Chronic Stress and a Woman’s Body

When a woman experiences prolonged stress, pregnenolone, a hormone essential for both coping with stress and producing female hormones, is diverted from the normal hormone pathway. As a result, the production of female hormones is compromised. This condition can cause a multitude of symptoms including irritability, mood swings, headaches, sleeplessness, and weight gain.

Female hormone imbalances can be treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It does not address the probable root cause: stress. Before a woman begins hormone therapy, it is necessary to assess whether her hormones are reacting to factors that are internal or external.

Stress plays a big part is reducing our levels of progesterone which results in … too much estrogen.

Here’s how: Progesterone is the “mother of all hormones.” It is the precursor and essential raw material out of which the body created ALL THE OTHER HORMONES. As the precursor to all the other hormones in the body, the adrenal glands and adrenal hormones are no exception. If you encounter a mildly stressful situation your body draws on its progesterone to produce the hormones (adrenal corticosteroids) to counteract it. These are the hormones that protect against stress. BUT, if your body is in a constant or permanent state of stress it can’t provide enough progesterone to be converted into anti-stress hormones and the result is adrenal exhaustion and no left over progesterone for other normal body functions.

Both high and low cortisol levels impact body systems and related hormones, particularly thyroid and testosterone. In times of high stress the adrenals will also “steal”progesterone from its reproductive duties to make extra cortisol, thus the imbalance of estrogen/progesterone. Energy, mood, bone muscle and sex drive are the casualties making us feel old before our time.

You can restore health and energy by supporting adrenals glands in a daily way:

  • engage in non-competitive gentle exercise.
  • avoid caffeine pick-me-ups.
  • drink plenty of water
  • eat mostly organic hormone-free food.
  • take anti-stress multi vitamins ( B complex & C)
  • avoid chemicals and pollutants
  • get enough sleep and take naps when needed
  • be open to love & laughter
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