Stress and Hormones
Are you overly stressed out and it’s making you miserable – or even sick – because of your stress levels? Stress will wreck your hormones, blow out your adrenal glands and is by far the one thing that can make us the sickest.
Stress can throw off your hormone levels, upset the cyclic rhythm of hormones in both women and men, disrupt the male/female hormone balance, and progressively cause disease. Excess levels of stress will drain the hormone pathways that we have.
Just like the inside of a Swiss Watch, the body is a set of interactive gears that work together. So if a person is in high stress either physically or mentally, it will affect the other systems in the body including the nervous system and in turn the immune, muscular, respiratory, digestive, hormonal, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems.
A simple example? Girls training to be elite gymnasts put themselves through high physical stress at such a young age that the development of their female cycle is delayed. They’ve pushed their body so hard that it depletes their progesterone hormones to the point that levels are low enough to delay their normal female cycle. That sets up a whole array of hormonal imbalances, and if stress hormones (like Cortisone) are really high other systems in the body are affected.
It’s worth taking a quick look at how hormones work, specifically in women:
Cholesterol breaks down into two ‘pathways’ – one creates female hormones, and the other is the stress pathway, creating hormones that respond to the fight/flight reaction. Progesterone is used in both pathways, and as such you need progesterone for both your female cycle and also to control your stress hormones. If you’re under stress the progesterone levels are used up as the Cortisone levels are increased to adapt to the stress. Imagine that your body is trying to have a female cycle and balance out estrogen and progesterone but your progesterone has been decreased by stress. Your female hormone levels are impacted significantly and that can put you on the path to sickness.
There are so many integral parts of the body that affect our hormones. But stress – both mental and physical – is by far the one thing that can throw off hormone levels the most.
Now, how do we help build up our hormone levels? Watch your stress level! Take good care of your body and follow the tips that we’ll be sharing with you this month through our facebook site. Dr. Tunis Hunt of Hunt for Wellness