Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Balancing Journey - Part 4 - Some things I've learned...

... about hormonal imbalance.

There are two primary female hormones secreted by the ovaries - estrogen and progesterone.

There are actually three types of estrogen made by the body, but when we talk about hormones, these three are usually lumped together, along with animal estrogens, synthetic estrogens, phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), and xenoestrogens (environmental estrogens), because the body responds to all of them in the same way. Estrogen is a pro-growth hormone.

Progesterone is the other side of the hormonal coin. It is a pro-gestation hormone, balancing out the estrogen at the proper times in a woman's cycle.

The key with estrogen and progesterone is Balance. It isn't that estrogen is the bad hormone and progesterone is the good hormone. It's that they must be in proper balance for the body to function properly. In our society, there are so many sources, both environmental and dietary, of estrogen, that Estrogen Dominance has become extremely common.

Here is a list of some of the physiological effects of estrogen and progesterone. It's copyrighted, so I can't just copy it here. But it's very important information - please check it out.

Some of the most common effects of Estrogen Dominance are breast fibroids, PMS, moodiness, forgetfullness, excessive tiredness, hypothyroid-like symptoms, early pre-menopause, miscarriage, breast cancer, and endometrial cancer.

Here are a couple of websites I've found that have good information on hormone balance:
The official website of Dr. John Lee, MD - Check out the main Articles page for lots of good information. Dr. Lee has also written several books, which you can probably check out at your local library.
Dr. Lam's extensive article on Estrogen Dominance

And so you have it - the tip of the iceberg of the learning journey I never thought I would need to begin at age (almost) 33. Please take the time to check out some of this information.

No comments: