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Natural Hormone Balance For Woman

Jan 9, 2008
Sex hormones include, but are not limited to estrogen, testosterone, progestrone and DHEA.

Estrogen, not one hormone, but a group of similar hormones of varying degrees of activity, is secreted by the ovaries throughout a woman's reproductive years.

Estrogen is the female hormone that is responsible for ovulation. Estrogen plays an important role in a woman's life from the time she begins puberty until the final menstrual period.

Not only does estrogen have beneficial effects on cholesterol; lowering blood cholesterol, and lipid levels, it also contributes the production of proteins, to bone strength and the a woman's mental well-being.

Estrogen also supports and maintains the secondary female sex characteristics such as the distribution of fat in the breasts, hips and buttocks (which is what produces those wonderful womanly curves). It also influences pitch of the voice and distribution of hair on the body.

Progesterone, the second major sex hormone in women; is the other primary hormone produced by the ovaries each month during the second half of the cycle.

Progesterone is responsible for prepping and maintaining the uterus lining so it grows a thick layer of tissue in preparation for the fertilized egg. Progesterone is necessary for the survival of the ovum and then the resulting embryo; until the placenta takes over this task.

Progesterone also works on the breasts to prime the mammary glands for milk secretion. After menopause, progesterone stimulates osteoblasts to help build bone and increase bone density.

It is the natural decline in progesterone each month that triggers the menstrual cycle. Progesterone and estrogen are closely interrelated and their actions in the body are in a very delicate balance.

So balanced that a deficit of progesterone in the system can cause face and body acne to break out and in some cases, the acne can be so bad it can cause scarring.

Progesterone dominance, or an abundance of progesterone in the body; on the other hand, can greatly increase urinary tract infections or the feeling of having an infection. One of the first signs of progesterone dominance is drowsiness. In fact, progesterone dominance symptoms that go beyond sleepiness are depression, apathy, and even suicidal ideation.

Progesterone imbalance can also cause gain weight. One drawback to this type of weight gain is that until the hormonal imbalance is corrected, the excess weight gain doesn't come off. Aside from the acne, and weight gain, progesterone dominance can reak havoc with fertility. It is difficult to conceive a child when there is an obvious hormone imbalance in the body.

Testosterone is a hormone produced by both women and men. It is not just a male sex hormone. In women testosterone is produced in the ovaries, adrenals and to a lesser extent in the skin, brain and liver.

Testosterone behaves differently in the body systems of men and women, but it plays a very important role in the overall health and well being of both sexes. In men testosterone builds muscle, enhances sex drive, elevates the mood, prevents osteoporosis and increases energy. In women testosterone enhances the sex drive, helps relieve menopausal symptoms, restores energy, strengthens bone, elevates the mood and increases the sensitivity to sexual pleasure in the nipples and genitals.

Testosterone production naturally declines as a woman ages. However, too low testosterone levels in women can contribute to depression and osteoporosis.

Excessive testosterone can also cause problems. As women approach menopause and ovarian function slows, women can often show symptoms of becoming androgen dominant. Symptoms of androgen dominance in women include male pattern baldness and facial hair growth.

DHEA, (dehydroepiandosterone) a hormone produced by your adrenal glands, works to balance many of the effects of cortisol on your body, helping it cope with stress. In research studies, DHEA has been shown to improve memory function, boost energy levels, and reduce fat production. Most importantly, DHEA appears to protect the immune system from some of the cell damage caused by aging and disease. With a decline in DHEA, comes an increase of susceptibility to diseases, which correlates with the acceleration of ageing.

When a woman's hormones are in sync, she will feel incredible. She will have energy and vitality. And, she is far less likely to experience negative hormonal symptoms throughout her fertile years, right through peri-menopause, to menopause.

Unfortunately all it takes is one alteration to this perfectly balanced cycle for hormone havoc to occur.

When hormones are out of balance, symptoms such as accelerated aging, PMS, irritability, mood swings, anger outbursts, depression, painful and/or lumpy breasts, breast tenderness, 'making mountains out of molehills', eating binges, puffiness, bloating, crying jags, foggy thinking, irregular periods, rapid weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, insomnia, low sex drive, no sex drive, painful intercourse all can occur.
About the Author
Want to learn how to manage and conquer peri-menopause and female sexual health issues? Tracey DePaoli invites you to come and read Part II of Natural Hormone Balance For Woman at http://www.MyMommyEscape, a social networking community website devoted to Moms.
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