Why is hormone balance so important to your health?
Hormones impact your body at the cellular level. Your overall health depends
to a large degree on your body's ability to maintain healthy cells. Diet and
exercise influence your hormones and your body's ability to balance them
naturally. This applies to both men and women of all ages. As the saying goes,
"You are what you eat." This includes any medication you take. Just as
smoking and alcohol can have a negative effect on your body, so to can the
introduction of synthetic hormones. These include hormone birth control, HRT,
and ERT for menopausal women. Understanding how hormones work and acting to
protect and improve your body's natural balance can help you to improve overall
health, avoid disease, and even alleviate symptoms.
An Overview of How Hormones Work
Hormones can be split in to two main groups: synthetic and natural (bio-identical).
Natural hormones match the hormones produce naturally by your body through various
glands and organs and thus natural or bio-identical hormones have a molecular
structure that is natural to humans. This means your body can recognize the hormone
and can properly use it as intended. On the other hand, synthetic hormones (those
produced by pharmaceutical companies) are not the same as what your body produces.
These hormones are synthetically produced from either plant or animal sources; most
synthetic estrogens, for example, are derived from horse mares' urine. They are then
synthesized by altering the molecular structure of the hormone. Why is this done? Is
it with your health in mind? No, its done for financial gain. Since the molecular
structure of a natural hormone can no longer be patented, the hormones and drugs a
pharmaceutical company produces must be unique or different from bio-identical
hormones to qualify for patent protection. Thus pharmaceutical companies alter the
natural structure of the hormones so that they are different. What does this mean
for your body? Generally the body does not fully recognize the hormone, even if it
carries some similar traits to its bio-identical counterpart. The result is that the
body's natural functions may not be able to handle these hormonal alterations over
the long term, and symptoms and related health issues begin to appear.
Hormones and Their Basic Roles
Estrogen: There are 3 types of estrogen natural to the human body.
(The horses' urine used in birth control pills contains many more variations of
estrogen not recognized by the body). Estrogen is primarily a female hormone, but
is also found in a lesser degree in men. E2 or Estradiol is considered the most
potent of the three estrogens and is even considered by some to be carcinogenic,
especially if unopposed by proper levels of progesterone. It is up to 80 times
more potent than E1 Estrone, and E3 Estriol. E2 is also the estrogen hormone used
in birth control pills.
Testosterone: Also known as androgen, it is the primary male hormone,
though it is also found in women. Helps to build muscles. Also acts to suppress the
impact of estrogen. Often said to be the hormone responsible for libido, which may
be true for men but is certainly not the answer for women; it promotes facial hair
growth and acne in females and if unopposed by sufficient bio-identical progesterone
can lead to hair loss or thinning of the hair as well. These symptoms are often a
isible side effect of to much testosterone or androgen in the body which may be due
to such conditions as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome - cysts on the ovaries).
If you suspect PCOS and are experiencing symptoms related to elevated testosterone,
it is recommended that you not use synthetic hormone birth control. We also strongly
recommend testing your hormone levels with a saliva hormone test kit which can be
checked in a lab. You can obtain this test from us with all lab and mailing costs
for the USA included in the purchase price. We also offer a complete PCOS balancing
kit which includes all recommended dietary testing and educational items.
Cortisol: A hormone produced when the body is under stress (sometimes
called the "stress hormone"). Women who are under heavy stress--such as those who are
planning a wedding, experience a death in the family, or undergoing heavy training or
traveling--will often report an irregular or interrupted cycle. This can be directly
attributed to high levels of cortisol in these circumstances. Cortisol competes with
progesterone for cell receptors and can interfere with the body's use of progesterone
even if there is sufficient amounts of progesterone present. It is also the key reason
why women who are attempting to get pregnant or are pregnant are told to lower their
stress. Blocking progesterone can cause problems for a current or potential pregnancy.
Progesterone: Could be called the parent hormone. Natural progesterone's
job is to balance the effects of all the other primary hormone groups in the body,
including estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. When natural progesterone is low or
blocked from reaching the cell receptors, then the other hormones can get out of
balance and can start to create problems. Progesterone is created naturally and is a
non-gender hormone found both in men and women. Women tend to produce more of it as it
is a natural by-product of ovulation; during pregnancy the placenta produces massive
amounts of progesterone. It has long been suggested that natural progesterone may be
the reason why women outlive men on average. Progesterone is also extremely critical
to maintaining a pregnancy. Without sufficient progesterone, a pregnancy carries a
high risk for miscarriage or premature birth. This is why it is often recommended that
women who are planning a pregnancy should take the time to rebalance their body after
stoping synthetic birth control; not doing so also increases the risk of infertility.
It is the decline or drop in progesterone levels that triggers the onset of labor.
When it comes to the fertility cycle, progesterone is the start of it all. To
illustrate, progesterone is like the snow on a mountain that feeds the rivers, lakes,
and oceans below, whose waters are then evaporated back into clouds so that it can once
again snow on the mountain. The importance of regular ovulation on your health in a
similar manner can not be understated as it helps you to maintain a regular cycle and
much more. If ovulation is interupted and the interuption is not due to a pregnancy,
then it causes a disruption in the normal, cyclical interrelationship among a female's
hormones, brain, and ovaries. Here is how it works scientifically and hopefully this
will help you to understand why progesterone is so important: Normally in a balanced
cycle, the hypothalamus, a regulatory center in the brain, monitors the hormone output
of the ovaries and synchronizes the normal menstrual cycle. When monthly bleeding ends,
the hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the
pituitary gland in the brain to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and
luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones direct an ovary to start making estrogen
(mostly estradiol E2), and stimulate the maturation of eggs in about 120 follicles.
The first follicle that ovulates, releasing its egg off into the fallopian tube for
a journey to the uterus, quickly changes into the corpus luteum, which is a factory
for making progesterone, and raises progesterone’s concentrations to 200-300 times
higher than that of estradiol. This huge surge of progesterone simultaneously puts
the uterine lining in its secretory or ripening phase, and turns off further ovulation
by either ovary.
If fertilization does not occur, the ovary stops its elevated production of both
estrogen and progesterone. The sudden fall in the concentrations of these hormones
causes shedding of the blood-rich uterine lining and bleeding (menstruation). Then, in
response to low hormone levels, there is a rise in the GnRH and the cycle starts all
But what happens to the cycle if, for some reason, ovulation is unsuccessful? First,
the normal progesterone surge does not occur, thus a lack of progesterone is detected
by the hypothalamus, which continues to try to stimulate the ovary by increasing its
production of GnRH, which in turn increases the pituitary glands production of FSH and
LH. This stimulates the ovary to make more estrogen and testosterone, which stimulates
more follicles toward ovulation. If these additional follicles are also unable to
produce a matured ovum or make progesterone, the menstrual cycle becomes dominated by
increased estrogen and testosterone production without progesterone. This is a
fundamental abnormality which leads to irregular cycles and infertility as well as
symptoms such as PMS, water retention, weight gain, plus much more.
A similar condition is caused when a women enters menopause. When both
progesterone and estrogen decline at menopause--thus stopping the cycle and
menstruation--supplementing with natural progesterone is much safer then taking
synthetic HRT or ERT. Progesterone will help alleviate symptoms and help maintain bone
density without the high level risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease that is
associated with synthetic hormones (see
LadytoBaby.com also has specific information and
products for menopause.
For more hormone balancing articles and products, including complete balancing kits, please visit