficult cycles, because your body is not producing the right amounts of sex hormone. Your sex drive can also suffer.

Signs of Estrogen Deficiency
* Vaginal dryness
* Anxiety/depression
* Decreased libido
* Dry Skin
* Foggy thinking
* Depressed
* Difficulty sleeping
* Night sweats

Signs of Progesterone Deficiency
* Breast tenderness
* Insomnia
* Menstrual cramping
* Abdominal bloating
* Water retention
* Premenstrual mood swings

To balance sex hormones, get your stress level under control. Consider testing cortisol levels via saliva test. Most women suffer from too much estrogen and not enough progesterone, and this causes PMS, bad cramping, heavy bleeding, and even fibroids and endometriosis. We are exposed to many xenoestrogens (artificial estrogens) in our environment and food supply, and this is a great contributor to hormone imbalance.

Back to basics: whole foods diet, get enough rest, maintain a regular schedule, cut back on caffeine, exercise, cut down on booze and sugar. Liquid sublingual progesterone can change your life. Chaste berry can work too. I don’t like progesterone creams, which can work initially, but are stored in fat cells and may build up over time.

You can maintain the balance – know your body.

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