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  • Writer's picturePatti Hayes

Stress Can Cause Hormone Disruption in Women

Stress can cause hormone disruption in women, which can have significant impacts on their physical and mental health. Men also suffer significantly from hormone disruption. We will be discussing this in our blog next week. The primary stress hormone involved is cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. When cortisol levels are disrupted, it can lead to various health issues.

Stress Can Cause Hormone Disruption in Women
Stress Can Cause Hormone Disruption in Women

Here are some ways stress hormone disruption can affect women:

1. Menstrual Irregularities: High levels of stress can disrupt the menstrual cycle, leading to irregular periods, missed periods, or more painful periods. This disruption occurs because stress can affect the balance of reproductive hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. Hormonal fluctuations influenced by cortisol exacerbate premenstrual syndrome (PMS) leading to mood swings, anxiety and depression.

2. Fertility Issues: Chronic stress may interfere with reproductive health and fertility by disrupting ovulation and menstrual cycles. High levels of stress hormones can impact the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which is necessary for ovulation.

3. Menopause Symptoms: Stress can exacerbate symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. Cortisol levels rise causing hormonal imbalance may worsen these symptoms. Add that in with all the other changes happening during Menopause and you have a recipe for high levels of stress.

4. Thyroid Function: Chronic stress and Cortisol rush can affect thyroid function by signaling the thyroid to stop producing as much thyroid hormone leading to imbalances in thyroid hormones. This disruption may contribute to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and mood changes. Stress also exacerbates autoimmune thyroid diseases such as Graves' Disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.

5. Mood Disorders: Excessive stress can increase the risk of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety in women. Cortisol dysregulation may contribute to alterations in neurotransmitter levels in the brain, affecting mood regulation. Taking action to lowering Stress can lower cortisol significantly.

~ Here are some FREE and natural ways to take stress down more than a couple of notches.

Eat a balanced diet. Aim for more Plant Based meals. Avoid Caffeine.

Get enough sleep. Shut all outside stimulus down at least an hour before bedtime. A dark, cool, quiet environment will help you get 8-10 hours of restful sleep needed by your body to function at its best.

Take up a hobby. Hobbies help you focus on the present moment and not worry about tomorrow. Gardening, Reading, Journaling, Photography, Cooking, Writing, Crafting are awesome choices. ~

6. Immune Function: Prolonged stress drastically increases Inflammation this in turn, alters protective immune responses making women more susceptible to infections, certain types of cancers other illnesses. Cortisol, when chronically elevated, can dampen immune responses, leaving the body less able to fight off pathogens.

7. Metabolic Health: Stress hormone disruption can also impact metabolic health, leading to weight gain, especially around the abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood triglycerides and insulin resistance. cortisol levels can increase appetite and cravings for sugary or fatty foods, contributing to weight gain and metabolic syndrome.

Managing stress is crucial for maintaining hormone balance and overall well-being in women. Strategies such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, mindfulness practices, and seeking social support can help mitigate the effects of stress on hormone levels and promote overall health.

If you or someone you love struggles with these issues, consider my Direct Primary Care Practice and let's see if I can help. Wherever possible I help you and your body get back to a more level "playing field" by sorting out what exactly is happening and making a plan to get you back to feeling as well as possible.

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