Health Vitamins & Nutrition Centre, Langley BC


Women's Hormones

Hormonal imbalances compromise not only physical health but also psychological health, manifesting as problems ranging from depression to panic disorder. One way the body tries to compensate for imbalances created and exacerbated by the demands of stress is to overproduce key hormones. Another way it tries to compensate is by converting sex hormones to stress hormones, thus further diminishing reproductive functions and the enjoyment of sexual health.

It is helpful to learn about these hormonal interdependencies because they allow one to see the bigger picture, that the problems commonly associated with menses or menopause are actually indicators of greater endocrine imbalance. For many women, the next step in understanding the bigger picture might be to look at digestive health -- such as the possibility of malabsorption syndrome or food allergies -- and at nutritional supplementation strategies (see Supplementation below) that help restore or maintain hormonal balance.

One of the biggest reasons why hormonal imbalances are misunderstood is because "modern" medicine disregards the way the human body deals with its environment. Consider that the body's responses basically have not changed for 50,000 years. We still respond to our environment with the most primal of mechanisms: the "fight-or-flight" mechanism, the release of adrenaline and other stress hormones. The stress response, initiated in the hypothalamus and pituitary, and regulated by the adrenal glands, is responsible for redirecting energy and resources away from the reproductive organs when we are under severe or chronic stress, directing it instead to the muscles and organs that are necessary for survival. This redirection is allowed to take place because, on the body's list of priorities, survival comes first and reproduction comes last.

The reproductive system is the only body system whose functions are biologically expendable. With this in mind, we see how the ability to reproduce becomes a privilege in the body, not a right. Fertility, or the ability to ovulate, is therefore a good indicator of the overall health of a woman.
Michael Borkin, N.M.D

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