Today let's explore the hormonal interplay of midlife that can cause havoc in the body and a medley of symptoms including that middle age spread!!
I will tell you WHY it happens, and how you can prevent it!
The great Progesterone plummet:
“The Great Progesterone Plummet” generally begins in your forties, but it can start sooner.... Most of my clients are in the busiest phase of their lives with children, careers, parents and all sorts to juggle........ Stress levels are generally very high!
Suddenly, you find you are:
Not coping well with stress
Anxiety and overwhelm
Hay-fever or auto-immune flare ups
This is all to do with the decline in Progesterone! Progesterone also keeps your oestrogen in check, and without enough progesterone, too much oestrogen leads to weight gain & fluid retention.
Why is this happening? Progesterone takes centre stage in the second half of your cycle - the luteal phase, after ovulation. We can only produce adequate progesterone if we are ovulating properly! Progesterone is a calming hormone that helps sustain the uterine lining. Sometimes in the second half of the cycle, if we aren't detoxifying oestrogen effectively and/or haven't ovulated (causing low to no progesterone secretion) oestrogen levels inappropriately creep up higher than progesterone levels, causing a hormone imbalance known as ‘oestrogen excess.’
What causes oestrogen excess?
All hormones in the body need to be inactivated and eliminated once they have worked their magic. The predominant cause of oestrogen excess is the inability to eliminate oestrogen from the body effectively.
The main elimination route is from the stool via the liver. This means if there are any issues with the liver or the digestive system, oestrogen can’t make its way out of the body, and levels can build up and store in our tissues, causing oestrogen excess.
Possible underlying causes:
Gut flora imbalances
Low fibre diet
In our clinic, we assess for oestrogen dominance in a number of ways, depending on your preference and presentation.
Symptoms - symptoms alone are a very strong indicator of oestrogen excess
Salivary hormone analysis - tests the levels of ‘active’ oestrogen and progesterone.
Dried hormone urine testing - tests oestrogen and progesterone levels, and the different ways the liver is processing oestrogen
Thyroid and Oestrogen
And it’s no coincidence that thyroid dysfunction and peri-menopause tend to come on at the same time – it’s the natural, but dramatic fluctuations in sex hormones that characterise peri-menopause, that can negatively impact our thyroid.
Excess oestrogen from the big hormone spikes you get in peri-menopause can actually impact the way our thyroid hormones are produced and then carried around the body. It’s the same with oestrogen dominance by the way, which is characterised by all the symptoms we identify as PMS like heavy painful periods.
We look at each woman individually to assess and address the root cause of her hormonal imbalance.
We work out why you aren’t eliminating your oestrogen correctly, or why you aren’t making enough progesterone and support healthy thyroid function and metabolism......
We then employ natural supplements like gentle herbs and remedies, as well as dietary and lifestyle advice, to gradually restore your hormonal balance and support a graceful transition through peri-menopause and menopause........
Herbal and Nutritional Medicine Support
Phyto-oestrogenic herbs: plant sterols within herbs are able to mimic our bodies oestrogen hormone. These amazing herbs have a great way of balancing oestrogen levels, reducing excess oestrogen levels and increasing deficient oestrogen levels. Such herbs include: licorice, red clover, Korean ginseng, alfalfa, wild yam and black cohosh.
Liver support: excess oestrogens are caused by poor elimination, liver support is essential for the metabolism and elimination of oestrogen hormone. Such as St Mary's thistle, licorice, globe artichoke and dandelion root
Progesterone support: Bringing in herbal medicines to support low progesterone levels, such as chaste tree and peony
Essential mineral support, such as Iodine, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Zinc and Selenium
If this resonates with you and you would like more support, please book in a Free Introductory Consultation with me to see how we can best support you.
Look forward to connecting again soon.