Hormone Havoc: What’s really going on beneath the surface

December 17, 2020

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Dr. Keira Barr

When you hear people talk about hormones, they’re talking about youthful shenanigans and indiscretion. The fact of the matter is, we don’t really talk about the female experience with hormones like menstruation, breastfeeding, and menopause.

The reality is when menopause hits, and you’re struggling with headaches, mood swings, anxiety, and hot flashes, it’s because your sex hormones are out of balance.

Sex hormones are responsible for sexual reproduction and development. In women, the two primary hormones we’re concerned with are estrogen and progesterone.

Estrogen plays many roles in the human body, from proper mental and immune function to maintaining a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Estrogen is responsible for changes in breast tissue during puberty and pregnancy, as well as controlling the growth of the uterine lining.

Progesterone is commonly referred to as the “pregnancy hormone.” During a regular menstrual cycle, your body begins to create more progesterone after ovulation occurs. Progesterone levels increase gradually, preparing the uterus to accept a fertilized egg and support pregnancy. If fertilization doesn’t happen during the second half of the menstrual cycle, the uterine lining begins to shed, menstruation occurs, and a new cycle begins.

Wondering what this has to do with menopause? The menstrual cycle occurs as a result of predictable hormone fluctuations – a well-choreographed, precisely timed dance. As your body produces less estrogen and progesterone, it isn’t exactly consistent about it. (Cue the irregular periods.)

Symptoms of low progesterone include headaches, anxiety, weight gain and breast tenderness. High levels of progesterone are associated with dizziness, drowsiness and bloating. If your estrogen is low, you might experience hot flashes, night sweats, joint pain, and dry skin. On the other hand, high estrogen levels can translate to breast tenderness, fatigue, decreased libido, panic attacks, and – you’ve got it – mood swings.

Are we having fun yet?

I want to make it perfectly, crystal clear that it isn’t you.

You aren’t broken.

It’s not all in your head.

What you’re going through IS natural, but that doesn’t mean you need to grin and bear it.

There is no one size fits all “cure” for perimenopause – though I promise it does end, eventually.

Mood swings are a great example of a challenging symptom that could be the result of high estrogen, low estrogen, high progesterone – or some combination of the above. That’s one of the reasons it’s so hard to find the answers you need.

You deserve better than being dismissed.

You need support from someone who understands – and is committed to your well-being.

That’s why I’m writing this.

There is power in knowledge and understanding.

It puts your feet on solid ground and gives you a place to start.

If you’re ready to dive deeper, grab your Glowing Skin Guide for Menopause and Beyond, and read on! If you haven’t signed up for your copy of my guide yet, scroll down to the bottom of the page to get yours now!

Otherwise, grab a tall glass of water. Give yourself permission to rest for a moment.

Breathe. Hydrate. Relax.

Here’s to making yourself a priority, and taking the first step towards rewriting this chapter in your life.

Ready to dive in? Click here to book a free consult today!