Stick it to Stress!
Why Managing Your Stress is Pivotal to Hormone Balance
Written by Andrea Maxim, Naturopathic Doctor
Basics of Hormone Balance
Almost all of my patients, including myself, could use some stress management support. Now when it comes to hormone balancing, we often do not understand why it is so important to balance cortisol first or along with the other hormones. Whether your issue is menopause, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility or weight gain, all of your hormones must work together as a biological symphony. Let me simplify this process for you so you can understand your own hormones a little better:
Understanding Hormone Balance
Cholesterol is the building block of all hormones. We need to be consuming a healthy amount of fat just to even create our hormones. Cholesterol then get converted into PREGNENOLONE which is a very important step to remember as pregnenolone will either produce progesterone and cortisol or our other reproductive hormones like DHEA, testosterone and estrogens.
Why is this important to know this regarding hormone balancing?
Well, lets say your cortisol demand is really high, what happens is the body will focus on the areas where supply and demand is highest. What occurs is something known as the “pregnenolone steal”. The demand to create stress hormone is higher than the demand to create reproductive hormones, therefore all resources will go towards stress adaptation and not reproduction. Ultimately, this shift can significantly decrease the amount of reproductive hormones being made which can then affect your menstrual cycle, fertility and ability to sail through menopause. For the men out there, this is very important as stress will decrease your ability to make testosterone. That testosterone is vital for your ability to remain virile, create lean muscle mass and your overall long-term health.
Testing for Hormone Balance
Proper stress management and daily adrenal support is key to maintaining hormone balance. In office we do two major tests for assessing your adrenal function, one is a basic 5min urine test to see how hyper or under functioning your adrenals are or a more comprehensive look at your cortisol levels throughout the day using our Salivary Hormone Test. The reason we use saliva is because it reflects the ACTIVE hormone in the body, unlike blood tests that may show total hormone values, but not the amount of functioning hormone. Want a complete panel of all your major hormones?? We can do that too! With you Male or Female Salivary Hormone panel which assesses first morning cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and DHEA.
Curious about your hormone balance, book with me TODAY at either clinic!
Andrea Maxim, ND – Creator of the MAXIM MOVEMENT