Health for the Long Haul: A Look at Hormones and Stress

Hormones are being spoken of more often and openly these days and the Western medical model is now incorporating hormone health and stress management into overall vitality and wellness care more than ever before.   Individuals are now realizing that this common aging and lifestyle concern is worth evaluating in their quest to live, look, and feel better.  Today, even church ministry leaders are bringing these healthcare related topics to the forefront by hosting workshops and special forums to engage and resource adults in a unique and effective way.   Hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc on a person as they go through various stages of aging. These changes can especially be significant for a woman as she goes through the reproductive years, through the menopausal transition, and as she simply adapts physiologically to life’s stress and unexpected difficulties. Hopefully this short article will bring enough insight and interest, even with limited content, to encourage you to seek professional guidance if struggling with suspected hormonal imbalance, aggravating symptoms, or poor stress adaptation.

Menstrual irregularities, endometriosis, infertility, miscarriage, polycystic ovaries, aggravated acne and skin problems, and early-aged hysterectomy can describe some of the reasons that a young woman might consider hormone imbalance as a contributing problem.  For women in other stages of aging; anxiety, insomnia, depression, sexual difficulties, irritability, pelvic floor pain, dryness, weight gain, foggy thinking, incontinence, mood swings, hot flashes, rapid aging, palpitations, night sweats, and fatigue can definitely be linked to hormonal and adrenal imbalance.  There are some women that seem to have very little trouble with hormone changes or symptoms as they pass through the various stages of female aging.  Even then, it is still important to know that adequate hormone levels are now being connected as a benefit in the prevention of conditions such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, heart disease, and thyroid disease.

Stress also must be considered when discussing the topic of hormones and health.  The body is designed to release adrenal hormones such as cortisol or DHEA, during heightened states of stress or injury.  This response is intended to address inflammation and increase energy to the body.  Sadly, our culture is moving so fast with the demands of life these days, that adrenal fatigue, a condition linked to altered or diminished stress hormones, is becoming more of a norm and a concern all it’s own.  Women are carrying heavy personal demands as they juggle countless responsibilities and commitments.  Even those women that seem to have it ‘all-together’, could truly be falling apart inside emotionally, mentally, and physically as they deal with stress and lifestyle demands.

Hormones, lifestyle medicine, and individualized vitamin supplementation can be connected in so many ways to good health and vitality.  It’s fairly safe to say that most adults, at some point in life, will likely be affected by hormonal imbalance or a prolonged period of heightened stress.  If you or someone you care about is trudging along with no answers and no hope in these areas of health, please take the initiative to connect with a professional healthcare provider educated in Anti-Aging and Functional Medicine.

 

Sonja will be speaking at a workshop at the 2017 Invited Conference, titled “Help, I’m a HOT Mess!” We hope to see you there!

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