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No matter which stage of life you are in, hormonal imbalances hold so many answers when it comes to Women's Health.
It might be that you’re struggling with irregular cycles or painful periods, or perhaps you suspect you may not be ovulating, or have no menstrual cycle at all.
You may be battling mood swings, endometriosis, fibroids, unwanted vaginal symptoms, PCOS or hormonal migraines.
Or you could be experiencing thyroid problems, metabolic diseases such as diabetes, or struggling with your weight.
Perhaps you're experiencing the turbulence of perimenopause and navigating sleep disturbances, hot flushes, brain fog and mood changes.
Your hormones could be playing a pivotal role in all of these issues, and I can help.
When thinking about hormones, imagine a large, interconnected web, like a rail network. We all know the kinds of things that can impact rail services operating efficiently: a spot of weather, a passenger sick on a train, work on the line, signal failures and worker strikes can all mean that journeys experience major disruptions. Similarly, within your hormone web, an imbalance with one thing can have a knock on effect further down the line. I am here to support you by looking at the whole picture, leaving no stone unturned.
Read below for more.
So what are our hormones, really?
Hormones are chemical messengers. While they are produced by our body’s various organ systems, they are all governed by the brain. Hormones are highly reactive to what is going on in the rest of your body, your mind and your environment.
Hormones operate in cascades meaning one triggers another which triggers another. Each of your hormones require certain nutrients and ‘co-factors’ in order to be produced properly.
To help us understand what’s happening within your body and how best to rebalance things, we might use the DUTCH test (or a number of other clinical investigations) to generate a visual on your unique sex hormone pathways. Functional lab testing is an essential part of my practice, as it enables us to truly see what is going on.
What causes a hormonal imbalance?
There are a variety of reasons a hormonal imbalance could occur, and if we visualise that interconnected web, we can see how one issue can swiftly cause difficulties elsewhere. Here are just a few of the causes of imbalance that I can support you with:
A common imbalance that I support women with is ‘oestrogen dominance’, or unopposed oestrogen. This could be caused by not having enough progesterone to balance out oestrogen during the menstrual cycle; having too much testosterone which then turns into oestrogen; or having unhealthy hormone detoxification pathways, all of which we can investigate together.
On the other hand, depleted oestrogen can also have a big impact. Oestrogen can become depleted when stress levels are high or ongoing, we don’t consume enough calories, or the right balance of macronutrients, if thyroid issues are involved, or during the perimenopause.
Blood sugars are another common driver of hormone imbalance. If left imbalanced for a period of time, this can lead to insulin resistance, which can drive inflammation, as well as affect our sex hormone production. You might not realise that your blood sugars are a problem for you until we actually begin to look at your diet and lifestyle more closely.
Inflammation can also cause hormones to stop communicating well, and is a key underlying driver for many health issues.
Potential causes of inflammation include stress on the immune system, autoimmunity, or gut issues, or exposure to oxidative stress from things like toxins, mould, heavy metals, high stress levels and even over exercising.
Inflammation can often be improved by focusing on anti-inflammatory food choices such as whole foods that grew in the ground or were once alive, but sometimes a little extra support is needed.
With all of these potential causes for hormone imbalances, you can quickly see how important it is to try and find the underlying cause and address that. This means that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach!
Which hormones impact women’s health?
The above explanations provide a great introduction, but really only scratches the surface. If you’d like to dive further into the hormones that affect women’s health, then visit my comprehensive hormone library to help you understand the impact of hormones on our bodies and importantly, our lives.
Or, if you want to dive straight into what all this means for you PERSONALLY, go right ahead and book a call and let’s chat about how I can help.
Why does the gut matter?
Our gut is where so much of the magic happens when it comes to health, for better or worse. It’s responsible for digesting nutrients, it plays the role of the microbiome for human health and disease, and can be the cause of underlying inflammation and hidden infections, and is involved in hormone metabolism too. If you’re experiencing gut issues such as reflux, bloating, constipation, loose stools, or fluctuating bowel movements, or you have no gut symptoms but have other signs of inflammation or nutrient deficiencies, we always start working on the gut first.
How can I support you?
When I mention taking a holistic approach, we are taking the WHOLE of you into account. You're a whole person, with a complete life - FAR more than a collection of organs! My goal is to give you truly holistic support, with no stone left unturned.
When working together, we begin with an in-depth look at your current symptoms and health history, then conduct a range of biochemical testing and set personalised nutrition and lifestyle goals. Our work will also encompass your mental health, personality type, thought patterns, behaviours and relationships, movement, sleep, things that bring you joy, and explore any worries or barriers you may have.
In taking this truly holistic approach, we will become a strong team, working towards a version of you that is more balanced, healthy and happy.
Note that inclusivity is a priority for me and I welcome people of all cultures, religions, ethnicities, ages, gender identities, sexualities, body sizes, and across the full spectrum of physical, social and neuro differences. Whilst the language across this site refers to Women's Health, I recognise that not all people with female anatomy identify as women, and that not all people who are women have female anatomy. Please know that I see you and you are welcome here. At present, this is still terminology I feel strongly about, because women continue to be let down, and women's health issues continue to be underplayed and gaslighted by the patriarchal systems within which we live. Until these barriers are broken down and my mission of Radically Revolutionising Women's Health is achieved, I will continue to use this term, though this is of course a work in progress and my language will evolve as I learn.